The Drinks Starbucks Baristas Make For Themselves When No One's Looking

In the age of Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, people are all about ordering over-the-top concoctions at Starbucks (remember the Unicorn Frappuccino?). It's not surprising that there's a secret menu for fun and eye-catching beverages at the coffee shop chain. But you know who may not be a fan of the drinks that might get you more likes on social media? Your Starbucks barista, because these orders are complicated to make. 

Still, Starbucks releases new items each season to please its loyal customer base. Meanwhile, the drinks baristas enjoy are actually quite straightforward and toned-down in comparison. According to Grit Daily News, an easy creation that Starbucks baristas love to both make and drink is a Grande Cold Brew with Toffee Nut and Caramel Cold Foam. The Cold Brew apparently adds a kick while the toffee nut and caramel syrup lend sweetness to an otherwise simple beverage.

Another drink the workers at Starbucks make for themselves is a makeshift Cuban coffee — a triple espresso over three packets' worth of raw sugar. This is similar to the flavors of dark espresso and caramelized sugar found in an authentic Cuban coffee.

More drinks that Starbucks baristas secretly love

For a more tropical sip, baristas told Grit Daily News said they whip up a Piña Colada Iced Latte, which is an iced coconut milk latte with the addition of caramel syrup. This one is a bit more flashy, but the Starbucks staff swear it's delicious.

Baristas have divulged other drink recipes they love over the years. One Starbucks employee told Thrillist about the Vanilla Americano — an iced quad (which means four shots!) grande Americano, plus three pumps of vanilla syrup and coconut milk. This order gets you energized in the morning and can also be a "lightly sweetened pick-me-up in the afternoon."

Another barista revealed the recipe for "The Undertow" to Refinery29; a beverage that Starbucks employees across the U.S. love. It's apparently "common for the supervisor and the barista to chug one together" before unlocking the store's doors for the day. The drink is made with two or three pumps of a flavored syrup of your choice (vanilla, caramel, or cinnamon dolce is recommended), 1 to 2 ounces of half and half poured slowly, and a single or double shot of espresso that is floated on top. The concoction should be consumed as soon as possible before it cools down, or before the shots settle. When you gulp it down, you should feel a "swirl of warm and cool then sweet in your mouth" — which is why it's called "The Undertow."

The secret touches Starbucks adds to its drinks

There are other simple but scrumptious beverages that Starbucks baristas make for themselves. One told Refinery 29 that she enjoys adding two pumps of raspberry syrup to a tall White Chocolate Mocha for a hint of tart sweetness. Another barista divulged that though the chai latte is the show-stealer, you can technically ask to turn any tea into a latte. Just ask for your tea of choice with steamed milk and syrup (if you want it to be sweet).

A non-coffee beverage that baristas enjoy is Chai Apple Juice — a tall apple juice with three pumps of chai concentrate. The cinnamon, ginger, and other spices in the chai concentrate add a boost of flavor to the plain juice.

Whether you want to try one of these orders, or opt to order something you saw on TikTok or a secret menu, just know that simply naming the drink won't get you anywhere. Be sure to look up the recipe beforehand and give your barista specific instructions.