What is heavy cream at Starbucks (What heavy cream does Starbucks use, Substitutes for heavy cream at Starbucks + More information)

Heavy cream is among the most underrated ingredients for a flavorful beverage, and Starbucks proves it by adding it to almost every drink on its menu. This raises the question: what is heavy cream at Starbucks?

Here is an interesting fact: I do not like the taste of bitter coffee. Sounds strange, I know – especially because I frequent Starbucks almost every day. However, heavy cream goes a long way to making me try out more Starbucks tea and coffee drinks, and that is because it makes it taste better and unique. This made me curious about the heavy cream that Starbucks uses, and I am sure you are as well if you are a fan of the stuff, which is what I will answer in this article.

Heavy cream at Starbucks is milk that has a fat percentage of between 36 and 40% and is skimmed from the top layer of the milk. Read on to find out more about their heavy cream and what makes it popular.

What is Starbucks heavy cream?

Starbucks heavy cream is a milk by-product whose name originates from its high-fat content – between 36 and 40% fat content. You may also know it as heavy whipping cream (or double cream if you are in Europe), and it is popular due to its ability to hold its shape for longer compared to whipping cream.

The establishment sources the milk from local producers in the area it operates in, so there is no single dairy brand it uses. The process of making the cream is the same regardless of this; the milk goes through a process that separates the skim milk from the cream, and then the top layer is separated further to form the heavy cream.

How many calories are there in a splash of heavy cream at Starbucks?

Heavy cream is quite calorie-intense, but the problem is Starbucks does not specify the calories for the condiment, so the only way to know is by checking the equivalent nutritional content from other sources.

A splash can come with up to 100 calories on average, but the barista will decide on the exact heavy cream amount they will add to your drink. If you are unsure or want the cream in limited quantities, you can ask for one heavy cream shot – about an ounce.

What does heavy cream in coffee taste like?

What heavy cream does Starbucks use

Since heavy cream has a high viscosity due to its thickness, so it will mix well with the coffee flavors to produce a satisfying, slightly sweet taste profile.

Dark roasted coffee works best with heavy cream, as the cream will dilute it without it losing its flavor. On the other hand, medium and light roast coffees struggle with the condiment because it overpowers them.

How much heavy cream does Starbucks use in a Grande, Venti, or Tall drinks?

The barista will use a consistent quantity of dairy in different drinks, regardless of the form the dairy is in. The guidelines that they use are:

  • Grande – 2 ounces
  • Venti – 3 ounces
  • Tall – 1 ounce

Starbucks baristas might also reduce the heavy cream amounts to avoid too-milky results unless you want to add more of it.

What can you substitute for heavy cream at Starbucks?

If you want to reduce your calorie intake by eliminating heavy cream or are lactose-intolerant, there are several substitutions including:

  • Olive oil and soy milk – Works well for vegans, with olive oil providing the fat content and the soy milk adding creaminess.
  • Egg white and banana – Both a dairy-free and low-fat choice that substitutes well for whipped and heavy cream.
  • Evaporated milk – This is a milk product in a canned form and contains almost 60% lower water quantity compared to regular milk.
  • Greek yogurt and milk – Greek yogurt has high protein content, while milk will thin out its consistency to make it similar to heavy cream.


If you enjoy Starbucks coffee or tea, consider adding heavy cream to the drink if you have not tried it before – you will rarely regret your decision. Most beverages you get will have heavy cream inclusions, so you can ask for more of it during your next visit and taste the difference in your beverage.

FAQ Section

Is heavy cream the same as coffee cream?

No, they are not. Coffee cream (also known as table or light cream) has 18-30% fat, while heavy cream has 36-40% fat.

How do you ask for cream at Starbucks?

Simply request extra cream when placing your drink order with the barista.

Does Starbucks charge extra for heavy cream?

It is worth noting that Starbucks does not charge you more for extra heavy cream inclusions in your drink in most instances, and the policies in each store differ with the management.

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