Since I haven’t worked for Starbucks in, oh, a decade or so, I don’t get as many questions about their drinks as I used to. Or questions about coffee in general, for that matter. But the unrelenting flow of people to this little corner of the internet shows that people are still curious, confused, and otherwise question-filled when it comes to the big green leviathan. And I’m here to answer whatever questions y’all have.

Now, people don’t actually ask me things through this blog. Possibly because I have the spam protection turned up to 11, and possibly because I’ve hidden the associated email address and never, ever check it. But thanks to the magic of search engines, I can look into the things people have in their mind when they come here. Some of these things are already answered on the main drinks-explaining page, but some of them aren’t.

So here, in a hopefully-recurring feature, is … Reader Q&A! Where I sift through the search terms that brought people to my site and answer them directly.

Q: is iced caramel macchiato sweet
Yes, it is. You’ll have to stir the everloving hell out of it before drinking it, though, if you want the caramel to mix with the rest of the drink. Caramel sauce doesn’t dissolve very well in cold milk.

Q: can you get an iced cafe misto
Technically, yes. However, this is basically an iced coffee with milk in it, so you’d be better off getting an iced coffee with extra room for cream and just putting the milk in yourself.

Q: caffe misto with soymilk starbucks?
Huh, people actually use punctuation on Google sometimes. Yes, you can get a misto with soy milk.

Q: how to remember how to make starbucks drinks
This is the biggest question I used to get from people applying to Starbucks. It can seem overwhelming at first, looking at that menu full of drinks, but there is logic behind it. Most espresso drinks are basically based around the latte (espresso with milk). For example, a mocha is a latte with chocolate. A caramel macchiato is a vanilla latte with a little less vanilla, the shots dropped in last, and caramel syrup. An americano is a latte with hot water instead of milk, and an extra shot. Frappuccinos are based around the coffee frappuccino — and if my recent visits to Starbucks are any indication, there’s usually stickers on the wall to help you remember the recipe. Shaken drinks are (I think) based around the shaken iced tea. The amount of syrup in any given drink size usually follows a pattern too. Don’t worry, you’ll pick it up pretty quick.

Q: what is a quad macchiato
Four shots poured into a cup full of milk foam.

Q: what’s a normal coffee at starbucks
It’s called a “coffee”. I know, right? You’d never guess that you can walk up to the counter and order a “large coffee”. It’s also sometimes called a “drip”. Cups are rarely marked when someone orders a coffee, since the barista usually just turns around and pours it, but when I was working there, on the rare occasion we marked a coffee it was “COD”, for Coffee Of the Day.

Q: what is an upside down coffee?
Uh … a reason to grab a mop? Caramel macchiatos can be made upside down (with the shots first), but coffee is just coffee. There’s no way to make it upside down.

Q: chocolate macchiato upside down breve
Espresso shots and chocolate with steamed half-and-half and extra foam. Basically a breve mocha with no whipped cream. Okay, so that’s not a question … but it sounds like a tasty drink.