The Starbucks Foam Hack Employees Don't Want You To Know

When Dr. Frankenstein created a monster by combining different parts from other bodies, it didn't turn out so well for him (via SparkNotes). Starbucks has gone much further than the mad doctor did. According to its website, Starbucks can create not one but more than 170,000 monsters, in the form of drinks its guests can customize by mixing and matching different ingredients. This can't turn out well for Starbucks baristas, either.

Indeed, Starbucks employees (or "partners," as corporate likes to call them) commiserated over this very problem on Reddit after someone posted what might be the 170,001st customizable possibility at the world's biggest coffee chain.

"Had a lady order a venti Iced Caramel Macchiato with blackberries in and VSCCF with blackberries blended in that as well," a Redditor called "peeP0-" posted. "Everyone on headset went silent. ... How do y'all come up with these drinks??"

Unpacking this customer's drink order requires a Starbucks glossary. A Caramel Macchiato is simple enough: espresso and vanilla-flavored steamed milk with caramel drizzle, per the Starbucks online menu. "VSCCF" is barista shorthand for Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam, and cold foam is Starbucks' answer for customers who want to experience the foaminess of a cappuccino in a cold drink, as another page on the company's website explains. You'll find a good breakdown of cold foam on Starbucks' cold drink menu: It's simply milk and vanilla syrup, which contains some sugar. Fresh Coffee House points out that Starbucks uses non-fat milk for its cold foam because it holds up better.

Starbucks workers say they would refuse to make certain custom drinks, but corporate says they can't

The kicker to that order described on Reddit — the Iced Caramel Macchiato with Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam — was that the lady wanted blackberries blended into her drink ... and into the foam. Apparently, she really loves this concoction. "She said she had ordered the same thing that morning and came back for another one," Redditor "peeP0-" wrote.

Blending a fruit into the foam was a bridge too far for a lot of the commenters on the Reddit post. "As a partner, I found that making foam this way for personal drinks slaps," a comfortably anonymous Starbucks barista with the Reddit handle "Razlyk" commented, adding, "Although, if you think I'm gonna share my discovery with these clown ass customers, you are mistaken."

Miss Blackberry Blend isn't the only customer infamous among baristas for their annoying and elaborate custom orders. A lot of these customers post their special drinks on TikTok or other platforms, which only encourages more people to order them (via Business Insider). Despite complaints from its "partners," Starbucks corporate is sticking to its Frankenstein's monster policy. A company representative said, "Customizing beverages at Starbucks and our baristas' expertise in helping customers find and craft the right beverage has and always will be at the heart of the Starbucks experience." At least those baristas can retreat to a safe space on Reddit.