Starbucks barista with cup with caption 'When they want coffee but they ordered rude' (l) Starbucks circular sign on building (c) Starbucks barista making decaffeinated espresso with caption 'When they want coffee but they ordered rude' (r)

Michael Berlfein/Shutterstock @kiidoddity/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘No wonder I don’t be wakin up’: Starbucks barista sneaks decaf coffee into rude customers’ drinks

'I never mess with the great people who make my eats....ever.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Oct 6, 2023

A Starbucks barista recorded the unique method that they use to get a little bit of payback against rude customers in a viral TikTok that has over 40,000 views as of Friday.

Kiid (@kiidoddity) recorded themselves allegedly serving up a cup of decaf to folks that rub them the wrong way. Several commenters responded that they, too, like to give patrons they don’t particularly care for caffeine-less beans. But how widespread is this practice? Is it a secret M.O. among baristas?

@kiidoddity Decaf hit different 😋 #fyp #viral #starbucks #baristalife ♬ original sound – Kiid

“When they want coffee but they ordered rude pt.2,” the TikToker pens in a text overlay of the video, which shows them standing in front of a coffee machine. They then toggle the device’s menu to select decaf beans to grind as a form of passive-aggressive revenge against the customer, who will probably be none the wiser.

It seems that “decaf punishment” is a phenomenon that at least a few people are privy to online, as this form of workplace vengeance was posted in a Reddit post uploaded to the site’s r/Starbucks subreddit. User @hawtopus77 wrote, “Okay guys, if you are giving out decaf for every rude customer you encounter, or any rude person honestly, you probably just need to find a new job.”

The Redditor went on to acquiesce that while they come across their fair share of “a**holes” on a day-to-day basis, they ultimately said, “Messing with someone’s drink, no matter how rude they are, is wrong. I in no way condone the behaviors of all the horrible, rude, monsters that come in and terrorize partners everywhere. I have had my life threatened for not selling a woman a trenta Frappuchino.”

However, they urged workers to not “stoop down” to the level of the mean people they are serving.

In another Quora post that asked whether or not baristas actually give decaf coffee to ill-mannered patrons, one person who said they were a three-year manager at Starbucks confirmed that this is indeed the case.

Coffee isn’t the only item that Starbucks baristas have purportedly used as a means of getting back at customers, however. The same TikToker uploaded a viral video showing how they hand pick the smallest loaf pieces for customers who aren’t nice to them, too.

@kiidoddity Be kind :) #fyp #viral #starbucks #baristalife ♬ original sound – Kiid

Folks who responded to Kiid’s TikTok seemed to also confirm that the decaf revenge was still very much a retaliatory practice that is alive and well.

One person wrote, “You’re better than me I do long shot dcf espresso hehehe.”

Whereas another quipped, “Decaf long shots.”

Another TikToker also joked, “For legal reasons we do not do this ever, wink wink.”

However, one user couldn’t understand why a Starbucks employee would post about their revenge, writing, “Why do y’all love to broadcast fireable offenses to the internet.”

It didn’t seem like baristas were too worried about letting customers know that they were capable of this form of vengeance.

“I jokingly (seriously) said one time ‘you be careful talking to someone who has the power to make your coffee a decaf like that’ and they backed off,” a user wrote.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Starbucks via email and Kiid via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Oct 6, 2023, 8:05 am CDT