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Starbucks Employee AMA

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Hey guys, seeing growing interest in Costa Beans thread I thought it might be interesting to host AMA about Starbucks in here. Let's see if anyone is interested.

 

BTW: I won't share any company secrets even though this is anonymous, just because of respect. Thanks!

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Ok... AMA

 

Sooooooo some one at Starbucks H.O orders some beans from somewhere in the world.... what happens next ?


Subjectivity is a central philosophical concept, related to consciousness, agency, personhood, amount spent, reality and truth which has been defined by various sources.

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Ok... AMA

 

Sooooooo some one at Starbucks H.O orders some beans from somewhere in the world.... what happens next ?

First there is a forecast of quantity of coffee that we need, then samples are sent to support centre where is tasted few times to check if it meets desired quality, if it does then contract is negotiated. Then there is another preshipment sample (time passed between rating the first sample) is it's approved then coffee beans are scheluded for transport. It ships to one of three destinations, roastery, aging warehouse or decaffeination facilities. When it arrives there is another qc of each lot. Then another team cups samples to ensure quality and approves or rejects it (only 1 percent is rejected). While it's held in inventory it's sampled every couple of weeks. When it's ready it's being released to roasting. Then one last qc at packaging. So beans are bought usually a year in advance and along their way tasted 26 times on average.

 

And that's book information, I haven't seen a single step in this process with my own eyes.

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What is your position within Starbucks?


'it's all about the microbubbubbles'

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Why does Starbucks taste so bad? I don't mean this to be insulting in any way. I'm wondering where in the process it goes wrong.


Vesuvius, Monolith Conical, Feldgrind

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What is the average TDS you aim for in espresso? Realistically I could test this myself but since you're here :)


beans beans the musical fruit....

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Why does Starbucks taste so bad? I don't mean this to be insulting in any way. I'm wondering where in the process it goes wrong.
The online version of:

 

No offence but....

 

And

 

With all due respect...


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the Starbucks supervisor is:

 

A) Going to believe in and enjoy their product

 

Or

 

B) Not admit any different regardless.

 

Either way it's not a constructive question in this context and I wouldn't expect a constructive answer


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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What is the average TDS you aim for in espresso? Realistically I could test this myself but since you're here :)

 

A bit open ended?


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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Why does Starbucks taste so bad? I don't mean this to be insulting in any way. I'm wondering where in the process it goes wrong.
I would definitely need more description of "bad'. You might not like it for various reasons, it's really dark dark roast, and it's such a huge company its hard to deliver fresh beans. Everyone here thinks of usable coffee within one month of roasting, here it's rare to get it that fresh, and even when it happens there is first in first out rule like everywhere in food industry, and delays in launch etc. All in all, rarely if ever you will drink a coffee that was made from beans roasted less than month ago. Another factor might be machines which are very consistent, and that's all what I could say about it.

TL:DR I can't get espresso through my throat.

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What is the average TDS you aim for in espresso? Realistically I could test this myself but since you're here :)
TDS, it's all controlled by automatic espresso machines so I'm not really able to tell. 18-23s and looks like 40g to me, but I don't know how much machine doses.

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How many baristas at so called specialty coffee shops would know the target TDS for their shots ( or the extraction yield which would be more pertinent ).


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

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Couple of actual questions now:

 

Can I have a copy of your training manual please?

 

Do you, in your position as a supervisor, get to further your skills and/or further other employees training through dedicated sessions?


'it's all about the microbubbubbles'

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My niece was a supervisor at Nero then Starbucks - both a nightmare to work in ,constant churn of staff - out of the two she rated the coffee at Nero as better as they based a standard coffee on two shots, they also graded their baristas, so they could progress to different levels, she said the gear at nero was less automated as well.

 

Was the coffee any better , no idea she was a tea drinker.


keep calm and grind flat

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My niece was a supervisor at Nero then Starbucks - both a nightmare to work in ,constant churn of staff - out of the two she rated the coffee at Nero as better as they based a standard coffee on two shots, they also graded their baristas, so they could progress to different levels, she said the gear at nero was less automated as well.

 

Was the coffee any better , no idea she was a tea drinker.

 

I worked part time at Starbucks a few years ago whilst at University and I was really disappointed with how automated the whole process was. I applied thinking I'd really fine tune my skills and learn how to make great espresso but I just learnt how to froth milk quickly and efficiently. Oh and how to deal with crazy requests and people not knowing their own name :rolleyes::rolleyes:

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@russell16688

 

What was the strangest request?


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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@StarbucksAMA How automated is the drinks process, I've been told numerous times that all (yes, all) Starbucks machines are bean to cup and require no Barista knowledge at all, how correct is this?

 

Thanks in advance.

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@russell16688

 

What was the strangest request?

 

One I always remember that I just found odd was a woman ordering a venti latte but only wanting half a shot of espresso. I remember because I had to clarify it was half of one shot and not half the number of shots. Half a shot was a bit of a pain in the backside too. Each to their own but just seemed pointless due to the sheer volume of milk in the drink.

 

Some of the other daft ones were the super extra hot ones who wanted it at crazy temperatures and complained anyway. Or the no foam folk who would complain at the smallest amount of stars foam. Obviously this was always when you were at your busiest and were trying to do multiple milks at a time.

 

I always laughed when the name thing was introduced as some people got really angry about it, some were funny with it and some got really annoyed when they had a weird spelling of a generic name and you didn't spell it right. The best however was calling someones name and drink order and them just standing there looking confused and not collecting. Several calls later and still stood there as though I was talking gibberish. Then the same person came up and asked where their drink was - clarified name and order and pointed to the drink on the top........complained it was a bit cold :(:rolleyes::eek:

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@StarbucksAMA How automated is the drinks process, I've been told numerous times that all (yes, all) Starbucks machines are bean to cup and require no Barista knowledge at all, how correct is this?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Not sure about all stores but I worked in a relatively new franchise and the machine was automated for all the espresso elements. Occasionally you'd have an interruption of service when you cleared out the dead pucks. I really wanted to prep portafilters and master it so was very disappointed with this.

 

The milk jugs were interesting though as you have specific fill lines for each drink size to minimise waste but had to work to get the foaming down. The wand was powerful though and consistent. I enjoyed making flat whites though as you had to use a normal jug for those and really have your technique down. The cup was a nightmare though as you were required to fill it to the brim. I'm awful at carrying full cups so I'd do some OK art but then spill it everywhere.

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Not sure about all stores but I worked in a relatively new franchise and the machine was automated for all the espresso elements. Occasionally you'd have an interruption of service when you cleared out the dead pucks. I really wanted to prep portafilters and master it so was very disappointed with this.

 

The milk jugs were interesting though as you have specific fill lines for each drink size to minimise waste but had to work to get the foaming down. The wand was powerful though and consistent. I enjoyed making flat whites though as you had to use a normal jug for those and really have your technique down. The cup was a nightmare though as you were required to fill it to the brim. I'm awful at carrying full cups so I'd do some OK art but then spill it everywhere.

I'm slightly shocked that you confirmed a full auto espresso machine is used.

 

Thanks, I asked because I've only ever been in a Starbucks once and that was in 2012 (I remember because I was visiting the London Olympics) when I didn't have any real interest in coffee other than drinking it and took no notice or had any interest in it being made.

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people not knowing their own name :rolleyes::rolleyes:

I drop 3 out of 7 letters of my name to make the English version of it... there's been few occasions where I got myself confused since for paperwork and all that I need my full name.

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Couple of actual questions now:

 

Can I have a copy of your training manual please?

 

Do you, in your position as a supervisor, get to further your skills and/or further other employees training through dedicated sessions?

1. I'm afraid that's impossible, everything is labeled "for internal use only"

 

2. Yes and no, there are classes held twice a quarter to improve skills and tech about the coffee, but I haven't noticed any improvement in baristas that went there. If I want I can have one on one sessions during our opening hours with any barista that I think needs some help, again "but" from my two years of experience I noticed that if someone wants to improve they will no matter what. If someone doesn't care about coffee (and there is plenty of them) they won't even if I would spend every single day with them for whole month.

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@StarbucksAMA How automated is the drinks process, I've been told numerous times that all (yes, all) Starbucks machines are bean to cup and require no Barista knowledge at all, how correct is this?

 

Thanks in advance.

100% correct, all you have to do is steam the milk and adjust the grind size (machine prompts you to do that) on stepped knobs.

 

Fun fact: yesterday I was digging deep in coffee resources manuals and I found instructions for maintenance of some La Marzocco machines and Super Jolly grinder - with things like disassembling the doser and replacing burrs. They are like 10 years old at least :)

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