Starbucks customer shares hack to get customized iced latte for $5. But baristas are conflicted

@gimariefedd/TikTok haireena/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘So much better than paying $8’: Starbucks customer shares hack to get customized iced latte for $5. But baristas are conflicted

'Be careful with this because as a barista, we’re told not to fill up iced espressos to the top.'


Melody Heald


Posted on May 1, 2023   Updated on May 1, 2023, 2:22 pm CDT

Starbucks hacks are constantly circulating on TikTok. In a recent viral clip, a woman revealed a trick on how to get a custom Starbucks latte for $5 on the Starbucks app.

The video was uploaded by TikTok user Gianna (@gimariefedd). She explains how to get Starbucks grande “espressos, lattes, and shaken espressos” for less than $7. The content creator recommended ordering off the app to get a latte with “all inclusions,” including cold foam, cinnamon, and oat milk for $5.12.

In a screen recording, Gianna goes to her Starbucks app and clicks on “hot coffees” and “espresso.” Afterward, she customized her drink, adding two shots of espresso, three pumps of brown sugar, and one pump of cinnamon caramel syrup. Then, she topped off her drink with vanilla sweet cream, regular cinnamon powder, oat milk, and almond milk. She explained that with all of these toppings including the extra milk, her grande should be filled all the way to the top. The video wrapped up with Gianna unveiling the grand total of $5.12. She clarified in a comment the same hack could be used for “iced coffee” options on the Starbucks app.

@gimariefedd If your not doing this already, your welcome! 🤍 #starbuckshack #starbuckshacks #starbucksdrinks #starbucksorder #starbucksorders #cheapstarbuckshack ♬ original sound – ✰Gianna✰

The Daily Dot reached out to Gianna via Instagram direct message, TikTok direct message, and TikTok comment. The video garnered more than 283,000 views as of Monday, where viewers pointed out easier methods to get this drink.

“Make sure you go under iced coffee and choose iced espresso. The way she ordered it, it would be in a hot cup,” one viewer recommended.

“Instead of clicking a second daily option, click the same one again and it comes up as extra splash,”  a second said.

However, this “hack” stirred up controversy among alleged baristas, some claiming they would “get in trouble” if they filled the cup up with milk.

“Be careful with this because as a barista we’re told not to fill up iced espressos to the top,” one user warned.

“Just a heads up- not all baristas will fill your cup the whole way! It’s not standard, sometimes we get told not to,” a second wrote,

“Yeah, we aren’t allowed to fill it up and they are watching us like hawks at my store so pls don’t get mad at us,” a third echoed.

On the other hand, other baristas claimed they didn’t care about the repercussions.

“Honestly, as a Starbucks barista I always fill it up. Give customers their moneys worth I’m not going to leave you hanging LOL,” one person commented.

“As a Starbucks barista I just fill it up all the way. Doesn’t come out of my paycheck,” a second agreed.

“I fill it up but I put extra extra ice cuz its an iced espresso,” a third stated.

However, with all of these drink hacks, many baristas have expressed their annoyance and have complained online about customers who try this. Most baristas urge customers not to do this hack for fear of getting in trouble. But many customers tend to continue to use hacks, regardless.

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*First Published: May 1, 2023, 2:21 pm CDT