An Employee On TikTok Revealed How Fans Could Score Free Starbucks Iced Coffee

Who wouldn't want free coffee? For iced coffee lovers, this TikTok barista hack is even better, since a good cold brew is less common than the coffee bean's warmer counterpart. TikTokker cinnamonfebreze shared a video showing multiple trenta cold brews just sitting on a counter with the text, "We just dump it every night, be nice and ask!" Captioned over the image was additional info sharing, "Trenta iced coffee that is dumped at the end of the night when Starbucks closes. If you ask, we may give it to you."

Keep in mind that manners really do matter, and no barista is likely to "hook up" an impolite customer with a bunch of free extras. 

The situation described by this TikTok barista is staff sharing leftovers out of the kindness of their heart. Staff are not required to share this with customers and in fact, often have strict rules surrounding leftover and expired food, as shared by Redditors. Officially, Starbucks baristas must discard food and drink that has reached its expiration date to honor food safety requirements — even if that food is still good (via Starbucks). The brand has an official program named FoodShare to help donate this still-good food to local food banks, but the not-expired-but-still-unwanted cold brew exists in a bit of a "Schrodinger's order" situation.

Who doesn't want free coffee?

If there's leftover cold brew at the end of an evening, you may stand a real chance of getting a free cold brew by asking nicely. Baristas have commented back on the original TikTok sharing that this can definitely happen as one shares, "we always make too much so we're constantly harassing customers to take iced coffee." Other employees, however, note that the situation is easily avoidable. 

Says Megan W, "We've been able to narrow down to having one Trenta cup of waste." TikTokker 'Nancy3' adds, "Alot goes to waste if SOMEONe makes full batches couple hours b4 closing." Some Starbucks will no longer use cups to hold excess brew as the crew is breaking down for the night either. Says a user known only as 'g ‼️,' "We don't cup anymore after our cup shortage."

So, you might get free coffee — but you also might not. Starbucks, like most restaurants, does its best to manage local policies, and limit or repurpose food waste. If you find a nice barista with a little extra, you might still get the freebie you want.