Move over, Burger King—there's a coffee shop taking "have it your way" to a completely new level. With their willingness to put as many extra add-ons into your drink as your heart desires, Starbucks is a haven for those who like to "pumpkin-spice" up their latte. But don't be fooled; the coffee chain has its limits. There actually are some things you can't order from Starbucks.

I recently talked with some real Starbuck's baristas to get the scoop on what's completely off-the-menu. Here's what they said were big Frappucci-NO's:

"It" Frappuccino

According to sources on Reddit, a California Starbucks sold an "It" Frappuccino on the DL as a promotional item. Inspired by the movie "It," the drink consists of vanilla bean, strawberry pureé, and a vanilla bean scone blended together. But here's the kicker: Starbuck's policy prohibits blending pastries into drinks (Whoops!).

As the disgruntled employee pointed out, Starbucks has a policy that food can't be blended into drinks (which we'll discuss more later). One barista told me that technically they can blend pastry items from their case, but it could mess up their equipment and most stores will refuse.

Of course, you can always order the "It Frappuccino" without the vanilla bean scone and blend it up at home if you want, but Starbucks won't do it for you and that seems like a lot of work.

Anything You Give Them to Mix Into Drink

frappachino, Starbucks
Sam Jesner

Starbucks can make anything with their own stock, but they can't use items you bring in because it's a HUGE health code violation. One barista told me some locations will sometimes "mix" food if it's sold at Starbucks, but they will not mix outside food. Ever. They would have to clean everything it comes in contact with (due to health code and food contamination laws), and no barista wants to do that just for your extra-AF drink.

A Real Macchiato

tea, coffee, ice
Melissa Simon

Fun fact: A traditional macchiato is actually just a shot of espresso with a small amount of foam/steamed milk on top. The name macchiato actually means “marked” in Italian. As you may have noticed, Starbucks' macchiatos have a lot more milk than just a “mark” of foam. Their macchiatos are basically lattes with whipped cream and flavorings. When you order a Starbucks' iced caramel macchiato, you're really getting an iced latte with extra fixings. Scandal!

So alright, I guess I have kind of deceived you. Technically Starbucks can make a real macchiato, but you have to word it correctly. If you want one, order an "Espresso Macchiato." All this "real" and "fake" macchiato talk got you confused? No worries! It's pretty easy to make your own Starbucks version of a caramel macchiato at home.

An Espresso Drink in a Trenta Cup

tea, coffee, beer, Starbucks, Starbucks cups, Starbucks logo, Starbucks items
Shelby Cohron

For those that don't know, the "trenta" is the largest size cup at Starbucks, holding up to 30 oz of liquid. However, don't get your hopes up about filling it with a caramel macchiato. The trenta can only have certain drinks in it, such as iced coffee and iced tea, but no espresso-based drinks. You can get an iced coffee with espresso in a trenta cup, but you can't get a latte in a trenta cup. Oh, and not all locations have trenta, so there's that, too.

"No-Foam" Cappuccinos

coffee, milk, espresso, cappuccino
Leona Chu

Considering the whole point of a cappuccino is that it's mostly foam, what you're really ordering is a sad-looking latte. Don't do this. Your barista will be confused, the customers behind you will be confused, it's going to be a confusing time all-around. You have access to the internet, go look up coffee terms, figure out what the drink you want is actually called, and order again.

Secret Menu Items... Without Knowing the Recipe

milk, chocolate
Sophie Shi

One barista said it best: "Whatever a 'Captain Crunch Frappuccino' is, I have no idea." Starbucks' baristas may be amazing, but they're not all-knowing. You can't ask for a Secret Menu item without knowing the recipe and expect the barista to know it for you. They've got the Starbuck's actual menu to memorize, and there's no way they can learn every Secret Menu item, too. Plus, it's just good practice to know what you want in life and not rely on other people #adulting.

Be aware that your Secret Menu item is probably going to have extra charges based on what you add. But be very clear with the barista about what you want, and the Secret Menu could be your new best friend.

"Extra-Hot" Drinks

coffee, cappuccino, milk, espresso, cream, mocha
Becky Hughes

Starbucks' machinery heats their water to boiling automatically, and there's no way for baristas to make the water hotter than it already is. Plus, consumer safety laws have regulated the temperature of water, so you probably couldn't get it hotter even if they could adjust it. Forget about that "extra hot tea" or "extra hot americano"—it's not happening at Starbucks.


coffee, cappuccino, milk, espresso, cream
Lissane Kafie

Craving a cafecito? You better hit up your (real or adopted) abuela, and forget all about Starbucks. Spanish for "Little Coffee," this Cuban delight is made when sugar is mixed with the coffee grounds or espresso during the brewing process. Because it may break their equipment, requires extra cleaning, and slows down the baristas, you can't order it from Starbucks.

On a related note, baristas can only steam nutmeg, cinnamon, and matcha. Their steam wands are very fragile, and anything else clogs and breaks their bar. So obviously sugar for cafecito is off the table, and don't start getting any funny ideas about whipped cream or chocolate sauce.

Hot Chocolate Travelers

Ever taken a large cardboard tin of Starbucks coffee to-go? That 96 oz convenient carrier is called a traveler, and it doesn't support all drink types. If you want hot chocolate to-go in travelers for that group study session, you're out of luck. The milk from the hot chocolate and the material do not mix well, and Starbucks won't make one for you.

All restrictions on this list aside, there is very little you absolutely can't order from Starbucks. If they have it, they probably can and will make it for you. But the next time you go for your caffeine fix, be aware that Starbucks won't put everything in your coffee cup.