Have you ever wondered what the best espresso drinks to order at Starbucks are? Based on my experiences and advice from various Starbucks baristas, read on to find out.
As a coffee lover, espresso is among my favorite ordering options when I make my daily Starbucks visits. It gives me an energy boost when I need it the most, and I am sure you enjoy it too – but may be wondering what espresso forms you can drink to get some variety. I will discuss them in this review, basing it on my experiences, and also share with you the Starbucks espresso that is my favorite.
How do you order an espresso at Starbucks?
You can order Starbucks espresso in four size options, all in decaf or blonde roast options – the quad (four shots), the triple (three shots), the doppio (two shots), and the solo (one-shot).
If you deal with caffeine sensitivity and want to reduce your intake, you can get the decaf options in 2/3 decaf, 1/3 decaf, and 1/2 decaf. For instance, you may want a quad 1/2 decaf espresso, so the barista will put two shots of decaf and two shots of caffeinated coffee.
What can I add to Starbucks espresso?
There are several options you can add if you want your espresso to taste better:
- Ice – although the default espresso drink comes hot, you can add ice to cool it down, as well as serve as a diluting agent if you want to reduce your caffeine intake.
- Syrup – If you are new to coffee, the bitter taste of a Starbucks espresso may put you off unless you sweeten it. Syrups achieve this goal while retaining the coffee aroma and flavor.
- Milk (or plant-based milk) – Espresso and milk are a heavenly combination, and you can never fail if you decide to add it to your coffee. Similar to vanilla syrup, it adds sweetness without sacrificing the trademark smoothness of an espresso.
What Starbucks drink has 5 shots of espresso?
The Venti Doubleshot on Ice is Starbucks’ 5-shot espresso drink, and its caffeine content is 375 milligrams – more than double the caffeine in its canned energy drink counterpart.
How we choose the best espresso drinks at Starbucks
Because Starbucks offers a staggering variety of espresso drinks on its menu, there are specific considerations I keep in mind when choosing the best drinks:
- I love both hot and iced options, so I will include both in my list.
- Seasonal espresso drinks are also included, as my list accounts for changes in the Starbucks main menu.
- The acidity level and sweetness of the espresso are important, as they give the drink the characteristic taste attributes of the espresso. For instance, my preference is for crisp espresso tastes with a pleasant flavor, so my choices of the best drinks will account for that.
10 best espresso drinks to order at Starbucks
Iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso
You can order this as a hot or iced version, and it is among the newer entries on the Starbucks menu. It consists of ice, three espresso shots, oat milk, cinnamon, and four pumps of brown sugar syrup. The flavor profile is similar to an iced caramel macchiato.
Iced Caramel macchiato
If you are like me and enjoy taking cold coffee drinks, then you will love the iced caramel macchiato. It uses caramel syrup as a drink topping, which is seen as a lower-calorie option for people watching their sugar intake. You can also drink it without the ice if you are not a fan of cold coffee.
Among Starbucks holiday beverages, the peppermint mocha is a fan favorite – and it happens to be my favorite espresso drink as well. it consists of two espresso shots, as well as chocolate and mint flavors that give me the energy boost I need with flavors that stimulate my taste buds.
Pumpkin spice latte
You might not have thought of this Fall drink as an espresso type – I was surprised too when I first learned about that. It is a seasonal drink that gives you the classic taste of fall when you are surrounded by pumpkins, cinnamon, apples, and red trees, and is a great choice when you want to warm yourself in the falling temperatures.
Its espresso content is low, so it will work as a milder option if you are not into heavy caffeine consumption.
Apple crisp macchiato
Combining the apple pie flavor and espresso, this seasonal fall drink is the best nostalgic-inducing espresso form that takes me back to my childhood with my grandparents. It is not the most popular choice compared to drinks such as the Pumpkin Spice latte, but you will likely enjoy it each time you drink it.
Iced Dirty chai tea latte
The funny thing about this drink is that it is a part of the Starbucks secret menu, yet it is not a secret at all. Chai lattes are available in most coffee houses, but Starbucks takes it up a notch by adding one espresso shot to add an interesting taste – one you should consider trying if you feel adventurous.
Toasted white chocolate mocha
This is for you if you are a major fan of white chocolate, and it is a part of the Starbucks winter menu – Christmas and New Year’s Eve days in particular. It consists of two espresso shots that blend in beautifully with the chocolate, making each sip delicious and unforgettable. However, opt for the traditional mocha instead if you do not like white chocolate.
This drink has single or double espresso shots and foamed milk, and you can get it iced or hot. It aims to extend the espresso experience by delaying the highs that happen when you drink pure espresso.
Cappuccinos take me back to my early college days when I moved to New York from a small town and was inexperienced with coffee, so I had no idea what to order when going to Starbucks for the first time. In my inexperience, I found that cappuccino was a perfect introduction to the espresso world, and I recommend it to anyone new to coffee drinks.
In a cappuccino, you get one to two espresso shots depending on the cup size, half milk foam, and half steamed milk. This can also allow you to experiment with more flavors and additions.
This drink was the beginning of Americanos as we know them today and developed from American WWII soldiers stationed in Europe diluting Italian espresso because it was too strong for their taste.
What is the best espresso drink at Starbucks?
The best Starbucks espresso drink depends on preferences, but I find the peppermint mocha to be the best choice because I love mint and chocolate combined with the espresso flavor.
How do you order an espresso at Starbucks?
You can order in terms of size – the quad, the triple, the doppio, and the solo. Aside from the size, specify the roast type that you want; this will either be a blonde or decaf roast.
What is the most popular espresso drink at Starbucks?
There are two highly popular Starbucks espresso drinks: cappuccino and espresso macchiato.