Heavy Cream vs. Half-and-Half: which one is better?

Some Starbucks customers assume that heavy cream is the same as half and half since they are sometimes interchangeable. I have always ordered coffee from Starbucks with half and half and wanted to try it in a soup.

I was disappointed to find out that our local Starbucks store had run out of half and half. The barista recommended I use heavy cream. It gave my soup a much richer taste. I started researching the differences between heavy cream and half and half. I then created this post to inform you of how they differ and which one is better.

What are the differences between Heavy Cream vs. Half-and-Half?


Heavy cream



Thick cream

Equal parts of milk and heavy cream

Taste profile

Creamy, fatty, and rich flavor

It tastes like milk, but it is creamier and more flavorful.

Caffeine/ Nutritional value

No caffeine. A half a cup has 400 calories and 43 grams of fat

No caffeine. A cup of this has 315 calories and 28 grams of fat.

Availability/ Accessibility



Starbucks Heavy Cream vs. Half-and-Half – How They Compare.

Heavy Cream vs. Half-and-Half

What it’s made of (ingredients)

Starbucks heavy cream is basically made up of cream. This thick fatty portion of milk tends to rise during manufacturing. On the other hand, Starbucks half and half are made up of heavy cream and whole milk in equal parts.

Heavy cream, therefore, wins since it is made up of thicker and richer cream.

Taste profile

Starbucks heavy cream has a fatty, rich, and creamy flavor. It can enhance the taste of most beverages. Since heavy cream does not have any added sugar, it is not very sweet. On the other hand, Starbucks half and half has a similar taste to milk, but it is a bit more flavorful and creamier than milk.

Starbucks half and half, therefore, wins since it has a better taste.

Caffeine content/nutritional value

Heavy cream and half and half do not contain any caffeine. A half cup of Starbucks heavy cream has 43 grams of fat and 400 calories. You should therefore avoid taking too much of this cream.

On the other hand, a cup of Starbucks half and half has around 315 calories and 28 grams of fat.

Starbucks half and half, therefore, wins since it has fewer calories and fat.

Availability/ Accessibility

Starbucks half and half and heavy cream are easy to access from the store. You only need to order a drink and request for either of these.

Heavy cream and half and half draw in this category since they are easy to access.

Starbucks Heavy Cream vs. Half-and-Half: A comparison overview

Starbucks Heavy Cream – Overview

Heavy Cream

This refers to the high-fat cream which settles on top of fresh milk. It is skimmed off milk during manufacturing. Starbucks heavy cream has between 36% and 40% of fat. This coffee house utilizes this cream to create whipped cream. Adding Starbuck heavy cream to a beverage can give it an extra rich flavor.

Whether you choose to order a drink that already comes with heavy cream or are requesting more of this cream, you will not be charged an extra amount. The only time that this company charges extra for heavy cream is when a customer wants it steamed.

What I liked;

  • Its thickness

What I didn’t like

  • High calories

Who it’s best suited for.

  • For those who like their beverages extra creamy

Starbucks Half and Half- Overview

Heavy Cream vs. Half-and-Half

You can also order a cup of coffee with Starbucks half and half. This refers to light cream and whole milk in equal parts. Half and half is richer than whole milk since it has 12% fat. It is, however, not as rich as Starbucks heavy cream, which has around three times its fat content.

Starbucks half and half is great for people trying to add more flavor to their drinks while cutting back on fat. However, half and half cannot be used to make whipped cream since it does not have sufficient milk fat for this purpose.

What I liked

  • Its amazing flavor

What I didn’t like

  • It is not as thick as heavy cream

Who it’s best suited for.

  • For those who want to cut back on fat

Final Verdict: So, Which is Better? – Starbucks Heavy Cream or Half-and-Half

Starbucks half and half is better than heavy cream. This is because it has a better flavor and lower calories. Though heavy cream can make a drink richer, it should be consumed in moderation due to its high-calorie content. I, therefore, choose Starbucks half and half as the clear winner.


Can heavy cream and half-and-half be used interchangeably?

Yes. These two can sometimes be used interchangeably, but not in all cases.

Does heavy cream taste better than half and half?

No. Half and half tastes better since it contains whole milk and heavy cream in equal parts. Heavy cream is not sweet since it is not added sugar.

Which one has a heavier texture between heavy cream and half-and-half?

Heavy cream has a heavier texture since it has more milk fat.

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