5 Discreet Ways Starbucks Baristas Mess With Rude Customers

Starbucks baristas can be some of the most cheerful and energetic people you see in the morning, but like all customer service jobs, there are some bad days to be had. There are annoying and rude customers that make them want to get some type of revenge, and these baristas have some discreet ways of doing that.

Tactfulness is the best thing about this list, as these acts can all be seen as honest mistakes, and usually are, though we'll never know if it was done in malice or not. Some of these techniques were found online, and some are old war stories I've heard from former employees over the years. For some entries, you can always complain and ask for a new drink, but by then, the deed is done, and your morning is ruined.

Keep in mind, baristas probably don't sit around and try to mess with us, they are hard workers, but everyone has a breaking point, and these are some of the ways they might let it out once in a great while.


This one's probably one of the most commonly known ways baristas mess with us. Rude customers will sometimes get decaf when they want caffeinated, and vice versa. We can pester them with, "Are you sure this is regular," and maybe even bring it back, but at that point, they're already in our heads.

Mess Up Your Name

Starbucks baristas misspelling your name is the most publicized pranking on the list. While not malicious, it can be maddening to see our names so heavily butchered. Most of the time it makes for a good laugh, though.

Lowkey Ruin Your Instagram Photos

This is a recent strategy that incorporates social media, and our love of taking photos of everything. When we post to Instagram or Snapchat, we want our beautiful drink to have the classic Starbucks logo in the pic. Well, when the barista wants to mess with you a bit, you might find an order sticker over the logo, pretty much killing your photo.

Giving Receipts Against Our Will

You probably wouldn't even think about this, but part of the robotic transaction process involves the worker at the register asking you if you'd like a receipt. Think about it, every time you've been there, you've probably been asked. Apparently, if it's been a rough morning, they might just print it out and hand it to you, no questions asked. Now you're just stuck with a piece of paper in your hand, thinking about the quickest way to toss it out. Minor inconvenience, but effective.

Bitter Espresso Shots

This one's probably the worst, and if you're not well-versed in the espresso-drinking process, you wouldn't even think twice about it. Espresso shots usually have a 25-30 second lifespan before they go bitter, that's why it's suggested to shoot them right away. If that barista making your 2-shot espresso decides to hold on to it at bar for a few extra seconds, that sip is going to take you straight to Bitter City.