TikToker @_brieta gets into many mix-ups at her job as a barista because of one particular Starbucks menu item: the macchiato. The drink’s name hails from the Italian word for “stained or marked” because when milk and espresso are combined, the color changes.
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Starbucks and other chains have interpreted this to mean adding a splash of espresso to a lot of milk, while the traditional way is adding a tiny bit of milk to a shot of espresso.
“My favorite is when you work at a real coffee shop, and someone comes in and orders a macchiato,” she explained.
“You ask them if they want a traditional macchiato or a ‘Starbucks macchiato,'” she continued. “They say, ‘What’s the difference?’ I say, ‘A traditional macchiato is a shot of espresso with a dollop of foam on top … and a ‘Starbucks macchiato is like a caramel latte.'”
She also noted that the traditional drink — about the size of an espresso shot — is much smaller than the Starbucks version.
“They say, ‘I’ll take a traditional macchiato.’ So I make it for them, and when I hand it to them, they go, ‘That’s not what I wanted,'” she said.
The result is that the barista always ends up having to make them a Starbucks-style macchiato anyway. Some people in the comments noted that Starbucks does offer a lesser-known “espresso macchiato” that is the traditional version.
“I worked at a real coffee shop down the street from a Starbucks in a tourist trap. I know this experience too deeply,” a person commented.
“This happened to me once, but I shut up and drank it because I was more embarrassed that I didn’t know what a real macchiato was,” someone wrote.
“Ironically, Starbucks has macchiatos, and I’ve had this exact problem as a Starbucks barista,” another said.
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