Starbucks are supposed to be the “third place” — after home and work — where you go to relax and enjoy your life. Starbucks also sells their service as the place where you can make really specific drink orders and have them fulfilled with glee and not hostile resentment.
Today, I am going to share with you my ongoing and miserable experience with a particular Starbucks store in Midtown Manhattan that just plain out refuses to correctly make my drinks order — even though they’re the ones who taught me precisely how to order my drink!
I am wild about green tea and when I recently discovered Starbucks offers a “minty” green tea, I was thrilled. I wasn’t thrilled with the mintiness, but sometimes we have to suffer for our green tea magic.
After several starts and stops to get precisely the right ordering process down with the help of the Midtown Starbucks staff over the course of a few visits, I was able to trippingly pronounce my drinks order in under three seconds: “Two Trenta Iced Green Teas; No Water, Light Ice.”
Unfortunately, my drinks order was rarely exactly filled in just that way — and I was often interrupted right after “Two” — by the staff asking me what size I wanted — even though the size was the next word in my pre-ordered ordering sentence. I would dramatically stop when asked that question, and re-start my order from the beginning. It’s rude to interrupt someone, especially when they’re trying to pronounce a script as instructed!
They were often out of green tea and would tell me I had to wait 10 minutes for them to make more. It only takes me 1-2 minutes to steep green tea in a bag at home, I have no idea why it takes Starbucks ten times longer when they’re using the same teabags.
Often, they were also out of Trenta cups. Or they added 99% ice instead of “Lite Ice.” Or they only had enough green tea left to make one drink, not two, and they would “substitute” some sort of awful raspberry tasting herb tea to “max it out.” Or they added 50% water to the tea, effectively diluting any proper sense of green tea flavonoids.
They would do all these modifications to my order without telling me and they’d do it behind my back when I was paying with my credit card. I would only find out after the drinks were complete that my order was not made right.
When I started to catch on that they were not reading the order instructions written on that huge Trenta cup, I would quickly pay and then run over the area where they were not making my green tea order to order. I would try to save everyone time by correcting the barista as my order was in the process of being messed up…
I would ask — “Is that ‘No Water?'” — as my Trenta cups were filled with water.
I would yell — “Is that 99% ice or ‘Lite Ice?'” — as they scooped my empty Trenta cups full of ice.
I would shout — “Is that Black tea or Green Tea?” — as the barista poured two giant Trenta cups full of Black tea.
One time, as one of the managers was filling 25% of a Trenta cup of green tea with 75% ice, and I asked — “Is that Lite Ice?” — and the manager glared at me and started to throw the drink in the sink when I quickly added, “Just take half of that and put it in the other Trenta cup and fill them both with green tea and it will be fine.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, sir,” the manager sneered as he dumped the whole drink down the drain — even though he was usually the main culprit who regularly refused to make my green tea drinks as ordered — only to discover he just threw away the last of the green tea and had to make more. No tea for you!
I have learned Starbucks does not like iced tea orders. They rarely have the tea made and even if they have tea made, it is never enough for two light ice Trentas with no water. Why offer drinks you do not want to make or support? The hostility from the staff is overwhelming. Don’t blame me for your tea misery! I’m only the one paying for it!