Food Hack: How to Shamelessly Rip-off Starbucks using only 3-in-1 Coffee

Words: Dwight Co/Photography: Mylene Chung/Styling and Recipe Development: Katherine Jao/April 24, 2012

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Have you ever heard of the “Starbucks Scam?”

No? Here’s how it goes:

The smiling cashier dude with a green apron greets you with a Cheshire cat-like smile and asks for your drink. As you order your “usual”, he chats you up about how lovely your hair looks today or says something like “the color of the drink matches you cheeks, Madam!”.

Over the next few seconds, he continues to butter you up while he stealthily asks and receives your payment. Voila! Your money is once again gone from purchasing an overpriced cup of coffee!

The world-famous scam messes with our heads and actually make us feel good about getting ripped off. Dear lord.

While the Starbucks brand provides us with one of the greatest in-store experiences in the world, a cup of coffee should never be worth two weeks supply of Yakult.

To combat this global evil, we found a way to make you enjoy Starbucks everyday at the very comfort of your homes and offices.

Now, if you’re a bit tight on budget and want to save the world from the deception of Starbucks, you might want to try this recipe out!

3-in1 Starbucks

Yield: 2 servings


  • 2 sachets 3-in-1 coffee
  • 1 sachet Swissmiss hot chocolate
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed ice
  • 2-3 tbsp. condensed milk
  • Some whipped cream
  • Some cocoa powder


  1. Empty coffee and chocolate sachets in a cup. Add in hot water and mix well.
  2. Transfer to a blender with all the other ingredients.
  3. Blend for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve with whipped cream and a dash of cocoa powder.


  1. Adjust condensed milk according to taste. Sweetness levels may vary depending on 3-in-1 coffee brand. You can also use cinnamon or nutmeg powder to add flavor to your drink.



Dwight Co

Managing Director/Founder

When he was nine, Dwight stormed the kitchen and proudly cooked himself his first dish, Spam and eggs. Realizing his immense talent for cooking canned food, he co-founded in 2012. Aside from directing's content and design, Dwight also makes websites and runs a tiny ramen house in Burgos Circle called Wrong Ramen. See More.

  • Roanne Rae Cabradilla

    This is just lovely! I’d love to try this out! No more Starbucks Scams for me! 😀 and btw, why am I the only one commenting?! You deserve more views and comments, Mye! Hihi

    • Mylene Chung

      hahaha lol!! Thanks Rae for always commenting! I do hope more people comment as well! *Shouts out to those viewing this post!* lol!

  • JaysonNg

    comment comment. 😀 If I weren’t tamad I’d try this.

    • Mylene Chung

      hahaha! Thanks for the comment! Try it during your next lazy day in the house!:)

  • retortingjk

    Hats off! This post (actually, this entire blog) is full of win! :)

    • Mylene Chung

      Thank you so much! We really appreciate it!:D Hope to see you around more often!

  • Sydneylyn Tan

    What a great idea! :) I can even make this into a larger quantity so that I can have starbucks anytime!! :) Thank you so much!! ^.^ loving your site!

    • Mylene Chung

      Yep, you can even prepare this for parties or group meals. Thank you so much Sydney! Glad you like the site! :)

      • Sydneylyn Tan

        just tried this with my own take (without using the blender). It was so cold and gooood!!! Thank you so much for this recipe that is definitely a keeper!! ^.^ and definitely something starbucks@home!!

        • Mylene Chung

          Sounds awesome! Thanks so much for the feedback! Glad you liked it Sydney!XD

  • rvank

    I love this post. Such a great idea. And that mug looks killer. yum!

    • Mylene Chung

      Thanks Rvank! Glad you liked it! We love that beer mug too! hehe!

  • OCFoodBlogger

    This can be a great way to save money and time, instead of going to Starbucks everyday. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mylene Chung

      It’s our pleasure OCFoodBlogger! Hope to see you here more often!:D

  • Guia Obsum

    I love Starbucks but getting a cup regularly can put a dent in the wallet. This is a good alternative to try out. I love your photos, and I’m a fan of your styling. I love taking photos of food too but since I don’t cook, I mostly take photos of restaurant food, which can be a bit difficult for me since they don’t necessarily have the best lighting setup. Still got so much to learn and blogs like yours are such an inspiration. Kudos! :)

    • Mylene Chung

      Hi Guia!! Thanks so much for the kind words. I just saw your blog, your photos are beautiful considering the uncontrollable lighting conditions you are forced to work with. I love how you place text on some of your pictures making them look like posters. hehe! Glad you like our blog! Hope to see you here more often! Let’s work together on something soon!:D

      • Guia Obsum

        I’d like that working together thing, thanks! :) I would definitely be visiting often, definitely looking forward to your next posts and pretty photos. :)

  • saberkite

    I got a Starbucks mug as a gift during one birthday. I do this with all sorts of coffee, chocolate and tea drinks and pour it into my mug for a more “authentic” feel haha. And not to push a particular brand, but Great Taste’s White Coffee is lovely when it’s cold. :)

    • Mylene Chung

      lol! It does feel different when you’re drinking it in one of their tumblers or plastic cups! We’ll definitely look into Great Taste White Coffee. I’ve been stuck with Nescafe and Maxwell for the longest time! haha!

      • Cindy

        Hi, you could try Kopiko’s brown coffee. It has a nice caramel taste and is much stronger than Nescafe. :)

        • Aimee

          YES! Totally agree. I love Kopiko brown and I think it makes a great Starbs replica.

  • popazrael

    I must try this!!!!


    • Mylene Chung

      Please do! We’d love to hear your feedback!

      • popazrael

        i’ve tried it!!! its awesome!
        instead of using swiss miss…i used nesquick (3 tbsp) and a nescafe… (2 tbsp)
        i didnt tried adding some milk, whipped cream and cocoa powder …we ran out of stocks here at home

        but il try version 2 next week hehehe.

        • Mylene Chung

          Great!! I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for the feedback! At least now we know Nesquick works as a good alternative! haha!

  • Jan Michael Ting

    I need to try this. :))

    • Mylene Chung

      Do try it!! And tell us what you think!

  • Escanaoce

    This is the best food website I’ve ever read. I love this. You people are amazing. If I had a more extensive vocabulary, I’d praise you even further.


    • Mylene Chung

      Thanks so much for the kind words Escanaoce! Hope to see you here more often!:D

  • Twistedchildturnsmadmonk

     Hell yeah!

  • Joyce

    Dude! Tried this out just earlier. It’s freaking good! :) It’s easy to make to. The most interesting food website I’ve ever read :) I’m already a fan!

  • Ms Angelvelez

    awesome :-) an instant fan here. Love your shots. Love your concept. no frills. And unlike those pasosyal blogs. Will be part of my everyday read from now on. 😀

  • Carl Tomacruz

    For all the flak it’s taking, I still prefer Starbucks. They’re the only café whose toilets are decent enough for me to take a dump in.

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  • 8==D<<< :)

    8==D<<< :)

  • little lles


  • Jennylyn Dumlao

    nice one, I’ll try it..but what I love with Starbucks is the ambiance, and SB is our favorite tambayan, :)

  • elias

    huh? But whipped cream and swiss miss would already cost you more than a cup.

  • Thetrisse Ty

    Whenever I say Starbucks is overrated, people say I’m just too hipster. But it’s true!! The products are over priced for what they actually serve. I think the only reason people like it is because it’s there, that whenever you need a place to hang out with your friends or simply chill, you don’t have to go far.