How to Order at Starbucks Like a Regular

This is your guide for how to order at Starbucks—the right way.

Unless you’re a Starbucks regular, ordering from this coffee chain can be a bit, well, intimidating. It’s hard enough to remember all the details for your drink—and on top of that, there’s a right way to place your order. Whether you want a simple Pike Place coffee or a secret menu Frap with all the fixings, there’s an etiquette for how to order at Starbucks. Here are things Starbucks baristas won’t tell you.

The Starbucks drink ordering sequence

To make things easier for your barista, here’s the recommended sequence to follow while ordering your drink:


First, specify whether you want your drink hot or iced. This determines what kind of cup your barista will grab to start the order.


There’s a reason why Starbucks drink sizes aren’t simply small, medium, and large. Don’t ask for a “small” or a “regular” here! You’ll want to use the Starbucks lingo:

  • Short: 8 oz.
  • Tall: 12 oz.
  • Grande: 16 oz.
  • Venti (Hot): 20 oz.
  • Venti (Cold): 24 oz. (The extra room is to accommodate the ice.)
  • Trenta: 31 oz.

Then, after size and temperature, follow with all the things that make your Starbucks order special:


You can add a splash of sweetness to your drink. Tasty flavors include vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, chestnut praline, and more. Just let the barista know how many pumps you’d like.


Right now, the milk options include nonfat, 1 percent, whole, half and half, and heavy cream. You can also ask for non-dairy options like almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk.


This is where you can truly personalize your drink by adding or subtracting ingredients and making any special adjustments. For example, you can request light ice, caramel drizzle, or extra foam. If you order a “skinny” drink, that means you’ll get nonfat milk, sugar-free syrups, and no whipped cream. If you want to go that route, here are healthy Starbucks drinks that we recommend.

Type of drink

Specify the type of drink you want: latte, macchiato, mocha…whatever your heart desires.

Ready to order?

Your order should sound something like, “iced grande skinny vanilla latte” or “tall hot chocolate with soy milk and no whip.” You start with the size and temperature of your drink, and everything else follows.

If that all sounds good, then congratulations!

Editor’s Tip: If you’re a Starbucks Rewards member, place your order on the Starbucks mobile app. You can pay ahead and pick it up at your cafe. This way, you can order a custom drink and you don’t have to worry about reciting it out loud. Next, make sure to avoid the pet peeves of Starbucks baristas so you always get the best coffee.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Ceara Milligan
Ceara Milligan is an avid people fan and an unabashed brand geek. Her true passion lies within research, where she unveils consumer, brand, and industry insights and discovers the many ways in which people shop, communicate, search, and design a unique presence both online and offline. She loves staying informed about trends that affect the outlook of businesses every single day. She has extensive experience in developing digital and brand strategies and inspiring creativity across all channels and touchpoints. She has implemented strategies for brands in various industries, including healthcare, agriculture, food and beverage, travel and tourism, CPG, nonprofit, insurance, financial services, beauty, education, retail, B2B, and automotive. Ceara graduated cum laude from Marquette University in 2012, where she studied Marketing, Information Technology, and Advertising. When she isn't in marketer mode, Ceara can be found listening to Third Eye Blind, cheering on Marquette Golden Eagles basketball, playing trivia, petting strangers' dogs, and baking up a storm.