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Ordering a Short at Starbucks?

ziggylu Oct 29, 2007 06:41 AM

Seriously what's the secret to actually getting a short?

When we lived in Seattle it was simple since it was on the menu board. we've been gone 7 years son maybe even there it's not possible anymore?

In AZ I've gone round and round with them periodically over the years...they have the cups as they use them for the kid's drinks but always refuse to make a drink in one unless it's on the kid's menu...screws up the inventory they say.

We're in FL right now...there's a Starbucks in our hotel so it's quick and convenient on the way out in the morning. I ordered a Short Americano yesterday. The counter person confirmed "short americano" The barista repeated "short americano" while making hte drink...then handed me said drink saying "short americano"...in a tall cup.

Do shorts not exist anymore anywhere?

  1. c
    cajun_foodie Oct 29, 2007 11:55 AM

    The only time I've ever had problems ordering a short at a Starbucks is in some VA grocery stores. For some reason those stores don't carry the short cups at all.

    But I've never had a problem ordering shorts at regular Starbucks stores on the East Coast. I have no idea why there would be this discrepancy between Starbucks locations.

    1. c
      Cathy Oct 29, 2007 11:56 AM

      I just ordered one.

      The Starbucks inside a hotel is most likely not a Stand Alone. That may be your problem.

      1. ccbweb Oct 29, 2007 12:04 PM

        The stand alone vs. in hotel/airport distinction is the key one. I've gotten short cups in stand alone Starbucks all over the country in the last year and a bit. But at stand alone stores which are not run by Starbucks, I've rarely seen the short cup.

        The AZ store refusing to make a short is a situation I haven't encountered. If a store has the short cup, they've always made my drink a short without any hesitation or question.

        1. Gelato_in_Roma Oct 29, 2007 03:21 PM

          I have been ordering shorts forever. I can never finish anything more than that. I only had a problem years ago when they first took short off the menu.

          1. d
            dalaimama Oct 30, 2007 03:21 PM

            I've never had a problem getting a short. Yes, sometimes they are out of cups, but then my tall cup is not full, so they aren't giving me a tall by the name of short but rather a short in a tall cup.

            Hotel, airport, and grocery store Sbux are always sort of wierd.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dalaimama
              momof3 Oct 30, 2007 04:45 PM

              As for the hotel and grocery store Starbucks, those as well as most airport stores and book store kiosks are considered part of what Starbucks calls " licensed stores". They are just that, paying for the name and the product of Starbucks, they aren't governed by the same exact rules and regs as the stand alone stores.

            2. momof3 Oct 30, 2007 04:42 PM

              Certain stores in certain districts do not carry short cups at all. Here in Westchester County NY all the stores carry the short (hot) size. Feel free to peer over the counter and see if they have the short stack next to the tall cups. If not, just ask if they have them they will be happy to provide for you.

              1. ajs228 Oct 30, 2007 04:49 PM

                Whenever I order a cappucino (in Phoenix) I order a short and I never have any problem.

                1. azhotdish Oct 30, 2007 05:48 PM

                  If you see a kid's hot chocolate on the menu, you should be able to order a short. "The customer is always right" philosophy reigns in the corporate stores, and ordering a short for hot beverages, even though it was taken off the menu around 1998, should still be possible. This is not saying, however, that some baristas might not raise a crooked eyebrow at you and pin you from Seattle. ;D

                  1. stellamystar Nov 1, 2007 11:40 AM

                    In Chicago we had no problem ordering a short drink. Maybe they just put your drink in a tall cup? did they charge you for a tall or short?
                    I like short, too - esp. for the richer, holiday drinks.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: stellamystar
                      momof3 Nov 1, 2007 02:28 PM

                      As I said above, all stores will make a short, but not all have the ability to order the short cups. So....you may be presented with the drink in a tall cup.

                    2. p
                      Panini Guy Nov 1, 2007 05:56 PM

                      There's no other civilized way to have a cappuccino - and even a "short" is 2 oz too big. Like others, I've never had an issue, even in hotels or airports (usually only time I'd go to a Starbucks).

                      However, if anyone has the secret to regularly getting fresh milk steamed specifically for your drink, please pass that along. Few busy shops will do that.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Panini Guy
                        ccbweb Nov 1, 2007 06:15 PM

                        If you order the organic milk you stand a much better chance. It's (in my town) 40 cents more for a "grande" size latte. I can't remember the last time I ordered one that they didn't have to open a fresh carton of it.

                        1. re: Panini Guy
                          azhotdish Nov 1, 2007 06:51 PM

                          I'd say the best way to do it is to watch were you drink is in the "queue" and approach the barista just before they begin yours; if you ask nicely for a fresh pitcher of milk with cappuccino foam, I can't imagine they will say no. Of course, a tip helps your cause. BTW, if you order a cappuccino, I can't imagine that they're not steaming fresh milk; I don't know how else they could get about 4-6 oz of foam from milk steamed with lattes in mind. Hope that helps....

                          1. re: azhotdish
                            Panini Guy Nov 2, 2007 01:48 PM

                            The closest SBUX to me usually has four large pitchers of pre-steamed milk sitting to the side. Their version of a capp apparently only requires them to reheat the milk and then spoon the big bubbly stuff on top for the "1/3 foam" part of the drink. Have never, ever seen a capp freepoured at a Starbucks.

                            1. re: Panini Guy
                              azhotdish Nov 2, 2007 06:20 PM

                              That's really a sad testament to the loss of the art of coffee at Starbucks. In my 3+ yrs as a barista for them quite a few yrs ago now, you would never find me spooning foam into a cap - if you steam properly, as you said, free-pouring is the only way to go. I guess it's a good thing I stick to the iced coffee now. :)

                              1. re: Panini Guy
                                CrazyOne Nov 3, 2007 07:13 AM

                                Hehehe, it's funny to think you would bother setting foot into the closest SBUX to you PG. I thought you were just asking for traveling and such. ;-)

                                1. re: CrazyOne
                                  Panini Guy Nov 3, 2007 10:12 AM

                                  It's in the Galleria, so when we go to the movies, it's just, well... there.

                                  But don't think for a minute I'm not conflicted every time I go in there ;-)

                            2. re: Panini Guy
                              momof3 Nov 1, 2007 07:02 PM

                              Starbucks in the NY metro area will soon be using only the smaller pitchers to steam milk. This almost completely insures that milk cannot be re-steamed at all. This is being done to bring back the beverage quality to every drink. Not every store has organic. If you are a regular at your store, for sure ask the store manager to order you some if you'd like it. Hope this helps :)

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