Why A Starbucks Worker Was Caught Off Guard By An 11-Year-Old's Drink Order

You could say that complex off-the-menu coffee orders are a part of the job for Starbucks baristas. Bhe coffee chain has time and time again come out in defense of its patrons who order drinks so customized that they look nothing like the original drink at all — a common occurrence fuelled by secret menu hacks and viral TikTok videos. Only last year a Starbucks spokesperson told Fox News that "customizing beverages at Starbucks and our baristas' expertise in helping customers find and craft the right beverage has and always will be the heart of the Starbucks Experience."

So it isn't exactly surprising that yet another customized Starbucks drink has caught the attention of Reddit, but much to their astonishment, the drink in question was ordered by an 11-year-old! According to the baffled Starbucks barista, a young girl walked in asking for "liquid cocaine," a drink she had seen on TikTok. While she ended up leaving with a different drink altogether, after some internet sleuthing the barista found that "liquid cocaine" was a coffee made with "4 shots [of espresso] with 4 pumps white mocha over ice." Even more surprisingly, fellow Starbucks baristas say that this drink is actually quite popular, especially among Vietnamese customers.

"Liquid cocaine" may be Starbucks' secret version of a Vietnamese coffee

"All the Vietnamese customers I have met order variations of this drink,"one barista piped in on Reddit, "In Vietnam they drink very darkly roasted coffee usually with sweetened condensed milk. Hence this beverage." Another points out that this "liquid cocaine" has been around for quite some time.

In a different Reddit thread, a barista claimed that the drink is "supposed to emulate a [cà phê sữa đá], a strong single serve iced coffee with condensed milk ... Served with lots of ice and a bit of whip." According to Hungry Huy, cà phê sữa đá or Vietnamese coffee is an iced caffeinated beverage made from extremely strong coffee mixed with equally sweet condensed milk. The coffee grounds are brewed through a Vietnamese metal filter called a phin, which makes a much stronger bevarage than a typical coffee machine. A few tablespoons of condensed milk are added and the concoction is poured over ice.

The site also notes that while Starbucks does not officially sell the Vietnamese coffee, cà phê sữa đá fans have indeed found a recipe that doesn't use condensed milk: three or so shots of espresso, four to five pumps of white mocha, a lot of ice, and heavy cream or whipped cream on top. One "liquid cocaine" drinker has even vouched for this Starbucks secret menu item, confessing that "it tastes very close to what she gets at home."