13 Best Hot Drinks at Starbucks

Starbucks boasts of an array of coffee and non-coffee hot drinks with most of them being available throughout the year and a few seasonal specials.

This article discusses the 13 best hot drinks at Starbucks.

best hot drinks at Starbucks

White Chocolate Mocha (White Mocha)

Starbucks white chocolate Mocha is a creamy chocolatey delight that is rich in calories. Probably not an everyday indulgence but it’s hard to keep away from its delicious sweetness. A typical Grande (16oz) has 430 kcal and 150mg of caffeine.

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

As with the other Starbucks 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 one or two pumps of the sweet white mocha with regular mocha to cut down on the sugar but the drink will be in between a white mocha and a classic mocha.

Some people prefer adding sugar-free or healthier sweeteners such as stevia and honey instead of regular sugar.

Brewed Coffee

Starbucks brewed coffee has been a hit with the lovers of black coffee for a long time. The coffee is brewed with high-quality coffee beans and the standard is Pike Place roast which has rich notes of toasted nuts and cocoa.

You can also opt for a blonde roast, dark roast, or a Caffe Misto – if you want a softer drink.

A Grande size of Starbucks brewed coffee ranges from 150mg of caffeine for the Caffe Misto to 360mg for the blonde roast. The standard Pike Place roast has 310mg of caffeine.

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

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.

Almond Milk Honey Flat White

This is an all-year-round creamy and nutty drink with the sweetness of honey. Steamed almond milk is added to espresso and sweetened with a honey blend. The result is a caffeinated flat white with moderate calories.

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

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 which 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.

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 uses white chocolate sauce whereas regular mocha uses regular chocolate sauce which makes the drink a lot darker.

Cafe mocha Grande size has 370 calories and 175mg of caffeine.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL)

Pumpkin spice latte is one of Starbucks ‘ most popular holiday treats. Starbucks introduced the drink as a Thanksgiving treat and it was 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 puree, spices – nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon – and tops the drink with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices.

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.

A 16 fluid ounces cup of the PSL delivers 150mg of caffeine and 380 calories.

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.

Valentine’s 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 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).

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

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.

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.

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 topped with caramel drizzle. This drink is not caramel-flavored as the caramel is just a topping.

Expect 250 calories and 150mg of caffeine in a Grande cup. Do not confuse this drink with a caramel latte which involves adding steamed milk over espresso and caramel syrup.

Peppermint Mocha

Peppermint mocha 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. 16 fluid ounces of peppermint mocha have 440 calories and 170mg of caffeine.

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 a pack or two of honey.

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.


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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