Sameera planned carefully for her attempt at breaking a world record. She obtained permission from the store where her attempt would take place, and even made sure to alert media outlets ahead of time. She even brought the proper equipment and a support team. What record was she out to break? She sought to make the most expensive single free Starbucks drink of all time. Update: Yeah, about that record…
The initial cash register total was more than $60, but somehow scanning her rewards card brought the total down to $57.75. You know, only $57.75. Finally, scanning her coupon for a free drink brought the total down to zero.
The previous record, as you may have learned from Consumerist or from hundreds of other news outlets, was set in May with a $54 frozen drink concoction made from 60 shots of espresso and a lot of very delicious, very sweet things.
World records, of course, are set only to be broken, and Sameera decided to make a run at this one. “I asked the baristas if this was okay, and they spoke with the manager who also said it would be fine,” she wrote to Consumerist. “I waited till just before closing time so that I wouldn’t be inconveniencing the baristas while they’re attending to customers. They were really excited about making the drink as well, so that was pretty cool.” That’s important: if the store staff found the request daunting, obviously one shouldn’t complete the attempt.
We at Consumerist are apparently now the governing body of attempts at the world’s largest free drink from Starbucks. It turns out that the comprehensive rankings are on this post at Caffeine informer. We’ve talked to Starbucks and await their response. They did not publicly approve of the previous attempt, at least on the corporate level. We will update this post when we find out what they have to say about this super-beverage. We heard back from Starbucks. Their position on the record-breaking beverage phenomenon is that it is technically against Starbucks’ own policies to serve blended drinks by the vat: a Frappuccino, which this beverage theoretically started as, can’t be served in a container larger than 24 ounces. Also, they don’t think that Sameera’s beverage would taste very good, though they put it in more polite terms.
Here’s the written statement they sent us:
With over 170,000 ways to customize beverages at Starbucks, we know that personalization is a big part of the Starbucks Experience for both our customers and our partners (employees), however this particular customization was excessive and something that we do not encourage. We want to ensure our customers receive the highest quality and most delicious tasting food or beverage products from us and, we don’t believe that this particular beverage choice was reflective of that.
Per our existing policy, beverages larger than Trenta size (31 oz.) cannot be made or served. This includes personal cups that exceed 31 oz (or a Trenta-sized cup). For blended beverages and espresso drinks, those cannot be made or served in sizes larger than a Venti (24 oz cold cup/20 oz hot cup).
Maybe the next challenge should be to try all of the chain’s claimed 170,000 possible combinations. That would take you about 466 years. Drink up!