Friends and fellow coffee drinkers, the day of reckoning is upon us: a Starbucks barista is tweeting customers’ worst drink orders, and none of us are safe from the fire and wrath. It started when Terence Wiggins (@TheBlackNerd), who recently gave his two-weeks notice at Starbucks, tweeted some of the best worst orders he’s had to make as a barista. However much sugar you think people are adding to their coffee, I assure you it’s way, way more.
“Let's take a look back on some of the worst drinks I've made in my barista career,” Wiggins tweeted fondly before posting pictures of Starbucks receipts that read like someone listing off ingredients in prop food from the movie Elf. One of the first drink orders Wiggins posted is a tall coffee with cream and 20 pumps of classic syrup sweetener. TWENTY. As in ten and then also ten more. Like, would you tip extra for making someone exert the physical energy of adding 20 entire pumps of Starbucks sweetener to a drink? Probably, right?
Then, there are the added syrup flavors. 10 pumps of raspberry syrup? Sure! 16 pumps of caramel syrups? Coming right up! A Frankenstiened Frappuccino with pumps of strawberry, banana, and mocha? Don’t forget the whip!
More than a handful of the orders Wiggins posted have “Ask Me” denoted at the end of a laundry list of syrups and sugars, which usually signals an off-menu item or Starbucks secret menu drink. It also reads as a challenge from the person ordering the drink. Like, “Ask me if I fuck around when it comes to my sugary, caffeinated nectar?”
I’m mostly in awe of the boldness (courage, even) of any person who is able to walk up to the Starbucks counter, look another human in the eyes, and order what is essentially a cup of hot milk with a whisper of coffee. That is so brave of you. Where do you get that sort of confidence? Is it from all of the sugar? Is that how I, too, will feel if I drink 12 packets of Splenda?
I really shouldn't be one to talk when it comes Starbucks orders. My taste in coffee is far from refined. (I still haven’t entirely figured out how to drink coffee black without wincing a little and going “ew yuck” after each sip.) If it were acceptable to order a shot of Bailey’s in my coffee every morning, my drink receipt would most certainly be somewhere in this Twitter thread, and I would probably be a lot more enjoyable in the morning.
What is arguably the most impressive part of all of this is the tolerance of the baristas of the world. How is any Starbucks employee able to maintain a straight face when someone tries to order a Pumpkin Cheesecake Frappuccino? Was the Unicorn Frappuccino a sadistic joke Starbucks corporate was playing on employees and customers alike? Also, do you still have the ingredients to make one if I missed out?
Should there come a day when you no longer want to ask the barista to add a couple dozen pumps of sweetener to your coffee, you can also buy an entire bottle of Starbucks Classic Syrup on Amazon Prime. It’ll probably save you a few bucks in the long run and will definitely save you from the public shaming when your cashier shares your order online.
I suppose the lessons in all of this are: 1) you should live life with the confidence of someone who asks for 15 Splendas in their coffee 2) your Starbucks baristas are people, too and 3) They’re probably taking pictures of your sugary concoctions and will gladly show the internet the receipts.