29 Best Hot Drinks at Starbucks in 2022 (Suggested by Baristas)

Starbucks boasts an array of coffee and non-coffee hot drinks which include year-round treats and a few seasonal specials. Some of these seasonal offerings have become part of the most popular Starbucks drinks. There are also some secret menu specials that taste so good!

We tried dozens of Starbucks hot drinks and collaborated with our barista friends to come up with this complete guide to the 29 best hot drinks at Starbucks.

best hot drinks at Starbucks

1. White Chocolate Mocha (White Mocha)

Starbucks white chocolate mocha is a smooth and creamy delight. Probably not an everyday indulgence due to its high-calorie content but when you try it, you will have trouble keeping away from its delicious sweetness.

A standard Grande (16 oz) has 430 kcal and 150 mg of caffeine.

White chocolate mocha blends Starbucks espresso, white chocolate sauce, and steamed milk, and is topped with whipped cream.

As with the other Starbucks best drinks, you can customize a white mocha for a skinny or thicker option by swapping the two percent milk with nonfat milk, dairy-free milk, or heavy cream.

You can also swap half the pumps of the sweet white mocha with regular mocha to cut down on the sugar. The drink will be in between a white mocha and a classic mocha and is known as a black and white mocha or tuxedo mocha.

The default sprinkles for a black and white mocha are the seasonal chocolate sequins which you can substitute with chocolate curls or mocha drizzle when the sequins are out of stock.

Personally, I like to have my white mocha dusted with cinnamon powder for that sweet citrusy aroma.

For a stronger cinnamon flavor, you can request that cinnamon dolce syrup or powder be steamed into the drink during preparation.

popular hot drinks at Starbucks
White Mocha dusted with powdered cinnamon

2. Brewed Coffee (Pike Place Roast)

Starbucks brewed coffee has been a hit with low-calorie, black coffee lovers for a long time. Pike Place Roast is the standard Starbucks brewed coffee.

If you love black coffee, a cup of Starbucks Pike Place can ease you into the hot coffee menu.

It is brewed with high-quality coffee beans and has rich notes of toasted nuts and cocoa which are synonymous with the coffee beans from Latin America. You can add your choice of flavored syrup such as classic syrup, vanilla bean, or brown sugar. You can also add a splash of heavy cream.

Starbucks also offers blonde roast brewed coffee.

A Grande size of Starbucks Pike Place Roast has 310 mg of caffeine as compared to 360 mg for blonde roast brewed coffee.

3. Blonde Vanilla Latte

Blonde vanilla latte is made with blonde espresso beans and the espresso blends with vanilla syrup and silk-smooth milk foam. This drink is up there with the caramel macchiato as one of the best hot coffees at Starbucks.

If you prefer a sweet, mellow, and smooth latte without the burnt flavors of dark roast espresso, a blonde vanilla latte is just what you need.

Between the sweetness of steamed milk and vanilla syrup and the mellow blonde espresso, you need not dollop your drink with extra sweeteners and flavors.

However, customization options abound to cut down or increase the caffeine content and calories. A grande cup of this sweet hot coffee from Starbucks delivers 150 mg of caffeine and 250 calories.

4. Honey Almond Milk Flat White

This is an all-year-round creamy and nutty drink with the sweetness of honey.

Steamed almond milk is added to ristretto and sweetened with a honey blend. The result is a caffeinated flat white with moderate calories.

Ristretto shots are smoother than regular espresso.

A 16fl oz cup of almond milk honey flat white has 170 calories and 190 mg of caffeine.

5. Chai Tea Latte

Chai tea latte is a toothsome coffee-free indulgence. However, do not let the absence of coffee deceive you as the grande cup of Starbucks chai tea latte delivers 95mg of caffeine.

This caffeine content is similar to the caffeine in an 8oz cup of regular coffee.

Starbucks uses a special sweetened black tea concentrate that is infused with spices such as cinnamon and clove. The drink also gets equal parts of steamed milk and hot water. A thin layer of milk foam is added for a creamy finish.

For a bigger pick-me-up caffeine effect, you can add espresso shots to a regular chai latte to make a dirty chai latte. Chai tea latte is creamy, sweet, and spicy.

6. Caffe Mocha

What is Mocha? Mocha is a latte-like drink that involves adding bittersweet chocolate sauce, steamed milk, and espresso. The drink can be topped with sweetened whipped cream for a creamier finish.

The difference between cafe mocha (regular mocha) and white mocha is that white mocha uses white chocolate sauce whereas regular mocha uses regular/dark chocolate sauce.

This makes cafe mocha darker than a white mocha. See other chocolate drinks from Starbucks.

Starbucks Caffe Mocha Grande size has 370 calories and 175mg of caffeine.

7. Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL)

Most Starbucks patrons and baristas will agree that any list of good Starbucks hot drinks that omits the PSL is incomplete. The pumpkin spice latte is one of Starbucks ‘ most popular holiday treats. It’s easily the best hot coffee for the fall season.

The warming spices in the PSL add to its allure among the customers.

Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte as a Thanksgiving treat and it has continued to be such a hit that it comes back towards the end of August every year.

For nearly two decades, the popularity of the PSL has endured, perhaps, due to the pumpkin pie which is a staple for the Thanksgiving festivities.

For this flavorsome drink, Starbucks combines espresso, steamed milk, pumpkin spice sauce, and vanilla syrup. The drink is topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices – ginger, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon are sprinkled on the cream.

The result is a sweet and slightly spicy latte with a nuanced fragrance. Pumpkin spice latte is popular with people who do not like the overwhelming taste of coffee.

Over the years, the popularity of this latte has influenced the growth of pumpkin drinks at Starbucks into an extensive menu. Pumpkin spice drinks have become part of the best Starbucks drinks.

See this detailed guide to pumpkin spice beverages from Starbucks.

The PSL is not dairy-free as the pumpkin sauce contains condensed milk.

A 16 fluid ounces cup of the PSL with two shots of espresso, 2 percent milk, four pumps of the sauce, and whipped cream delivers 150mg of caffeine and 390 calories.

8. Caramel Macchiato

Caramel macchiato is the best hot coffee drink at Starbucks. The fusion of espresso, caramel sauce, and vanilla is brilliant. Ask for extra caramel which comes at no extra cost.

For this delicious treat, steamed milk is added to vanilla syrup before adding foam. Espresso is then added to “mark” the milk and is topped with caramel drizzle.

This delicious beverage is not caramel-flavored as the caramel is nothing more than a topping. Also, it does not have whipped cream. The topping is milk froth and caramel.

There are 250 calories and 150 mg of caffeine in a grande cup of caramel macchiato.

Do not confuse the caramel macchiato with a caramel latte which involves adding steamed milk over espresso and caramel syrup. Caramel macchiato is the best-selling hot coffee drink and the caramel latte doesn’t even come close.

We have a handy guide to all the sauces and syrups from Starbucks that you should read.

Starbucks best hot drinks
Starbucks caramel macchiato

9. Cinnamon Dolce Latte With White Mocha Sauce

I recently tried the cinnamon dolce latte and I did not like it. The barista recommended swapping two to three pumps of the cinnamon dolce syrup with three pumps of white mocha for a Venti.

It was magical with a sweet and spicy twist. See this article which explains the pumps of syrup at Starbucks.

When adding white mocha sauce, keep the cinnamon dolce sprinkles and whipped cream and your cinnamon dolce latte just got better.

This drink is also known as a snickerdoodle latte. The delectable fusion of white mocha and cinnamon dolce makes this hot coffee drink a must-try.

10. Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint hot chocolate is an indulgent holiday beverage that is low on caffeine. It has no coffee and the caffeine comes from the chocolate. The calories in a grande cup are 440 and the caffeine content is 25 mg.

Starbucks usually launches the campaign for peppermint hot chocolate around early November as part of its peppermint holiday beverages.

This tooth-some drink involves combining peppermint syrup, dark mocha sauce, and steamed milk. The toppings consist of sweet whipped cream and dark chocolate curls.

It has an intense chocolatey and minty flavor and has elicited split reviews among the customers. Its lovers can not get enough of it whereas the detractors can’t stand it.

If you do not fancy the taste of mint in your hot chocolate, you may want to go for a regular hot chocolate.

For white chocolate snobs, you can order a peppermint white hot chocolate and the barista will swap the dark chocolate sauce with white mocha sauce for your holiday treat.

Despite the peppermint drinks being marketed as limited edition holiday specials, you can order them all year round. Peppermint syrup is available throughout the year.

11. Peppermint Mocha

Peppermint mocha is another delectable holiday treat that blends espresso, steamed milk, peppermint syrup, and sweet mocha sauce. The topping is whipped cream and dark chocolate curls.

If you have a sweet tooth and you do not like to taste espresso, this beverage is a good choice as the peppermint flavor masks the bitterness of the espresso.

16 fluid ounces (grande size) of peppermint mocha have 440 calories and 170mg of caffeine.

See the Starbucks drink sizes here.

12. Toffee Nut Latte

The toffee nut latte is an unbeatable Starbucks hot drink for the holidays.

The rich and buttery toffee nut syrup pairs well with your coffee as it complements the deep coffee flavors and the sweetness of steamed milk. A topping of whipped cream and toffee nut sprinkles completes this smooth treat.

Toffee nut is a must-try holiday flavor and it’s mouthwatering, especially with oat milk.

If you are a nuts snob or you like a bigger nutty flavor, the chestnut praline latte is a great choice.

See, below, the picture of my toffee nut latte served in the signature Starbucks red holiday cups.

Starbucks best hot drinks
Toffee nut latte in a Starbucks holiday cup

13. London Fog Tea Latte

Starbucks’ hot drinks menu is not just about coffee. It also has delicious hot beverages without coffee.

If you can not stand coffee, the London fog tea latte might interest you as it is made by mixing earl grey and steamed milk and sweetening with vanilla syrup. It is also known as earl grey tea latte.

It has subtle floral notes of lavender and bright citrusy notes.

A Grande size of London fog tea latte consists of only 40mg of caffeine and 180 calories. You can make a dirty London fog by adding espresso for a bigger pick-me-up effect.

If you want to try an indulgent iced version of this beverage, see the ordering guide.

14. Special, Molten Hot Chocolate

This is a seasonal twist that usually comes out in February. Although most Starbucks stores no longer sell this drink, some individual licensed stores still bring it back.

Starbucks molten chocolate comes in a trio that is comprised of a blended drink and two hot drinks – molten hot chocolate and molten chocolate latte.

Molten hot chocolate is more popular than the other two. Starbucks molten hot chocolate is a combination of bittersweet mocha sauce which is steamed with milk and added to melted java chips.

The beverage is topped with espresso-infused chocolate-flavored whipped cream and a drizzle of mocha and espresso (decaf ristretto).

Since the special whip cream that is infused with chocolate and espresso is likely to be unavailable in most stores, you can substitute it with regular whipped cream.

What a way to express love with this decadent drink. Starbucks molten hot chocolate tastes more like chocolate than espresso.

15. Honey Citrus Mint Tea

Also known as a medicine ball, honey citrus mint tea was initially on the Starbucks secret menu before it was mainstreamed in 2017.

Most of its popularity is down to its reputation as a cold buster. This warm drink has steamed lemonade, hot water, Teavana peach tranquility herbal tea, and Teavana jade citrus mint green tea. You also get one or two honey packs.

The result is a honey-minty flavor with some sourness from the lemonade. You can add a pump of peppermint syrup at the risk of super-sweetening the drink.

Honey citrus mint tea is a popular Starbucks hot drink in winter and throughout the year.

16. Espresso Machiatto

Sometimes, “Good things come in small portions”.


Starbucks has popularized serving drinks in big cups. Some people also assume that all drinks must fill up the cup. Well, espresso macchiato is different!

Espresso macchiato is a less than four ounces drink consisting of shots of espresso with a spoonful of steamed foam at the top.

Espresso macchiato can have anywhere from one to four or more shots of espresso but the amount of foam largely remains the same unless you request more foam when placing your order.

This drink has very few calories as a quad espresso macchiato has 25 calories only. This makes it one of the best Starbucks coffee drinks because it is delicious and caffeinating without unhealthy calories.

You are likely to be charged extra if you request the espresso to be poured from the top as some baristas will ring the drink in the register like a latte. Lattes usually cost at least a dollar more than the standard espresso macchiato.

17. Espresso con Panna

Espresso con Panna is simply espresso with whipped cream. It’s also called doppio con Panna which means two espresso shots with whip cream. It is a delicious warm coffee treat from Starbucks which is more of a dessert than a beverage.

Some people prefer an upside-down espresso con Panna where whip cream goes into the cup first and espresso is poured over the whip. The upside-down version reduces the harshness of espresso.

Starbucks regular whip cream is already sweetened and you can substitute it with cold brew whipped cream for a yummier taste.

Be sure to mix the cream and espresso for a creamy texture before drinking. You can add the white mocha sauce for a richer twist.

18. Matcha Green Tea Latte

Starbucks matcha green tea latte is made by adding pre-sweetened matcha powder to milk and then steaming the mixture.

The steamed blend is then served hot in a cup.

For most regions except Canada and a few others, matcha green tea latte is already sweetened so we do not recommend adding sweeteners.

Match powder is caffeinated. A 16 oz cup of matcha green tea latte has 80 mg of caffeine and 240 calories.

19. English Breakfast Tea

English breakfast tea is a popular blend of tea and is available at Starbucks as either plain black tea, a latte, or a simple black tea with a splash of hot milk.

Starbucks royal English breakfast tea is a special blend of black teas from Sri Lanka and India. It is so smooth that you can enjoy it as black tea.

For a creamier texture and a softer taste, you can order the English breakfast tea latte which has about 40 mg of caffeine and 150 calories for a grande size.

Alternatively, order English breakfast tea with a splash of milk and no foam. This is my go-to warm tea from Starbucks.

English breakfast tea with a splash of milk

20. Brown Sugar Oat Milk Latte with Blonde Espresso

This is a secret menu coffee. It is the hot version of the iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso. It is one of Starbucks’ best drinks when made correctly.

To order a brown sugar oat milk latte with blonde espresso, ask for a blonde latte with brown sugar syrup and cinnamon powder topping.

If you prefer less milk and more coffee, order a Blonde Americano with a splash of oat milk, two pumps of brown sugar syrup, and topped with cinnamon powder.

See other nut milk drinks that you can get at Starbucks.

21. Chestnut Praline latte

Chestnut praline is an underrated holiday flavor that you should get your hands on. It tastes like honey nut cheerios or Golden Grahams. It’s one of our favorites on Starbucks’ hot coffee menu for the festive season.

***Quick Fact: Pralines are creamy sweets made with nuts and sugar.***

Chestnut Praline latte with nut milk brings out the nutty flavors which is a plus for those who like nuts. If you like toffee nut latte, you should probably try chestnut Praline.

The praline crumbs toppings add to the festive outlook of this delight. See other delectable toppings that you should try from Starbucks.

Another great way to level up a chestnut Praline latte is by adding equal pumps of chestnut Praline and white mocha syrups.

Personally, I rate the chestnut Praline latte higher than caramel brulee due to its delicious nutty flavor and fewer calories. A 16 oz cup contains 330 calories and 150 mg of caffeine.

22. Caramel Brulee Latte

This is another holiday drink that has continued to gain popularity among Starbucks holiday patrons.

When making this drink, the barista steams a blend of milk and caramel brulee sauce and adds the steamed milk to espresso shots. Sweet whipped cream is then added and topped with caramel Brulee crumbs.

A Grande caramel brulee latte has 410 calories and 150 mg of caffeine.

23. Caffe Misto

Caffe Misto is a superb choice for brewed coffee lovers who want a softer alternative to Pike Place Roast and blonde roast brewed coffee.

*** Did you know that you can get Caffe Misto for free at Starbucks?***

This half milk half coffee drink is about a dollar cheaper and has fewer calories than a latte. My favorite combo syrup for the Caffe Misto is equal pumps of hazelnut and vanilla bean powder.

16 ounces of Caffe Misto contain 150 mg of caffeine.

See our comprehensive guide to misto coffee.

24. Flat white

When flat white replaced cappuccino on the Starbucks menu, there was a bit of confusion among the customers, especially in North America. Most people did not know exactly what the new drink was.

However, since 2015 flat white has steadily grown on the patrons and has become one of Starbucks’ popular hot drinks.

Flat white is similar to a latte except that it has a much thinner layer of microfoam than a latte and uses ristretto shots instead of the standard espresso shots. Ristretto shots have a sweet coffee flavor.

This hot drink has more milk than a latte due to the light layer of foam.

Starbucks flat white is made with whole milk and is a smooth and creamy drink. It is one of my go-to drinks when you want a smooth drink without adding sugar.

Read more about Starbucks flat white coffee.

25. Americano

When American soldiers first encountered espresso, some of them found it too strong and they would cut espresso shots with hot water. This gave birth to Caffe Americano or American coffee.

For black coffee and espresso lovers, Americano is fresher than Starbucks brewed coffee. Starbucks Americano is way smoother and tastes much better than their brewed coffee.

Hot black coffee doesn’t get better than Caffe Americano.

26. Undertow Coffee

The secret menu undertow coffee is a short cup of cold milk with espresso poured over the top on the back of a cold spoon so that the espresso floats delicately on the milk.

This creates a hot and cold drink sensation. Undertow coffee is usually sweetened with vanilla or your choice of flavor. The hot and cold sensation gives it a balanced warming effect. Try this warm beverage and it could easily become a new favorite.

Read the complete Starbucks undertow guide.

27. Caramel Apple Spice

Starbucks caramel apple spice is a superb choice to get some holiday action when you want to stay away from the fall coffee drinks.

It’s a favorite non-coffee hot drink for many customers. It is, essentially, steamed fruit juice with tasty flavors and whipped cream.

Steamed apple juice is sweetened with cinnamon dolce syrup and topped with whip cream and caramel drizzle.

You can switch up your caramel apple spice by substituting cinnamon syrup with either chai or brown sugar syrup.

You can also substitute caramel drizzle topping with cinnamon dolce dustings or crunchy caramel-sugar topping for a more decadent twist to this handcrafted Starbucks drink.

28. Vanilla Creme

Starbucks warm drinks for kids include vanilla creme steamer. This beverage is also a great choice for people who don’t like caffeine. It is made with steamed 2% milk with vanilla and topped with sweet whip cream.

If you are ordering vanilla creme for your child, request that it’s made at kids’ temperature so that it’s warm and not piping hot.

You can switch up your vanilla creme by topping it with caramel drizzle or crunchy caramel sugars.

A 16-ounce grande cup of this zero-caffeine vanilla creme has 350 calories.

29. Mint Majesty

This caffeine-free herbal tea is a blend of mint and lemon verbena. It has zero calories before adding any sweetener or flavor.


Patrick is first a coffee lover and then a trained barista. His bucket list includes sky diving and sipping on Java in the Himalayas.

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