Why You Should Think Twice About Ordering From Starbucks' Secret Menu

Lots of fast food chains seem to have "secret" or perhaps not-so-secret menu items. From Del Taco to In-N-Out to the number one fast food restaurant in the United States, Chick-fil-A, there are so many whispers in your ear and food options for your mouth to discover, it could make you feel like as if you are unraveling a string of CIA clues. Having the inside track on these off-menu items sounds so hip and cool. Who doesn't want to be friends with the guy who walks into the local Starbucks and walks out with a Butterbeer or Nutella Frappuccino? You immediately want to know the secret code he used to get such a delicious and rare drink.

In fact, Starbucks' secret menu lore has grown exponentially over the years. There is such a cult following there is actually a website dedicated to all these confidential drinks aptly named Starbucks Secret Menu. But it might surprise you to learn there actually isn't a secret menu. All these off-menu items are just creations by the chain's loyal customer base. A Starbucks employee spilled the tea in a New York Magazine interview a couple of years ago, yet the urban legend continues. But the next time you get the urge to ask your Starbucks barista for a drink that is on the "secret menu," you might want to reconsider, and here's why.

Don't order a secret menu item unless you know the ingredients

A former Starbucks employee went on the record to ask customers to think twice before ordering a "secret menu" drink unless they know how to make it. The Starbucks barista said, "The employees would be more than happy to make you a drink if you just explain the recipe rather than the name of it" (via Delish). A Starbucks PR rep told Quartz there are 170,000 different combinations of drinks customers can create. But the rep went on to explain that's not where the thrill lives for Starbucks coffee drinkers. 

There's a Fight Club-like excitement that comes from being able to customize a drink that only a handful of people know how to order by name. However, if you are going to order up the drink called Liquid Cocaine, you need to know that it contains 4 shots of espresso, 4 shots of white chocolate syrup over ice in a grande cup. And don't even think of asking for a secret menu drink during the chain's rush hour. It's just bad form. A Starbucks employee told Thrillist, "If it's super busy, I might resent you slightly [for ordering one]. But if it's not, usually I find it interesting."