I've worked for Starbucks for nearly five years, this is the simplest format to make sure you get exactly what you're looking for:
  1. To put it simply:
  2. Hot or Iced
  3. Size
  4. Decaf (if applicable)
  5. Number of shots (if applicable)
  6. Type of milk
  7. Syrup
  8. Customizations
  9. Drink Name
  10. Basically, just follow these squares on your cup in order from top to bottom!
  11. Now to dig into all that a lot more:
  12. Hot or Iced
    Don't ever assume we know which one you want. People are weird, it might be 105 and sunny out but some people will still want a hot latte, or they'll crave a frappuccino when there's a 30 below zero wind-chill. Tell us what you want! This is especially important if they're handwriting the order on cups, as everything you say will get thrown away if you don't specify "iced" and they start marking a hot cup.
  13. Size
    I think most baristas will understand if you say "small, medium, or large" but for reference a short (hot only) is 8oz, a tall is 12oz, a grande is 16oz, a Venti hot is 20oz, a Venti iced is 26oz, and a Trenta is 30oz (iced coffee , iced tea, and refreshers only). For about eight weeks we also have the "mini" available for frappuccinos, that's 10oz.
  14. Decaf/half-caf (if applicable)
    pretty self explanatory. If you're getting regular don't bother saying anything on this point!
  15. Number of shots (if applicable)
    Tall espresso based drinks get one shot, Grande espresso drinks get two, Venti hot espresso drinks get two, and Venti iced espresso drinks get three. Only specificy the number if deviating from the norm.
  16. Flavor and number of pumps
    Tall beverages get three pumps, Grande beverages get four, Venti hot beverages get five pumps, Venti iced beverages get six pumps, and Trenta beverages get seven. Again, only specify if deviating from the norm.
  17. Type of Milk
    The default for lattes and mocha's is 2%, and the default for frappuccinos is whole milk. We also offer nonfat, soy (60¢ upcharge) coconut (60¢ upcharge), half-and-half (called "breve" if steamed into a hot drink) and heavy cream. Again, only specify if you're changing from the norm See "tips" below for what it means to order a "skinny" or "light" beverage.
  18. Customizations
    like extra hot, two splendas, no foam, extra caramel drizzle, adding one clockwise stir after every seventh counter-clockwise stir, etc. Anything that can't be covered above, basically.
  19. Drink Name
    I know it seems like this would be the first thing you say, but it's easier for us to get to this screen than any others, and if you aren't changing our recipe at all that's the only button we need to hit.
  20. Other tips:
  21. Some drinks get different amounts of shots:
    An Americano, Flat White, or Latte Macchiato will get one extra shot per size, and a Venti Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice will get a whopping five shots.
  22. Some drinks get different amounts of pumps:
    A caramel macchiato gets one fewer pump per size, to account for the added sweetness of the caramel drizzle. Hot chocolates get the standard pumps of mocha, plus one or two pumps of vanilla.
  23. Ordering a Skinny:
    Skinny is going to default to nonfat milk AND sugar free syrup, if you only want one or the other, specify it in the cadence above. Additionally, we can't make a "skinny" version of any seasonal beverage, as they don't make sugar-free sauces/syrups for those, the best we can do is nonfat milk
  24. For Frappuccinos, we have a "light" option
    which uses nonfat milk and a reduced calorie base, it does not by default use sugar free though so if you want that you'll have to specify above.
  25. If you order nonfat/soy/coconut milk, specify whether you still want whipped cream or not
    Most people don't, some do and get mad if we don't put it on. But if you order soy and I don't see anything on the cup about whipped cream, I'm gonna not put it in case you have a dairy allergy
  26. We have a button called "Ask Me" that will show up on the cup label
    If you're ever unsure whether the barista taking your order understands something, tell them to put an "Ask Me" on the drink and the barista on bar will take a second and pause to ask you what's special about our drink as they make it.
  27. Order your food first!
    If there's a dedicated barista on warming, they can start your food in the oven so it's ready with your drink or when you get to the window!
  28. Let us know if you have a big order (like more than four drinks)
    Just helps all the baristas be ready/maybe the supervisor won't send someone on break right before you order fifteen drinks
  29. Give us a tip
    For all Starbucks PR talk about treating its employees well, all of us still live well below the living wage, tips get separated out at the end of every week and are disbursed by how many hours you work. Those weeks where it's an extra $1.50 an hour vs. $0.70 an hour are huge. You can tip from your app now!
  30. Happy Ordering!
  31. Oh and also we don't fucking know your "secret menu" recipe.
    If you can pull it up on your phone and IF we have all the ingredients we'll do what we can. But know that we hate you. especially if there's a line behind you.