What It Means When You Order Kids' Temperature At Starbucks

In November 2018, a confused Starbucks customer posted on the Starbucks subreddit. The issue was that they wanted their Starbucks drink to be brewed at 130 degrees Fahrenheit and had asked for "kids' temp." Eventually, however, as their requests continued, more and more baristas had no idea what was being requested of them. The customer then asked for "warm" instead, which often resulted in them being presented with coffee that scalded the inside of their mouth.

"So," one barista commented, "the gist is Bux changed the term from kid temp to warm in our registers without really giving much of an update to baristas about 3 years ago." They recommended that the customer ask for coffee at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, a specific number would be at the forefront of the worker's mind.

However, kids' temperature has not fully fallen out of use at Starbucks it seems. In late June, The Independent covered facts shared by a Starbucks barista on TikTok. She explained that kids' temperature were drinks cool enough that they could be consumed immediately — like a child would, presumably.

You're supposed to drink it that way

The strange thing about kids' temperature coffee is that it sounds like a very condescending way to describe the temperature at which coffee should be consumed. It's not a question of maturity, but taste.

However, drinking and brewing are two different acts. Little Coffee Place says you should brew coffee at a temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's too hot, the coffee will burn. And if it's too cold, you won't get any flavor. 

But when it comes to serving coffee, the temperature should be even lower. Depending on how hot you like your coffee, serving temperatures can range from 120 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Over that, the coffee is too hot to taste.

Little Coffee Place prefers a coffee to be around 140 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit as you get some heat without sacrificing flavor. Driftaway, though, argues that the band of 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is superior as this is the heat point where the flavor of coffee comes out. Indeed, Little Coffee Place accepts that "you'll pick up more of roaster's particular character and style if you let your cup cool to these lower temperatures."