Starbucks currently has 22 drinks on its ever-changing menu (and 50-plus food items), and infinite ways to customize them, but you've probably only had a fraction. Despite my embarrassing math SAT score, even I know a fraction of 50 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: While you might be able to order drinks not found here, please note that this is limited to items that specifically appear on the Starbucks menu. The list will be updated frequently to reflect menu changes. I've included the hot and iced versions of drinks (such as the coffee) only when Starbucks lists both on its menu. Otherwise this ranking would be very long and very boring. I didn't customize the drinks in any way, so that I could experience them as Starbucks intended. All the drinks' nutritional info is based on a 16-ounce Grande size. Make sense? Then grab a Strawberry Acai tea, toss it in the trash immediately, order up an Ultra Caramel Frappuccino instead, and check out this ranking.
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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! Jaykay, I never tried it. If Superman were a skinny Jewish guy from Delaware, strawberries would be his kryptonite.
Nutritional info: 20 calories, 0 grams sugar Starbucks coffee greatly benefits because it doesn’t have 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.)
19. Eggnog Latte
Nutritional info: 450 calories, 52 grams sugar Perhaps I'm not an eggnog latte person, but the smell coming off of it really turned me off. And the taste didn't do it any favors either -- sadly, it was a little like spoiled milk. Also, unless Starbucks is planning on spiking their eggnog latte, what's the point of this?
18. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha
Nutritional info: 420 calories, 56 grams sugar Raise your hand if you like candied cranberry sugar in your coffee! Last year, that was sprinkled on top of every white chocolate mocha, but this year it’s all about holiday sugar sparkles with with crispy white pearls. Those pearls are actually rice cereal, and they’re as crunchy as advertised! I love the look of the reddish sugar sparkles, and this year's drink thankfully does away with the cranberry nonsense and focuses on the white chocolate and coffee flavors in the drink. This is much improved over last year's version.
17. Salted Caramel Mocha
Nutritional info: 470 calories, 59 grams sugar This one was such a big hit over the holidays last year that the 'Bucks brought it back, along with Pumpkin Spice. If you're into extremely sweet hot coffee drinks, this is your jam. But adding mocha and coffee to the salted caramel notes is a little too much for my taste buds to handle.
16. Caramel Macchiato
Nutritional info: Calories 250, Sugar 33g My disappointment with everything caramel flavored has been well documented thus far. But this is the only hot caramel drink on their 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.
15. Dark Roast
Nutritional info: 5 calories, 0 grams sugar This roast changes over the course of the year. Right now it’s a Christmas Blend. It’s as spicy as advertised (and if you can wait a few minutes, we recommend asking your barista to prepare it via the pour over method)! But when I go into the ‘Bucks, I’d rather have something like an Ultra Caramel Frappuccino.
14. 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 Nitro Cold Brew.
13. 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 Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino.
12. Teavana Shaken Peach Citrus White Tea Infusion Lemonade
Nutritional info: 70 calories, 16 grams sugar You might not expect it from the name, but this tastes primarily like rose hips and lavender. It looks like it was created primarily to show off its pink-ish, rosy color on Instagram. And it certainly is eye-catching! Sadly it’s lacking the peach and citrus flavors that it advertises.
11. Caramel Brulée Latte
Nutritional info: 440 calories, 54 grams sugar This actually has a lot stronger coffee flavors than I would've expected from the 'Bucks, which typically lets any caramel drink go way overboard on the caramel flavors. The caramel and coffee play nice together here, and the finish does bring to mind a brulée. I was shocked by this one.
10. 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 child-like love for sugary flavors, but this simple drink delivers.
9. Chestnut Praline Latte
Nutritional info: 330 calories, 39 grams sugar They nailed the chestnut flavor here, and the finish is a little bit of the almond flavor hinted at by the praline part of the drink's name. A little saccharine in the finish, which deducts it a few points. I would enjoy roasting this drink on an open flame, but not in a bad way!
8. Hot Chocolate
Nutritional info: 400 calories, 43 grams sugar I went to college with a bunch of people I don't see anymore. That's normal -- part of growing up and whatnot. I also used to drink a lot of hot chocolate as a kid, but I don't anymore. Part of growing up and whatnot. But when you see those old friends, or you take a sip of hot chocolate, you're there again. You're 13, watching your brother's soccer game, and it's windy as hell, and you want to be inside watching football, but you're out there sipping your hot chocolate and listening to the game on the radio.
7. Ultra Caramel Frappuccino
Nutritional info: 420 calories, 55 grams sugar This is strange. I've had caramel flavoring in many, many Starbucks drinks, and the aftertaste always turned me off. But here they turn the caramel up to 11 and I... love it? I'm as confused as you are. I love the dark caramel sauce on the whipped cream. I love the caramel syrup mixed into the drink. I don't know if they improved the caramel flavors or just found the perfect delivery system it, but this drink works for me.
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. Never change, PSL.
5. 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?
4. Gingerbread Latte
Nutritional info: 330 calories, 38 grams sugar Yes. Yes. Yes. Considering how the uber-holidayesque Eggnog latte went over, I was fully expecting to not like the gingerbread. But this sucker finishes strong with cinnamon and ginger notes that make me feel like they blended up a gingerbread man and served him to me over coffee. Poor guy!
3. Nitro Cold Brew
Nutritional info: 5 calories, 0g sugar I’m going to direct your attention to the fact that a drink so creamy, roasty, and satisfying contains zero grams of sugar and five calories. But that’s the magic that happens when you infuse it with nitrogen and pour it from a tap! I’m not a huge fan of the standard coffees at Starbucks (peep where I slot the dark, medium, and dark roasts in this ranking), but this plain ole coffee is poured into a cup with one of the best damn lids in the coffee game. And after drinking it regularly over the course of the year, it’s become one of my favorite ‘Bucks concoctions. Don’t you dare drink this through a straw; sip it through the curvy lid, which is designed to heighten your interaction with this creamy, dairy-free, sugar-free, almost calorie-free, caffeine-packed (280g in a Grande, whereas a cup normally has 95g) dream of a drink.
2. Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate
Nutritional info: 420 calories, 53 grams sugar I talked about how the peppermint and salted caramel hot cocoa drinks taste like liquified candy bars. So isn’t it fitting that this drink has the name of one in it? As a kid, I was always so confused why Snickerdoodles don’t taste like Snickers. I’m still mad at that. But I’ll table my irrational anger at the name because this is an unexpectedly great hot chocolate variety. White chocolate hot cocoa (calling it "white hot chocolate" makes it sound as if it's super hot!), that is. This has a white chocolate base and a positively delightful layer of cinnamon sugar on top. It’s as if Cinnabon created a white chocolate cinnamon bun, liquified it, and heated it up. You’re gonna want a Grande.
1. Peppermint Mocha
Nutritional info: 440 calories, 54 grams sugar The first sip is chocolate and cream, and the finish is a delightful chocolate and mint. And it doesn't leave an overly sweet taste in your mouth that makes you want to drink a gallon of water to wash it away. But is there a more holiday appropriate drink than the Peppermint Mocha? Even the name makes me want to fly a life-size candy cane across the sky on Christmas Eve, waving at Santa as he makes his deliveries and flashing a thumbs up to his reindeer for working so hard. Starbucks makes getting into the holiday spirit even easier this year with bright red reusable cups and a slew of four new designs that each look like wrapped gifts. The Peppermint Mocha drink reps the holiday season way, way more than a Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate ever could. It’s a seasonal classic, it’s delicious, and we bet you’ll crave one when it starts snowing outside on a cold December morning.
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Lee Breslouerwrites 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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Food & Drink
This New Site Helps You Send Free Beers to Furloughed Federal Workers
As the longest partial government shutdown in US history enters its fourth week, the effects are growing starker. Popular parks and museums continue to remain shuttered, airport terminals are closing, and even the craft beer and wine industry is facing consequences. Worse yet, hundreds of thousands of employees -- some of whom are still expected to show up to work -- aren't getting paid. And while there doesn't appear to be an end in sight to the madness at the moment, there is at least a glimmer of hope for some federal workers in Washington, DC thanks to a new service that's handing out free beers in select bars from wannabe do-gooders.
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