Starbucks barista holding cash with caption ''Do baristas actually decaf people who are rude?'' (l) hand holding Starbucks cup in front of blurred coffee shop background (c) Starbucks barista speaking pointing to chest (r)

supaporn lomakool/Shutterstock @ashtoncharlebois/TikTok @heatherstrand_/TikTok (Licensed)

‘I decaffed hundreds of people’: Former Starbucks barista says she ‘decaffed’ customers who were rude, annoying

‘If you were an annoying f*cking person, you got decaf.’


Phil West


A former Starbucks barista took to TikTok to reveal that she has been “decaffing” customers she deemed unworthy of caffeine.

The video comes from TikToker Heather Strand, who according to her bio is based in Portland. It gathered more than 156,000 views since going up on the platform last Friday. In it, she details the policy she put in place over six years of serving coffee to customers at the retail giant.

@heatherstrand_ #stitch with @ashtoncharlebois ♬ original sound – Heather Strand

“I worked at Starbucks for six years,” she begins in the video, “and I decaffed hundreds of people. I decaffed you if you were a bitch, I decaffed to you if you were rude, I decaffed you if … I don’t know, if you were an annoying fucking person, you got decaf.”

From there, she details specific violations. “If you were shitty to the person at the register, you got decaf. If you were shitty on the speakerbox, you got decaf. If you were even shitty to someone who worked at Starbucks who … I thought was annoying, I decaffed your ass.”

“You know why?” she then inquires. “Because this is fucking customer service, and if you want to be a shitty fucking person, you pay $6 for a regular fucking coffee-flavored beverage. And I stand by it.”

She then concludes, “Don’t be fucking rude to the people making your beverages or food. Don’t be fucking rude to people.”

This isn’t the first time someone’s gone to TikTok to confess to the practice; the Daily Dot covered a video back in June 2021 where someone copped to depriving customers of caffeine.

The commenters who weighed in on this latest video include a number of baristas who shared their own decaf-serving policies.

“I always decaf cops,” one noted.

Another revealed, “We had a team meeting about decaffing people less often because we were having to order more decaf beans to compensate for how often we were doing it.”

Yet another admitted to extending the policy to “people who stare.”

That got another person agreeing, saying, “No fr we aren’t zoo animals.”

“My sister taught me to decaf and I would do it to one of my mean bosses,” another commenter recalled. “I remembered, “He was like, ‘Wow, the coffee just hasn’t kicked in yet.’”

One revealed a code among the co-workers, saying, “We used to put a smiley on the cup.”

However, not everyone was on board with decaf justice. One commenter weighed in with, “If you’re mean to me I’m going to give you something other than what you paid for because this is the most power I’ll have in life.”

But someone countered, “Actions have consequences.”

Though it seems like decaffing is more rampant than we might have thought, there are still limits around the policy.

“Remember kids,” a commenter cautioned. “It’s okay to decaf people but if they order decaf give them decaf please.”

That led the creator to agree, “Yes! Always gave decaf to whoever wanted it. Even if they were annoying! People have heart issues.”

The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and to Starbucks via email.

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The Daily Dot