Try These Starbucks Hacks The Next Time You Grab Coffee

Call me basic all you want, but I have a soft spot for Starbucks. Other than the fact that it’s the only coffee shop close to work, their Reserve Bar in New Jersey was a delightful experience. But if you’ve ever ordered an iced drink then you know exactly what baristas do that makes me and my wallet cry. More than half of my cup is packed with ice. This is blasphemy. This is an outrage. I’m tempted to say something, but the line of impatient customers behind me and the busy baristas make me rethink it. I’ll just simmer quietly in the corner while I think of what went wrong. Maybe I just ordered incorrectly?

It turns out that there are ways of getting around problems like these. Reddit user therewillbesnacks, who also works at Starbucks, submitted a number of hacks for us to study on the Frugal subreddit. Here is just a snippet from their long post:

If you want espresso, avoid the options already on the menu board. Americanos cost just a little more than a cup of brewed coffee, but packs more of a caffeine punch because it’s espresso and hot water. It tastes like coffee and you can sweeten it just like you would your normal cup of coffee. More bang for your buck. If you want an extra shot, don’t ask for one. Ask for a “grande Americano in a tall cup”. That way, they charge you an extra 30 cents, instead of an extra 70 cents for the shot of espresso. This works because Grande Americanos get three shots. Same would work for a Venti. My manager tells all his partners to do this by default, whether the customer asks for it that way or not, but other stores may not be so nice.

I’m no barista, so I can’t tell how accurate these are, but I’ll definitely have to try out these Starbucks hacks. Other Reddit users also compiled their own hacks to make their Starbucks experiences a whole lot better. Here are a couple of our favorites.

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Not enough for you? Here are some other tips and tricks you can try the next time you stop by a Starbucks!


Ask for light ice.

The bane of my iced drink experience. I didn’t actually know there was a legitimate option for this on their POS until my sister showed me. If you feel like you’re paying $5 for a cup of ice, try asking your barista for “light ice.” This should prevent your drink from getting watered down. If you’re lucky, your barista might even make up the difference with more of your drink.


Too hot? Ask to make it “kid temperature.”

Ever have that moment when you burn your tongue on that first sip of coffee? Starbucks actually offers to serve their hot drinks at “kid’s temperature.” Personally, I might struggle with ordering this when I have other customers behind me, but if the heat really bothers you then why not? Let everyone else burn their tongues. I’ll just be sitting here in the corner with my perfect cup of coffee.


There are two secret sizes.

If you’re new to Starbucks then you know that their size menu is limited to Tall, Grande and Venti. Did you know there’s actually two more? There’s a Short size, which holds about 8oz., and the dreaded Trenta. The Trenta holds about 31 oz., which can hold more than your standard wine bottle! Can you handle that much coffee? I know I can.


Register a rewards card on the Starbucks app.

I can’t tell you how many deals and promotions I’ve gotten just from using their app. On top of getting a free drink on your birthday, Starbucks offers a ton of other perks. You get stars for every purchase you make and if you hit Gold status within a year (about 300 stars) then you can get a free drink.

In a hurry before work? Order your drink ahead of time and pay by phone. By the time you get there, you can pick up your drink without waiting in line.


Bring your own cup.

Other than saving the environment, Starbucks will reward you by taking off $0.10 off your beverage regardless of the size. According to Starbucks customer service, “You will be charged for the closest cup size, but not larger than the size of the personal cup.” That might not sound like a huge discount, but it’s better than nothing!


There are refills.

Did you know Starbucks offers refills? Well, now you do. When you use your Starbucks card or mobile app to purchase any handcrafted beverage, then you can get a free refill of brewed coffee (hot, iced or cold brew) or tea (hot or iced). Just a heads up, you can’t leave the store between refills or else it’ll be considered a new purchase. Grab a book or plug your phone charger in for all your free refills!

Do you have any Starbucks hacks to share? Let us know in a comment!

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