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This genius Starbucks hack cuts the price of a latte in half


Starbucks can be an expensive addiction, but for those of us who’ve already dipped our toes into the blonde espresso pool — there’s no turning back. The chain’s loyalty program is cool, because after you acquire 125 points (you earn 2 for every $1 spent), you get a free reward. But what if I told you that you don’t need to spend $62.50 to cut down your coffee cost?

Kelsey Kotzur, an account associate at Haddad Brands in New York City, gets a venti vanilla latte every morning. During colder months, the milk-to-espresso ratio for hot lattes is picture perfect, but when spring and summer roll around, Kotzur says her iced lattes are overpowered by dairy.

“I get that the point of a latte is to pair espresso with milk, but not when it’s a 90/10 split of milk to espresso,” the 24-year-old told The Daily Meal. So, she asked several Starbucks baristas for help. One worker suggested asking for extra ice and another told her to ask the cashier to fill the milk to the second line on a venti cup. Normally, dairy is filled to the third line for that size.

Kotzur says these solutions only worked the way she envisioned them to about 10 percent of the time. On every other occasion, her morning coffee had to be choked down or it ended up in the trash.

“I have spent so much money on these drinks to just not enjoy them or throw them out completely,” the Brooklynite said. Venti iced lattes are $5.93 each, which can be deadly to your wallet if they’re purchased every workday.

After complaining to her boyfriend, Jared Masinton, about these frustrations, he suggested this simple solution: Order an iced triple espresso with six pumps of vanilla syrup in a venti cup, and just put in your own milk. Iced drinks don’t use steamed milk because that kind of defeats the purpose, so pouring in your own or requesting a side from the barista just skips the middle man. Whole, skim, and non-dairy options are usually available by the sugars and napkins, anyway.

This semi-DIY iced latte has the same ingredients as a regular one and only costs $3.43. So if you buy a regular flavored latte every weekday, this hack will save you $12.50 a week. That’s enough for at least three more coffees! Plus, you’ll get the drink you truly wanted and will be able to sip it until the very last drop.

Of course, this experiment was done in the Big Apple, where sales tax is nearly 9 percent, but the price difference shouldn’t vary much nationwide. The common person’s luxury coffee just became more affordable, folks. For more ways to hack Starbucks beverages, here are the chain’s super-secret menu items and how to order them like a pro.