ONE OF OUR READERS JUST ASKED ME how to order modified drinks at Starbucks, and as I was typing a response, I realized I should put it up here for everyone to see.

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What am I even talking about?


In order to modify your Starbucks drink to your liking, you need to know your options, and that starts here.

The ingredients in a Starbucks drink are said in a specific order. This is the same as the order on the cup, read from top to bottom, and how Baristas are trained to write them.

Rattling off these ingredients quickly may confuse some Baristas, and once you get really complicated with your order, the process can often become more of a conversation, but this is the accepted standard for ordering, and some Baristas will get it right away the first time you say it.

To clarify: You don’t need to order this way, at all, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with walking into a Starbucks and just asking questions to get something you’ll like. Some Baristas really like coming up with a custom drink for a customer who isn’t sure what they want. When I worked at Starbucks, I did.

Many times since I worked at Starbucks, I have forgotten how many pumps of syrup go in a specific size or temperature of drink, and if you ask, Baristas will happily tell you how to make your drink with more or less of any ingredient you wish. However, if you want to be highly-informed, the is the information you seek is below.


Here’s the ordering protocol. In order, say:

  • Number of desired espresso shots
  • Specify if iced
  • Size
  • Number of pumps of syrup or sauce
  • Milk type
  • Any other modifiers
  • Drink name

FOR EXAMPLE, this is how you’d order these random heavily modified drinks I came up with:

  • Quad, Venti, 2-pump, breve, extra-hot, no-whip, Toasted White Mocha
  • Solo, Iced Grande, 1-pump, Whole milk, light ice, Caramel Brulée Latte
  • Venti, 1-pump, extra-whip, light ice, Caramel Frappuccino


NOTE: The Starbucks Mobile app makes all this very easy and you can see your options for each drink. In person, you can add even more modifiers, but the ones available in the app take care of most of the common ones a person would want.

WE WILL BE DOING A SERIES OF ARTICLES on what your options are for different types of Starbucks drinks, as they vary widely depending on what you’re ordering. Stay tuned.


Let us know if you have any questions, and Happy ordering! 🙂


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