Starbucks terms you should know so you can order like a pro


Some popular ordering terms, cup codes, and drink options at Starbucks may be tricky to understand, so I used my knowledge as a former barista for the chain to explain them. Ristretto espresso shots are strong and smooth, but long-shots are weaker because of how they’re brewed. The “B” on your cup stands for half and half, and the “Lte” means light. You can order any espresso-based drink “half-caf” if you want to reduce the amount of caffeine in it. Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Before I worked as a Starbucks barista, I was pretty unfamiliar with fancy drink orders and customizations.But a “venti upside down half-caf breve cappuccino” isn’t actually as complicated as it sounds — and, when used correctly, some of these terms and keywords can help you order your next drink like a pro. Here are the meanings behind common beverage and coffee lingo you might hear in a Starbucks. Inclusions are found in fruit refreshersThis term is not intended for the coffee offered at Starbucks — it’s for the fruit refreshers. Inclusions refer to the scoop of strawberries, blackberries, or dragon berries that come in these iced drinks

If you forget which type of fruit is in the refresher, you can just ask for extra, less, or no inclusions and your barista will understand. 

The inclusions in a pink drink are strawberries.

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Asking for an upside-down drink will reverse the steps in your orderThis term is especially popular with the famous caramel macchiato, which starts with vanilla syrup and ends with caramel. If a drink is ordered upside-down, this means the recipe for it is reversed. So for an upside-down caramel macchiato, the steps to make it would start with caramel and end with vanilla syrup. Theoretically, you could order any drink upside-down, although it may not change your Frappuccino much beyond having the whipped cream on the bottom of your cup.  

If you order a drink ‘skinny,’ the barista will use sugar-free syrup and nonfat milk”Skinny,” as in a skinny vanilla latte, refers to substituting the appropriate syrup and milk to sugar-free and nonfat, respectively. This is a popular trick for reducing the number of calories in an order. This can only be fully applied to drinks that have syrups that come in sugar-free varieties, such as vanilla, caramel, and mocha. Other drinks without alternative syrup options would just be made with nonfat milk.The ‘Lte’ on your cup can apply to ice, syrup, and other add-onsThe “Lte” written on your Starbucks cup refers to the word “light.” It means there’s a bit less than usual of whatever’s written after it.For example, “Lte ice” means you asked for less ice in your drink. 

This term could apply to any addition to a drink such as ice, syrup, foam, or whipped cream.

You can order your Starbucks drink with light ice, light foam, or light whip.

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Many coffee shops serve a macchiato and, at Starbucks, you can combine it with a latteA popular coffee drink, macchiatos consist of espresso shots poured over a bit of foamy milk. One of the most popular macchiatos at Starbucks is the caramel one, but you can actually turn a plain latte into a macchiato just by ordering a “latte macchiato.”With a latte macchiato, the espresso is closer to the top of your beverage, which can give your drink a bolder flavor. 

Ristretto and long-shot are two different types of espresso shots As with many coffee shops, at Starbucks, there’s more than one kind of espresso shot.A shot that’s ristretto, which is Italian for “restricted,” uses less hot water when brewing the espresso to get a more concentrated flavor. This results in a stronger and smoother shot.  The long-shot is the opposite, and it uses more hot water than is standard when brewing espresso. This creates an espresso shot with a milder taste. 

An iced latte can be ordered with different types of espresso shots.

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At Starbucks, you can order an affogato-style Frappuccino Traditionally, affogato is an Italian treat that consists of a hot espresso shot served over cold gelato or ice cream.

At Starbucks, you can order an affogato-style Frappuccino, which means you’ll get a shot of espresso poured over your Frapp. It costs a little bit extra and can be done to just about any Frappuccino, but check with your barista as this customization option may not be available at every location.A red-eye is a cup of coffee with one espresso shot, and a black-eye is a cup of coffee with two Red-eye is a term used for a shot of espresso in a cup of coffee. This is a popular choice among the morning crowd who want an extra bit of caffeine to get them through the day.If you add another shot of espresso to the coffee, it’s a black-eye. 

Although your drink won’t be labeled in our system as red-eye or black-eye, most of us baristas will know what you mean if you use this lingo to order.Drinks made with espresso can be ordered half-cafThis one can seem a little self-explanatory, but it’s a frequently used term at Starbucks that reduces the amount of caffeine in your order. This is helpful if you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake but still want to maintain the flavor of your favorite espresso-filled drink.For example, a grande latte usually contains two shots of espresso. If you order it half-caf, your barista will replace one of the two shots of espresso with a decaffeinated blend. 

Any drink with espresso in it can be ordered half-caf — even if it’s a venti iced espresso drink with three shots, your barista can make sure it’s made with only half regular espresso.

You can order a half-caf latte if you want to reduce your caffeine consumption without changing your drink order too much.

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Doppio is another way to order a double shot of espressoThis fancy-sounding term is pretty common in many coffee shops. Doppio means “double” in Italian and is just that: a double shot of espresso. But that’s not as fun to say, is it?If you substitute milk for half and half, you might see the letter ‘B’ written on your cupIn the milk square on your cup, you may notice a “B” for breve, which stands for half and half. If a hot espresso or coffee drink is ordered with half and half, a barista will use and steam that instead of milk and write a “B” on your cup.

If you a sweet caffeine boost, order your espresso shot ‘con Panna’An espresso shot con Panna is a shot of espresso with whipped cream on top. The creamy, sweet whipped topping does a great job of counteracting the strong, harsh flavor of the espresso. Read More:I was a Starbucks barista for 2 years, here are 12 of the biggest things I learnedThe best and worst breakfasts you can get at Starbucks, ranked

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