Confessions of a Caffeine Dealer

Written by Rakel Crockett

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When you live in a house that should be the poster family for Target, what job does your mother make you apply for when looking for your first job? You guessed it, Target. However, I couldn’t work in any department –no– I had to work at Starbucks. But here’s the thing, I had the faintest idea of what Starbucks actually was. The first time I had encountered a Starbucks was my freshman year of high school, where I would discover my love for caramel frappuccinos.

 

I only assumed that being a barista would be a high school job to give me extra money. Little did I know that being a “caffeine dealer” would become my life and source of income to support myself throughout college. Throughout my three years of working here, I have learned many things.

 

Being that I have worked at Starbucks for so long, it would only be right to let you in on the insights and secrets of being a Starbucks barista.

 

There is no “Secret Menu”

Many customers assume that each Starbucks is equipped with a book with all the secret drinks that are not available to the general public. Unfortunately, there is no secret menu. Baristas do know customized drinks since people constantly ask for the same secret drinks often. Given that baristas experiment with new drink combinations, you can ask them what their favorite “secret drink” is and they’ll give you the 4-1-1. My personal favorite is the banana cream pie frappuccino.

 

Cappuccinos/frappuccinos you can buy at the gas station are not the same as the ones we serve in the store.

There have been many times when people were confused when their cappuccinos didn’t have any sweetener or whipped cream on top. A proper cappuccino is comprised of espresso on the bottom, a small portion of steamed milk, and a majority foam. If you would like something similar to the “cappuccinos” sold at the gas station, I’d suggest buying a flavored latte with whipped cream on top.

 

Frappe vs Frap

A personal pet peeve of mine is when people call our frappuccinos “frappes.” You are not at McDonalds: you are at a Starbucks. The shortened version of frappuccinos is simply “frap.” Your barista won’t correct you if you say frappe, but we will give you major side eye.

 

Most (if not all) baristas think the new frappuccinos that come out are disgusting

I don’t know who they hire to think of the new frappuccinos, but whoever that is needs to be fired. Many of the new drinks are all hype and too sweet for many people to handle. There is a reason why they are available for a limited time only.

 

A little bit of kindness goes a long way

Most baristas are stressed during their shifts and customers don’t help alleviate that. Simple things can make a baristas shift 100x easier. For example, not being on your phone and being kind to your barista. One thing they don’t tell you, if you are nice to your barista they are more likely to give you some special perks. I have given extra love to drinks for guests that make my life a bit easier.

 

Although this small list may make it seem like baristas are constantly annoyed and stressed, being a barista is still an amazing experience. I have met some incredible people that have either worked with me or were regulars in my store.