Starbucks: The not so secret menu

By: Mikayla Ladson

 

“Hi what can I get you?”

This is the generic response I got at my local Starbucks.

“Can I get a tall Strawberry acai refresher with coconut milk and two pumps of vanilla, please,” I said.

She keyed my order in with a sure whatever look and gesture, asked for my name and then took the next customer. What she did not know was that I had just ordered off the secret menu.

The Starbucks secret menu is a hidden menu made up from drinks that already exist, whether its a few more ingredients added to make a new one, or some ingredient swapped for another.

The menu is a result of experimentation by Starbucks lovers and baristas, trying new things with their own drink choices, creating the “secret menu” and sharing with others. Starbucks secret menu has gained a boatload of attention in the past few years after several media outlets like Fox News and Seventeen Magazine. Even fans have created websites devoted to this topic, like secretmenustarbucks.com and starbuckssecretmenu.net, which both have over 200 Starbucks drinks that people have created.

After ordering my drink I walked around the downtown area and surveyed people from ages 21 to 56. I learned that people of an older age range are not too familiar with the Starbucks Secret menu. For example, Victoria Rebeck, a 56-year-old from Nashville, Tenn., says she’s been drinking Starbucks for “16 -17 years,” but hadn’t heard of the menu. Similarly, Erin Boyette, a 27-year-old from Watkinsville, Ga. hadn’t heard of it either: “ I don’t know anything about that,” she said.

“I read a Buzzfeed article about the secret menu, but I don’t know if it exists,” said Jessie Lamay, 23 years old from Athens. “I hear there is a Pink Drink that’s supposed to be good.”

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However, younger people are more aware. Jordyn Burrell, a 15-year-old student at Hilgrove High school has ordered from the menu. “I had the Cotton candy Frappuccino, Oreo, Twix, and the Strawberry acai refresher with coconut milk.”

Kayla Smith, a 15-year-old from Gr
eater Atlanta Christian school says “yes,” she’s heard of it. “Yeah, I think it’s pretty cool, but I feel it’s so unnecessary, why can’t it be on the menu? There are flavors people like but don’t know about.”

The Pink Drink, Butterbeer Frappuccino, Cookies and Cream Frappuccino and the Three Cs are four of the 200-plus options you have when ordering off the Starbucks secret menu. The Pink Drink is a Strawberry acai refresher with coconut milk instead of water and two pumps of vanilla. The Cookies and Cream Frappuccino is a double chocolate chip frap with white mocha sauce instead of the regular mocha sauce.  The Three Cs is a cinnamon dolce latte with mocha and caramel syrups added. There is an endless amount of options.

When ordering a drink from the secret menu, there is no whispering or “wink, wink.” Instructions are a must; read them the ingredients. Let’s say I wanted a Butterbeer Frappuccino. I would say, “Can I get a Vanilla bean Frappuccino with caramel syrup, toffee nut syrup and caramel drizzle on top.” It’s all about how you say it otherwise dirty or annoyed looks will come your way.

 

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