What and How to order at Starbucks?

by | Oct 31, 2019 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

You know that feeling when you enter Starbucks and you see people ordering coffee like a pro saying words that you don’t understand? Yeah, I feel you girl. One of the reasons why I was perfectly okay getting coffee from a gas station – so that I don’t have to sweat myself ordering a damn coffee. To give you a quick recap, I wasn’t into coffee or coffee shops growing up.

My Desi middle-class upbringing made sure to make me believe that paying 70 rupees for a coffee is a waste of money or luxury. And by the time I was ready to move to the US, Starbucks had just launched in India. I was making good money and stuff so I was like sure let’s give this hype a shot. It was cool though because the baristas would help you decide what kinda coffee you want and it was a fairly easy process.

But things looked a lot intimidating here in the US. And I have no shame in admitting that I hardly stepped into Starbucks to get coffee because of this stupid block in my head that I’ll make a fool outta myself.

Let’s start with how to speak Starbucks.

what and how to order at starbucks


Short – Extra small cup for hot drinks only One shot of espresso; two pumps of syrup.
Tall – Small cup One shot of espresso; three pumps of syrup.
Grande – Medium cup Two shots of espresso; four pumps of syrup.
Venti – Large cup Two shots of espresso; five pumps of syrup (hot) Three shots of espresso; six pumps of syrup (cold)
Trenta– Extra-large cup for cold drinks only

Starbucks coffee


*Can be iced or hot Cafè Latte = 20% Espresso, 60% Steamed Milk, 20% Milk Foam on top
Mocha = Chocolate flavored
Macchiato = 50% Espresso, 50% Foamed Milk
Frappuccino = line of iced, blended coffee drinks.
coffee or crème base, blended with ice and other various ingredients, topped with whipped cream and sauces *hot only

Cappuccino = Foamy Milk and espresso
Americano =Hot Water, 1 shot of Espresso

how to order at starbucks


Chai Tea Latte = Starbucks Chai Concentrate, Hot Water, Steamed Milk
Dirty Chai = Chai Tea Latte with an added shot of espresso
Chai Tea = tea without the milk

what to order at starbucks

Extra Stuff

Black eye = two shots of espresso in a regular cup of coffee.
Drip = Just a regular cup of coffee
A half-caf drink = one made with equal quantities of caffeinated and non-caffeinated coffee.
Skinny = If you order a “skinny latte,” or other drink containing milk, it will be made with skim milk. If your drink includes syrup and you order it skinny, that means that you want sugar-free syrup.
Shot = shot of espresso
Blonde = a different kind of espresso bean, it is a bit sweeter than regular espresso

So here’s a step by step guide that I’ve de-coded and learned by making mistakes and observing people at Starbucks:

Step 1:
Enter Starbucks feeling confident and in a mood to have a delicious coffee
Step 2:
Get in the line and look at their menu to make your mind
Step 3:
When it’s your turn, start with ‘Hey how’s it goin’
Step 4:
Barista: What would you like to have today?
You: Recites order in this manner = size + iced or hot + what kind of drink, + special notes
Example: I would like a grande iced caramel macchiato with nonfat milk.
Barista: Anything else?
You: No, that’s all
Barista: Name for the order
You: Spells out the name and keeps it as simple and short as possible.
Barista: That’ll be $5.5
You: *Swipes card* or *Pays cash*
Step 5:
Now you walk towards the station or grab a seat. When they call out your name, you check for your name written on the cup and grab it to go.
Step 6:
You’ll find extra sugar, creamer, stirrer, napkins etc. on another counter.
Stir the coffee and sip leisurely. Wait! Don’t forget to snap and Instagram 😉

See, that wasn’t too difficult. Now no more panic attacks in line, no more anxiety once you are about to open your mouth and no more second-guessing if you actually ordered what you think you did.

Next time you wish you try to something new and don’t let the Starbucks pro’s and menu intimidate you 🙂 I’d love to know what was your first Starbucks experience like?