Starbucks Barista Shares Tip on How to Get Right Amount of Ice Each Time

A Starbucks barista shared his tip for how customers can actually get light ice when they ask for it on a coffee run.

Many customers order "light ice" when getting their caffeine or sugar fix, in an attempt to get less ice in their drinks—but they don't always get it. It's a common issue for Starbucks fans, who are left with the same amount of ice, or only slightly less, despite asking for it.

In 2015, Starbucks itself tweeted advising people on how they can get less ice, tweeting: "You can order light ice or extra ice on any of our iced beverages."

But as the replies to that tweet would suggest even seven years ago, customers feel they rarely actually get it.

Barista Tony Vara, who said he works inside a Starbucks in another store, has a tip on how to make sure you actually get light ice when you order it.


Starbucks Tips & Tricks: Ordering "light ice"🧊 #starbucks #barista

♬ original sound - tony vara

"Have you ever gone to Starbucks and you order something with light ice and you feel they completely ignored your request for light ice and they just put a bunch of ice anyway?" he asks in a TikTok video with over 500,000 views.

According to Vara, the reason is that baristas follow certain measurements ruled out on a cup of where each part should go. He shows the cup with the demonstrative lines on it, showing one for juice, and a second line for lemonade and fruit—before then filling up to the final line with ice using a measuring cup.

"When you ask for light ice, they put half of it [on the measuring cup]," he adds, showing a considerable amount of ice still.

Vara instead advises customers to ask for a specific amount of ice, along the lines of: "Can I only get six pieces of ice?" However, he adds that some locations might choose to charge extra for this specification, so it will only work in some.

For many, ordering less ice is an apparent "hack" to get more of the drink itself, but its effectiveness is up for debate.

Some baristas will simply add the same amount of liquid with less ice. Others, however, will fill the cup up with the measurements of a larger drink, and then top off with ice.

Two iced coffees
Stock image of two iced coffees. Getty Images

"If people ask for light ice and get like, let's say a grande, i'll use the venti drink lines and ice up to the grande line," one user wrote.

"Wait, I make it to the trenta markings (if venti) and use the grande scoop when it's light ice," added another.

"You're supposed to fill it to the next line up for light ice, so base to the infusion, lemonade to the middle of the ice line," agreed another.

Whether it ends up in you getting more value for your money or not, asking for specific numbers of ice will seemingly actually get you real "light ice."

Newsweek has contacted Vara for comment.