What did you accomplish this weekend? Maybe you opened your pool, planted a garden, or took care of some pesky errands. Not Andrew. Andrew set what is, as far as we can determine, a world record for the most expensive drink possible at Starbucks. Tamping down the previous known record at $47.30 is the Sexagintuple Vanilla Bean Mocha Frappuccino at $54.75.
Update: on day 5, the drink is gone.
Andrew didn’t actually hand over that much money for his 128-ounce espresso milkshake. He’s a Gold member of Starbucks’ loyalty program, which entitles him to one free drink after every twelve that he buys. The free drink coupon entitles him to any drink available. Any drink? The only limits, it seems, were his imagination and what the baristas would let him get away with. They were game to let him get away with a lot.
For Andrew, taste was key. He had recently watched last year’s famous quadringoctuple frap video where another customer used a similar birthday coupon to assemble a 48-shot beverage with a bunch of other pricey substances in order to reach the mind-boggling $47 goal. Andrew’s goal was to break that record, and to produce something that’s drinkable. “The $47.30 guy put in two bananas, strawberry, matcha powder, pumpkin spice, and lots of other things that probably don’t go well together and definitely don’t go well with 40 shots of espresso,” Andrew told Consumerist in an e-mail. “They help raise the price, so I can’t fault him for the strategy, but I didn’t want to go that route.”
He had a secret weapon: a 128-ounce glass. Well, okay, more like a vase that you would fill with marbles or river rocks and use to decorate your house, but Starbucks considers it a glass for their purposes, unlike the other record-seekers who brought in a giant fishbowl. (We disqualify them from the single-drink record because a bunch of lattes in one fishbowl is not a single drink.)
The key step for Andrew’s world-record run was getting the baristas on his side. He walked up to the counter and laid out his goals. “So, this might sound a little weird, but I saw a video on youtube where a guy orders the most expensive Starbucks drink. I want to beat the record.” The cashier had seen the video, and through math and teamwork they figured out how to make a record-busting drink that would fit in his cup and break the record.
“It took a few minutes to figure out all the math, but in the end, it took about 55 shots to get us over the $50 line, and we just rounded it up to 60 to make it easy,” he explained to Consumerist. Everyone behind the counter seemed to be on board with the plan, and they produced the massive confection in about ten minutes.
“I gotta say, it was delicious,” Andrew declared. He reports that he drank maybe a third of it, then put the drink away for later enjoyment.
The key question you’re probably asking about this beverage: will it kill me? Well… maybe. Starbucks doesn’t publish information about how much caffeine is in a single espresso shot online, but estimates put it at about 75 milligrams per shot. If that’s the case, Andrew’s beverage would contain 4,500 milligrams (4.5 grams) of caffeine if made correctly. One expert told Popular Science that, not accounting for pre-existing medical conditions, a lethal overdose of caffeine for most adults would be about 10 grams. Large doses of the drug will still make you feel nervous and jumpy, affecting your blood pressure and heart, and you should not drink sixty shots of espresso in one sitting, ever.