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Starbucks barista shares PSA about ordering black coffee, sparks debate

“As a barista, I cannot like this video enough,” one person commented on the TikTok.
TikToker @thehighbarista's video has sparked a caffeinated debate online.
TikToker @thehighbarista's video has sparked a caffeinated debate online.@thehighbarista via TikTok / Getty Images

A Starbucks barista’s plea on social media has caused a bit of debate over whether it’s helping matters at the coffee shop — or it's just another case of online Venti-ing.

On Oct. 7, TikToker @thehighbarista, who goes by Danielle, posted a video titled "What is a black coffee" that’s attracting attention of coffee lovers on the platform. In the clip, the Starbucks barista is sharing a public service announcement to anyone relaying a certain drink to help them order it correctly, with the caption, "one of those little things that makes me internally scream."

“In case you didn’t know, when you order a black coffee that just means there’s nothing in it,” Danielle says in the video. “And so when you order a black coffee and then say you want to add sugar or cream, that’s not a black coffee anymore.”

She then pleads to any potential customers who may be watching that might not know what “black” means in a coffee context.

“Please stop tricking me and saying you wanna black coffee and then adding other things in there,” she says. “Thank you.”

Responses to the video ranged from common understanding from other Starbucks baristas to folks really not understanding what a black coffee is.

“As a barista, I cannot like this video enough,” said one commenter, adding prayer and green heart emojis.

“Exactly! I say ‘so no cream no sugar?’” added another commenter.

“I ask for black coffee and sometimes they ask ‘cream and sugar?’” commented another person, answering from the customer perspective. “I guess it’s b/c of people like this lol I never knew people did this!”

“I literally say ‘a black coffee, no cream, no sugar’ automatically now since I always get asked when I just say a black. coffee !” said another TikTok user.

“Okay but serious question, how do ppl ask for it if not this way, cause I feel like saying 'black coffee' is a starting point, then they ask for more?” asked one commenter, to which many helpful replies offered ways to phrase the request.

“For Starbucks specifically you would order a drip coffee and in the drive through ask for what you like in it, in store ask for room so you can add it,” replied one commenter.

However, some took issue with the video, saying that someone might order it that way based on what they do after they receive their coffee from their barista.

“Um. (maybe) they order black coffee then cream and sugar (because they prefer) to add it themselves,” replied one person.

“I like my cream on the side so there is reason for me saying black coffee,” said another commenter. “A lot of places I’ve been automatically put cream in unless you say black.”

“Why does it matter just give them what they order honestly,” wrote one user, to which another replied, “Facts. I used to work at Starbucks. The pretentiousness is high among baristas.”

Some had some harsh words for the original poster about the whole debate in the comments.

“Listen lady, when I pay $7 for a coffee, I can say whatever I want,” one commenter wrote. “And you will do it! that what $7 coffee means!”

“Not baristas getting upset over semantics again,” said another TikTok user. “Funny since I’m an ex barista. Seriously, you know what they want, just make it and quit crying.”

TODAY Food reached out to Danielle for comment but hasn't heard back as of this writing.

This is far from the first time a Starbucks barista has taken to social media to decry their customers' orders. In August, a Starbucks worker went viral when she posted a video about making “a grown adult their 6am milkshake" which allegedly led to the worker being released from her position amid backlash.

Those beautiful roasted beans of joy always seem to brew piping hot discussion and certainly will as long as our caffeine addictions continue to percolate.