You know that (kind of awful) saying, "only a mother could love that face?" That's kind of how I feel about Khloé Kardashian's go-to Starbucks order. After the reality TV star revealed that she exclusively orders Venti Chai Lattes made with seven pumps of Chai and no water from the coffee chain last week, I went out and tried the drink. After a single sip of the oddly-specific beverage, it became immediately clear to me that there's a reason this isn't an order option you'd find on the Starbucks menu.
This specially-made chai latte made me wonder how Kardashian came to discover that she really loved this extremely specific drink. And, for that matter, how does anyone create a custom drink that is so...intensive? To find out, I asked real people who have very particular Starbucks orders to share the stories behind their discoveries.
The Order: "A Venti of two bags of Peach Tea steeped in coconut milk only, no water, with one pump of vanilla at kids temperature."
The Story Behind The Order: "I was really, really sick (undergoing a bunch of treatments) a few years ago, and the only thing that would calm my nerves was Fuzzy Peaches but alas, sugar. S0 I was talking about this to my friend when I was at Starbucks and the barista (shout out Kathy) told me about their peach tea.
I ordered it and honestly fell in love. At that point, I wanted something heavier but was too nauseated to eat so I started getting it with almond milk and realized it would taste much creamier if there was no water. That's when the What if I used coconut milk and made it into a tropical latte...omg I love vanilla. Let's do that too thought came in. Things haven't been the same since LOL.
The kids temp thing, it's the sweet spot between hot and warm. Makes for easy immediate consumption of my drinks without burning my tongue *chef's kiss*."
The Order: "A Grande Coffee Frappuccino with an extra shot or two of espresso, skim milk, and only one scoop of java chips (standard is 3), and if I’m feeling risky, whipped cream with caramel drizzle on top only."
The Story Behind The Order: "I wanted to remake the Wawa Frozen Caramel Chocolate Chip Cappuccino while I was living in the city far from a Wawa and was craving it. It took some trial and error... I wasted a bit of money sadly, but it was worth it in the end."
The Order: "A Venti iced Americano with extra ice and the shots poured over the ice. And then add two pumps of vanilla and two pumps of toffeenut and leave some room for cream!"
The Story Behind The Order: "I am a former Starbucks barista. I worked there for four years, so I know how to make the drink perfectly myself and know exactly how to order it. The reason I like extra ice is because the espresso is hot when it comes out of the machine, and the regular amount of ice doesn't make it cold enough."
The Order: "A Peach Citrus Black Tea Infusion Lemonade with light ice and one pump of sugar."
The Story Behind The Order: "[The peach citrus white tea infusion lemonade] comes with four pumps of sugar and is made with white tea. Four pumps of sugar is really sweet so o I had it halved to two for the longest time. That was the first modification.
Then, one time my Starbucks was out of white tea, and the barista suggested that he could do it with black tea instead. I tried it, and the flavor was a whole lot stronger so I made the switch. (You can't customize white tea for black tea on the Starbucks app so this customization has to happen in person).
I went from two pumps to one pump of sugar when I ordered this drink sans ice and realized that without ice, two pumps was also too sweet. From then on, I cut the ice from regular to 'light' and the sugar from two pumps to one. The drink is perfect now. I usually only order this via the app (so I don't switch black tea to white tea) because I don't want to hold up the line for other people etc. But if my Starbucks is not too busy then I'll make all the customizations."
The Order: "A Venti iced coffee with three pumps of mocha sauce and almond beverage"
The Story Behind The Order: "It started when I was an intern for a designer in Toronto. I wasn't getting paid, but she would take me to Starbucks every day and get me coffee and lunch. My boss would always get a Venti Americano with room and two pumps of sugar-free mocha (sweeter than the regular mocha). To be an easy intern, I would always just get the same!
Over the years it changed and developed — Canada dropped the sugar-free mocha so I added one more pump for the same sweetness, and I recently am giving up dairy so I switched to almond beverage."
The Order: "A Tall Java Chip Frappuccino, half sweet, no whip, lactose-free (and decaf if it’s after 1 p.m.)."
The Story Behind The Order: "I’m lactose intolerant and I prefer lactose-free milk over a non-dairy alternative like almond or soy milk. I find a lot of Starbucks drinks are really sweet, but the Java Chip tastes more like coffee only. When it's half sweet, there's still a bit of chocolate but mostly it's coffee. And I don't like whipped cream."
The Order: "An iced Venti decaf sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce Latte with coconut milk and a no-straw lid"
The Story Behind The Order: " I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2017 at the age of 30, so I've made a lot of dietary changes in order to minimize my insulin usage and hopefully retain any functioning beta cells left in my sad pancreas. People always think diabetics can't have sugar, but it's actually carbohydrates that diabetics need to monitor closely, because they're the biggest driver of blood glucose levels. So I've switched to sugar-free syrups since they generally don't have any carbs.
We’ve always been caffeine hounds. Espresso at 10 p.m.? No problem, right to sleep. We sort of accidentally fell into drinking decaf. My husband realized earlier this year that several days had gone by without him having any coffee at all, and he was feeling pretty good, so we decided to make the switch. I used to be the type of person who was wholly unable to function unless I had coffee, and it's really nice to not be beholden to caffeine. I don't feel the need to wake up and immediately have a coffee. Plus my skin looks so much better since switching to decaf!
The coconut milk is because dairy makes my stomach hurt, so I drink non-dairy whenever possible. We're also trying to minimize our utilization of single-use plastics, so we try to remember to ask for the no-straw lid."