It is a beautiful day at Kean University. The sun is shining, birds are chirping and students are walking left and right past the clock tower at the heart of campus.
Students are wearing their letters to represent their Greek organization, athletes are wearing clothing representing their sport and students are scattered about reading, doing homework and playing Frisbee. But there is one thing in common with most of these students: they are either holding a Starbucks cup or there is one sitting close by within arms reach.
If students recognize KU for one thing, it may be its iconic Starbucks. Cold drinks, hot drinks, snacks and more, Starbucks is the one-stop shop for a student's food and beverage needs.
Anna Pasek, a barista at Kean's Starbucks located in the Nancy Thompson Library, finds that the drinks students order most often are the Caramel Frappuccino or the Caramel Macchiato. Basically anything caramel is popular.
"I've been working with Starbucks for nearly eight years, five years at this location, so I tend to create my own drinks," Pasek said. "I'll have a Passion Tea Lemonade with raspberry and mango syrup and a splash of Cool Lime Refresher."
But there is more than meets the eye on the Starbucks drink menu and students do not have to be a barista to get creative and make their own drinks. Students can also order drinks from the "Secret Menu."
"People request things from the secret menu constantly, which isn't promoted by Starbucks," Pasek said, "[they] usually ask for the 'Pink Drink,' which is a Strawberry Acai Refresher with coconut milk."
Pasek said that as long as Starbucks has the ingredients, they can make any drink a student's heart desires.
Speaking of ingredients, there are several ingredients that Starbucks has discontinued, which limits their "Secret Menu" drink options. The orange mango puree, Valencia Orange Refresher and bananas are several of the ingredients Starbucks Kean location does not offer.
Pasek added that typically Starbucks should have bananas, but Kean does not carry them, as smoothies are not that popular at this location.
"The only drinks we tend to turn down are the ones that ask for pastry items to be blended in," Pasek said. "Unless Starbucks sends us notice, we are not allowed to blend things like brownies, madeleines, cookies, etc. into any frappuccino."
Working at Starbucks for as long as Pasek has, employees get tired of the same old drinks.
"Feel free to stray from the Starbucks menu, or maybe add your own twist to a secret menu drink," Pasek said.
Students have the option to create drinks by combining Iced Tea Lemonades with Starbucks Refreshers or adding flavors like mango, peach or raspberry to their favorite drinks.
"It also works the same for iced, hot or frappuccino beverages," Pasek said. "You could ask for a Caramel Frappuccino with java chips and toffee nut syrup."
There are millions of options for "Secret Menu" drinks and many websites provide lists of the drinks and the ingredients for how to make them.
For some drink-spiration, simply search on Google "Starbucks Hidden Menu" to find creative drink ideas like the 32 found in an article on Glamour.com.