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We Ranked Every Drink on the Starbucks Menu

Hear us out. Maybe you'll find something new to try.

Courtesy of Starbucks

Now that the pumpkin spice beverages have reappeared on Starbucks menus, there are currently 41 drinks on its ever-changing menu (and 50-plus food items), and infinite ways to customize them. But, admit it: you've probably only had a fraction. Despite my embarrassing math SAT score, even I know a fraction of 41 isn't a lot, so to help you break the chains of habit, I've compiled this constantly updated ranking of every single drink on the Starbucks menu. Perhaps you'll read it and find something new you want to try. Or perhaps you'll think I'm wrong about everything. Let's find out together!

But first, a few ground rules:

Make sense? Then grab a Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refresher, toss it in the trash immediately, order up an Iced Pineapple Matcha instead, and check out this ranking.

Cole Saladino/Thrillist

41. Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refreshers

Nutritional info: 90 calories, 20 grams sugar

I'm deathly allergic to strawberries, which is 99% of this drink. But I put aside my severe allergic reaction to strawberries and took a sip of this. It was great! JK, I never tried it. If Superman were a skinny Jewish guy from Delaware, strawberries would be his kryptonite.

40. Pink Drink

Nutritional info: 140 calories, 24 grams sugar

If you want to enjoy this Strawberry Acai Refreshers drink made with coconutmilk, go forth! It looks delicious! But sadly, I cannot partake. (Read my blurb on Strawberry Acai.)

39. Iced White Chocolate Mocha

Nutritional info: 420 calories, 49 grams sugar

This drink is as simple as it is sweet. It’s made with white chocolate, espresso, and milk -- all topped with whipped cream. Like your one friend you don’t mind hanging out with in small doses, this mocha is a little much for more than a couple sips. (Pro tip: if you crave these flavors, it tastes better as a hot drink.)

Courtesy of Starbucks

38. Salted Caramel Mocha

Nutritional info: 470 calories, 59 grams sugar
A couple years back, Starbucks introduced the Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa (now called the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate) and this drink, the Salted Caramel Mocha. They’re the exact same drink, except for the Mocha includes espresso. Piling mocha and java onto salted caramel is a little too much for my tastebuds to handle. You ever watch Top Chef where a contestant tries to do too much with a dish and gets called out for it? This is that. Stick with the hot chocolate if you must get your Salted Caramel fix.

37. Starbucks Cold Brew

Nutritional info: 5 calories, 0 grams sugar

This is fine. It tastes perfectly smooth. But there are so many fun variations on this drink -- especially where it’s topped with cold foam -- that to order this might actually be a waste of a trip to Starbucks.


36. Nitro Cold Brew

Nutritional info: 5 calories, 0 grams sugar

This drink is simple, creamy, delicious, and blissfully sugar-free. But you should think of this as a canvas on which Starbucks can do so much more -- like topping it with sweet cream or cold foam. Please do those things, as they will elevate this drink to so much more. And thank me later.

35. Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew

Nutritional info: 230 calories, 23 grams sugar

This drink contains 330mg of sodium. Perhaps they should rename it SALTED Caramel Cream Cold Brew to make people more aware of the tidal wave of salt coming their way in each sip.

Courtesy of Starbucks

34. Iced Guava Passionfruit Coconutmilk Drink

Nutritional info: 190 calories, 33 grams sugar

Is Iced Guava Passionfruit Coconutmilk Drink something you can order at Starbucks or is it a jumble of keywords revealed to an SEO expert in a fever dream? The good news is that the drink’s ultra pink color looks fantastic on Instagram, and the tropical fruit flavors (especially the guava!) are delicious. But the finish is a lot like that bubblegum medicine you used to take for ear infections. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s also not something I can recommend.

33. Caramel Macchiato

Nutritional info: 250 calories, 33 grams sugar

My disappointment with everything caramel flavored has been documented. But this is the only hot caramel drink on Starbucks' menu, and it's serviceable. I don't mind the caramel drizzle, and the vanilla syrup inside plays nice with the espresso and steamed milk.

32. Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino

Nutritional info: 500 calories, 63 grams sugar

How can a Frappuccino with both mocha (!) and cookies (!) be ranked 28th? When it’s an unforgiving sugar bomb that makes me want to text my dentist, “I’m sorry for drinking this.” Strangely, the Mocha Frapp has about the same amount of sugar, but tastes way, way, way less cavity-inducing.  


31. Caramel Frappuccino

Nutritional info: 420 calories, 66 grams sugar

Speaking of the dentist, caramel reminds me of some flavoring the dentist used to give me before numbing my mouth and filling a cavity. I can't shake it when I'm drinking it. I'm immediately transported to the dentist's office.

30. Salted Caramel Mocha Coffee Frappuccino

Nutritional info: 420 calories, 63 grams sugar

Imagine the aforementioned Caramel Frappuccino, but then add mocha sauce, toffee nut syrup, and an additional 130mg of salt. It’s… still not ideal.

29. Cappuccino

Nutritional info: 120 calories, 10 grams sugar

Going to Starbucks and ordering a cappuccino is like going to a Starbucks and ordering a cappuccino. What are you doing?! There are Frappuccinos and Mango Dragonfruit drinks to order!

Courtesy of Starbucks

28. Almondmilk Honey Flat White

Nutritional info: 120 calories, 18 grams sugar

I was psyched to try this one, but after a couple sips I kept wondering, “When am I going to taste the honey?” There’s a little honey mid-sip and in the finish, but it’s entirely too subtle, which is not something you can often say at Starbucks. One surprise is how well the Flat White works with the almondmilk.

27. Dark Roast

Nutritional info: 5 calories, 0 grams sugar

This roast changes over the course of the year. Right now it’s the Italian Roast But when I go into the ‘Bucks, I’d rather drink something like a Mocha Frappuccino.

Courtesy of Starbucks

26. Blonde Roast

Nutritional info: 5 calories, 0 grams sugar

This roast is Veranda, although it too can change seasonally. It’s tasty, but it makes me want a Iced Caramel Cloud Macchiato.

25. Medium Roast

Nutritional info: 5 calories, 0 grams sugar

This roast is always reserved for Pike Place. This is my favorite of the drip coffees (though in the afternoon, there's a location near me that switches to pour-over). Starbucks says it has “subtly rich flavors of cocoa and toasted nuts.” It makes me want a Caffè Mocha. 

24. Nitro Cold Brew With Salted Honey Cold Foam

Nutritional info: 40 calories, 7 grams sugar

I love cold foam. I love honey. I don’t even mind the Cold Brew With Salted Cream Cold Foam. And kudos to Starbucks for trying to make this seem interesting, but those combined elements don’t work. The toasted honey topping is a bit gritty, and ultimately its salty sweetness detracts from the delicious, creamy cold foam. It’s a little like taking in a mouthful of sweet sand. If you must have salt in your nitro, stick with the Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew.

23. Caffè Americano

Nutritional info: 20 calories, 0 grams sugar

Starbucks coffee greatly benefits from a splash of milk and a little sugar. And you know what? When I drink this, I miss those ingredients. (If you must drink your Starbucks without any kind of milk and don’t mind the tiniest bit of sugar, the Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice is worth your bucks.)

22. White Chocolate Mocha

Nutritional info: 430 calories, 53 grams sugar

I want to love this. I do! But I can't force myself to. It's got plenty of sugar, plenty of cream, and plenty of coffee flavor, but the white mocha doesn't tie it together so much as try to overpower the coffee and cream flavors.

21. Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino

Nutritional info: 400 calories, 57 grams sugar

I think I used to be more of a vanilla person growing up, but now I'm squarely in the chocolate camp. 10-year-old me would've lost his mind over this. Significantly older, current me (who has successfully gone through puberty!) thinks this is vanilla overload.

Courtesy of Starbucks

20. Flat White

Nutritional info: 220 calories, 17 grams sugar

While this tastes like a glass of warm milk with coffee flavoring to me, it actually has plenty of espresso -- two ristretto shots and steamed whole milk. Whatever's in it, it's delicious. You also get a smooth and not-at-all bitter coffee finish, too. So much warm milk you'll want to go to bed after drinking this. Also, my colleague was shown how Starbucks makes these, which is pretty cool.

19. Mango Dragonfruit Starbucks Refreshers

Nutritional info: 90 calories, 19 grams sugar

This is not a drink so much as a beacon in a cup with ice and a straw. It says to everyone who walks by you, "I just bought a wine-colored drink from Starbucks that has fruit in it!" It begs to be Instagrammed. Oh, and there are seeds from the dragonfruit (and actual dragonfruit!) floating around in there. You can't miss them. The flavor is tropical as the look and name of the drink promises. Despite the fact that dragonfruit has its fruitprints all over this, mango is what lingers on your palate before fading away. But that photo you posted to Instagram? That, my friends, stays forever.

18. Iced Golden Ginger Coconutmilk Drink

Nutritional info: 140 calories, 19 grams sugar

Fresh pressed ginger is one of those magical ingredients prominent in those fresh juice shops where it costs $25 for an 8oz drink. This drink costs much, much less ($4.45 for a Tall at my local shop in Colorado) and provides plenty of those same gingery notes. And we’ll give the Golden Ginger extra points for the way the ginger, pineapple, and turmeric flavors combine pleasantly with the creamy coconutmilk. But mostly this made me want to hit up a juice shop for a hit of the real thing.

Courtesy of Starbucks

17. Kiwi Starfruit Starbucks Refreshers

Nutritional info: 90 calories, 18 grams sugar

Look down at this drink and you might find yourself wondering: what are those black spots doing in my beautiful, key lime-hued drink? Why, those are chunks of kiwi, friend! But before you start flashing back to hating orange juice with pulp back in your younger days, know that this is a different drink altogether! It’s crisp, sweet and tropical, and you won’t even mind encountering those tasty kiwi bites. And while starfruit gets top billing along with kiwi here, know that it’s the kiwi flavors that’ll linger delightfully on your palate.

16. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Nutritional info: 110 calories, 14 grams sugar

It's incredible what a little splash of Starbucks' sweet cream can do to elevate its regular cold brew. That sweetness cuts through the bitterness, but isn't overpowering. As an added bonus, it's pretty trippy to watch the cream spread out in the ultra-dark coffee.

Gongz Photo/

15. Iced Green Tea

Nutritional info: 45 calories, 11 grams sugar

Don’t be fooled by the plain name of this drink -- it’s actually a green tea with a mix of spearmint, lemon verbena, lemongrass, and a squeeze of simple syrup. Compared to the sugary drinks elsewhere on the menu, this is a light, breezy, delicious taste of summer you can enjoy year round.

14. Dragon Drink

Nutritional info: 130 calories, 23 grams sugar

This drink looks like a secret menu drink based on a Hello Kitty color pattern. And it tastes like it looks -- saccharine sweet, but with a not unpleasant mango and coconut milk finish. It's a little confusing because it tastes like mango while looking like Lisa Frank’s bedroom. It's more mango-forward than you'd expect for something that looks like this to be. Perfect for mango lovers and fans of a Lilly Pulitzer aesthetic.

13. Chai Latte

Nutritional info: 240 calories, 42 grams sugar

I used to order this chai before I'd go in to work an early shift at Barnes and Noble. This was a decade ago, back when people were still reading books made out of paper. That chai gave me the energy to correctly alphabetize all the Margaret Atwood novels. The drink hasn't changed since then, and after drinking one, I'm pretty sure I could still remember to shelve Alias Grace before The Blind Assassin

12. Star Drink

Nutritional info: 130 calories, 22 grams sugar

The new naming convention at Starbucks is one word followed by the word Drink. Behold: Pink Drink, Dragon Drink, and now, Star Drink. Star differs from the Kiwi Starfruit Starbucks Refreshers on one aspect -- it takes the summery drink and adds a layer of rich coconutmilk for even more tropical flavors. And it benefits greatly from the addition of the milk! The kiwi and the coconutmilk blend beautifully. Sipping on something this fruity from Starbucks makes me wonder if they’re secretly turning into a Jamba when no one's looking.

Courtesy of Starbucks

11. Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream

Nutritional info: 70 calories, 4 grams sugar

This relatively low-cal drink (compared to, umm, everything else on the menu) is mad creamy, thanks to the addition of nitro cold brew. It’s all the goodness of a nitro cold brew with vanilla sweet cream on top. Hard to beat.

Courtesy of Starbucks

10. Matcha Green Tea Latte

Nutritional info: 240 calories, 32 grams sugar

This is one soothing beverage. There's the earthy green tea essence mixed with the sweetness of the warm milk and a layer of foam, and I'm hooked. If you need a break from coffee and love green tea, this is a can't-miss.

Courtesy of Starbucks

9. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino

Nutritional info: 490 calories, 68 grams sugar

I’ve been vocal in my disapproval of all things caramel at Starbucks. And yet, this isn’t a bad way to feature caramel flavors in a drink -- the vanilla whipped cream, coffee, and dark caramel sauce all work well in concert. My one gripe is the “crunch” aspect of the drink. At no point did I get the joy of crunching on a “crunchy caramelized topping.” There’s certainly a layer of something on the whipped cream, but if you’re imagining some sort of Honey Bunches of Oats type jam on the top of this Frapp, you won’t find it here.

8. Iced Pineapple Matcha Coconutmilk Drink

Nutritional info: 170 calories, 27 grams sugar

Sometimes I’ll read the description of a Starbucks drink and have a visceral reaction to it. “Our premium matcha green tea shaken with flavors of pineapple and ginger along with coconutmilk and ice...” made me certain I was going to regret taking a huge sip. But the pineapple ginger syrup laced into this cold treat makes all the difference, brightening up the earthy notes of the iced matcha. And with 80mg of caffeine, it gives you about a cup of coffee’s worth of energy to power you through an afternoon slump.

7. Caffè Latte

Nutritional info: 190 calories, 17 grams sugar

Steamed milk, espresso. You get a layer of foam on top. I love when the foam hits your top lip, supporting it like a little milk pillow as you draw warm espresso into your mouth. I'm a little shocked I liked this more than some of their flavored lattes, especially considering my well-documented childlike love for sugary flavors, but this simple drink delivers.

Courtesy of Starbucks

6. Pumpkin Spice Latte 

Nutritional info: 380 calories, 50 grams sugar

It’s such an important drink in the Starbucks lineup that there are news stories dedicated to it. A couple years back, I even went to every major chain and tried all their pumpkin spice drinks, and you’d never believe what came in first! OK, you probably would. It was this drink. In the meantime, they changed the recipe (they added pumpkin puree and took out artificial flavoring), but it still tasted the same to me. Which is great. This is a classic -- but may just be upended by Starbucks' new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, a more adult-take on the PSL. Only time will tell.

Courtesy of Starbucks

5. Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade

Nutritional info: 130 calories, 32 grams sugar

This is delightfully peachy. It's like taking a bite of a peach and then eating a few spoonfuls of sugar to help that peach go down, just like Mary Poppins told us (we're paraphrasing). I taste absolutely no green tea whatsoever in this, and I don't mind it much. Tastes like a plain old peach lemonade. Is that even a widely available thing? It is now.

4. Mocha Frappuccino

Nutritional info: 410 calories, 61 grams sugar 

This used to be my favorite drink at Starbucks. It was back when I was a younger man, and liked chocolate flavors more than coffee ones. Granted, when I say, a “younger man,” I mean just a few years ago. Anyways, a few years ago, this was my favorite drink at Starbucks. It tastes like sugar and chocolate with a dash of coffee, and it reminds me of a drink I’d order before I cared about consuming 61 grams of sugar in one sitting.

Nowadays, Starbucks’ menu has changed to reflect the changing tastes of its customers, and many of those customers now enjoy coffee-forward beverages from third-wave coffee shops. That said, it’s still a delicious throwback, but it’s not the best thing on the menu.

3. Caffè Mocha

Nutritional info: 360 calories, 35 grams sugar

Ooo, adult hot chocolate! I want to fill my bathtub up with it, cover myself in marshmallows, and spend the day... sitting in the tub eating marshmallows. Is this drink a movie on Cinemax at 2am? Because it has positively sinful mocha notes.

Courtesy of Starbucks

2. Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Nutritional info: 250 calories, 31 grams sugar

“It's very popular,” the barista said to me. This was confirmed when two people picked them up at the bar ahead of me. And it lives up to the hype. I was worried it’d both smell and taste like a pumpkin Yankee Candle, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The pumpkin flavor comes from two ingredients: a spice blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and the pumpkin cream cold foam, which is layered above the cold brew coffee that makes up the majority of the drink. The cold foam has just enough pumpkin flavor to make you feel like it’s fall, but not enough where it completely overpowers the coffee. You can taste the smooth cold brew, and the finish is all coffee. It’s an ice cold take on a fall classic; a coffee drink fully reimagined for the Starbucks lover who drinks cold brew year-round. And it’s one of the best drinks the company has ever put out.

Courtesy of Starbucks

1. Iced Caramel Cloud Macchiato

Nutritional info: 180 calories, 27 grams sugar

The Caramel Macchiato is not my favorite (Exhibit A: everything I wrote earlier in this ranking), so I’ll admit I was scared that this would feel like they pumped an entire bottle of caramel flavoring into the coffee. But Starbucks went for a more subtle flavor profile here, a common feature in every other Cloud drink the chain has released. I can’t believe I’m typing “subtle flavor profile” in reference to a Starbucks drink. Ariana Grande had a hand in promoting this and the Cinnamon Cloud drink -- she likes ‘em with soy milk -- but this is not a drink that recalls bubblegum pop. This is a grown-up drink. This iced beverage has seen some shit. The interplay between the espresso, vanilla syrup, and foam is a sensory experience I look forward to having again.

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Lee Breslouer writes about food and drink, and is strangely not as sick of coffee as you'd think. Follow him to Starbucks Rewards stars: @LeeBreslouer.
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