The Real Reason Starbucks Baristas Hate Limited Edition Frappuccinos

Back in 2017, Starbucks introduced the wildly popular Unicorn Frappuccino. Then they tempted fate with the release of their 2018 Crystal Ball Frappuccino, and brought back 60's nostalgia with the Tie-Dye Frappuccino in 2019. There were plenty of others in between like the Dragon, Mermaid, Zombie, and even a Christmas Tree Frappuccino. Starbucks can't deny that limited edition drinks and Frappuccino Happy Hours are a huge win for the Seattle company. Executives say thanks to the world of social media, the limited edition Frappuccino is becoming an "Instagrammable success" that drives significant traffic to stores, but they may not want to hear that not everyone is a huge fan of the limited edition Frappuccino phenomenon. 

When the Unicorn Frappuccino first came out, Katy Perry took to Snapchat to voice her distaste for it. Perry's video showed her spitting out the colorful concoction with the caption, "I couldn't handle drinking my own blood." Starbucks baristas feel Perry's pain, but for different reasons. 

Baristas and Frappuccinos go together like oil and water, but just was is it about the frozen drink that drives baristas crazy? One Redditor says Frappuccinos are becoming more and more intricate to make, calling the recipes "absurd," with multiple steps required to make them. The Tie-Dye Frappuccino has about 10 steps, according to one barista (via The Cut). Business Insider reported that to make the Unicorn Frapp, drizzle had to be swirled around the insides of cups, and several powders had to be sprinkled atop the whipped cream to complete the look. The colorful powder even stained baristas hands and workstations.

Starbucks barista Braden Burson let it all hang out on social media (via People), echoing the sentiments of other frustrated baristas who were tasked with whipping up Unicorn Frappuccinos day in and day out. "Today, it came out, and I have to tell you, PLEASE DON'T GET IT," he yelled. "I have never been so stressed out in my entire life, it has been insane! I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. If you love us, as baristas, DON'T ORDER IT!" 

With all of this, it's no surprise that Frappuccinos "easily take the longest to make out of our entire menu," according to one barista on Reddit, who also says that making 10 to 15 Frappuccino orders in a row can be quite a workout. 

Another reason baristas curse the limited edition Frappuccinos are the high expectations. When Starbucks announces the release of one of their limited edition Frappuccinos, like the Tie-Dye Frappuccino, you see a perfectly swirled, colorful concoction topped with a dollop of whipped cream and what looks like fairy dust evenly spread to the top. It sets a pretty high standard for baristas to clone time after time. One barista begged (via Refinery29) before the Tie-Dye Frappuccino launch, "Please.... please, please for the love of god please, be nice to your barista... It's going to be a pain to make, and it is not going to look exactly like it does in the ads." 

Despite the haters, not all baristas wish death to the Frappuccino, but even so, if you're next up at the counter and you're ordering a limited edition Frappuccino, be kind to the baristas if your drink isn't the most Instagram-worthy. Better yet, order a less labor-intensive Starbucks drinks instead. Your barista will thank you.