A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

10 Friendly Habits Starbucks Employees Secretly Dislike

See what habits customers think are OK—but Starbucks baristas secretly wish we'd all stop doing.

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Employee baristas inside Starbucks Coffee
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Expecting the barista to know your order

Your local Starbucks baristas might have a lighthearted, friendly banter with you each time you pick up your coffee. But that doesn’t mean they’ll remember your go-to coffee order every single time. Make sure you know about these 11 healthy Starbucks drinks that taste indulgent.

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Interior Of Coffee Shop With Customers Using Digital Devices
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Ordering from the secret menu

While some Starbucks baristas don’t mind creating a secret menu masterpiece, it does take extra time. You should save those special requests for a lull when there aren’t swarms of people waiting for their drinks. Starbucks wasn’t always Starbucks—this was what Starbucks was almost called.

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Fresh hot coffee being poured into a cup from a stainless steel french press in a trendy cafe
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Pouring coffee in the trash

Have you ever felt the hot, scorching temperature of a freshly brewed coffee from Starbucks? It may seem easier to pour a splash in the garbage to make room for milk or cream than to ask for room. But that hot coffee could burn a hole through the plastic trash bag. Not fun to clean up! These are 13 things baristas won’t tell you.

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image of cup after drinking coffee on a table close-up
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Putting dirty dishes on the bar

It’s sweet when a customer wants to corral dirty dishes for the barista, as long as they know where the dirty dishes belong. Don’t put them on the bar—look for a dish bin instead. Have you noticed this hidden detail on the Starbucks logo?

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Teenage girl paying for her coffee at the register. She signs the bill with her finger on the cash register tablet.
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Interrupting the barista

You may think it’s saving the barista time when you interrupt the barista as she asks if you’d like a copy of your receipt. But cutting off a Starbucks barista is plain rude. These are some other pet peeves of Starbucks baristas.

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An unrecognizable coffee shop customer stands across the checkout counter from an unrecognizable barista and reaches out to put a paper bill in the tips jar.
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Telling a barista to pocket a tip

Yes—tips are a great way to show your barista some love! Take note that Starbucks employees share their tips, though. Their manager will collect all tips and distribute them based on hours worked at the end of each week. We’ve finally cracked the code: This is the truth behind the differences in Starbucks drink sizes.

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Beautiful woman having a cup of coffee
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Waiting at the counter

Baristas appreciate when a customer is listening for their name to be called. What they don’t like? A customer who crowds the hand-off counter anxiously awaiting their drink. See what Starbucks employees won’t tell you.

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Woman showing a cashier which cookies she wants to purchase.
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Not asking for a specific food item

Don’t vaguely point in the general direction of the food display case in Starbucks and say something along the lines of, “I’ll have one of those!” It’s a lot easier for the barista (who is behind the counter) when you specify the exact name of the pastry or sandwich you’re ordering. This is the most expensive Starbucks in the world.

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Friendly black waitress asking female customer her name to write on her coffee to go cup while smiling
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Asking “Is that my drink?”

Starbucks baristas take extra time to write their customers’ names on the cups to make it as easy as possible for a person to find their drink. Pro Tip: If you didn’t order a venti coconut milk latte, then the venti coconut milk latte your barista placed on the hand-off counter is probably not yours. This is what Starbucks employees really get paid.

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A smiling female coffee shop barista stands behind the checkout counter across from an unrecognizable patron. She looks down as she writes his order on a coffee cup.
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Spelling your name out loud

If a Starbucks barista needs to clarify your name from another customer’s, they’ll ask. Otherwise, taking time out of their busy day to make sure your name is spelled correctly does just that—takes up more time. This is how to order at Starbucks like a regular.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Taylor Murphy
A freelance writer well-versed in a variety of topics, with six years of experience writing print and digital content for newspaper outlets, online publications and magazines. My bylines have appeared on GoodHousekeeping.com, HouseBeautiful.com, RedBookMag.com, Cosmopolitan.com, MSN.com, StyleCaster.com, in Dr. Oz The Good Life and other best-selling national women's lifestyle magazine publications. I'm currently a freelance copywriter at Today's Business, a digital advertising and marketing agency.