Coffee shop of the week: Starbucks

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My first stop on my journey to explore all the coffee shops and tea lounges in the Greater Lafayette area is Starbucks. So lets say you’re somewhere in this area and you start craving some Starbs. Well guess what my friend, there are currently nine in this area for you to choose from!


Whether you like to admit it or not, Starbucks is dominating in this area and it wouldn’t be right to do a blog about coffee and ignore this powerhouse. I’ve been a barista at Starbucks for almost 2 years now so I know just about anything you could ever need to know about the coffee chain. So lets get to it.

Students lined up outside the Purdue Memorial Union Starbucks.


It would be impossible to get every drink to fit on the menu, so here’s a quick tip from a fellow Starbucks barista herself: we most likely can still make it even if you don’t see it on the menu. We have a separate tea menu too.  Also, you know that secret menu you hear people talking about? It is in fact real, and if you find it and want to try something off of it don’t be afraid to ask us!


I will be the first to admit they are rather confusing so lets run through those.

  • Hot drinks (from  extra small to large): short, tall, grande, venti
  • Cold drinks (from small to extra large): tall, grande, venti, and trenta*.
    • Side note: frappachinos come in minis during the summer,
    • *not all cold drinks are available in trenta size, but iced coffee, cold brew and iced tea are available come in this size


Now lets discuss those boxes on the side of the cups. From top to bottom they read: decaf, shots, syrup, milk, custom and drink.

  • Decaf: this is simply asking whether of not you want regular, decaf or half decaf.
  • Shots: this refers to the number of espresso shots in the drink. Most of the time it ranges from 1-4.
  • Syrup: Get ready for all these options! You can get extra syrup or less syrup. The star signifies that there is a sugar free option.
    • Mocha*, white chocolate mocha, vanilla*, hazelnut*, caramel, cinnamon dolce*, raspberry, peppermint*, classic, and toffee nut, chia, and oprah chia. These flavor should almost always be available. There are a ton of seasonal syrups too,such as the very popular, pumpkin spice.
  • Milk: 2%, whole, skim, soy, coconut, and almond, half and half, and heavy whipping cream are your options.
  • Custom: a lot of different things could go in this box, such as whether or not you want whip cream, if you want light ice, the temperature (ex. 186 degrees, kids temp, or extra hot),the amount of foam or no foam, etc.
  • Drink: simply the drink you ordered translated into Starbucks code.

FAQs I get as a barista

  1. Do you guys have just regular coffee or hot chocolate? Yes and yes! Starbucks has a signiture medium roast, knows as Pike Place (the history behind the name), brewed all day, everyday. We typically have dark roasts and blond roasts brewing too.
  2.  What does skinny or lite mean? Essentially they mean the same thing but “skinny” typically refers to a hot or iced drink, while lite refers to a frappachino. Skinny = skim milk, sugar free syrup, and no whip cream. Lite = skim milk, sugar free syrup, and a lite version of the base that goes into frappachinos.
  3. Is is hard to learn all the drinks? It took me about two weeks to get them all down and now I could do them in my sleep. (At 5:30 in the morning, sometimes it feels like I’m doing just that.)

Recommendations by me

  • Raspberry Mocha: the mocha and raspberry tastes great with the espresso!
  • London Fog Latte with soy: if you like earl grey tea, you’ll love this! It’s an extremely unique taste.
  • Strawberry acai and mango lemonade: Ask for a a strawberry acai refresher with lemonade instead of water and pumps of mango syrup. You’ll instantly feel like you’re at the beach after you take a sip!

Recommendations by other baristas

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Felicia Felix (left) and Renee Berg (right), my fellow baristas at the Starbucks in Pay

  • Felicia: “I love learning all the drinks and recommending drinks to customers. If someone orders something and they don’t like it, I’ll always remake it for them.”
    • Recommendation:The Not So Pink Drink (her own creation)- black tea, half and half, classic, raspberry, and toffee nut syrup
  • Renee: “My favorite part is getting coffee and the smell isn’t so bad either”
    • Recommendation: Cinnamon dolce and toffee nut latte


Glen Dekker, barista at the Starbucks at Wabash Landing in West Lafayette

  • “Starbucks is a fantastic company company. They really take care of their employees. I’m currently studying to be a coffee master.”
  • Recommendation: Kenya Dark roast,Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher, Pink Drink

What people in the Greater Lafayette community are drinking at Starbucks

Grace Moreman (left) and Erin Shelton (right) enjoying Starbucks in the Union at Purdue
  • Grace Moreman
    • Favorite Drink: London Fog
    • Favorite part about Starbucks: “Consistency. It’s always there and I know it’ll always taste the same no matter where I go.”
  • Erin Shelton
    • Favorite drinks: iced green tea latte and iced chia latte
    • Favorite part about Starbucks: “I think it’s really convenient because there’s so many of them and there’s lots of options, and how you can customize your own drink.”


Ruthy Shook getting her signature drink while grocery shopping at Pay Less.
  • Ruthy Shook
    • Favorite drink: a tall pike in a grande cup with 4 pumps of skinny mocha and heavy whipping cream. Sometimes she adds 3 pumps of skinny peppermint syrup too!
Alyssa Fanara and Richard Li Wy hanging out in Purdue Memorial Union.
  • Alyssa Fanara: “I don’t drink coffee, so it’s actually hot chocolate!”
  • Richard Li Wy: “I got a mocha. It’s sweet!”

That’s a wrap on Starbucks. Check back next Friday for a more local coffee shop!


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