What Does Upside Down Mean at Starbucks? (What kinds of drinks are ordered upside down at Starbucks? + More Information)

There is a tonne of Starbucks terminologies, and it is easy to get them mixed up. But what does Upside Down mean at Starbucks, and what Upside Down drinks can you order?

At Starbucks, an upside-down drink refers to any beverage whose components are put together in a glass using the inverse process. One of my favorite drinks to have at Starbucks is a caramel latte. When making an order one morning, the barista asked me whether I wanted it upside down. I had no idea what that meant, so I said yes just to avoid embarrassment. Let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised. Since then, I have had the drink, and several others, upside down. In fact, if I could have upside-down everything at Starbucks, I most likely would. So, what drinks can you order upside down at Starbucks?

What drinks can you order upside down at Starbucks?

Caramel macchiato

What Does Upside Down Mean at Starbucks?
Starbucks Caramel macchiato. Source: Pinterest

This is easily the most common upside-down drink available at Starbucks. In essence, it is a caramel latte that is put together using the reverse sequence. A caramel latte is made by first adding a pump of caramel syrup to the bottom of the cup. This is followed by a shot or two of espresso (depending on cup size). The final layers are made by adding steamed milk and milk foam, and a drizzle of vanilla syrup. If you want it iced, the barista will add ice.

With a caramel macchiato, the barista starts with a pump or two of vanilla syrup (depending on cup size) at the bottom, then adds milk and ice. After this layer is added, they will add the espresso shot or shots and milk foam. The drink is then topped with caramel drizzle at the top. Oftentimes, when making a caramel macchiato, the barista will make a characteristic lattice pattern with the caramel drizzle.

Upside Down Cold Brew Dologna Coffee

An upside-down cold brew bologna coffee is made by combining Starbucks multi-serve cold brew, water, whipped cream, ice, and syrup into a cup. Before pouring it in, the barista first adds ice, the multi-serve cold brew, and water into the glass and stirs. They then mix up heavy cream and syrup and whisk away to make the mixture fluffy just like whipped cream. The whipped topping is then added over the cold brew with ice. You can have multiple toppings such as spices to go with that if you like.

Why do people order upside-down drinks at Starbucks?

What kinds of drinks are ordered upside down at Starbucks?
Order upside-down drinks at Starbucks. Source: Pinterest

People order upside-down drinks at Starbucks because they offer a different flavor profile. With upside-down drinks, the flavor layering is very different, and you may think you are drinking something completely different than what you are used to. Even though the ingredients may be the same as those of regular drinks, the flavors interact differently and create a dissimilar taste.

How can I order an upside-down drink at Starbucks?

If you are ordering the drink in person, ask the barista for your preferred beverage and ask them to make it upside down. For instance, you can order an iced caramel latte upside down, and you will end up with a caramel macchiato.

On the Starbucks app, go to drinks and select an Iced Caramel Macchiato, then proceed to click on Espresso and Shot Options. Find a field labeled Shot Prep then go on and click Upside Down. You are going to receive an upside-down caramel macchiato.

What is Starbucks Upside Down Shot Prep?

What Does Upside Down Mean at Starbucks?
Starbucks upside-down prep. Source: Pinterest

When making your drink, an upside-down shot prep means that your barista will add the shots of espresso over the milk as opposed to adding them into the glass before the milk. In this case, everything else may follow the regular order, but the espresso shots and milk addition sequence is interchanged.


If you are looking for a new and fun way of having your cup of caramel macchiato, you might want to consider having an upside-down version of the same. It comes with a different flavor profile, but you get the same caffeine fix you would have in a regular caramel latte. It is also a pretty delicious drink.

FAQ Section

What is an upside-down shot at Starbucks?

This mainly refers to the espresso shots added into your drink. Usually, the barista adds the espresso shots first before adding the milk. In an upside-down shot order, the barista adds the milk first, then adds the espresso shots over the same.

What is an upside-down caramel macchiato?

This drink is made by adding vanilla syrup, milk, and ice in a cup, then espresso shots, cream, and caramel sauce are added on top. Usually, the caramel sauce goes in first, then the espresso shots, milk, cream, and vanilla syrup follow.

Is an upside-down macchiato a latte?

Yes, an upside-down caramel macchiato is the same as a caramel latte. The macchiato has the same ingredients as the caramel latte, but they are combined in reverse order in the cup.

Leave a Comment