How to order at Starbucks for the first time (What drinks should I try at Starbucks for the first time + More information)

Can I order from the Starbucks app as a newbie? This question, alongside ordering from Starbucks in-store, is a common anxiety among new customers attempting their orders for the first time.

The memories of ordering a Starbucks drink for the first time still linger in my mind. After moving to New York and deciding to satisfy my small-town curiosity by visiting a Starbucks store, a quick look at the menu left me in confusion. Everything sounded foreign to my ears, and I later realized it was not just me – numerous people narrated stories about their panic when trying to figure out their first-time Starbucks orders.

The struggle is real, and that inspired me to write this for newbies making a Starbucks order for the first time, whether in-store or on the app. As a new customer, you can easily order from the Starbucks app or in-store. The app will require you to create an account, choose your orders, and then pay in advance, while in-store orders will require you to know the drink size and type of drink when placing your order.

How do I order extra hot from Starbucks in-store?

Ordering at Starbucks for the first time


In terms of temperature, extra hot drinks at Starbucks have a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and getting them in-store will require you to make a special request when making your order. However, the drink must contain milk for three reasons:

  • Plain coffee loses its flavor when you steam it at very high temperatures
  • Starbucks baristas do not use microwaves to reheat coffee drinks, so it is difficult to achieve extra hot temperatures.
  • Milk tends to lower the temperature of coffee when it is added to a drink, so you can steam the milk for a longer time to maintain the temperature you prefer.

Simply tell the barista that you want the drink extra hot, and the milk will go through a longer steaming time to reach the desired temperature.

Roast level

The roast level of the coffee beans does not matter when asking for your drink to be extra hot, so you can choose any roast you want for your drink.

Starbucks has three roast types: light, medium, and dark, with dark coffee going through the longest roasting time and achieving a strong flavor, while light coffee goes through the shortest roasting time and has the lightest flavor.


The flavors in your extra hot drink do not matter, so you can order any flavors you wish when getting your drink of choice. You can choose different toppings and sweeteners (sauces and syrups), as well as milk options (both dairy and vegan-friendly).

Keep in mind that sauces are the best options because of their ability to mix with extra hot drinks without clumping at the bottom of the drink. However, you can choose the various syrups if you are vegan, as most sauces (except mocha sauce) contain dairy or honey.


The drink size does not matter when asking for an extra hot drink, although Starbucks baristas will put the drink into the Grande size cup by default unless you state otherwise.


It is important to know the best syrup choice for any drink you choose to order from Starbucks because each will have the drink it shines the best in.

Starbucks has a selection of more than 10 syrups available, but the best ones to choose are peppermint for extra hot mocha and hot chocolate drinks, the very versatile vanilla for almost any drink you want, the classic syrup if you are unsure of what you want, hazelnut if you want an interesting flavor infusion, and toffee nut if you are taking an extra hot mocha or latte.

Type of drink

The best drinks to make extra hot drinks contain milk, with the macchiato and mocha drinks coming on top when you want to order your drink extra hot. The best macchiato for an extra hot selection is the caramel macchiato, while the best mocha for the job is the white chocolate mocha. Other drinks you can get are lattes, flat whites, and cappuccinos.


The customizations you add to an extra hot Starbucks drink depend on what the drink is, as they do not affect the consistency of the temperature. That allows you to try a range of sweeteners, milk options, flavors, toppings, and other add-ins.

How do I order extra hot from the Starbucks app?

Starbucks account creation and login

What drinks should I try at Starbucks for the first time

Creating a Starbucks account is very easy and does not require much information – you will only need to provide your first and last name, and email address, and then create a secure password. It will also ask you for some personal information and your card details for future Rewards and promotions. The login process is also easy, and will only need you to enter the information you used for signing up to log in.

The creation of your account will not only allow you to make online orders, but also pay for them in advance, add Starbucks Cards and manage them, participate in special offers and Starbucks Rewards, and gain other unique benefits such as your birthday rewards.

Where to find the menu

Both the Starbucks app and website have the menu available, and they will allow you to select different orders depending on the nearest Starbucks café selection. On both the website and the app, you will see that the menu offers hot coffees, hot teas, hot drinks, Frappuccino beverages, cold drinks, iced teas, and cold coffees.

The menu also offers foods and treats, with the availability being dependent on location. If you choose to order extra hot drinks from the app, the drink must have milk in it (you cannot order plain coffee extra hot), then the milk is steamed to 180 degrees and added to the drink you want.

How to order a standard drink on the app menu

Customizing your Starbucks orders through the app is straightforward, and so is getting standard drinks. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Download the latest version of the Starbucks app, which is available for Android and iOS App Store devices. Set up your Starbucks Rewards account to allow your account to gain Stars when you make purchases.
  2. Enable location services on your device and go back to the Starbucks app.
  3. At the bottom of your home screen, tap on the “Order” button.
  4. Place an order of any drink on the menu, customize it (if you want), and add it to your shopping bag.
  5. Choose the store where you want to pick up your order. The app will alert you of the waiting time estimates to expect.

You can either choose to pay for your order in advance, as well as make a contactless digital payment when you are picking up your order. The payment options are mobile wallets, cash, and debit or credit cards.

What drinks should I try at Starbucks for the first time?

To make your orders confidently, start with whether you want your drink iced or hot, the size (this will either be Tall, Grande, Venti, or Trenta), and the type of drink you want.

The easiest drinks you should get as a Starbucks newbie are:


If you are confused and running short on options, you can simply get a cup of plain coffee, and specify whether you want it decaf, regular, or half-decaf – the assumption is that you want a regular coffee unless you state otherwise. If you want, you can add flavoring and milk, and get it iced or hot.

If you are ordering it from the app, plain coffee is under the “Hot Coffees” menu, so open this menu and choose among the “Brewed Coffees”. Starbucks usually uses the Pike Place roast, and the app has the regular and decaf options of the roast available.

Additionally, you can go to the Toppings menu which includes cold foams and whipped cream, as well as add syrups and sauces from the Flavors menu. If you want to order in-store, simply talk to the barista and request that they add your preferences to the coffee.


This is the standard American coffee drink when you cannot think much of anything else to take. You can order it as an iced or hot drink, as it consists of water and espresso shots. Feel free to customize the number of espresso shots, as well as if you want sugar and cream.

If ordering in-store, inform the barista of your preferences. If ordering a hot Americano through the app, visit the “Hot Coffees” menu, select the Caffè Americano option, use the Flavors menu to add syrups or sauces, or the Toppings menu to add Drizzles, Cold foams, whipped cream, or cinnamon, then confirm your order.

If you want it cold and are ordering from the app, go to the “Cold Coffees” section and select the “Iced Caffè Americano” drink, then customize it in the same way as the hot drink option.


This is a drink that combines steamed milk and espresso, and you can get it in hot or iced versions. If getting it in-store, tell the barista the temperature of the drink and whether you want it with flavors such as hazelnut, mochas, vanilla, caramel, or any seasonal flavors such as peppermint and pumpkin spice.

If ordering it on the app, you can go to the Iced Lattes menu (these are in the “Cold Coffees” menu) or the Lattes menu (these are in the “Hot Coffees” menu). You can also choose the toppings you want and the flavors, which are the same as those you will find in-store.


Their composition is similar to lattes, but they contain more foam at the top. You can also flavor them in the same way as a latte: both in-store when placing your order with the barista, or in the app.

For a hot cappuccino, you can get it in the “Hot Coffees” menu. The app does not contain cold cappuccinos, but you can get your way around this problem by ordering an iced latte and adding cold foam as a topping to produce the same result. In-store ordering allows you to get a cold or hot cappuccino, with the cold version also including ice, less milk, and more foam.


These are layered versions of a latte, as they have an espresso layer, steamed milk, and topped with a layer of flavoring. You can get them in both iced and hot versions, and the flavors usually are caramel, marble mocha (consisting of two types of mocha in two separate layers), and latte macchiato (containing layers of espresso and milk).

Getting a macchiato in-store just requires you to know the flavor you want. If ordering a cold one from the app, go to the “Cold Coffees” menu and scroll to the Macchiato section. Choose your drink and its toppings and flavors, and then confirm your order. If you want a hot version, go to the “Hot Coffees” menu and scroll to the Macchiato section, choose your preference, add toppings and flavors, and complete the order.


Ordering at Starbucks for the first time

The simplest way to define a Frappuccino is that it is an iced blended drink containing flavors, milk, a blender, and flavors, as well as a drink base (either crème roast or coffee roast). It is different from cappuccino because a cappuccino is an espresso-based drink containing steamed milk microfoam, while Frappuccino is a coffee-based drink that is unique to Starbucks, only served cold, and contains a lot of sugar and whipped cream.

If you are ordering in-store, ask the barista to give you a coffee or crème-based Frappuccino, then ask for the specific flavors you want. If ordering through the app, the Frappuccino menu has its section, the “Frappuccino Blended Beverages”. Search for the specific Frappuccino drink you want, customize your milk and espresso shot preferences, add toppings and flavors, and then complete your order.


If you are not a coffee fan, you can opt for the refreshers, which are light, juice-based drinks that you can only get cold.

If you order them online, go to the “Refresher” menu under the “Cold Drinks” section. Choose your milk, flavor, toppings, juice, tea, and preparation preferences, then confirm your order. You can do the same if you are ordering at the store.

Iced tea

This is a tried-and-tested classic drink you can hardly get wrong, whether you are buying it from the store or online. Starbucks offers caffeine-free, sweetened, and unsweetened options, although Starbucks will add sweeteners by default unless you state otherwise.

If you are buying it in person, know the number of syrup pumps you want (in most cases, they will vary between 3 and 7 pumps), or choose other sweeteners if the classic syrup is not your thing. If you are ordering online, the iced tea menu is extensive and has its section, so feel free to choose your preference and customize it in the same way as you would for an in-store order.

Hot chocolate

Starbucks offers different variations of hot chocolate, which makes it interesting. On the app, they are on the “Hot Drinks” menu with variations of White hot chocolate and Hot chocolate, and you can customize them through the milk options, flavors, toppings, and optional line-ins.

The same options are available when ordering in-store, such as the option of adding syrup or customizing your milk options.


If you want a taste of chocolate and coffee in the same cup, choose mocha – it will never let you down. It is a standard at all locations in Starbucks, and it is also the base of seasonal and all-year drinks.

Regardless of how you order it, you can customize its milk options, the number of espresso shots, the chocolate amounts, the milk froth after steaming, and other add-ons such as marshmallows, cocoa powder, and whipped cream. You can also get it as iced mocha or hot mocha.

If you order through the app, the iced mocha drinks are on the “Cold Coffees” menu, while the hot mocha drinks are on the “Hot Coffees” menu.


While the Starbucks menu may seem like a confusing mess to those who do not know how to navigate it, the experience will teach you that it does not need to be this way. The tips I have discussed in this article should give you a good starting point, and you can try out the drinks I have outlined if you want to try easy-to-order drinks for new customers.


Should a first-time customer order a Trenta?

No, it is not advisable to get a Trenta as your first-time order. The Trenta size works best for long-time customers who know the in-and-outs of various drinks and know their preferences well.

Does Starbucks offer new customers discounts?

No, Starbucks does not offer discounts to new customers.