Starbucks customer speaking in car with caption 'Asking the Barista for a Surprise Me Drink at Starbucks *Gone VERY wrong*' (l) Starbucks drive thru sign on brick wall (c) Starbucks customer speaking to drive thru worker with caption ''Yeah i can get you an iced water.. that sounds good' It was the laughing that got me' (r)

Summer_Wind/Shutterstock @kristenalk/TikTok (Licensed)

‘The barista did NOT pass the vibe check’: Starbucks customer asks barista to ‘surprise’ her, worker jokes about giving her water

'I was a barista for years, and I LOVED when people asked me to surprise them.'


Jack Alban

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 21, 2023

One of the biggest draws for Starbucks workers is that the chain offers near-limitless ways for customers to trick out their beverages. This means that there are tons of folks out there who order a custom drink made just the way they like it.

However, some want to venture out of their comfort zones and try something new, but when you’ve been locked into the same beverage for so long, it could be a little daunting to decide which new drink to try out.

TikToker Kristen (@kristenalk) decides to change things up and asks a barista to “surprise” her in a clip that has amassed over 88,000 likes.

However, the subject of the video soon shifts from the drink that the Starbucks barista decided to give to Kristen, and instead focused on the behavior of the coffee chain employee instead.

“Feeling like drinking something different today so I think imma go ahead and ask the barista to give me a surprise me drink. And I’m just hoping it’s iced ’cause it’s such a nice day outside, but we’ll see what I get,” Kristen says in the clip.

The video then cuts to the TikToker in the Starbucks drive-thru. The employee over the intercom asks her what she would like to order, to which she replies, “Hi can I just order actually a surprise me drink?”

The barista responds bluntly, “A what?”

“A surprise me drink,” she says again.

“Yeah, I can get you an iced water. That sounds good,” the worker says, laughing. The TikToker then asks for something that sounds good. She writes in a text overlay that she was attempting to think of a drink to get but couldn’t as she was so “shook” by the employee’s response.

The barista agrees to make her a surprise beverage. After driving up to get her drink she adds that the type of response she received from the barista has “never happened to [her] before.”

At the end of the video, she says that she was reluctant to even post it after receiving a rude response from the worker. However, Kristen said she also understands how it might be “annoying” for workers to have customers walk up to them without knowing what they want.

“I just don’t think the barista passed the vibe check,” she said, and then added that it was probably the last time she’s ever going to ask for a Starbucks employee to just surprise her with a new drink.

The Daily Dot reached out to Kristen and Starbucks via email for further comment.

@kristenalk The barista did NOT pass the vibe check🫠 #starbucksbarista #baristastarbucks #rudebarista #starbucksfail #starbuckschallenge #surprisemedrink #surprisemestarbucks #starbuckssurprisedrink #starbucksbaristarecipes #badstarbucksvisit #challengegonewrong #gonewrong #pickmydrink #starbuckschallenge2023 ♬ original sound – kristenalk

Other users on the platform expressed that they also thought the barista was rude, which genuinely shocked other viewers.

“I’ve never come across a mean Starbucks employee I didn’t know they existed,” one remarked.

Another user said, “ik they saw her smile fade through the camera and started laughing more.”

There were some folks who said that they worked as a barista at Starbucks and they were quite fond of “surprise me” orders.

“I was a barista for years (not Starbucks. an actual barista), and I LOVED when people asked me to surprise them,” a commenter wrote.

A few other commenters remarked that they too could see where the barista was coming from, with one writing, “I get both sides. But I’m on the barista’s side. There’s nothing worse than someone coming during/right after a rush asking for a surprise.”

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*First Published: Feb 21, 2023, 4:22 pm CST