I want to leave some room at top, so I can add milk later.

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WritingAPuppy

Senior Member
canada mandarin
Hi.

When I go to Starbucks, I want the clerk to not fill up my cup entirely/want her to leave some room at top, so I can add milk later. How do I say this, in a completely normal way, I dont want people to be able to tell that I am not a native speaker, I am very sensitive about it :)

Thanks.
 
  • Driven

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    "Please don't fill it all the way to the top." (You could expand if you wish: "Please don't fill the cup all the way to the top so I have room to add milk. Thanks."
     

    Trinibeens

    Senior Member
    NYC
    U.S. English
    Hi.

    When I go to Starbucks, I want the clerk to not fill up my cup entirely/want her to leave some room at top, so I can add milk later. How do I say this, in a completely normal way, I dont want people to be able to tell that I am not a native speaker, I am very sensitive about it :)

    Thanks.
    As I personally often encounter this issue, I find there's no easy way to say it. I usually say, "Don't fill it up," which garners a quizzical look from the barrista/server, to which I reply, "I need room to add milk."
     

    nzseries1

    Senior Member
    New Zealand - English
    No, there isn't. You are confusing the "latte" things that Starbucks sells with the plain coffee that Starbucks also sells. There is no milk in the plain coffee.
    Well my reply to this would be: If you want to add milk to a black coffee, why didn't you just buy one of the white coffees?

    Granted, I'm not a coffee expert, but this seems silly to me.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Leave room for milk please.
    Where I buy coffee, this would be the completely normal way to say it. I think it would work anywhere.

    Sometimes the whole phrase is shortened to "Room please". Or the person who is taking the order asks "Room?" It took me a while to catch on to that question, and I'm a native speaker.
     

    Avignonais

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, Anglophone
    I agree with Cagey's response. Here we are not talking about English, we're talking about Starbucks English. I have said before "With room" or "extra room" or "lots of room". And they have understood perfectly. Sometimes I have had to say, "Americano, three-quarters full" or "Americano in a short cup" or a "short Americano"

    Americano, for those not familiar, is shots of espresso with hot water added.
     

    tomandjerryfan

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    Hi.

    When I go to Starbucks, I want the clerk to not fill up my cup entirely/want her to leave some room at top, so I can add milk later. How do I say this, in a completely normal way, I dont want people to be able to tell that I am not a native speaker, I am very sensitive about it :)

    Thanks.
    Another (quite casual) option:

    Could you not fill it all the way, please?
    A coffee, three-quarters full please.

    Or if you want to expand:
    I'd like a coffee, please. But don't fill it all the way, because I might want to add milk later.

     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Well my reply to this would be: If you want to add milk to a black coffee, why didn't you just buy one of the white coffees?

    Granted, I'm not a coffee expert, but this seems silly to me.
    "One of the white coffees" will include hot milk. Black coffee with added cold milk is not the same thing at all :)
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Well my reply to this would be: If you want to add milk to a black coffee, why didn't you just buy one of the white coffees?

    Granted, I'm not a coffee expert, but this seems silly to me.
    And do you also expect them to put the sugar in it for you, too?

    I don't know why you think this is silly; it is entirely normal and common for coffee shops to provide their patrons who buy coffee (which comes black) with containers of cold milk or cream and to let the patrons add which and how much they want, just as they do with the sugar, and the nutmeg, and the cinammon, and the coacoa powder that are also there on the side at Starbucks.
     

    languageGuy

    Senior Member
    USA and English
    I go to Starbucks twice a day, every day, and know the lingo pretty well. I agree that 'room' is the term heard most. I would say, "I'll have a coffee with room."

    Starbucks will put the sugar in for you, if you ask. The main difference between milk drinks and black coffee is that the milk drinks (latte, cappacino) are made with expresso shots, and the milk is heated. Black coffee is just regualr 'drip' coffee.
     

    Taylorbarbarita

    New Member
    English
    Hi.

    When I go to Starbucks, I want the clerk to not fill up my cup entirely/want her to leave some room at top, so I can add milk later. How do I say this, in a completely normal way, I dont want people to be able to tell that I am not a native speaker, I am very sensitive about it :)

    Thanks.
    I work in Starbucks and customers say “ room for milk” example at filter coffee or americano or english breakfast tea
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    1. Regarding post #9: the difference between a drink such as a latte and adding milk to regular coffee is that regular coffee is not made with espresso. Espresso may be made from the same beans as regular coffee, but they are roasted differently, they are ground differently, and the drinks are prepared differently. The taste is therefore quite different even if the milk is the same.

    2. You can say "leave room for milk," "leave space for milk," or any of several other things. Starbucks baristas hear many variations on this.

    3. If you want to get all the coffee you're paying for, ask for a grande in a venti cup or a tall in a grande cup. You'll get plenty of room for milk, and you won't have to accept less coffee in order to have it.
     
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