Starbucks Drink Guide

By on May 3, 2017

As much as we love Starbucks, we know that the entire franchise is a lot more complex than we would like. With how many variations of coffees, drinks and food items there are at our beloved Starbucks, we are sometimes left with spinning heads when we walk out of there. We have to decided to lend a helping hand to our fellow Starbucks goers by creating the ultimate Starbucks drink guide! This guide will let you know everything that you could possibly want to know about Starbucks.

First, we will start by discussing how Starbucks make their famous beverages around the world.

For Espresso: Starbucks has these awesome things known as automatic espresso bars. These machines grinds the coffee beans and creates the espresso shots. It is a very convenient way to do things and helps Starbucks to create a quality product, but it requires quite a bit of maintenance throughout the day.

For Coffee: Starbucks baristas use a coffee press to create their delicious coffee. It allows for more flavor in the coffee and keeps them in control of how bold they want it to taste.

For Smoothies: Starbucks blends their smoothies with top of line blending equipment.

Not everyone is a fan of milk and sadly, most of Starbucks drinks are made with some sort of milk. The good news is that you can substitute milk out with a few other options.

Milk Options At Starbucks:

  • Nonfat Milk
  • Skim Milk
  • 1% Milk
  • 2% Milk
  • Whole Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Vanilla Soy Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Breve (Half and Half)
  • Eggnog (Seasonal option)
  • Heavy Whipping Cream


Sometimes we worry about our waistlines or what  bad foods we put into the stuff we eat and drink. Starbucks understands that and that is why they offer skinny drinks, such as skinny lattes.

What is a skinny drink?

When you ask your barista to make you a skinny drink, they will give you a drink with nonfat or skim milk and sugar-free syrup.

Why make the choice to go skinny? Well, just look at the difference between skinny and non-skinny below.

Grande Latte

Calories: 250

Fat: 6g

Sugars: 35g

Skinny Grande Latte

Calories: 120

Fat: 0g

Sugar: 16g

See how vast that difference is? It is safe to say that the skinny option really proves to be the healthier choice!

Drink Sizes

Starbucks seems to do things a little differently when it comes to their drink sizes. They offer a wider variety of size options than most other coffee shops. Although you are more than welcome to ask for a small, medium or large at Starbucks, they do have specific sizing terms for their drinks.

Short (8oz):

The smallest drink that Starbucks offers is a short. It does not appear on their menu, so customers usually have to request it if they want it. They do not offer iced drinks in the size of a short. Customers are only offered hot beverages if they request the short size. They use this size as a kid’s size option, as well.

Tall (12oz):

This is what they consider a small at Starbucks. It is around 12 oz and the perfect size if you don’t want to over do it on the caffeine.

Grande (16oz):

This is what Starbucks considers their medium size option. The grande is the only size available for their smoothies.

Venti Hot (20oz) Venti Iced (24oz):

A venti is Starbucks’ large size option, but it comes in different sizes depending on what type of beverage you have decided to order. If you order a hot venti of any kind, you will receive a cup of 20 oz, but if you if order a venti iced, you will receive a cup sized at 24 oz. We are not sure why they do this, but that’s the way it is.

Trenta (30oz):

This is the extra large option on Starbucks drink menu. At 30 oz, the trenta is twice the size of the amount of oz a healthy human bladder can hold. How crazy is that?! It is only offered to you if you order iced coffee, refreshers or iced tea.

Espresso is one of the biggest hits when it comes to Starbucks. They have the perfect harmony of delicious, rich flavor and enough caffeine to get you through your day. Although all of the drinks seem to hold different caffeine contents, the average amount of caffeine in one espresso shot is around 75+mg. Espresso is not great for those who don’t react well to large amounts of caffeine or those with health issues.

But to help you get a better idea to how much caffeine is in Starbucks espresso, here is a list:

Espresso Shots

One shot (1oz):

A single shot of espresso is usually called a solo and they usually hold about 75mg of caffeine in them.

Two Shots ( 2oz):

Two shots of espresso is termed as a double or a doppio. They contain around 150mg of caffeine in them.

Three Shots (3oz):

Often called a triple, three shots of espresso has somewhere in the area of 225mg of caffeine.

Four Shots (4oz):

A quad is four shots of freshly made espresso. It contains a whopping 300mg in it. Not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

You can request espresso that has less amounts of caffeine in them. Although it is impossible to give you completely caffeine free espresso.

One Shot Decaf (1oz)

Termed as a single or solo shot decaf, it has about 3mg of caffeine in it.

One Shot Half-Caf (1oz):

You will hear your barista call this out as a single or solo of half calf. There seems to be an average of 40mg in this shot!

Not everyone is aware of this, but Starbucks creates everything at different temperatures. And to be quite honest, customers can choose what temperatures they prefer their drinks to be at. This avoids giving someone with a sensitive palate something that may be too hot or cold from them. Take a look below to see what we mean.

Temperatures At Starbucks:

If you don’t request a certain temperature, a barista will create any drink up to 200 degrees fahrenheit.

Kids Drinks:

These drinks are prepared up to 130 degrees fahrenheit. This is done so that the kids can drink the beverage as soon as they receive it in their hands.

Extra Hot:

This is usually requested by customers who don’t plan on consuming their beverage immediately. The barista will make your drink at about 180 degrees Fahrenheit so that it will stay warm for a long time. This is perfect for people with long commutes to work.

Coffee/Tea Hot:

These types of drinks are usually prepared with water that is as hot as 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of our favorite things about Starbucks is the fact that they offer so many different flavors. Your taste-buds will never get bored with the never ending options list of flavors, syrups and toppings. You can truly mix it up everyday and the menu will just keep on adding new things or bringing back seasonal things! It’s an awesome situation for those who visit Starbucks quite frequently.

Syrups (Nonseasonal) Offered At Starbucks:

  • Vanilla
  • Sugar-Free Vanilla
  • Caramel
  • Sugar-Free Caramel
  • Cinnamon Dolce
  • Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce
  • Classic Syrup
  • Toffee Nut
  • Hazelnut
  • Peppermint
  • Raspberry

Syrups (Seasonal) Offered At Starbucks:

  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Caramel Brulee
  • Gingerbread
  • Blackberry
  • Peach

Sauces Offered At Starbucks:

  • Bittersweet Chocolate
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • White Chocolate
  • Caramel

Syrup Amounts Used Per Drink

Short (80z hot only):

2 pumps of syrup.

Tall (12oz):

3 pumps of syrup.

Grande (16oz):

4 pumps of syrup.

Venti (20oz hot):

5 pumps of syrup.

Venti (24oz iced):

6 pumps of syrup.

Trenta (30oz iced only):

7 pumps of syrup.

We all like to add something special to our specialty drinks once in awhile. Here’s a list of the options for toppings that you are given when visiting your favorite coffee shop.

Toppings For Drinks Offered At Starbucks:

  • Caramel Drizzle: Made from Starbucks delicious caramel sauce. It’s the same sauce they use to make their caramel macchiatos.
  • Mocha drizzle: The sauce they use in their mochas, but it’s a perfect topping to any drink when you are craving a little chocolate.
  • Whipped cream/Flavored Whipped cream: Most drinks will be topped with whipped cream unless you order a skinny drink or personally request no whipped cream on yours. Flavored whipped creams are offered seasonally.
  • Chocolate powder: A rich chocolatey powder you can add to any chocolatey drink.
  • Vanilla Powder: A vanilla powder used on light, airy drinks.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Dolce sprinkles: Created with cinnamon and sugar bits.
  • Caramel Brulee: A hard candy ground up into a topping. It tastes like caramel bits.
  • Sea salt.
  • Pumpkin Spice: Made from pumpkin flavoring.
  • Chocolate Curls: Chocolate shavings. They are usually seasonal.
  • Molasses Drizzle: It is exactly what it sounds like.
  • Italian Roast Drizzle: A coffee infused drizzle that comes around seasonally.
  • Cookie Crumbles: Bits of cookies.
  • Caramel Crunchies: Crunchy candy topping that taste like caramel.

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