Expert Recommendations: The Best Starbucks Drinks




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Are you on the hunt for the ultimate Starbucks experience? Look no further, as we’ve reached out to coffee experts and industry pros to find their top recommendations for the best Starbucks drinks.

From classic caffeinated favorites to refreshing iced concoctions, there’s a tantalizing beverage for every taste bud on this list.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the best Starbucks drink depends on factors such as preferred sweetness level, caffeine content, dietary restrictions, seasonal availability, customization options, temperature preferences, roast profile of coffee beans and personal taste.
  • Customizing your Starbucks drink is a fun experience that allows you to tweak the sweetness level, and milk type or add extra espresso shots.
  • Classic drinks like the Caramel Macchiato and Vanilla Latte are recommended by experts for their perfect balance of flavors. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is a fall favorite but can be high in sugar; however, there are healthier alternatives like switching to alternative milk options. The Java Chip Frappuccino is also a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts.
  • Alternative drinks like Cold Brew and Matcha Green Tea Latte offer unique flavor profiles and lower calorie counts than some classic beverages. The Chai Tea Latte is always comforting while Pink Drink provides an energizing boost without compromising on health goals.
Table of Contents

    The Art Of Choosing The Best Starbucks Drink

    Consider your preferred taste and caffeine level, and customize the sweetness as recommended by experts for the perfect Starbucks drink.

    Factors To Consider

    As a coffee lover, it’s essential to keep in mind certain factors when choosing the perfect Starbucks drink that caters to your taste buds and preferences. Here are some points to consider:

    1. Preferred level of sweetness: Some people love their drinks sweet, while others prefer a more subtle flavor. Be aware of how sweet you like your beverages to ensure you pick the right one.
    2. Caffeine content: Depending on whether you need an energy boost or simply want a tasty drink, choose between high-caffeinated options like espresso-based drinks or opt for decaffeinated beverages like herbal tea.
    3. Dietary restrictions: If you have any special dietary needs, such as being vegan or following a keto diet, consider searching for Starbucks drinks catering specifically to those requirements.
    4. Seasonal availability: Some favorite Starbucks drinks are only available during specific times of the year, like the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). Keep this in mind while selecting your go-to beverage.
    5. Customization options: Remember that most Starbucks drinks can be customized by changing ingredients like milk type (e.g., almond milk), adding flavored syrups, or adjusting the number of espresso shots according to your preference.
    6. Temperature: Depending on the weather and your mood, you might want either a hot beverage like an Americano or something icy and refreshing like an iced caramel macchiato.
    7. Origin and roast profile of coffee beans: The flavor characteristics of beans from different regions play an important role in determining the taste profile of Starbucks coffee offerings; hence it is worth considering their origin when looking for the perfect cup.
    8. Personal preference: Ultimately, trust your taste buds! Try out new beverages and discover what truly appeals to your palate – sometimes experimenting with various options will lead you to find your ideal Starbucks drink.

    Tips For Customizing Your Drink

    As a coffee lover, customizing your Starbucks drink can be a delightful experience. Here are a few tips to help you create your perfect beverage:

    1. Choose the right base: Start with the appropriate foundation for your drink, such as coffee, espresso, tea, or a Frappuccino blend.
    2. Adjust the sweetness: Tweak the number of syrup pumps or opt for sugar-free alternatives like stevia or Splenda.
    3. Change up the milk: Swap out whole milk with almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk for different flavors and dietary preferences.
    4. Add extra shots of espresso: Amp up the caffeine content by requesting additional shots in your iced coffee or latte.
    5. Experiment with flavors: Combine various syrups like caramel, mocha, or white chocolate to create unique taste profiles.
    6. Customize the foam and whipped cream: Choose between cold foam and regular foam on nitro cold brews or ask for extra whipped cream on your Frappuccino.
    7. Modify the temperature: Order your steamed drinks at kids’ temperature – around 130°F – if you prefer a cooler sip that’s great for sensitive teeth.
    8. Explore secret menu items: Unleash your inner barista by requesting off-menu concoctions like the Butterbeer Frappuccino or Medicine Ball Tea.
    9. Discuss with baristas: Don’t hesitate to ask Starbucks baristas for help; their expertise will come in handy while exploring new ingredients and combinations.

    Remember that it’s all about personal preference when it comes to creating your ideal Starbucks drink! So go ahead and experiment until you find what suits your taste buds best!

    Experts recommend classic Starbucks drinks such as the Caramel Macchiato, Vanilla Latte, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Java Chip Frappuccino for coffee lovers.

    Caramel Macchiato

    As a coffee lover, I understand the excitement of sipping on a beautifully crafted Caramel Macchiato. This classic Starbucks drink is not only visually appealing but also offers an incredible balance of flavors that delights your taste buds.

    To top it all off, the caramel drizzle adds just the right amount of buttery sweetness to perfectly complement the other elements in this harmonious blend. For those who prefer their beverages chilled, simply order an iced version of this delightful concoction.

    Keep in mind that each serving contains 250 calories and 33g of sugar; however, Starbucks offers low-calorie alternative options for those watching their sugar intake without sacrificing flavor satisfaction.

    Vanilla Latte

    As a coffee lover, I always find myself gravitating toward the classic Vanilla Latte at Starbucks. It’s smooth, sweet, and always hits the spot. Coffee experts also recommend this drink as one of the best on Starbucks’ menu.

    For those looking for a lighter option, Starbucks offers a Blonde Vanilla Latte made with their Lighter Roast Espresso blend and skimmed milk. This version has fewer calories but still packs all the deliciousness of its classic counterpart.

    Pumpkin Spice Latte

    Ah, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s a drink that truly embodies the fall season and is eagerly awaited by Starbucks fans every year. I mean, who doesn’t love a warm cup of coffee with hints of pumpkin and spice? However, industry experts have warned about the high sugar content in this beloved beverage.

    Did you know that a Grande-sized Pumpkin Spice Latte contains 50 grams of sugar? That’s more than double the recommended daily sugar intake for adults! But don’t worry, there are ways to make your PSL healthier and still enjoy it.

    Java Chip Frappuccino

    As a coffee lover, you can’t help but adore the Java Chip Frappuccino, which experts recommend as one of the best Starbucks drinks on their menu. This drink is a perfect combination of mocha sauce and Frappuccino chips blended with coffee, milk, and ice – topped off with whipped cream and a drizzle of mocha.

    What makes this beverage so delicious is the rich texture provided by the chocolate chips used in making it.

    When it comes to taste tests conducted by experts, nothing beats Starbucks’ Java Chip Frappuccino; its unique flavor profile has made it an all-time favorite among coffee enthusiasts.

    Starbucks offers a variety of alternative coffee drinks that are also highly recommended by experts, including the refreshing Cold Brew, indulgent Matcha Green Tea Latte, spicy Chai Tea Latte, and trendy Pink Drink.

    Cold Brew

    As a coffee lover, I highly recommend trying out the Cold Brew at Starbucks. This beverage is made by steeping coarse ground coffee in room temperature water for up to 48 hours, which creates a rich and smooth flavor that’s perfect for any time of day.

    What makes this drink so special? For starters, it has fewer calories than other popular drinks like the Frappuccino. Furthermore, experts praise Cold Brew for its lower acidity and smoother taste compared to traditional hot brewed coffee.

    If you’re looking for an energy boost without the jitters that come with espresso drinks, try ordering a Nitro Cold Brew – it’s infused with nitrogen gas to create a velvety texture similar to that of beer on tap.

    Matcha Green Tea Latte

    One of the most popular alternatives to coffee at Starbucks is the Matcha Green Tea Latte. This smooth and creamy drink is made by blending sweetened matcha powder with steamed milk, resulting in a tasty and caffeinated beverage that’s perfect for any time of day.

    With around 60mg of caffeine per cup, you can enjoy this delicious drink without worrying about excessive amounts of caffeine affecting your sleep or energy levels.

    If you’re looking for something new to try at Starbucks or want a break from your usual order, give the Matcha Green Tea Latte a chance! It’s an indulgent treat that won’t leave you feeling guilty thanks to its low-calorie count – Starbucks offers their ULTIMATE Matcha Drinks Edition featuring delectable green tea concoctions with only 240 calories and 7 grams of fat.

    Chai Tea Latte

    One classic Starbucks drink that never disappoints is the Chai Tea Latte. This popular coffee shop staple combines spiced black tea with steamed milk and foam topping for a comforting and sweet flavor.

    Whether you prefer it hot or iced, this latte is perfect any time of the dayIced Chai Tea Lattes are especially great during warmer months when you still want that delicious chai flavor without feeling overheated.

    Additionally, experts recommend trying an Iced Chai Tea Latte with Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam as a delightful twist on the traditional recipe.

    Pink Drink

    As a coffee lover, I can’t help but rave about Starbucks’ Pink Drink. This sweet and refreshing drink is made with the Strawberry Açaí Refresher, which provides just the right amount of caffeine from green coffee extract to keep you energized throughout your day.

    What makes the Pink Drink even better is its customizability – you can opt for coconut milk instead of regular milk or add freeze-dried strawberries on top for an extra burst of flavor.

    And if you’re always on the go like me, Starbucks will soon release a ready-to-drink version of the Pink Drink featuring strawberry and açaí flavors with coconut milk and fruit juice.

    Secret Menu Items To Try

    Discover some of the best-kept secrets at Starbucks with our list of recommended secret menu items that will take your coffee game to another level – be sure not to miss it!

    Irish Cream Cold Brew

    As a coffee lover, one of my go-to Starbucks drinks is the Irish Cream Cold Brew. It’s a perfect combination of floral flavors from the Irish cream syrup and boldness from Starbucks’ signature cold brew.

    The drink is typically made with vanilla sweet cream cold foam and dusted with cocoa powder. However, there are numerous secret menu ways to customize this drink to your liking, such as adding pumpkin puree or Oreo crumbles.

    Medicine Ball Tea

    One of my absolute favorite drinks from Starbucks is Medicine Ball Tea, also known as Cold Buster. Made with a delicious blend of Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea and Peach Tranquility Herbal Tea, hot water, steamed lemonade, and honey, this soothing drink has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its health benefits.

    The tea is believed to help cure the common cold and promote overall wellness. Not only does it taste great, but it’s also rich in antioxidants and vitamins that can help boost your immune system.

    Butterbeer Frappuccino

    One of the most popular secret menu items at Starbucks is the Butterbeer Frappuccino, a magical drink inspired by the wizarding world of Harry Potter. This delicious concoction can be made with either a Creme or Vanilla Bean Frappuccino base and includes caramel and toffee nut syrup for a sweet and creamy taste.

    As a coffee lover, trying unique drinks like the Butterbeer Frappuccino can make your Starbucks experience even more exciting. Don’t be afraid to ask your barista about their favorite secret menu items or customize your own drink using the tips we provided in this article.

    Healthier And Specialty Options At Starbucks

    For those who are health conscious or have specific dietary needs, Starbucks offers a range of healthier and specialty options including low sugar and calorie drinks, vegan and keto-friendly choices, as well as unique beverages like the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Chai Latte.

    Low Sugar And Low-Calorie Drinks

    If you’re trying to keep your sugar intake in check, Starbucks offers a few low-sugar and low-calorie drinks that are still delicious. Here are some options to try:

    • Caffè Americano: This classic drink is simply espresso shots topped with hot water. It has only 10 calories and 0g of sugar.
    • Iced Starbucks® Blonde Espresso Americano: Similar to the hot version, this drink has only 5 calories and 0g of sugar.
    • Iced Black Tea: If you prefer tea over coffee, this refreshing option has no calories or sugar.
    • Earl Grey Tea: Another tea option, Earl Grey has only 2 calories and 0g of sugar.
    • Skinny Flavored Latte: While not completely sugar-free, the skinny flavored latte uses sugar-free syrup and non-fat milk for a lower-calorie option. A tall size (12 oz) contains around 90 calories and 8g of sugar.

    Keep in mind that short cups contain less liquid than the standard tall size and could help reduce your calorie intake. However, some drinks may still have high amounts of sugar even if they are low-calorie. Look out for drinks with added syrups or sauces that can quickly increase your sugar intake. And don’t forget to enjoy your coffee in moderation!

    Vegan And Keto Options

    If you’re looking for vegan and keto-friendly options at Starbucks, here are some recommendations that are not only delicious but also fit your dietary needs:

    1. Oat Milk Latte – Substitute regular milk with oat milk in any of your favorite lattes for a creamy and plant-based alternative.
    2. Iced Almond Milk Doppio – Add almond milk to your shot of espresso over ice for a refreshing pick-me-up minus the added sugars.
    3. Keto Pink Drink – Ask for unsweetened iced passion tea with heavy cream, sugar-free vanilla syrup, and a scoop of freeze-dried strawberries for a low-carb version of the trendy Pink Drink.
    4. Veggie Egg White Sandwich – This sandwich comes with egg whites, spinach, mushrooms, and feta cheese on an English muffin. Ask for no cheese to make it vegan-friendly.
    5. Sous Vide Egg Bites – The Bacon & Gruyere flavor has 9g net carbs while the Egg White & Red Pepper has only 7g net carbs—perfect for those following keto diets!
    6. Caffè Misto with Almond Milk – A simple yet satisfying coffee drink made by combining equal parts brewed coffee and steamed almond milk.
    7. Low Carb Flat White – Ask for ristretto shots (a more concentrated form of espresso) and substitute regular milk with almond or coconut milk to make this classic Australian drink keto-friendly.

    Remember that customization is key when ordering vegan and keto options at Starbucks! Don’t be afraid to ask your barista questions about ingredients or how you can modify drinks to fit your dietary restrictions or preferences.

    Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Chai Latte

    One of the healthier and specialty options at Starbucks is the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Chai Latte. This drink, which can be modified from the standard Iced Chai Latte recipe, is made by replacing 2% milk with oat milk and adding brown sugar syrup.

    For a finishing touch, it’s topped with vanilla sweet cream.

    Expert recommendations have listed this drink as one of their favorites among Starbucks’ extensive menu offerings.

    Caramel Apple Spice

    If you’re looking for a healthier and specialty option at Starbucks, then the Caramel Apple Spice should definitely be on your list. This classic drink is recommended by experts as one of the best Starbucks drinks to try.

    The Caramel Apple Spice consists of steamed apple juice, cinnamon syrup, whipped cream, and a caramel sauce drizzle to finish it off.

    It’s important to note that while this drink may sound healthy due to its main ingredient being apple juice, it still has quite a bit of sugar with 70g per serving. However, if you’re looking for something sweet without too much caffeine or coffee flavor, the Caramel Apple Spice is an excellent option with only 380 calories and 8g of fat per serving.


    Overall, there are countless delicious Starbucks drinks to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to decide what to order. However, with the expert recommendations in this article, you’re sure to find a drink that suits your tastes perfectly.

    Whether you’re looking for something classic or more unique, hot or cold, caffeinated or not, there’s a drink out there for you.

    General Facts

    1. This article discusses the best Starbucks drinks as recommended by experts.

    2. The top 5 Starbucks drinks, ranked by experts, include the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, Vanilla Latte, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and more.

    3. This article also includes what coffee experts and industry pros think about popular Starbucks drinks like the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Iced Cappuccinos.

    4. There are cold and iced coffee drinks available at Starbucks to help you cool down, according to recommendations from Starbucks baristas.

    5. Experts suggest healthy Starbucks orders that include choices with lower amounts of sugar and calories.

    6. This article includes recommendations for Starbucks drinks for avid coffee drinkers.

    7. There are hot drink recommendations at Starbucks, including the Blonde Vanilla Latte and Honey Almond Milk Flat White, as suggested by experts.

    8. Vegan and keto options are available for healthier Starbucks drink choices.

    9. The article also mentions the popularity of certain Starbucks drinks on TikTok.

    10. There are several recommendations for the best Starbucks drinks without coffee and on the secret menu.

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