Costa customers gobsmacked by ‘hidden code’ in logo on takeaway cups

A woman has left people gobsmacked after revealing she found a hidden ‘code’ in her Costa Coffee cup. The barista from Leeds was enjoying a takeaway drink with her friend when she noticed the ‘o’ in the shop’s logo had been coloured in on one of the lids.

Tinesha Kinley, 22, believes the code was used to identify the drink had been made with oat milk, and she reckons there’s more secret symbols. The amazed barista worked out that all the letters in Costa’s name can be used to represent the different types of milk used in the chain’s drinks.

Explaining her theory, Tinesha said: “I was in the car with my best friends driving home from London to Leeds and we got my friend who was drinking a coffee from Costa.

“She ordered an oat latte and as I was holding it in the car for her, I noticed how clever it was that instead of writing ‘oat’ on the drink, they coloured in the ‘O’ of Costa instead.

“I brought this up to my friend and that was when I realised that the letters were codes for the different kinds of milk. I thought it was so cool, especially since I’m a barista myself. It would be so quick and easy to colour in one of the letters so you know what milk has been used instead of trying to awkwardly write on the side of the cup.

“‘C’ for coconut milk, ‘O’ for oat milk, ‘S’ for soya milk, ‘T’ for traditional milk and ‘A’ is for almond milk.”

Keen to share her discovery, Tinesha posted a clip explaining the “convenient” method online, where it has since gained over 680,000 views. In response, several people claimed they had seen baristas using the same code.


A second revealed: “They did this and when I drank I got Sharpie stain on the tip of my nose and didn’t notice it until I joined a Teams call.”

Meanwhile, other commenters shared their love of the tip, with some wishing they had heard about it before. Someone said: “I’ve been working here for over a year, how have I not been doing this.”

Another asked: “Tell me why I worked at Costa and only ever noticed this and did it for coconut milk.”

A different TikTkoker wrote: “No I work there I love it, c can double up as caramel and chai, s can be skinny.”

The Mirror has reached out to Costa for comment.