3 Easy Starbucks Customizations Baristas Love

Experienced Starbucks baristas have pretty much seen it all when it comes to customizations for drink orders. With ever-changing options and countless "secret menu" drinks that go viral, baristas have to contend with very chaotic combinations of syrups, foams, and toppings. While your barista should be willing to accommodate any tweaks to your drink, some requests are the stuff of their nightmares, such as a non-dairy dry cappuccino that's super difficult to foam up. 

On the other hand, there are some requests that baristas are happy to hear, sometimes even suggesting them to customers because they're quick, easy, and tasty. On its TikTok page, Starbucks has shared three drink tweaks that are sure to take your drink up a notch. Best of all, these customizations are simple for baristas to whip up, meaning you get a tasty drink, and they get a break from nightmare orders.


Your fave + a little something extra. ✨ Some customizations may cost extra.

♬ original sound – Starbucks – Starbucks

Asking for your cup to be lined with caramel sauce is a simple way to sweeten up your beverage, and it looks cool, too. The barista in the TikTok also recommends a matcha cold foam, which goes great with an iced chai tea latte or a Refresher, adding a beautiful color, creamy texture, and earthy flavor. Lastly, you might want to ask for a ristretto shot of espresso in your drink. These shots are made with less water, so you get a more concentrated coffee flavor. They are used by default in flat white drinks but can be requested for any espresso-based beverage.

Baristas customize their orders, too

Now, none of this is to say that baristas don't enjoy customizing drinks in more complicated ways. On the internet, many baristas have shared their own favorite custom drinks, and some of these are not basic at all. A barista named Liz tells Business Insider that they enjoy a mocha cookie-crumble coffee Frappuccino blended with a banana and hazelnut syrup, then topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and chocolate cookies. Clearly, some baristas love taking advantage of the famously complex Starbucks build-a-drink system — but if you ask for a drink like this, don't take your barista for grated. Assume that you'll have to ask nicely, be very specific, and maybe leave a tip.

Even more surprisingly, some "complicated" drink ideas from customers end up making a profit for Starbucks. Occasionally, custom drinks that are shared on the internet go beyond viral, and the company takes advantage of the hype. The Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte on Starbucks' fall menu actually started out as a "secret menu" drink, invented by fans and spread through word of mouth. This beverage was so frequently requested that the company added it to its official lineup. 

Even more famous is the Starbucks Pink Drink, another uber-viral customer invention. A combination of a strawberry-acai base, coconut milk, and freeze-dried strawberries poured over ice, it was added to the permanent menu in 2017, and can even be bought in bottled form at grocery stores. 

Which drink orders do Starbucks baristas actually dread?

You now know about a few easy drink ideas that baristas will be happy to whip up, but what about the other end of the scale? Indeed, there are some drink customizations that many baristas dread. Firstly, drinks with modifications in the double-digits are an obvious red flag. Multi-layered Frappuccinos, for instance, can require several blenders to make. Thus, a huge portion of the staff's work space becomes dedicated to a single drink, and everyone in line has to wait for longer.

Other times, customers can be vague when ordering. They might show their barista a picture of a drink they saw online or ask for a "secret menu" beverage by name only, without specifying what goes into the drink. Not everyone knows about the latest secret menu drink to gain hype on TikTok — Starbucks baristas are only trained to create the items on the official menu and shouldn't be expected to recognize every fan-invented drink in the world. 

However, while these habits may be annoying, Starbucks is committed to allowing folks to ask for their drink in whatever way they like. It's one of the signature perks that makes the coffee giant stand out from the rest. Baristas simply ask for a bit more patience and a lot more specificity for complicated orders, so they can make your drink just right, and you can walk or drive away with a smile.