These Starbucks Orders Will Make Your Wait Unbearably Long, According to a Barista

If you don't want to be the one clogging up the drive-thru, you might want to read this.

A Starbucks barista holding out a Starbucks hot cup.
Photo: Starbucks/Allrecipes

If you are a caffeine lover like us, you probably have found yourself at a Starbucks. Even before the proliferation of the "craft coffee" phenomenon, Starbucks still holds its own, especially outside major cities. Whether it is the drive-thru or conspicuous line inside the cafe, you are bound to see a ton of people waiting for the morning cup of Joe.

You might even plan ahead and use their mobile app in order to avoid the line. However, you might still be wondering why your beverage is not ready when you go to grab it. In addition to morning rush hour, you are most likely ordering a beverage that takes longer to make. As a former Starbucks barista during my college days, I know the ins and outs of their operations. Here is a list of things customers are doing to make their wait times a bit longer. I guarantee it!

The Starbucks Orders That Take the Longest

A Frappuccino

Ah, the ultimate beverage to make any barista "sigh" in agony. This beverage requires five different steps before it is even blended. On top of that, whipped cream is added, plus some form of confectionary drizzle. Most likely, your frappuccino cup will sit on that counter until several beverages have been made.

Adding an Espresso Shot

Now this applies to drinks that don't normally require a trip to the espresso machine. These drinks include drip coffees, iced coffee, and non-espresso beverages. If you decide to order an iced coffee with an added espresso shot, your wait time has increased by a few minutes. Most Starbucks locations only have two espresso machines. Those machines can only go so fast when there are 10 or more drinks waiting for espresso.

A Pour-Over

There is nothing worse than hearing a customer request a pour-over coffee when there is a line out the door. A pour-over means manually brewing coffee for a single serving, by grinding beans, and pouring hot water over the grounds. This method can be time-consuming. Pour-overs are usually done for decaffeinated coffee orders. My trick? I used to just make the customer a decaf Americano (espresso shots with water added) instead of a pour-over.

Icing Brewed Tea

As a customer, if you ever order an Iced London Fog Latte (Earl Grey tea with vanilla syrup, milk, and ice), get ready to wait. You might as well take a seat and look at the latest news articles. Whenever a drink involves a tea bag, you are waiting 3 to 5 minutes for the tea to steep alone. Enough said.

Adding Alternative Sweeteners

There is a reason why packets of sugar, zero-calorie sweetener, and honey are kept at the condiment station for customers to do themselves. Ripping several packets of sweetener and honey to add to a beverage during a rush is tedious and slows down service. It is very helpful to add your own packets of sweetener or honey to your beverage to allow an easier flow.

Adding a Food Item to Your Drink Order

This scenario is due to staffing inefficiencies. If a Starbucks location doesn't have a full staff, usually the cashier is in charge of heating up food items. Most of the food items have different cooking times. For example, if a customer orders a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich and an order of egg bites, they will have to go into the oven separately because of the different cooking times. The good thing is, most Starbucks locations have two ovens, but if there is a rush, both will be occupied with other orders. It is common for your drink to be ready while you still have to wait for your food item.

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