As a vegan, walking into any eating or drinking establishment can present many landmines of non-vegan products to avoid. This includes coffee establishments, such as Starbucks. So we were thrilled when Kenneth Brown, a former Starbucks manager, used Kickstarter to publish Inside the Cup: Translating Starbucks into a Drinkable Language. Here is Brown’s advice to getting exactly what you want when you order coffee.
Be assertive at Starbucks
“Most people who go to Starbucks usually get the same thing because they don’t know what we’re missing out on,” says the former barista. His book takes a lot of the mystery out of the amazing array of choices one faces. Here’s a sampler of some of the advice he offers up to coffee lovers.
Don’t be shy, ask questions
The number of possible drinks is ridiculous and many don’t even make the menu. If there’s something that you want, but don’t see it, just ask the barista. They can probably make it. And don’t worry, you won’t look silly – every customer has questions.”
Drinks are normally made with 2% milk but you can do better. Get nonfat or soy, ask for sugar-free or less syrup, axe the whipped cream, or get a smaller size. Skinny drinks are nonfat and sugar-free.
Adjust your caffeine intake
Ounce for ounce there’s way more caffeine in espresso than drip coffee. But your drink only has one or two ounces (shots) of caffeine so you might need an extra shot, or two, or seven if you can’t wake up. Not a caffeine fan? Order half caff or fewer shots.
Complement your flavors
If your drink is getting boring then add another flavor. Great pairings include: chocolate and anything (especially strawberry), green or passion tea and raspberry, chai tea and vanilla, and a whole slew more.
Adjust the sweetness
If your drink is too sweet then reduce the amount of syrup. When you have two flavors in your drink the syrup is doubled up so cut both in half to return to a normal level of sweetness.
Get more tasty goodness
Want to taste more of the sweet flavors or that creamy goodness you’re drinking? Reduce the amount of espresso or take it out altogether. Or, you can simply ask for extra flavoring.
When in doubt just ask if you can try something. Starbucks is sample city, of course they’ll say yes.