young woman with caption 'me when customers order venti drinks MADE WITH SWEET CREAM' (l&r) starbucks logo (c)

NeydtStock/Shutterstock @katiegay69/TikTok (Licensed)

Starbucks worker roasts customers who order venti drinks with sweet cream instead of milk, sparking debate

'I literally work at Starbucks and have no idea what she's talking about.'


Brooke Sjoberg

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 11, 2022   Updated on Mar 21, 2022, 3:44 pm CDT

A TikToker’s criticism of a substitution made by customers for Starbucks beverages has garnered viral attention on the platform and started a debate among viewers.

With 63,000 views on the platform, @katiegay69 criticized the substitution of milk—almond, coconut, oat, or any type—for sweet cream, a combination of sugary vanilla syrup, milk, and heavy cream, according to the barista. For the at-home version, the sweet cream substitutes heavy cream for powdered sugar and vanilla syrup for extract.

Some commenters agree, noting that the sugar content in the sweet cream as a milk substitute makes the beverage far too sweet and unhealthy. Others just found it “nasty.” It is heavily implied that many of the commenters who agree with @katiegay69’s take on sweet cream are also Starbucks employees, although few actually communicate that directly.

“I’m sorry but sweet cream as a milk replacement will forever be nasty just like cold brew and lemonade,” one commenter wrote. “Just why.”

“Yeah and it also has tons of vanilla in it and heavy cream is very sugary as well…just saying,” another commenter wrote.

“She’s allowed to make a comment on the unhealthiness of ordering a mostly syrup substitute instead of actual milk,” a commenter wrote.

Other commenters found the video’s criticism of decisions made by customers unnecessary.

“Yeah I literally work at Starbucks and have no idea what she’s talking about, order whatever you want,” one commenter wrote.

“Good thing I don’t order to impress the barista,” another commenter wrote.

“I don’t get why people get a job at Starbucks when they’re just going to complain about people’s orders,” a commenter wrote.

When a commenter wrote that it’s fair for an employee to think it’s gross, but unnecessary to say the drinks people enjoy are unhealthy, the TikToker replied that their opinions were what their recommendations are based on.

“Because as a barista I can have an opinion about taste it’s how we make recommendations,” they wrote in reply.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @katiegay69 via comment on the video and to Starbucks directly via email.

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*First Published: Mar 11, 2022, 10:42 am CST