Remember the days when you walked into a New England coffee shop and ordered a 'regular'?  That meant you wanted coffee with one sugar and cream.

Some shops still have the basics of coffee, and you can say "I'll have a regular", and they know exactly what you mean.  However, in the world of satisfying the customer at all costs, coffee shops like Starbucks offer any combo imaginable.

angelica reyes via unsplash.com , laura chouette via unsplash.com
angelica reyes via unsplash.com , laura chouette via unsplash.com
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Oh, and there's something mysterious about the Starbucks menu.  Perhaps you never noticed before.  It happens when you're in line and about to order.

Suddenly, you hear an order you're sure is not on the menu.  You review the menu over and over, but can't find it anywhere.

Here's an example of what I am talking about.  On the Rochester, New Hampshire Starbucks Facebook page, there's a photo of the season Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino drink.   Looks good, right?

Rochester NH Starbucks via Facebook
Rochester NH Starbucks via Facebook
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But then Barb P. comments,

My favorite is a variation on this . It’s a Java chip Frappuccino with peppermint syrup, no whip. Tastes just like a York's peppermint patty. LOVE this!

Wait, Barb.  That's not on the menu.  Your 'variation' is actually a special custom order. Now that it's out there on Facebook, and the guy behind you heard your order and thought it sounded better, he orders the same custom order.  And so on and so on.

Rochester NH Starbucks via Facebook
Rochester NH Starbucks via Facebook
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Now we have a situation where this particular New Hampshire Starbucks has a java chip Frappuccino with peppermint syrup and no whip as a 'secret menu item' that enough people know about. Though not on the menu, the baristas know to make it regularly because they get so many requests for it.

Do you see how this happens?  And each Starbucks has an order that's not on the menu, but somehow becomes a fan favorite of that local Starbucks.  What does your local Starbucks secret item say about your town?

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The real question is 'Is there really a secret menu at Starbucks'?  After talking to many Starbucks baristas, the answer is no.  However, there are custom orders that catch on in certain towns, which people refer to as the secret menu.

Make sure you ask for the item in a specific way. According to tasteofhome.com, you don't order the name of the drink, but rather order the base drink, then your specific 'pumps' of flavor, and finally the add-on, like whip cream.

So for a Betty White Frappuccino, you'd order a Grand White Mocha Frappuccino with one pump hazelnut syrup and one pump vanilla syrup, with a caramel crunch topping. You would definitely not ask for a Betty White Frappuccino.

kevs via unsplash.com, mikita yo via unsplash.com, qui nguyen via unsplash.com
kevs via unsplash.com, mikita yo via unsplash.com, qui nguyen via unsplash.com
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Ask your local Starbucks barista what the popular secret item is on their menu. And be nice to them, or they could accidentally make your coffee a decaf.

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