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Starbucks Challenge: Eat Only at Starbucks for 1 Year

Starbucks Challenge: Eat Only at Starbucks for 1 Year

A Seattle woman has vowed to only eat food from Starbucks (and Starbucks-owned stores) for a year

In another Starbucks challenge this week, Seattle resident Beautiful Existence (legal name) has vowed to eat food and drink only at Starbucks-owned companies for a year. That's a lot of cheesecake pops. (hat tip to Eater) reports that Existence has a habit of creating yearlong challenges, such as only shopping at Goodwill for a year or following advice from Parents magazine.

Her current project involves eating and drinking at Starbucks, Tazo Tea, and Evolution Fresh (thankfully, all Starbucks-owned) while losing weight. Her plan? "I'm still trying to figure out how I can do sushi," she told MyNorthwest. "I have two friends who are chefs and I want to see if I can get them to help me tear down some of the products at Evolution Fresh and do something else."

Existence doesn't work for Starbucks, but just wanted to examine how Starbucks benefits communities, as well as bring a female voice into the food challenge world. "Where are the WOMEN challenging themselves in the world?" she wrote on her site. "Where are the effects being shown on a woman’s culture? A woman’s family and children? A woman’s diet, weight, fashion, checkbook, community, and world through challenges?" See: Julie & Julia.

Of course, a lot this is about the role corporations play in food culture, but her reasoning gets fairly philosophical after a while. Head on over to her blog (of course) to read her explanation.

18 years after helping deliver baby in Starbucks bathroom, man reunites with kid

Nearly two decades after he was born early in a Starbucks bathroom in suburban Chicago, 18-year-old Jonathan Celner was shocked to open his rarely-used Facebook to discover a message from the man who helped deliver him all those years ago.

Griffin Baron was 21 and working as a Starbucks shift supervisor when Celner's mother stopped at a Starbucks near the highway in Wilmette, Illinois, on her way home. She went into labor while she was there — three weeks early, Celner said — and ended up giving birth in the bathroom.

It was an experience Baron would never forget, he told TODAY Food, and he spent years wondering what became of the baby. Then, this past spring, he stumbled upon a GoFundMe for the now-teen and his older brother. They had lost their mother, Lisabeth Rohlck, years earlier and their father died recently.


Food Starbucks barista keeps her cool during racist, anti-mask tirade from customer

Baron said he donated and looked up the Celner on Facebook. Before he decided to send him a message, he verified that the teen was the right kid and then he got "goosebumps everywhere."

"I was like, 'Oh my god,'" Baron said. "I was the barista, the day you were born, and I have always wondered, what, like, what came of you after you were born?"

The two chatted for a few minutes and decided to meet up — where else? — at the very Starbucks in Wilmette where it all went down, as first reported by The Record North Shore.

The shop itself even has a small memento from the surprise birth on the window by the door, both Celner and Baron confirmed: a sticker of a stork carrying a baby marks is a cheeky nod to Celner's arrival on Earth.

Baron told TODAY that in 2002, he'd been sitting in the back room at work eating when he heard screaming coming from the women's bathroom.

A female customer, identified in local media at the time as Tricia Monico, went in to check and discovered Rohlck giving birth.


Food Starbucks barista uses drive-thru to communicate with deaf patron — see the viral video

By the time Baron got there to help — with the only thing he could think of to bring: hot towels — Celner was apparently on his way out.

"The customer's holding her hand and she's huffing and puffing ready to go and there is a baby coming up," Baron said.

"And I was like … frozen. Like, 'Here's your towels?' I don't know what's going on," he laughed. "So we're cheering her on, she's doing great, holding on to her hand, and the next thing you know, an extra person comes out of the bathroom."

It was a chaotic few minutes, Baron said, and EMTs arrived in time to cut the umbilical cord. The happy mom and son were taken to the hospital to get checked out and held a press conference there later for local news outlets — part of which even aired the following day on TODAY.

After Rohlck and Celner left, Baron said the store looked like "a complete war zone," to the point where the company had to bring in a hazmat team to clean up overnight.

In the meantime, he laughed, customers kept coming, saying, "Oh, that was crazy. Can I get a grande Frappuccino?' and I'm like, 'No! Get out! We're closed, you can't come in here!'"

Celner said he grew up knowing the chaotic way he entered the world, but his mom died when he was fairly young. Meeting Baron helped him "fill in the gaps" in the story.

"He remembers stuff like my mom was waving to like all the people as she was getting rolled out on this stretcher with me in her arms," he chuckled, adding that his mom had told him the story but didn't go "too in-depth with it."

A Starbucks Seder

Yesterday we attended a Seder at my youngest son’s school to help celebrate Passover early in his classroom. We brought in all the traditional Seder foods…

And other goodies were also brought in so that the buffet table (separate from the Seder table) was certainly full of delicious choices! But what happens when you are only eating & drinking everything from Starbucks ? Can you partake in a Seder? Well I’ve now experienced this question first hand and the answer is YES! Yes you can get most of your Seder food items (obviously not Kosher though) at your local Starbucks store!

As the list of traditional Seder food items above shows, I was able to purchase a Chicken and Hummus & a Protein Bistro Box and get most of the items needed to go along with everybody else!

Now in no way am I advocating purchasing Starbucks Bistro Boxes for your Seder, you obviously cannot get everything at a Starbucks but it is an interesting question that came up for me this year and I obviously wanted to be able to partake in the history, significance & social gathering of this special event! So happily I was able to find most of the food items in these two Starbucks Bistro Boxes that would allow me to join in!

PLEASE NOTE: I do not write this post to offend any religious person or group, just to inform my reading audience about my personal experiences during my year-long challenge. In every way I truly wish all those that are celebrating Passover this week the best of times sharing this special occasion with family & friends! And for those that celebrate other events (such as Easter) you’ll be happy to know I have those gatherings on my horizon as well, so expect to see what I can do with Starbucks dishes in many ways throughout this year special occasion or not!

Starbucks® Rewards Terms of Use


These Terms of Use include an arbitration provision that governs any disputes between you and us. This provision will:

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The Rewards that are available to you through Starbucks Rewards are based on the number of Stars that you earn. You can earn Stars by making purchases at participating Starbucks stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Ireland in the following ways:

  1. Paying for your purchase with a Starbucks Card. When you pay with your digital Starbucks Card in the App, you will earn 2 (two) Stars for every $1 (one) U.S. Dollar you spend at participating stores. You will also earn 2Stars for every $1 (one) U.S. Dollar spent when you a) pay in-person at a participating store with your registered physical Starbucks Card or b) scan the barcode in the App, and then use any physical Starbucks Card (regardless of whether it is registered) to complete the purchase. If you are a Starbucks partner (i.e., employee), you will earn 3 (three) Stars for every $1 (one) U.S. Dollar spent using a Starbucks Card so long as you also have your "partner" Starbucks Card registered to your account and scan your barcode in the App or physical “partner” Card prior to your purchase.
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  1. Scanning your member barcode in the App and then paying with cash, credit card, debit card or mobile wallet. You can earn 1 (one) Star for every $1 (one) U.S. Dollar you spend at participating Starbucks stores when you scan your member barcode in the App at the register prior to paying with cash, credit cards, debit cards, or mobile wallets. Starbucks partners will earn 2 (two) Stars for every $1 (one) U.S. Dollar spent so long as they also have their "partner" Starbucks Card registered to their Starbucks Rewards account and scan their barcode prior to purchase.
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Note that Stars may be earned in fractional amounts depending on the value of your purchase.

If you use more than one payment method in a single transaction, you will earn Stars based on the earn rate associated with each payment. For example, if your beverage is $6 and you pay $3 with your Starbucks Card and $3 with a credit card, you will earn a total of 9 Stars: 6 Stars for the amount paid with your Starbucks Card, and 3 Stars for the amount paid with your credit card. If members split a transaction, each member must scan their member barcode in the App immediately before making their payment in order to earn Stars for their respective purchase amount.

If the address associated with your account is located in the United States, any qualifying purchase you make using a Starbucks Card registered to your account at participating Starbucks stores in Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom or Ireland will earn Stars as if the currency were expressed in U.S. Dollars. No currency exchange is applied to the value of your purchase for the purpose of determining how many Stars you have earned.

You may not earn Stars in connection with certain types of beta or promotional programs, or on purchases made with a Starbucks Store Credit card (defined below) or other forms of service recovery coupons. Stars may be earned at participating Starbucks stores only, and certain stores only have the ability to award Stars for Starbucks Card transactions (not for cash, credit card, debit card or mobile wallet transactions). In addition, you cannot earn Stars on purchases of alcoholic beverages or on Starbucks Cards (such as activations, reloads, transfers, and other card-to-card transactions). Taxes, tips, donations, and fees, including without limitation, shipping and handling fees, gift wrapping fees, delivery fees, and bag fees, also may be excluded and ineligible for Star accrual.

For information about how Starbucks handles returns, please read our Return Policy. Your Star balance may be impacted by returns as follows:

  1. If you void a purchase, Starbucks will deduct the Stars that you earned for that purchase, potentially resulting in a negative Star balance on your account.
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  1. If you return products purchased with a credit card, debit card, mobile wallet or cash (note: an original receipt or gift receipt is required), Starbucks may deduct the Stars earned in connection with your purchase, potentially resulting in a negative Star balance. You may be required to provide the physical credit card, debit card, or mobile wallet in order for Starbucks to process the refund.

Unless otherwise noted, Stars are automatically added to your account within twenty-four (24) hours of your eligible purchase and expire six (6) months after the calendar month in which such Stars were earned. For example, if you earn Stars on December 15, 2020, they will expire on July 1, 2021. The oldest accrued Stars will be used first for redemptions. You can view and track your Star balance and available Rewards, as well as any additional benefits for which you are eligible as a Starbucks Rewards member, on or by using the App.

Stars earned through the Starbucks ® Rewards Visa ® Prepaid Card and the Starbucks ® Rewards Visa ® Card Rewards Program do not expire as long as you are an active prepaid or credit card account holder. If your prepaid or credit card account is closed or expires for any reason, your Stars will expire six (6) months after the calendar month in which that account closed or expired.

Stars may be redeemed for complimentary Starbucks items at participating Starbucks stores in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Starbucks Rewards offers different Rewards based on different Star redemption tiers. Note that the Rewards available and Star redemption tiers may vary by location and by country, and that Starbucks may adjust the items included in each tier at any time in its sole discretion. The Star redemption tiers for redeeming Stars at participating Starbucks stores in the United States are as follows:

  • 25 Stars may be redeemed for one (1) of the following beverage modifiers: an added espresso shot, added syrup or sauce (such as caramel syrup), or a dairy alternative option (such as soy milk, almondmilk, or coconutmilk), valued up to $1 (one) U.S. Dollar. The beverage modifiers in this redemption tier are only available as a customization to your base beverage order and cannot be redeemed as a standalone beverage.
  • 50 Stars may be redeemed for one (1) of the following items: hot brewed coffee or hot steeped tea OR a bakery item (such as a cake pop or cookie). Iced brewed coffee, Clover brewed coffee, and Starbucks Reserve coffee are excluded from this redemption tier.
  • 150 Stars may be redeemed for one (1) of the following items: any handcrafted beverage (such as a latte or Frappuccino ® blended beverage) OR any hot breakfast item (such as a breakfast sandwich or oatmeal) OR any packaged snack item (excluding packaged protein boxes). All beverages must be standard menu-sized items.
  • 200 Stars may be redeemed for one (1) packaged salad or lunch sandwich OR one (1) packaged protein box.
  • 400 Stars may be redeemed for one (1) packaged coffee item (such as whole bean coffee) OR a select merchandise item with a value up to $20 (twenty) U.S. Dollars (pre-tax). Packaged coffee and merchandise availability may vary by store location.

Not all Starbucks stores have the ability to honor Star redemption or provide Star redemption at multiple tiers. Additionally, the items available for redemption in each Star redemption tier may vary. Certain Starbucks stores (including some grocery and retail locations) may offer only the 150 Star redemption tier. At such locations, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in these Terms of Use, you will be eligible to redeem 150 Stars for one (1) handcrafted beverage OR one (1) food item only.

Stars may be redeemed at participating Starbucks stores and are ineligible to be redeemed for the following items: alcoholic beverages multi-serve food or beverage items (for example, a tray of Cranberry Bliss ® Bars or a Coffee Traveler) and items available at Princi stores and Starbucks Roastery locations.

You cannot redeem multiple Star redemption tiers within a single beverage order. For example, you cannot redeem 50 Stars for a hot brewed coffee and 25 Stars for added syrup within a single beverage order.

If you redeem Stars at a participating Starbucks store outside of the United States, the Star redemption tiers applicable in the country in which such store is located will apply.

As a Starbucks Rewards member, you may be eligible for the following additional benefits.:

  • Birthday Reward. On your birthday (as indicated in your Starbucks Rewards account), you will receive one (1) complimentary handcrafted beverage OR one (1) complimentary food item OR one (1) complimentary ready-to-drink bottled beverage ("Birthday Reward"). Your Birthday Reward may be redeemed at participating Starbucks stores only and excludes: multi-serve food or beverage items (for example, a tray of Cranberry Bliss ® Bars or a Coffee Traveler) beverages that contain alcohol merchandise and packaged coffee and items available at Starbucks Roastery and Princi locations. To qualify for your Birthday Reward, you must join Starbucks Rewards at least seven (7) days prior to your birthday, provide your birthday in your account information, and make at least one Star-earning transaction prior to your birthday each year. Your Birthday Reward will be automatically added to your account on your birthday and is valid only on that date. You must scan the member barcode in the App or present your registered Starbucks Card in order to redeem your Birthday Reward. You can check to see if your Birthday Reward is available by accessing your account on or in the App.
  • Free refill(s) of hot or iced brewed coffee and tea. Starbucks Rewards members may receive free refills of hot or iced brewed coffee or tea during the same store visit at participating Starbucks stores. To be eligible for free refill(s) of hot or iced brewed coffee or tea, you must scan the member barcode in the App prior to purchasing your beverage and again when you request your refill or pay for your beverage using your registered Starbucks Card and scan the same card again when you requesting your hot or iced brewed coffee or tea refill.
  • Early or extended access to certain promotions and offers. Starbucks may offer Starbucks Rewards members early or extended access to special menu items or discounts at participating stores. You may take part in these offers by paying with a Starbucks Card registered to your account or scanning the member barcode in the App prior to your purchase.
  • Personalized offers and coupons. Special offers may be distributed by email, through the App (including via push notifications), or by physical mail. You may be required to opt-in and activate special offers via the App or via email. In order to receive and activate personalized special offers distributed via email, you must opt-in to receive promotional and marketing offers from Starbucks and you may be required to provide a valid email, telephone and physical address. Special offers may be customized based on your purchase behaviors and preferences, and may include periodic discounts on food, beverages and merchandise, or the opportunity to earn Bonus Stars. Special offers may have certain restrictions, including expiration dates and short, time-limited redemption periods. Special offers are personal to you and cannot be shared, copied or transferred. You may be required to scan your member barcode in the App or present or pay with your registered Starbucks Card in order to redeem special offers. Read each offer carefully for specific details, expiration dates, and limitations and restrictions.
  • Double Star Day. Starbucks may offer Double Star Days, where you can earn twice the number of Stars for your purchase. Starbucks will notify you of a designated Double Star Day, which will be personalized and selected by Starbucks for you. You must download the Starbucks app OR opt-in to receive promotional and marketing emails from Starbucks in order to receive notice of a designated Double Star Day. You also may be required to "activate" your Double Star Day by clicking within the notification email or the notification within the App. Starbucks reserves the right to exclude certain products and merchandise from Double Star Day eligibility and to modify the Double Star Day benefit.

Starbucks reserves the right to change or suspend the number and type of benefits offered to members of Starbucks Rewards in its sole discretion at any time.


These Terms of Use complement and incorporate by reference the Starbucks Card Terms & Conditions. In the event of any conflict between the Starbucks Card Terms & Conditions and these Terms of Use, the Starbucks Card Terms & Conditions control.

There are no participation or membership fees associated with Starbucks Rewards. Stars accrued in connection with Starbucks Rewards are promotional, have no cash value and cannot be redeemed for cash. In addition, your redemption of Stars accrued in connection with Starbucks Rewards cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts, unless otherwise expressly indicated by Starbucks.

Your Stars, Rewards, registered Starbucks Cards, and Starbucks Rewards account are personal to you and may not be sold, transferred or assigned to, or shared with, family, friends or others, or used by you for any commercial purpose. You may have only one (1) Starbucks Rewards account that is personal to you.

Without notice to you, Starbucks reserves the right to suspend any Starbucks Card registered to your account and/or terminate your account and/or your participation in Starbucks Rewards if Starbucks determines, in its sole discretion, that you have violated these Terms of Use or that the use of your Starbucks Rewards account is unauthorized, deceptive, fraudulent or otherwise unlawful. Starbucks may, in its sole discretion, suspend, cancel or combine Starbucks Rewards accounts that appear to be duplicative. In the event that your participation in Starbucks Rewards is terminated, all accrued Stars in your account are void.

Without notice to you, Starbucks also reserves the right to "unregister" and make ineligible for Starbucks Rewards any Starbucks Card or account that has been inactive for two (2) consecutive years. Inactivity is defined as no Stars earned during such two (2) consecutive year period. In the event that your Starbucks Card or account is unregistered or rendered inactive, all accrued Stars in your account are void.

Starbucks reserves the right to change, modify, discontinue or cancel Starbucks Rewards or any part of the Starbucks Rewards program, at any time and in its sole discretion, without notice to you.

Please read this section carefully. It affects rights that you may otherwise have. It provides for resolution of most disputes through arbitration instead of court trials and class actions. Arbitration is more informal than a lawsuit in court, uses a neutral arbitrator instead of a judge or jury, and discovery is more limited. Arbitration is final and binding and subject to only very limited review by a court. This arbitration clause shall survive termination of these Terms of Use.

Binding Arbitration. This provision is intended to be interpreted broadly to encompass all disputes or claims arising out of or relating to these Terms of Use, your access to or participation in Starbucks Rewards, the Starbucks Cards registered to your account, or your relationship with us. Any dispute or claim arising out of or relating to these Terms of Use, your access to or participation in Starbucks Rewards, or your relationship with Starbucks or any subsidiary, parent or affiliate company or companies (whether based in contract, tort, statute, fraud, misrepresentation or any other legal theory) will be resolved by binding arbitration, except that either of us may take claims to small claims court if they qualify for hearing by such a court.

Arbitration Procedures. For all disputes, whether pursued in court or arbitration, you must first send a written description of your claim to our Customer Service department using the appropriate link at to allow us an opportunity to resolve the dispute. You and we each agree to negotiate your claim in good faith. You may request arbitration if your claim or dispute cannot be resolved within 60 days.

The arbitration of any dispute or claim shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association ("AAA"), including the AAA's Consumer Arbitration Rules (as applicable), as modified by these Terms of Use. The AAA Rules and information about arbitration and fees are available online at You and we agree that these Terms of Use evidence a transaction in interstate commerce and that this arbitration provision will be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the U.S. Federal Arbitration Act and federal arbitration law, and will not be governed by state law. Any arbitration will be held in a reasonably convenient location in the state in which you reside or at another mutually agreed location. The arbitration will be conducted in the English language. An arbitrator may award on an individual basis any relief that would be available in a court, including injunctive or declaratory relief to the extent required to satisfy your individual claim, and must follow and enforce these Terms of Use as a court would. Any arbitration shall be confidential, and neither you nor we may disclose the existence, content or results of any arbitration, except as may be required by law or for purposes of enforcement of the arbitration award. Judgment on any arbitration award may be entered in any court having proper jurisdiction.

Costs of Arbitration. Upon filing of the arbitration demand, we will pay all filing, administration and arbitrator fees other than the initial $200 filing fee, and for claims of less than $1,000, Starbucks will reimburse you for the filing fee within 30 days of receiving a written request from you. Each party will bear the fees and expense of its own attorneys, experts, witnesses and preparation and presentation of evidence at the arbitration. However, for claims under $10,000 as to which you provided notice and negotiated in good faith as required above before initiating arbitration, if the arbitrator finds you are the prevailing party in the arbitration, you will be entitled to a recovery of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Except for claims determined to be frivolous, we agree not to seek an award of attorneys’ fees in arbitration even if an award is otherwise available under applicable law.

Class Action Waiver and Jury Waiver.You and we each agree that any proceeding, whether in arbitration or in court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, consolidated or representative action. If a court or arbitrator determines in an action between you and us that this class action waiver is unenforceable, the arbitration agreement will be void as to you. If for any reason a claim proceeds in court rather than through arbitration, you and we each waive any right to a jury trial.

Any dispute arising from these Terms of Use or your access to or participation in Starbucks Rewards will be governed by and construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of Washington, without regard to conflict of law rules or principles. The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods shall have no applicability. Any dispute between the parties that is not subject to arbitration or cannot be heard in small claims court will be resolved in the state or federal courts located in King County, Washington.

If any provision or part of a provision of these Terms of Use is unlawful, void or unenforceable, that provision or part of the provision is deemed severable from these Terms of Use and does not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

We&rsquove All Been Drinking Starbucks Bottled Frappuccinos Incorrectly And I'm Mind-Blown

Every so often, we all realize that we&rsquove been using a product completely wrong for years and are mind-blown when we figure out its intended use. This, friends, is another one of those times. The bottled Starbucks Frappuccinos you&rsquove been drinking straight out of the fridge aren&rsquot called "bottled chilled lattes" or "cold mochas" for a reason. They actually turn into the iced blended Starbucks drinks you&rsquove come to know and love. if you freeze them.

TikToker @naatalie_lee put this revelation to the test. She heard on TikTok, of course, that you&rsquore actually supposed to put Starbucks' bottled Frappuccinos in the freezer for them to turn into, you know, a Frappuccino. She tried it with a bottle of the vanilla-flavored Frappuccino by putting it in the freezer for a few hours. When she pulled it out, it still looked like liquid. Once she shook it, though, it turned into a blended iced drink.

Yes, folks! We have looked like straight fools this entire time drinking melted Frapps. In the comments, TikTok users said they were always so confused as to why the drink was called a Frappuccino when they drank it like chilled coffee. Someone who claimed to be a Starbucks employee said they didn&rsquot even know about this.

We all accepted it for what it was and never questioned it. This is definitely not the first and certainly not the last time we&rsquoll do that. It&rsquos fine, though, because now we know about this one!

3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake Pop

If you’re a chocolate chip cookie dough fanatic, then you’ll love this sweet and delicious Starbucks Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake Pop with tiny chocolate chips inside and sprinkled on top!

For an inspired recipe, check out this Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake Pop by Pint Sized Baker.


I use my Starbucks obsession as my occasional treat, especially for hard gym days. so I'll keep my caramel and sugar there :) (Though I do always substitute the coconut milk. I don't do well with Almond and the flavor is amazing - but I also love coconut.)

At home, though, I have their Verissimo 'espresso' brewer. Just a shot of espresso and a half cup of unsweetened vanilla coconut milk makes my morning coffee clock in at around 23 calories. I can totally deal with that! Report

HOW TO WEEN YOURSELF OFF of Starbuck's high-calorie coffee-drinks: It worked for me. Not saying it will work for everyone, but it's worth a try.

Here's how to do it. Order an Americano, don't add cream or sugar. Eat it with something sweet like the Starbuck's madeline cookies. Take a sip, then take a bite. Eat all three the first few times. Then back down to two, then one. Then try it with something savory instead (a plain croissant or breakfast sandwich). Eventually you will like the taste of black coffee, without the sugar and cream and you will no longer need the sweet things to go along with it. If you love your morning coffee, doing this will save you hundreds of calories per day. Report

As a teenager, I worked in a local coffee shop where I was surrounded by temptation all of the time! I figured out how to brew my coffee beverages and drink them too (without putting on extra pounds). I always tried to share my coffee with someone else and I would make one large version of whatever we were craving that day with coconut milk instead of any of the others available and then I would use a sugar free syrup. then spilt the one drink into two cups and fill it the rest of the way with water or flavored coffee. I still pull this trick. EVEN at McDs. :-) order 1 large specialty drink and 1 large regular coffee, ask for an extra cup and. mix up the magic!

SIDE NOTE: My boss actually added coconut milk to the menu after I got a bunch customers interested in it. Don't be afraid to ask your local coffee shop to make changes for the better. Report

I don't really care for Starbucks at the best of times. I don't like uber-sweet beverages, and their coffee tastes like butt.

I DO, however, like the idea of blending teas. I'm going to try that green mint chamomile next time I have to meet friends there!

Adding Flavored Toppings

There are so many ways to make a Starbucks latte extra fancy and delicious. Here are some toppings to choose from.

  • Whipped Cream: Starbucks baristas make the whipped cream in-store with heavy cream and vanilla syrup. It&aposs not whipped by hand, but it is fresh and delicious. Generally, adding whipped cream to a latte means the foam will be left off.
  • Caramel Drizzle: This sweet, thick caramel sauce is standard on a caramel macchiato but can be requested for any drink.
  • Mocha Drizzle: The same sauce used to flavor a mocha, this is a nice addition if you&aposre looking for just a little bit of chocolate.
  • Chocolate Powder
  • Vanilla Powder
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • DolceSprinkles: A delicious combination of cinnamon and sugar.
  • Caramel Brûlພ Topping: Crushed hard candy with a smoky, caramel flavor.
  • Chocolate Curls: A seasonal holiday topping made from dark chocolate.
  • Sea Salt: I&aposve never had someone ask for this without the Caramel Drizzle it&aposs usually paired with. The combination is amazing and definitely my favorite topping.
  • Pumpkin Spice: I&aposm told that this powder is made of traditional pumpkin pie ingredients.
  • Molasses Drizzle: A very strong flavor!
  • Italian Roast Drizzle: A sweet yet super coffee-flavored drizzle that seasonally tops the Cafe Espresso Frappuccino.
  • Cookie Crumbles: Little pieces of chocolate cookies, this topping usually accompanies the seasonal Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino.
  • Caramel Crunchies: I&aposm not sure what else to call these, but they top the Caramel Ribbon Crunch and give it the crunch!
  • Flavored Whipped Cream: Starbucks offers flavored whipped creams seasonally. Chocolate is usually available in the summer, spiced with gingerbread during the holiday season. Caramel and espresso flavors were introduced in 2014.

Infographic: Starbucks&apos seasonal lattes.

Why there are almost no Starbucks in Australia

Starbucks is attempting to slowly expand in a market where it was once shunned.

It's easy to find a Starbucks cafe almost anywhere in the world, but in Australia, there aren't that many. That's because in 2008, the company closed more than 70 percent of its underperforming locations, leaving only 23 Starbucks stores throughout the entire continent.

Despite Australia's deep love for coffee, the Seattle-based chain didn't meet success Down Under as it did in other countries. Starbucks opened in Australia in 2000 and grew to nearly 90 locations by 2008. Starbucks moved too quickly, and grew faster than its popularity.

"When they launched, they launched too rapidly and they didn’t give the Australian consumer the opportunity to really develop an appetite for the Starbucks brand," said Thomas Oɼonnor, a principal research analyst specializing in consumer industries at Gartner.

Australia's already-thriving coffee culture also proved to be a challenge for the American brand. The Australian cafe industry is expected to hit more than $6 billion in revenue in 2018. The country has been immersed in the cafe scene since the mid-1900s when Italian and Greek immigrants moved to the continent. It was then that Australians were introduced to espresso, the key ingredient to an Aussie favorite – the flat white.

Australians also compete in barista competitions and can enroll in coffee-making classes, so they take their coffee seriously.

Starbucks didn't fit Australians' tastes. The company served sweeter coffee options than Australians preferred, all while charging more than the local cafes.

In its first seven years in Australia, Starbucks accumulated $105 million in losses, forcing the company to close 61 locations.

But Starbucks hasn't given up in Australia just yet. Since the 2008 closures, the company has started to slowly open more locations in the country.

Today, there are 39 locations in the Brisbane, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Sydney areas, catering to tourists who visit those parts of the country. By slowing its growth and trying to cater more to tourists, Starbucks may have found a recipe for success in Australia.

FREE Starbucks Drink on Your Birthday for Rewards Members

Have a birthday coming up? If you are a Starbucks Rewards Member, you&rsquoll be able to choose one of the following birthday rewards on your actual birthday?! 😍 Keep reading to find out all the details on how to score your free Starbucks drink below!

  • FREE handcrafted beverage (of your choice)
  • FREE food Item (like a yummy pastry or danish)
  • FREE ready-to-drink bottled beverage (such as an Evolution Fresh juice)

And the best part &ndash there is no other purchase required, so you&rsquoll be getting a totally FREE Starbucks drink or food item!

To qualify for the birthday reward, you must be a Starbucks Rewards member (or have joined Starbucks Rewards at least seven days before your birthday) and have made at least one Star-earning transaction using your registered Starbucks Card. Your birthday reward will be automatically added to your account on your birthday! ☕️

*Note that this offer is valid ONLY on your Birthday.

And, if you&rsquore ordering coffee, be sure to size up to a Venti (or a Trenta for cold drinks), add shots of espresso, flavorings, and whipped cream, as all of the additions are on the house. 🙌🏻

Remember, Starbucks Rewards Members will earn 2 stars for every $1 spent using a registered gift card or the Starbucks app, and you can now redeem your points at different levels for various items!

Free refill, please!

Even better, when you&rsquore a member, you&rsquoll also get free refills on hot or iced brewed coffee and tea!

Keep in mind, you must use your registered Starbucks Card to purchase a beverage and then present that same Starbucks Card for refills of hot or iced brewed coffee or tea during the same store visit at participating Starbucks stores.

Don&rsquot forget a free drink for your fur friends!

If you&rsquore heading to Starbucks to grab your free drink and are toting your furry friend through the drive-thru, consider ordering them a free &ldquoPuppuccino&rdquo Starbucks drink which consists of a small cup of whipped cream. They&rsquoll love you for it! Plus, these small cups of whip may also be great for young kiddos who want a treat in their own cup, too!