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The unicorn frappuccino may have captured many imaginations and tastebuds since its debut April 19, but baristas are struggling to stay cool making the beverage, it seems.
The frappuccino is actually a complex beverage to make, by Starbucks' standards, and it seems that barista Braden Burson had just had enough at the end of his shift yesterday. Burson, 19, took to Twitter in a rant following the end of his shift in a video and tweet that has since gone viral although it had been deleted.
“My hands are completely sticky; I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose,” he yelled at the camera. “I have never been so stressed out in my entire life.”
Burson later admitted that the drink was "great," but it seems that the demand for it was extreme; he said that he just was frustrated with trying to prepare "20 of them" at once.
Certainly, demand for the new sweet treat at Starbucks has been incredibly high; several stores have reported running out of the complete stock of ingredients, although the beverage is supposed to be available until April 23. The recipe calls for a cream-Frap base and ice to be blended with various pumps of white mocha, vanilla syrup, mango syrup, and classic syrup, which makes up the pink part. Baristas will then layer in a sour, blue drizzle, top it off with whipped cream, and then sprinkle on pink and blue powder, which gives its sweet-sour taste.
Instead of gracing frap-lovers with its magical presence, it appears to be giving baristas headaches of mythological proportions.
The Reddit feed for Starbucks has a reddit that says "Day 1 of Unicorn Frappuccino and I wanna die." The post and its ensuing commentary leads readers to conclude that making these unicorn frappuccinos en masse in the way that baristas have had to have caused baristas grief of unprecedented proportions.
It would seem that customers are not giving their baristas an easy time of it, either.
A reddit user going by the handle "slaveofthesiren" said that, "One lady even shrieked at a barista not to put whip on her unicorn [frap]. My shift goes, "What's your name?" Customer responds with, "Gertrude!" My shift looks at the cup and goes, "Great, this drink is for Becky but when we get to Gertrude, which is five drinks down the line, I'll be sure to let them know you don't want whip.""
User throwmeaway150 said he or she "Joked that the drizzle was unicorn blood and the sprinkles, unicorn tears."
Between that and what Starbucks has been calling "fairy powder" being strewn everywhere, it's hard to imagine that baristas are not becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the incredible demand for the product. Apparently stores have been scrambling for more of the product to make the unicorn frappuccinos - many stores are running low, if they haven't run completely run out of it, and are either trying to replace it with non-Starbucks product or substitute in other syrups or powders.
As you might imagine, this has caused considerable stress for employees.
One reddit user - a Starbucks employee - voiced his unhappiness through a series of live "updates."
"We’re almost out of the blue mucus. Our cold bar counter is bright purple. One of our blenders shattered while making a unicorn with extra unicorn [material]. One of my partners is screaming.
Edit 5:30 pm: Out of blue unicorn mucus. Putting in extra blue unicorn dandruff instead. As one customer said, “as long as it looks the same!”
Edit 7:35pm: The unicorn is dead. RIP unicorn. People are rioting outside."
While Starbucks has apparently told Burson that they want to sit down with him and discuss how to make this current experience better, he said he had not yet heard from them.
Have you had your Unicorn Frappuccino yet?