I still remember being in University and going to my local Starbucks daily to study and sip on my iced coffee. It was my home-away-from-home and I found comfort in my daily caramel macchiato. Eventually, I reached a point where I needed to branch out and explore the menu.
Over the last decade, Starbucks has released numerous new items to their menu. Some have been flops, while others have become iconic. I’ve explored them all and compiled a list of what I believe to be the 15 Best Starbucks Drinks that you need to try today!
The Best Starbucks Drinks on the Menu
Old classics and new fan favorites for you to try
#1 CARAMEL MACCHIATO
The caramel macchiato has been one of Starbucks’ most popular drinks for over 25 years. It is a go-to drink for patrons (including myself) year-round and a company staple since its creation.
Inspired by a classic Italian drink and espresso macchiato which is espresso, with a small layer of steamed milk and foam. The caramel macchiato is a latte macchiato which is cold or steamed milk with a layer of espresso.
Caramel macchiatos specifical include full-bodied espresso layered on top of 2% milk (cold or steamed) with vanilla. Then it is finished off with a generous caramel drizzle.
#2 PEPPERMINT MOCHA
Since 2002 the peppermint mocha has been a holiday favorite! The combination of rich chocolate and refreshing peppermint syrups creates the perfect cozy drink on a cold winter day. According to Starbucks, the peppermint mocha is the most beloved holiday item to date.
#3 NITRO COLD BREW
Starbucks introduced Nitro Cold Brew to their menu in 2015 and it quickly became a stable menu item. It is made through a 20-hour brewing process that allows for a less bitter after-taste. The Nitro cold brew is then infused with nitrogen which creates a smooth consistency and a nice foam top layer.
This low-calorie option is packed with caffeine and flavor. You can drink it black for a smooth, refreshing, pick-me-up, or you can sweeten it with any of Starbucks’ many syrup options or add sweet cream or cold foam.
#4 FLAT WHITE
Flat whites have been staples in coffee shops throughout Europe, Australia, and New Zealand for years. In 2015 Starbucks introduced them to the rest of the world.
Flat whites feature foam-free, steamed whole milk and espresso. Instead of using standard espresso, flat whites are made with ristretto espresso which uses less water to create a more intense coffee taste with less caffeine.
Whole milk is then steamed and skillfully poured in a way that leaves the flat whites signature-centered white dot and foam-free surface.
#5 ICED WHITE MOCHA
White mochas have been a staple menu item for many years and the iced version has maintained strong popularity. The simplicity of white chocolate, espresso, and milk makes this a beautifully simple yet delicious treat.
A favorite amongst Starbucks employees, many suggest various twists on the classic. You can personalize it by adding a splash of coconut milk, cinnamon powder, or mocha drizzle. For a lower-calorie option, you can try the variation made famous on Tik Tok.
#6 PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE
No other drink on this list has had the same level of pop culture impact or notoriety as the pumpkin spice latte! Introduced to the world in 2003, it started a pumpkin spice revolution.
This sweet yet spicy treat is a fall staple due to its nostalgic flavor. It is considered by many to be an essential part of the “fall vibe.”
Other coffee shops try to replicate the iconic flavor but none have managed to outshine the original pumpkin spice latte. It is on the sweet side, but completely worth it.
#7 PUMPKIN CREAM COLD BREW
In 2019 Starbucks responded to the pumpkin spice craze with a new play on their original. A risky move considering how long the PSL has maintained popularity, but it ended up working in their favor.
The pumpkin cream cold brew combines the intense smooth flavor of a cold brew with the nostalgic spice of a pumpkin spice latte.
This is the pumpkin spice latte for those who actually want to taste the coffee in their iced coffee. The drink is simple. A classic cold brew with pumpkin-infused cold cream and spice toppings.
#8 CHESTNUT PRALINE LATTE
The chestnut praline latte was released as part of the 2014 holiday menu. It was inspired by the delicious aromas found at European holiday markets. This sweet, spicy, and slightly nutty latte oozes nostalgia and sentimentality.
If you enjoy warm and cozy flavors that aren’t overwhelmingly sweet then you might want to give this drink a try this holiday season.
#9 CARAMEL FRAPPUCCINO
Starbucks is known for their signature blended drinks are known around the world as frappuccinos. There have been many flavor combinations over the years but a tried and true classic is the caramel frappuccino.
Caramel frappuccinos are the perfect choice for those of you who are new to coffee or prefer your coffee to taste like a desert. It features a blend of buttery caramel syrup, espresso, ice, and milk. To finish, it is topped with sweet whipped cream and buttery caramel sauce.
If you know and love the caramel frappuccino, try the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino. It takes this classic drink to the next level by adding dark caramel sauce and a layer of whipped cream with crunchy caramel-sugar toppings.
#10 ICED BROWN SUGAR OAT MILK SHAKEN ESPRESSO
Introduced in the spring of 2021, the iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso is a long name that is worth memorizing! As someone who appreciates a balance of flavor in their coffee, this drink has become a personal favorite and is my new go-to drink at Starbucks.
Starbucks baristas combine their signature blonde espresso with brown sugar syrup and cinnamon then shake for a perfect blend. They then top it off with ice and oat milk for a refreshingly nostalgic taste.
#11 ICED CHOCOLATE ALMOND MILK SHAKEN ESPRESSO
Much like its brown sugar cousin, this tasty treat is a new addition that is popular amongst patrons and baristas. It features blonde espresso shaken together with chocolate malt powder and topped with ice and almond milk. It is known to have a smooth taste with a sweet finish.
Baristas suggest adding classic vanilla or toffee nut syrup or asking for a caramel drizzle to add a little extra sweetness to the drink.
A few coffee-free options…
#12 HONEY CITRUS MINT TEA
Originally known on the secret menu as Medicine Ball, this drink was created by baristas as a cold remedy. Its popularity grew and Starbucks officially added it to the menu under its new name in 2017.
The recipe consists of jade citrus mint green tea, peach tranquility herbal tea, steamed lemonade, and 2 pumps of honey blend syrup. Some will add a few pumps of peppermint for a cooling effect. The combination might sound unusual but it is popular for a reason.
#13 STRAWBERRY ACAI REFRESHER
In 2012, Starbucks added refreshers to the menu and strawberry acai flavor became a quick favorite. It is known not only for its vibrant red hue and sweet berry taste but its health and wellness benefits.
At less than 100 calories, it provides subtle caffeine from natural green coffee packaged in a sweet berry package. According to WebMD, green coffee can help people with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Making this drink delicious and nutritious.
#14 THE PINK DRINK
This social media phenomenon started out on the secret menu and gained enough notoriety that the company moved it to the main menu in 2017. This sweet yet refreshing drink is Instagram-ready thanks to its cotton candy pink hue.
The drink itself is a strawberry acai refresher with coconut milk and a scoop of sliced strawberries. It is often compared to a pink starburst not only in appearance but taste as well. It may be sweet but it still contains all the health benefits of a strawberry acai refresher.
#15 CHAI LATTE
If you are a fan of cinnamon and spice and have never tried a chai latte then you need to change that. Made with black tea infused with cinnamon, clove, and other warm spices that are combined with milk. It is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.
It can be on the spicy side so if you want to balance it out with a little sweetness baristas suggest asking for a pump of vanilla and whipped cream.
To Wrap It Up
With over 40 years of service and thousands of drink combinations options available, it is safe to say there is something for everyone. So, whether you are new to coffee, a coffee lover, or just want something to hit the spot, you will find something delicious on the Starbucks menu.