29 Best Hot Drinks at Starbucks


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.

This article is a 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 that is rich in calories. Probably not an everyday indulgence but it’s hard to keep away from its delicious sweetness.

A standard Grande (16oz) has 430 kcal and 150mg 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 black coffee lovers for a long time. Pike Place Roast is the standard Starbucks brewed coffee.

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.

Starbucks also offers blonde roast brewed coffee.

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

What a fantastic way to caffeinate without the added calories from whiteners and sweeteners.

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.

If you prefer a mellow and smooth latte without the burnt flavors of dark roast espresso, this 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 blonde vanilla latte delivers 150mg 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 190mg 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. Foamed milk 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.

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 as the pumpkin spice latte is one of Starbucks ‘ most popular holiday treats.

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. See this detailed guide to Starbucks pumpkin drinks

The PSL has no dairy-free option as the pumpkin sauce contains condensed milk as one of the main ingredients.

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

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 drink is not caramel-flavored as the caramel is nothing more than a topping.

Expect 250 calories and 150mg 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.

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.

The drink was magical with a sweet and spicy twist.

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 and it’s one of the best Starbucks hot drinks that you should try.

10. Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint hot chocolate is a holiday drink that is highly calorific and low on caffeine. It has no coffee and the caffeine is from the chocolate. The calories in a Grande cup are 440 and the caffeine content is 25mg.

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

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.

This drink 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 drinks, you can order them all year round as 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 is the drink for you 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 drinks sizes here.

Did you know that although Starbucks peppermint mocha is a holiday drink, it is available all year round? Well, now you know.

12. Toffee Nut Latte

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.

Although most Starbucks stores in the United States no longer offer the toffee nut latte, it is still available as a holiday special in Europe and other Starbucks stores across the globe.

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

It is also known as earl grey tea latte. 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.

The drink 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.

See how to order an iced London fog tea latte with a delectable topping of Irish cream cold foam when you want the cold option.

14. Special, Molten Hot Chocolate

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

Starbucks molten chocolate comes in a trio that is comprised of a Frappuccino 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 drink 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. The drink contains 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

Starbucks has popularized serving drinks in big cups and most people assume that all drinks must fill up the cup which should not the case for espresso macchiato.

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.

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 more of a dessert than a drink.

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 whip cream for a yummier taste.

Be sure to mix the cream and espresso for a creamy texture before drinking. Add white mocha for a richer twist

18 Matcha Green Tea Latte

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

The steamed blend is then served hot in a cup.

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

Since green tea has caffeine, a 16oz cup of matcha green tea latte has 80mg 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 an English breakfast tea latte which has about 40mg of caffeine and 150 calories for a grande size.

Alternatively, order English breakfast tea with a splash of milk and no foam.

English breakfast tea with a splash of milk

20 Brown Sugar Oat Milk Latte with Blonde Espresso

This is a secret menu item as 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.

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.

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.

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 16oz cup contains 330 calories and 150mg 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 150mg 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.

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 Starbucks’ Caffe Misto.

24 Flat white

When flat white replaced cappuccino on the Starbucks menu, there was a bit of confusion with the patrons as most people did not know exactly what the new drink was.

However, since 2015 flat white has steadily grown on the patrons and 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.

The 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

28 Vanilla Creme

A vanilla creme steamer is a great option for kids and people who don’t like caffeine. 2% milk is steamed with vanilla and topped with sweet whip cream.

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

A 16-ounce grande cup of 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 when not sweetened.

Patrick

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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