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January 13, 2010


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Unfortunately, the Starbucks this customer was visiting was likely undercharging for this drink. In addition to the tea bags and the soy, this person should have also been charged for an "ADD DAIRY." This would have likely brought the drink over $3. Also, if all this person wanted was tea bags and a half cup of steamed soy, the charge shouldn't be for one of Starbucks' tea lattes as these drinks include a charge for syrup.

This does go to show that Starbucks is still in need of some pricing adjustments and some much needed training for baristas. Even at my own store, I can't tell you how many times my partners are incorrectly ringing drinks by over- or under-charging customers.

me myself and I

Sounds exactly like many of my regular customers. There are quite a lot VERY upset about their tea mistos turning into tea lattes overnight. Almost doubling the price tag on those drinks does not help, no matter what we are calling the drinks now.

A lot of customers turned into tea misto or americano misto fans within the last year. I thought it was a reaction of the customers trying to find affordable substitutions to their daily latte fixings.

Those drinks kept getting more popular almost by the week. Now they put a stop to it. From the companies point of view this might even be on purpose, to stop people getting cheap(er) drinks. But at least those customers kept coming back. Now we will loose quite a few and it will cost a lot of advertising money to replace those customers with new ones.

To be honest, on my days off I only have americano mistos these days as well. Make it whole milk and you won't taste a difference to a latte, except you get an extra shot of espresso for a price less than the equivalent size latte. I wonder when they will start fixing this loophole.


What is a tea misto :) sorry

Barista Bob

that's funny. i love overcharging customers for simple drinks!


The process for ringing a tea misto has not changed with this promotion. It is still rung as a tea, add dairy, and then add soy/breve if applicable.

It should cost 50 cents to a dollar more than the tea depending on the market and milk selection.

The only price increase to the tea misto has come from the switch to higher quality teabags.


We still had the "Tea Misto" button in Canada. I've been off today and yesterday so I'm not sure what has happened.

But likely it is now rung in as a tea latte. (And in this case, add soy) We were also told to ring all teas in as their correct sizes, no more ringing in a grande one tea bag tea as a tall.


thats because a grande and a tall both get one tea bag now.


jonnysf -

A tea misto is half hot tea, half steamed milk of choice.

In the absence of a "tea misto" button, which has been removed, I just ring a grande soy zen tea misto (or whatnot) as a grande hot tea, add soy. I wouldn't ring it as a "tea latte" unless they wanted it with everything that comes in the tea latte, which includes sweetener syrup. You wouldn't ring someone for a vanilla latte if they just wanted a regular latte, so why would you ring someone for something whose price includes syrup when they just want the tea and milk?


This comes from my DM:

All "tea mistos" are now charged as tea lattes. If someone wants soy, that's added on top (though free with a registered Starbucks Card). If a customer wants it unsweetened, it's still the same price, just like an unsweetened Green Tea Latte or a siingle grande latte are the same price as their normal recipes.

Charging a customer for a tea add dairy add syrup (which become free with a card) makes it inconsistent with the rest of the tea latte platform, especially the existing Awake tea latte, Earl Grey tea latte and Vanialla Rooibos tea lattes. I should hope people are still charging properly for those. But if someone wants a different tea, they're suddenly chaged less? That makes no sense. Starbucks did this in part to create consistency of pricing.

stan: each tea size is a different price. This is due in part to the different store cost involved with different size cups, the water we pay for in utilities, etc.


I have a tea misto button.. in Canada. No 'add dairy' necessary.


What do you charge for a cold chocolate milk, grande, made with two pumps of mocha and one pump vanilla.

To be clear, the ingredients in this grande size drink are: milk, 2 pumps mocha, one pump vanilla.

I get charged all over the place for this drink. I've even had it rung up as a mocha latte, which made little sense to me.

A. Nony Mouse

@Marcus - I would charge as a milk + mocha syrup, sub vanilla. Although I could also see how someone might charge it as a hot chocolate since mocha syrup and vanilla syrup are in the recipe.

I like how CM33 explained it. In fact I want to print it out and post it at my store.

Yesterday a lady insisted that "the other starbucks" only charges her $2.00 (which was the price for just a grande tea) for a tea misto with soy and a syrup. I told her I was charging her for a tea latte because of the new teas and to account for the milk and syrup. Not only that, she had a new gold card that she didn't understand how to use, and refused to load any money on it. I tried to explain all that to her too but man, was she pissed through the whole transaction. It wasn't pleasant for me either.


i remember during training on the TBTs we were specifically told to ring the lower price when there are discrepancies. i know in the states a grande tea is 1.59, add soy is .60 and syrup is .30.. im not sure how much our tea lattes are, but if thats what you want, thats how you should order it. your barista is programmed to 'just say yes'. $5 for a tea is ridiculous, even with currency exchange..


additionally, about the chocolate milk question. there is a milk button but i can't remember if its all size or just short. and the very MOST you would be charged for a hot chocoloate and they just wouldn't steam it. (how many pumps of how many syrups doesn't matter. you are charged .30 cents for your first syrup, end of story.) you would just be charged extra for steaming labor and whip with the hot chocolate option. if they try to charge you for espresso, get a manager. that's just a crappy employee who doesn't care about doing their job well.


I am a Canadian Partner, and we have had a lot of debate within our District regarding the whole 'Tea Misto/Tea Latte' controversy! Here is how we are breaking it down:

Tea Misto: Any loose leaf tea, with steamed milk/soy/etc., but NO syrup. To ring it in is simply: "VENTI - TEA MISTO (the button has not been removed from the Central Market) - MODIFIER (save for Syrup).)

Tea Latte: Any loose leaf tea, with steamed milk/soy/etc., WITH syrup. To ring it in is simply: "VENTI - EARLGREY TEA LATTE (sub syrup, 'Ask Me' if the tea is anything other than Awake, Earl Grey or Vanilla Roiboos)).

If someone orders a "Grande Carmel Chai Tea Misto" we would call it back as a "Grande Carmel Chai Tea Latte", charging for a GRANDE - EARL GREY TEA LATTE - Sub CARMEL - ASK ME (for the Chai).

It's all very confusing, and the communication from Seattle has been lacking and poorly communicated. I even asked my SM and she handed me a 2 page thread of e-mails between our DM and other Corporate folk, implying that she didn't even know! I hope that might clarify for all of you!

Barista Ben

heh so wait - are we supposed to add syrups to 'tea mistos' now? like a iced tea? I must of missed that memo somewhere.


A chai tea misto would be made with a tea bag..a chai tea latte is made with the concentrate..where's the confusion??? A tea misto has nothing to do with a tea latte..as the misto is getting hot water and no syrup. Its really not confusing, this customer just got rang up by some ill-informed (imagine that!!)partner.


The line between "add dairy" and "latte," the whole "ghettolatte" question, has always been around.

It is just now swallowing up teas, as well.

Before, there WAS no tea latte, so a cup of steamed milk with tea bags was a "tea misto." Now that they've GOT tea lattes, they can charge for that.

There will always be customers that try to do a "Grande Americano in a Tall Cup, topped with 3 inches of steamed breve," and get charged just the G/A price and have the rest of it as a condiment.

There will always be "3 shots over ice in a venti cup with no water," immediately followed by "Your condiment bar needs more half and half."

It's up to the Store / District managers to decide when to draw the line on this business, whether the condiments used are cutting into your bottom line.

I strongly believe, though, that "condiment bar latte customers" who pay $2.00 for what is effecitvely a $5.00 would simply stop coming, rather than pay full pop.

me myself and I

Centralcanadianshift, this would be right, if the price difference between a tea latte and a tea misto would just be the cost for the syrup. But this is exactly the problem. It is not. And this is where all the confusion starts. I do appreciate your district finding a line, but it would be much more appreciated if SSC would come up with a solution for all the tea drinkers, so it wouldn't cause such a confusion. Right now every barista is charging differently, even if a store or a district has a guideline, it is still way too confusing for customers. They don't care about district lines etc. they want the best product for the best price consistently rung up the same way wherever they go so they don't feel ripped off. So please SSC go back, do your homework over the weekend and present a solution that is not more confusing but simplifying things for all of us, customers and baristas alike. How are we supposed to offer legendary service if we have to argue why the same drink cost half that much two hours earlier at another store???

El Paraguas

Did anyone else hear that cutomer relations and warranty services in seattle are being outsourced??


El Paraguas -- Where's the proof of that? Have a memo? A link to a story?

El Paraguas

Correction. It has been CONFIRMED. In "eight" months, Starbucks will be closing its Customer service operations in the Seattle office. The jobs (customer service, card services, and repair aka warranty) will be moved to New Mexico. There is no confirmation if the new employees will be Starbucks partners or if the workers will be from a temp service. The estimated number of Partners who will lose their jobs may be upwards of 150 people.

El Paraguas

Information was provided to me by people I know working in that division. There are multiple postings on Facebook. Expect a press release shortly.

just another partner

our tea misto button is gone so we charge a tea and "add dairy". i use the "add dairy" button if we are adding more than 4oz of milk. i just let the customer know that we need to keep track of dairy that we are using just like we would any other inventory. havent had a problem with it yet.


The soy charge never substitutes for the regular "add dairy" charge in a misto, whether coffee or tea. It is an additional charge on top of the dairy.

A soy coffee misto is not rung as a brewed coffee, add soy. It is rung as a misto (coffee, add dairy) + add soy.

Same for teas.

Cafe Nervosa

@ShiftMisto: Yes, mixing and matching syrups makes no price difference, but mocha sauce is different. I can see why people would charge Marcus for a hot chocolate, as the ingredients are then accounted for. That makes me wonder now which is cheaper- grande hot chocolate or iced grande milk add mocha add vanilla?


As a former barista and regular tea misto drinker (in Canada where we have the tea misto button), this is another reason why sbux will be losing my business. I find it funny that what was once considered a tea "misto," which is completely made up by sbux in the first place, is no longer considered a tea misto anymore, when they invented this concept. No thanks.


Not amused with the launch of the new Tazo Tea in tins. Too "exclusive and wasteful....how many tins do I really need??
Also, the cost is prohibitive; have to severly cut back on my tea drinking or find my Earl Grey tea elsewhere, perhaps get a loose tea shop to make up a comparable mix.

Also, the hint of lavender is more pronounced in the loose leaf and changes the whole balanced flavour I have been used to!

anyone want to comment on why they have removed the 24 bag variety and do you know if they are being phased out from grocery chains as well?

Melody (reply to Leni)

Leni that's funny you should mention about the tins, and thinking "How many tins do I need?". Last year (2008) in about November or December, Starbucks sold Aged Sumatra in decorative tins. If you want to buy some Aged Sumatra for home, it makes no sense to have it only packaged in these decorative tins that you don't need.

I was frustrated by the Aged Sumatra in tins. Eventually, I realized I could buy normal flavorlock packaging (without the tin) at Clover Starbucks, but I couldn't help but think how silly it was to make the person who is a fan of Aged Sumatra repeatedly buy a tin with a bag of flavorlock coffee inside of it. Did Starbucks think that no-one would be a repeat Aged Sumatra customer and fan?


no misto is $5.50, not even a venti soy


btw the misto WAS cheaper, b/c it WAS made with a cheaper tea bag, which is no longer the case


I had a business meeting planned for Starbucks this Thursday, but after todays experience I am done with Starbucks.

Yesterday I went to one of your Canadian Starbucks Stores. My local Barrista charged me $2.70 for a Venti Tea Misto with (1) tea bag and (no flavoring). Expensive, yes, but I am willing to pay that.

Today I ordered the same drink and I was told it would cost me $5.35 I then told the girl that I only wanted 1 tea bag and she said they had a staff meeting last night and they were told they had to charge $5.35 for a Tea Misto Latte with 1 or 2 tea bags. I then asked it I could have just a regular tea with soy and no Misto and she said it would still be $5.35

I then asked how much a tall tea misto was and she said it went up to $5.05 (Yes, thats Five Dollars and Five Cents) for a small (tall) cup of tea.

I left without buying anything.

This new policy of changing all Tea Mistos over to Tea Lattes when it's the same drink is making people really mad and frustrated. What's worse is Starbucks doesn't seem to be listening to their customers. We don't want to pay $5 for a cup of tea!! I mean you were already making a HUGE PROFIT before you raised the prices, so IMO you now are being irresponsible!!

I really hope some other company comes along and beats you at your own game. I was a big Starbucks fan, until about 3 weeks ago before the prices skyrocketed.


Wow! Over five dollars for tea in Canada!!! I work @ a Starbucks in Rhode Island and tea lattes are about $2.50 here.

me myself and I

At my store people are first stunned, then they just take a regular tea and let us know they will do so until they found a better place to go and get what they want for a halfway fair price they are totally willing to pay.

Sylvia Anderson

I sent this email to Starbucks Canada. I haven't received a response yet.


Several years ago, I had to switch from coffee to tea. I began to enjoy my Tea Misto from Starbucks on a fairly regular basis. It is with deep regret to inform you that I will no longer be purchasing my tea beverages from Starbucks.

The concept of the Tea Latte vs. Tea Misto is quite perplexing to me. I am not certain what motivated Starbucks to change from a Misto to a Latte, given the beverage is exactly the same. However, as a consumer I am now paying $1.65 more for the same drink. I understand the argument is that the tea brand has changed. This makes no difference to me as I would be hard pressed to distinguish a change in quality or taste.

I realize I am one lone consumer, except I have spoken to many people in Western Canada and it appears I am not alone in my opinion. I am very disappointed in the corporate decision made by Starbucks.

As of today, I am officially no longer a patron of Starbucks.


For the past 3 years all I have ever asked for, for gifts were starbucks gift cards so I could enjoy my grande vanilla earl grey tea misto. An affordable delicious drink. Sadly that has been taken away & the new "tea lattes" are expensive & wayy to flavourful. I will now be supporting only local coffee shops & Tim Hortens. I have officially given up on starbucks. First they look away my flavored melon shot.. now they add an extra almost 2 bucks to my drink.

I have $20 bucks left in gift cards.. then my starbucks days will be over.

Susan TD

I too will not be shopping at Starbucks any more. The new charge for the Chai Misto is a 'cash grab'......an extra $2.00 ...not I.... I will bring my own soy milk /frother and my own tea bags to my office....

"necessity is the mother of invention"


I absolutely agree with all of you!!! I thought i was the only one who was upset with this. a clear cash grab. And yes, the prices are still all over the place. So unfortunate. And the taste is different too.

Emilianna Yampierre

Well I have to say that all this is so darn rediculous. I've been getting tea mistos since 1998 and suddenly the price has doubled. Why do you need to push "add dairy" plus add "soy" to tea that only has soy. My doesn't have both regular milk and soy milk! And really soy milk is not that much more expensive that Starbucks has to double charge! Leaving Starbucks for good!!!!

Robin Poon

Yesterday went to a Starbucks inside a Target, ordered a Zen Green Tea Misto using skim milk and a tea bag. She tried to charge me for a Tea Latte - rgued with me when I told her the price she rang up was twice what I had been charged elsewhere ($3.54. Tea was 2.111, plus dairy). Told her I wouldn't pay that. I had a cold and wanted something hot for my throat; went and got a hot chocolate at the Target fast food counter.


I have a solution:

Order a steamed soy. Or order a steamed soy with a flavour shot.
Once you receive it, pull out a earl grey tea you've so cleverly brought with you, and put it in your steamed soy.

Poof, you have a drink even cheaper than your soy misto! Most tea bags are individually sealed, so it would be easy to have a extra one in a pocket or purse.

And if you are a tea enthusiast, I don't know why you wouldn't be carrying around extra tea anyways. Not only is it cheaper, but you are no longer limited to the limited choice of teas!


Looks like I'll have to start ordering steamed soy with water and add my own tea bags.

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