The 5 Steps To Ordering Your Drink [As Told By A Barista]

A fellow barista and I decided to write this quirky post about the 5 suggested steps when ordering your drink.

1) Always say the size first
Either in ounces or measurements (large, medium or small).

2) Next, if it's hot or cold
If cold - specify iced or blended
If hot - specify if you want a cup sleeve and/or straw

3) Specify how many shots

If you don't care, then don't worry about this one.  Most coffee shops do two shots.

4)  The actual drink you're ordering

Plus any flavors!

5) If you want whipped cream

This applies to hot or cold drinks.

Altogether now:
I'd like a 20 ounce iced, double-shot caramel macchiato with extra vanilla and whipped cream.


Am I missing anything?  Fellow baristas, comment away!


  1. You forgot tot say 'thank you' at the end ;)

  2. What a clever post! I would have never thought about posting something like this! Glad you did.

  3. Why is size first significant? This is bugging me

    1. We (or at least I at both shops I've worked at) have to press the specific size button first before the actual drink button. (If we just click the drink, it will either default to a size you may not want, which we then have to cancel and change, or just not work.) So saying the size first helps us be able to put in the order swiftly, without having to hold all those half-shot, extra-caramel specifics in our head while we wait for you to say the size/ask you after you've finished speaking 'what size would that be?' :)

    2. Wow! I hadn't even thought of that before and I of all people should know these kinds of things since I used to work as a cashier for a restaurant. It was the same way for certain items or combinations, where I would have to memorize the whole order if they didn't tell me it in the correct order. ;) Oh, the joys!

    3. Cassie answered that PERFECTLY! That's exactly how it is at my shop too.

  4. Hey, good to know! I went to Starbucks for the first time the other day, and really hoped I was doing it right. XD

  5. Longtime barista here. By no means should you instruct your customers on how to place their drink orders. Learn to use your register efficiently, so that you can easily ring their order no matter the sequence they use in telling you size, flavor, etc. You are the server; you're there to accommodate them, not the other way around. Get nitpicky over how your customers order their drinks and you'll find they take their business down the street to me, your competitor. I'm happy to take drink orders and business whether or not their verbal drink order matches my register button sequence. It's about your customer's convenience - not yours!

    1. I really like this post. Sometimes when ordering you feel like a fool when you miss a part of your drink. I forget to say the size ALL THE TIME! So thank you this is a great tool/cheat sheet to make sure I have a successful order.
      To the other barista. How low do you have to be to try and steal business on someone's blog... Must be pretty sad and lonely at your crab shack. I pity your employer having a bottom feeder like you trying to leech off a successful barista. How shameful. How sad.

    2. I pity any customer who must use a "cheat sheet" to place an order. Shouldn't have to follow a procedure to get a latte! A barista's job is to make it easier, not to burden customers with instructions.

    3. So first you criticize a barista who you claim is 'belittling' her customers. Then you insult all the customers who appreciate something like this? Ha, you are a walking oxymoron. Hypocritical to the core.
      When a customer asks you what you would recommend, or what is popular, or is new to ordering coffee and would like some assistance, you pity their ignorance. I feel so insulted right now. How dare you. What coffee shop do you work for exactly? Please, self promote yourself some more. I'll get you plenty of business. Everyone will know you and your coffee stand. I'll make sure I come visit and we can talk further about how you pity people who ask for help. How you want to steal customers away from an amazing barista because you feel yourself somehow superior, then turn around and insult those very customers. You disgust me.

    4. Thank you both for your comments.

      Rebecca Davis - I would like to clarify that this post is merely quirky and fun and something that I hoped would be helpful. Others seemed to find it just that. You, apparently, didn't. I won't say 'I'm sorry' for something I wrote, but I will say that I'm sorry you feel the way you do. It was not my intention to 'burden customers with instructions' or complain or to make ordering a latte harder for them. I will accept any and all customers - no matter HOW they order:) Have a great weekend!

      Ian - Thanks for your comments. I know you got my back;)

    5. As a business owner and advisor, I just can't imagine someone trying to self promote their business by attacking a competitor on their personal blog. How low can you get.
      As a US Marine, I just can't imagine someone being so dihonorable as to try and discredit someone's good name over a helpful tool that they provided.
      As a human being, I just can't understand why someone would try and hurt someone else just over a $5 coffee.
      Yes Raquel, of course I have your back. But I would also defend anyone in this position. Just a matter of morals and standards. I will stand behind anyone who is trying to better others. I will stand against those who try and take that away.

  6. Yess! I have taken so many orders where people rattle off a complicated list of flavors and other modifications and I have to try to remember them all after asking what size they want, and so many people get really mad when I can't remember their complicated drink. :P I have a pretty good memory, but when I have to work at 3:00 am sometimes I forget things. :P

  7. Huh. Interesting. Now I know how to order Starbucks. ;)

    PS; *High Five* on your current shows. Always love The Flash and Arrow even though I'm behind on the latter.