West Leb Life Hacks: Secrets to the New Starbucks
The Newspaper Staff Tours the New Facility and Tries Items Off the Secret Menu
This week, the staff of The Claw found themselves looking for an off-campus work space, somewhere that was a change of scenery, and if it just so happened to also offer drinks and snacks, all the better! So, we headed to the newest “place to be”, the Starbucks in West Leb.
Located on Route 12A, this Starbucks is part of a new mini-complex and is situated across the road from the shopping center that includes CVS, The Paper Store, Five Guys, and JC Penney.
The facility is cozy and definitely smaller than the Hanover location. Less comfy chairs and more individual work stations (including several small low-top tables and two long banquet tables) make this place a nice spot to get some homework done. While it is smaller than its sister store in downtown Hanover, it also sports a drive-through option. The newspaper staff agreed that this location is much more accessible as well, and it will offer an exciting new option to town trips on the weekends.
Baristas did warn us that the busiest times are noon and three o’clock, so watch out for those time windows. They also mentioned that the drive-through can be busier than the counter, so it might be worth parking and going into the store to get your caffeine fix.
Since the newspaper staff prides itself on being an intrepid bunch, we also decided to give the Starbucks Secret Menu a whirl. For those of you who don’t know what that is, the Starbucks Secret Menu is a list of items that you can request from just about any Starbucks.
Each item is made up of ingredients that the coffee chain stocks year-round. While there are many different websites that offer fun and creative options, we decided to use https://starbuckssecretmenu.net since they have an easy-to-navigate offering of themed and seasonal menus. The recipes are clear and easy to follow, and there are multiple color photos for each item.
We do need to warn you: entering our menu items took more time than it normally would to order stock items such as a pumpkin spice latte or caramel macchiato. If you have the patience to research and screenshot or print the instructions, and the disregard for causing an ever-mounting line behind you, then you will be rewarded with a one-of-a-kind drink.
We each picked out our favorite item from the extensive Secret Menu and have provided a review of each pick.
Polyjuice Potion Frappuccino: 3.5/5 Mermaids
The Polyjuice Potion Frappuccino is quite the concoction. It’s a Cherry Blossom Frappuccino (that’s a strawberries and creme fappuccino with white mocha and matcha drizzle) embellished with a shot of espresso and a pump of vanilla. With a creamy base, it is also fruity and fresh. Both the matcha drizzle and the espresso shot lend this a healthy burst of caffeine, so I could see this being a nice treat to kick off a study or work session. It’s weird…..but in a good way. It’s definitely not my new daily go-to splurge, but it’s fun and funky. Whether you’re looking to indulge your Harry Potter fix or you’re just in the mood for a quirky pick-me-up, this is a great choice. Click the link above for the recipe!
Butterbeer frappuccino: 4/5 Mermaids
The Butterbeer Frappuccino is a creme frappuccino mixed with caramel and toffee nut syrup, and is a great drink for anyone who loves either Harry Potter or caramel. The three pumps of caramel syrup in addition to caramel drizzle might be too much for people who don’t like sweet drinks, but personally I loved it. The toffee nut syrup adds a great aftertaste that always leaves you wanting more. Click the link above for the recipe!
Snowball Frappuccino: 4/5 Mermaids
The Snowball Frappuccino is a white chocolate creme frappuccino with toffee nut syrup, hazelnut syrup, and, according to the Secret Menu, a “caramel brulee topping”, though the West Leb Starbucks put a simple caramel drizzle on mine. Frappuccinos may sometimes seem like a refreshing treat reserved for the summertime, but the Snowball Frappuccino had a very wintery holiday taste (think Christmas cookies and eggnog). The nutty taste of the added syrups is really good in contrast with the sweet frappuccino base, making it not too sweet. Click the link above for the recipe!