Starbucks may have a new red holiday cup that’s stirring up a bit of controversy, but at the end of the day, packaging is that last thing you should let come between you and getting caffeinated. You also shouldn’t settle for a cup of coffee that is sub-par, or more expensive than it needs to be – six dollars for a peppermint mocha is a tad extreme, no matter who you are. So, in the spirit of Starbucks’ holiday cheer, here are 10 hacks to get you tastier and cheaper drinks and treats from the coffee giant! Who doesn’t love that?
Number Ten: Order a Short Cappuccino. Starbucks’ short cappuccino is actually closer to a standard double-shot cappuccino. And while the double-shot will cost you the more standard drink fare, getting a short is cheaper!
Number Nine: Add Syrup to Your Oatmeal. Need a way to jazz up your siren-sanctioned breakfast? Ask the barista to add a couple pumps of cinnamon dolce to your oatmeal; it’ll not only thicken up those watered down oats, but will also make them tastier too!
Number Eight: Tea Bags for Chai Lattes. If you find your Chai Latte a little too sweet for your liking, try ordering a chai tea instead – just make sure you get the tea with an actual teabag, and ask the barista to add hot milk. Tea is not only cheaper than a latte, but you’ll only be charged sixty cents for the additional milk, and your Chai Latte will end up with more of that Chai flavor you love.
Number Seven: No Water Tea. Starbucks’ iced teas are actually pretty watered down. Add to that the excess amount of ice and you’ve got a blend that’s less tea and more H2O. To prevent your tea from being watered down, ask for it without water, so that your drink only receives the minimum amount of water necessary, therefore making the flavor bolder.
Number Six: Add Milk to Your Americano. The Americano is the cheapest espresso drink on the Starbucks menu – the menu we see, at least. So, if you’re tight on cash but still need a latte fix, order an Americano and just add milk!
Number Five: Utilize a French Press. If you’re planning to spend your afternoon at a Starbucks, be it for a casual business meeting, or you’re finally sitting down to write that thesis paper, be sure to order a French press of coffee. You’ll be given your own personal press to keep at your table, ensuring fresh coffee, and lots of it! No more running back to the bar!
Number Four: The Doppio Cheat. If you’re looking for a way to get a cheap iced latte, cheaper than an Americano, order a Doppio on ice. Doppio is just a fancy term for a double shot, the basis of every Starbucks drink. Add milk from the napkin bar and some sugar, and you’ve got a latte for less than two dollars – the doppio being a fair $1.75. Note, however, that the Doppio cheat should only be done under extreme circumstances, as it is a bit of a jerk-move, and you will be hardcore judged for it.
Number Three: Order Kid’s Temperature. Can’t handle the heat? Ask for your drink at a kid’s temp! The standard drink temperature at Starbucks is usually between 140 and 150 degrees, while the kids temp is 135 degrees. Dropping the temperature will not only save your from burning off your taste buds, but it also makes the flavor of the coffee more apparent.
Number Two: Go Halfsies. If you and a friend want the same Frappuccino, order a Venti and ask for an extra cup. A regular tall is actually half the size of a Venti, but while two tall fraps will cost about $11, a venti Frappuccino is about $6.50. Thus, by going halfsies you save about two bucks per Frappuccino.
Number One: Foursquare. Coffee makes you need to go pee. If you need a restroom code, you can usually find it on foursquare.