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April 16, 2011


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Jeff Tom

There are not many drinks that are hard to make at home. The difficult ones are the ones withthe special syrup (e.g., Pumpkin Spice Latte). I will admit to having tried making a substitute many times, but have never duplicated it (although some were better).

Darth Sidamo (138****)

After five years I finally left this company and on to much greener pastures. It definitely has changed in many ways over the years, but the biggest change was the lower quality of outside hires of DMs and lower quality SMs as a whole. I still have quite a few friends at sbux and hope Howard stops believing the load of crap that comes out of his mouth and actually reconnects with the 'partner'. I gave him a year after the partner survey and the results just seemed too few.

For those of you who think this isnt the company you hoped it would be I hope you look for alternate employment. You definitely will find it. I found triple the salary with better health benefits that isnt garnished from my paycheck for an automotive company that hasnt had a layoff in 20+ years and has zero landfill status. If a car company can recycle so can sbux.

Good luck to all.


A person can go online and get people's recipes very easily. I don't drink coffee but I have checked for Frappachinos but have never making one partly because it's probably not good for my weight loss goals to know how to make one at home.


My previous comment should have read: "...Frappachinos but have never tried to make one partly because it's probably not good for my weight loss goals to know how to make one at home."


@DarthSidamo - Congrats on finding a new place that is wonderful to work. I've read your posts and I know that there was >a part< of you that was genuinely passionate about what Starbucks is. I know you're going to be an asset wherever you go. I can totally admit that Starbucks has lots of ways they can improve the partner experience. You don't have to be a partner to know that. And I know that there are partners who feel conflicted inside about their Starbucks experience. Thank you for the green apron years, Darth Sidamo. I bet your customers loved you!

Darth Sidamo

Black apron years*. I enjoy your customers perspective even if what's best for the partner wasn't always best for the customer and vice versa. Next time you buy a car, Toyota Camry. Trust me.


Mock soy strawberries and cream...
(others on this site disagree, but I make it all the time and love it. tastes about the same, but half the cost).

8oz Silk
1 cup ice
6-7 whole fresh strawberries or frozen work fine
4-5 pumps simple syrup -OR- 2 tbsp sugar (I make my own simple syrup at home, it's easy)...
Blend it up!



Boy bitter people just like to Rant on any topic - doesnt matter if its appropriate or not.

OK BACK to the subject - Mock Drinks @ Home.

I live on Skinny Vanilla Latte's At home in the summer months. There really is so little to it - I get my sugar free syrup at Smart & Final, have a great Espresso pump and use my Starbucks cold tumblers so I feel like I am getting the starbucks experience. The great part - each one costs me about $0.50 and I can have it without leaving home.

I tried making Fraps - and getting the blender out is such a paint. It was a pretty good match - but was so much work I would just prefer to go to a store to get the real thing.


If I order tall coffee with syrup, do I get three, or two pumps?


@ af, you get 3 pumps in a tall


iced is 3-4-6


My favorite at home drink isn't quite the same and it's a pain to make but it's a CM. I don't have an espresso machine but I make a French Press with much less water and it's a very drinkable drink.


@ Sheik



@Darth Sidamo - Good luck to you!

I have also moved on from Starbucks and like you, found a better job that starts out at more than I made at the Bux after five years! There are other jobs out there, so if you feel conflicted about being at Starbucks, start looking!

Like everything, there's always the good and the bad, but unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good anymore at Starbucks...


Awww. Melody your words Made me smile after a rough day.

Darth. Good luck.

I never post much but read often. It is good to know there is life outside. I have been here 7+ years. And *sigh* I know the conflicted feeling being stated.

Customers don't ask me for any insight. Except which coffee we use for our iced coffee.


I used to try making Coconut Mocha Frappuccinos at home with little success. :)


I had a customer call and ask what type of blenders we used in the store as she was trying to replicate a smoothie and couldn't get the taste *just* right.


Good Luck Darth Sidamo.


A question to the other Shifts out there that watch this site. Do you ever have to work off the clock in order to make sure every thing is done?


not unless im being generous for someone else. otherwise my barista's know the list, and the closer the clock gets, the b**chier i get. 99% of the time it doesn't require me to yell. 1% of the time, you don't want to be that barista.

Darth: you have my coffee heart and all my best wishes!


lol.. almost never.. but here and there i will work an extra ten minutes or so because i was supposed to do something and forgot after i clocked out.

when i was first a shift, i did a lot of work off the clock. but someone pointed out to me that sbux can afford the extra couple bucks for you to get a task done.

learn to delegate and be mroe efficient. those are my advice to you.


I have tried to make a tea latte at home and it never tastes right. I even bought the starbucks vanilla syrup and the tazo earl grey tea bags sold at Bux, and it's still not the same! I own a nice cappuccino machine and can froth my vanilla soy milk nicely. I don't know what I'm doing wrong :)


i suspect its the same reason that my spaghetti never tastes quite the same as my dads, even though i follow his recipe and buy the same ingredients from the same store.

however, i will offer you an idea.. try a paper cup. EVERYTHING tastes better in a paper cup.



Yes! I remember when I first tried coffee from the Clover. I wanted to sense everything so I took the travel lid off to smell the coffee better (and also let the coffee cool slightly more). But instead of smelling pure coffee, I was also getting a lot of the aroma of the cup.

The coffee that my parents make at home always tastes better than the stuff I make in my dorm. I get the coffee beans from them and we both use substandard drip-style coffee makers and city water with who knows how much chlorine and trace metals, but it's always better at home. :)


@streakin it: Yeah. I've been known to clock out for a meal break and mostly work though it. I tend to fill out the DDR on my 10. We are often a 2 person deployment store and it just isn't possible if i don't work a bit on my own. Having said that, I still can't complete everything on the DDR. It's not a lack of delegating; it's a lack of time.

Steam Explosion

I've had a go at replicating the (old recipe) coffee frapp. during the summer months but it just doesn't taste the same.


Please guys never work off the clock. My old store manager used to make me before I was told that it is against policy. If your store manager is making you stay and work after you clocked out for whatever reason let your Dm know or partner resources. It is a crime! Call partner contact center. Option 5!

Coffee Soldier

The tea bags for sale are smaller then the tea bags used behind the bar...the bigger bags def give a stronger taste.


beentheredone /agree
..also, if you get hurt (which lets be honest, isnt hard) you wont get anything reimbursed because you weren't on the clock when it happened!


Any Partners from clover stores have some real world best practices to share on starting to offer a clover to customers?



ask the right customers, not the ones who get lattes, not everyone. people who just say "coffee", or "bold" is the good choice, even americanos. chances are you know them well enough already. also... pre sell it. you have a customer who gets the bold, tell them next time. the most important thing with clover is to make sure your customers KNOW the time it takes, and that if they are in a rush it is not the choice. Also know where the other clovers in your area are, your clover customers will become everyday clover customers.


@Mike yes, anyone can google a recipe that someone claims is identical to starbucks. They never are though.


re tea lattes. There is an art to foaming milk. It's not just stick it under a wand and shoot steam through it. If you don't do it correctly, the taste is very affected.


@Coffeesoilder you are full of it. The full leaf tea bags in the tins are identical. Open one one day. Get your facts straight.

Doppio conkarma

The retail tea bags are smaller than the ones for store usage.
Pic: http://i.imgur.com/XroFd.jpg

Left (top) is a retail bag, right (bottom) is a store use bag.

This is mirrored in the recommended proportions for each, and if memory serves the box for the store use tea has a different net weight per bag listed than does the retail stuff.


I used to sometimes work off the clock, before I learned good time management skills and how to delegate tasks better. If you feel as though you have to work off the clock, it isn't because you lack the time, but because you aren't effectively using the time you have.

And even if something goes horribly wrong (like a partner calls in sick during the day where there is a huge convention next door), oh well. Some things just might not get done that afternoon. It's not the end of the world. Working off the clock can be the end of your job, however, since it's bad for you and bad for the company.

Coffee Soldier

Nosomuch...check your facts before you tell me to check mine...I would never post something on here that wasn't or I was unsure about. When we rolled the full leaf tea out in stores it was communicated not to use retail tea in place of store use tea due to the size creating a different taste differential..thanks for being so quick to jump down someones throat!!

Legendarily Lean

I use bags from tin cans a lot when we run out of white store bags. We just mark out the tin cans later. It's always Awake and Zen.

Yes, the taste may be different, but think about it -- there has GOT to be a taste difference if you suddenly decide to order a Venti intsead of a Tall. I know, I know, but 2 bags per Venti creates a MUCH stronger tea than 1 per Tall. A Grande with 1 is the most optimal combo in my opinion. Everything else and it gets too strong especially if you don't take the bag out after 5 minutes which most customers don't in the DT. Where would they out the bag?


I too have used the tea bags from the tins when we ran out of the other bags. We have a customer who gets a venti awake, one tea bag twice a day. And they did not mention a taste difference at all. I never noticed a size difference, but I don't think it would be great enough to taste anything unless you were removing the bag before drinking, which I see very few people doing.

Time To GO!

So about the tea thing. Once again, why is this a big deal? Partners seem to make such an ordeal out of the simplest concepts. The company has taken your mind over it seems. If someone wants a tea, who cares from which bag it comes. Put the bag in the cup, pour hot water. It's simple and should not even be a question. It's TEA!


A bit off topic, but I was wondering: how long are most of you given to close at night? We are scheduled 30 minutes. Sometimes I can do it and sometimes I can't. Admittedly some nights I am more motivated and manage my time better than others. But how long does it take yo all?


"Admittedly some nights I am more motivated and manage my time better than others. "

I'm pretty sure you just answered your own question there.



Do you have a personal checklist when you close? When I closed a lot, I found having that in addition to the stuff provided by the company helped out quite a bit, especially in those days when motivation is hard to come by.

I <3 music

There is a lady that wants 8 tea bags dry. She wants to be charged the add tea bag price per bag. She says she refills the tin she has at home. She is cheating the system and is paying less then what we charge for retail.


@Waltie, what is the actual call in sick policy? Is it on the portal? I can't find a manual and I don't want my SM to know I am trying to figure out if he is violating it.


@ Otter in the Water, I don't really have a personal checklist--just the one in my head, lol. It would probably be a good idea to make one. I was just wondering how much time people at other stores were allotted to close. We used to get 45 minutes (I find that's nearly always doable, even if you're not motivated, unless you just get slammed in the last half hour), but it's 30 now. I didn't know if that was a company decision to try to save on labor, or an individual district or store decision.


wdp: Hopefully, Waltie will give an SM answer. In my area, it is 30 minutes. Here are some of my shift tips:
Close all but one or two tills at least an hour before you lock the doors. Make sure the open tills have plenty ones ones, fives and coin and count the safe.
2 hours before you lock up: Stock the front fridges with all the milks and creams and do your milk count in the back.
1 hour before you lock the doors: Shut down one bar and clean it.
90 minutes before you lock the doors: Transfer all your ice teas to venti plastic cups and start your dishes.

Coffee Soldier

Spence...so are you logging your time in the cash management log when you actually count out or lying and falsifying a legal document..you better hope an auditor doesn't come along and bust you for that safe move...also what waste of cups pouring ice teas into plastic cups...it takes no longer to do one last load thru the sanitizer while you count out of the safe and saves on plastic, cost of goods, and is the environmentally correct thing to do...thanks for costing the company more money from a partner and a share holder perspective.


@Coffee Soldier - Trust me, this happens at a lot of stores (tea in the cups)

Time To GO!

Falsifying a legal document? HAHAHAHA


"@Coffee Soldier - Trust me, this happens at a lot of stores (tea in the cups)"

Waste of time, waste of money, waste of cups. Just wait until you're closed and clean the pitchers. A sanitzer cycle takes about two minutes. If you really need to put the ices teas (not to mention how I've also seen some stores do the same to chai, mocha, etc), you're not using your time effectively. Use good time management and you won't need to waste products to get out on time.

Most stores get thirty minutes, but at least one in my district gets 45, but they never use it.

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