Starbucks is pretty much the ideal place to pick up your caffeine fix: there’s nearly one on every corner in most major cities, and the menu is so big it can almost be overwhelming sometimes. No foam or extra? Should you add flavor? What does coconut milk even taste like in a latte? Luckily, we got the inside scoop from a former barista on the drinks you definitely shouldn’t be ordering at Starbucks.
Tara,* who worked at a Starbucks location in upstate New York, says that unless you’re looking to consume what is basically a caffeine-free meal of ice and cream, stay away from any of the “Creme” frappuccino.
“Any of the creme fraps don’t have any caffeine, like the strawberries and creme one. The vanilla bean frappuccino is basically pure sugar,” she says.
Essentially, “Creme” in the name is just an indicator that the drink is basically dessert. Considering that a grande Vanilla Bean Creme rings in at 440 calories (and that you don’t even get any actual coffee in it!), we think we’ll be sticking to the coffee giant’s lattes and drip coffees, thank you very much.
Oh, and if you don’t want your barista to hate you? Tara says to always specify whether you want your drink hot or iced before actually ordering – you’ll save your barista tons of frustration and will probably get your drink faster.
“I would get so annoyed if people would give a really complicated order that I would need to write on the cup while they were saying it, and they didn’t say hot or iced before they ordered,” she says.
Lesson learned: if you want more caffeine bang for your buck, steer clear of the frapps – and seriously people, don’t let your barista write your entire complicated order on a hot cup, only to tell them that you wanted that grande triple soy latte with extra foam, iced.
*Name has been changed.