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Beans & Grounds | Blog

Best Starbucks Coffee 2022

The Starbucks menu is full of delicious options, but what is the best coffee at Starbucks? 

That question is a little subjective, but one way to tackle it is to ask what coffee drinks get ordered the most and which tend to get the highest ratings on social media and other platforms.

For this list, we’re sticking strictly to coffee-based drinks, but we’ve covered the non-coffee options as well. 

Read on to find out more about the Starbucks drinks you should order when you want to try something new.

starbucks drinks

15 Best Starbucks Coffee Drinks In 2022

While we have our own favorites, to get to the bottom of the question of which Starbucks coffee drinks are the best, it’s best to go with the court of public opinion. 

The following Starbucks drinks include some of our personal favorites, but the key criterion is that they’re also massively popular with Starbucks patrons.

1. Vanilla Latte

One of the most basic Starbucks drinks on the menu, right next to the classic cappuccino, the vanilla latte remains one of the most popular drinks even today. 

This popularity is especially telling in the face of all the Instagram and TikTok-famous drinks Starbucks offers. 

The recipe is simple: vanilla syrup, espresso, steamed milk, and a little bit of foam on top. 

The ratios of espresso and vanilla depend on the size: one shot of espresso for a Tall latte, two for Grande and Venti. Three pumps of vanilla for Tall, four for Grande, five for Venti.

You can personalize this drink in a few different ways: add espresso to boost the coffee flavor, add extra syrup for a sweeter taste, ask for it cold with no foam or add whip. 

It’s also possible to make this drink a French vanilla latte by adding hazelnut syrup to the mix.

Related Reads: Starbucks TikTok Drinks, Starbucks Secret Menu, Starbucks Lattes

2. Honey Almond Milk Flat White

This drink celebrates the simplicity of espresso while adding some more sophisticated flavors to the mix. 

The honey almond milk flat white latte combines Starbucks signature blonde espresso with the company’s proprietary almondmilk blend, and honey syrup to create a latte that balances the nutty, rich sweetness, and sharpness of espresso.

The drink is available hot or iced, but the hot version is the classic and brings out the subtle flavors in each component. 

You can personalize this coffee drink by adding espresso shots, requesting caramel drizzle to reinforce the sweetness of the honey, or adding vanilla to the flavor profile.

3. Nitro Cold Brew

One of the class of new drinks to hit the menu in the past few years, nitro cold brew takes the cold brewing method to the next level. 

Starbucks starts with a base of cold brew coffee, then infuses small batches with nitrogen to enhance the sweetness and create a velvety crema that rivals the best espresso.

The coffee drink is beautiful on its own, but you can definitely take it further by adding the syrup of your choice or adding flavored cold foam to the top. 

Sweet cream and vanilla cold foams are favorites, while toffee nut and caramel are the go-to choices for added syrups.

4. Pumpkin Spice Latte

A seasonal favorite even with non-coffee drinkers, the pumpkin spice latte embodies the flavors of fall and winter. 

The drink combines a specialty pumpkin spice syrup with espresso, steamed milk, whipped cream, and a special pumpkin spice topping for a decadent but approachable drink.

Over the years, Starbucks regulars have tweaked and altered the basic recipe in tons of different ways. 

You could opt for no whipped cream, add caramel drizzle, add white mocha sauce, or cinnamon dolce syrup. The newer brown sugar syrup also adds a more complex flavor. 

These are all popular personalizations, but at Starbucks, the only limit is your imagination!

5. Blonde Roast Coffee

This is more than just a cup of black coffee, of course. Starbucks blonde roast blends different Latin American coffees and roasts the beans lightly, which helps keep the flavor of the bean itself intact. 

It’s the lightest roast that Starbucks offers, and the finished result is a rich coffee with hints of malt and chocolate.

Take things a step further by turning your cup of coffee into a caffè misto with some steamed milk, or add a double shot of espresso to your blonde roast for a “black eye.” 

Some people also like to pre-sweeten their hot coffee with syrups, like brown sugar syrup or classic syrup.

6. Caramel Brulée Latte

Another seasonal favorite, the caramel brulée latte, balances sweetness and depth. 

The drink combines espresso, dark caramel sauce, vanilla syrup, and milk with decadent whipped cream and caramel brulée bits. It’s rich and definitely a treat for the taste buds.

Personalize it by swapping in non-dairy milk, such as oat milk or coconut milk, or by adding extra caramel for over-the-top sweetness. 

You can also add more espresso for a more intense coffee flavor, or request it with “no whip” if you want to spare yourself some of the calories.

7. Caramel Macchiato

One of the best Starbucks drinks from the old days, the caramel macchiato is almost as classic as the latte itself.

The drink is one of the first signature espresso drinks that Starbucks baristas learn to make: vanilla syrup and frothed milk, with the espresso poured over the foam to stain it (hence the name), finished with a drizzle of caramel in the Starbucks signature crosshatch pattern.

Most people personalize this drink by adding additional shots to balance the sweetness or ask for the drink “upside down,” meaning with the shots on the bottom instead of the top. 

You can also substitute other syrups for the standard vanilla: hazelnut, caramel, and white mocha sauce are favorites, but there are plenty of options.

8. Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino

This drink isn’t on the standard Starbucks menu, and the original recipe doesn’t use coffee, but we prefer the caffeinated version. 

The cinnamon roll Frappuccino takes advantage of some key Starbucks components: Frappuccino blended coffee base, cinnamon dolce syrup, vanilla bean powder, and white chocolate sauce topped with whipped cream and cinnamon dolce powder.

This is a tasty option for any coffee drinker who wants a treat but doesn’t want too much caffeine. 

If you want a little more kick in your Frappuccino, you can request an added shot of espresso, either in the blender or added “affogato,” over the top of the drink.

9. Salted Caramel Cold Brew

Cold brewing has given Starbucks a whole new base for drink development, and the salted caramel cream cold brew is a fine example. 

This rich, sweet coffee marries Starbucks cold brew coffee with vanilla and caramel syrups and tops it all off with caramel sweet cream cold foam for a velvety texture.

While the drink stands strong on its own, you can personalize it with a few tweaks:

Add caramel sauce for a more balanced sweetness, add more components to the cold foam like cinnamon dolce or other syrups to get a more complex flavor, or add espresso for an extra jolt.

10. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Another variation on cold brew, the vanilla sweet cream cold brew, is a marriage of vanilla ice cream and intense coffee. 

It has rapidly become a cold brew staple, with the frothed milk texture of the cold foam adding depth to the smoothness of the coffee. The recipe calls for cold brew iced coffee, vanilla, and cold foam–very simple.

You can complicate things at will by adding espresso to the mix or by changing up the flavors in the cold foam. 

We also recommend adding a splash of whole milk to balance out some of the richness of the cream. The finished product is like coffee ice cream in liquid form.

11. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino

This Starbucks coffee specialty drink takes caramel to the next level, incorporating several types and textures of it into a frozen delight. 

The caramel ribbon crunch Frappuccino combines dark caramel sauce with the standard Starbucks caramel, along with vanilla, the signature coffee Frappuccino base, whipped cream, and a crunchy caramel topping.

Personalize this frozen delight by swapping in salted caramel syrup or by adding espresso for a deeper flavor. 

You can also customize the milk; while the standard is whole milk, you can request nonfat milk, oat milk, or coconut milk to get the flavor and texture you prefer. Finally, you can add other flavors as well.

12. Peppermint Mocha

Peppermint mocha gets a lot of attention during the holiday season, but it’s available year-round. 

The drink combines peppermint syrup with caffe mocha syrup, and finishes with whipped cream. 

In the winter, it sometimes gets a festive topping of candy sprinkles, but the rest of the year, you’ll generally find mocha drizzle decorating the whipped topping.

Make your peppermint mocha more personal with added espresso to punch it up, or consider adding a pump or two of vanilla to lighten up the dark chocolate flavor base of the drink.

Some coffee drinkers who love this Starbucks drink add a pump of white mocha instead for the same effect.

Considered one of the best Starbucks drinks of all time, it doesn’t take much to make it perfect.

13. Dirty Chai Latte

If you can’t decide between coffee and tea, this is a drink for you. 

The dirty chai latte brings together espresso and chai, for a spicy-sweet experience that’s also high in caffeine. The recipe is simple: Starbucks chai latte concentrate, 1-2 shots of espresso, hot water, and milk. 

The espresso cuts some of the sweetness of the concentrate and of course, adds an extra hit of caffeine to the drink.

If you decide to try this beverage, we recommend requesting “no water” in your latte since the espresso already helps dilute the concentrate. 

Another popular personalization choice is to add vanilla or brown sugar syrup to your coffee since the combination of chai concentrate and espresso can be a little bitter. 

But, keep in mind that the beauty of this drink is simplicity.

Related Read: Starbucks Healthy Drinks

14. Iced White Chocolate Mocha

If the caffe mocha is a little too intense for you, consider the white chocolate mocha. 

The iced white chocolate mocha is even better–both in our opinion and in the consensus of Starbucks patrons. 

This drink blends white chocolate sauce with espresso, milk, and ice cubes for a refreshing treat.

Personalization options are almost limitless, but popular choices include adding raspberry syrup, adding strawberry puree, extra shots of espresso, and fruit inclusions (especially freeze-dried strawberries). 

The iced white chocolate mocha doesn’t come with whip automatically, but many patrons request it.

15. Caramel Frappuccino

This caramel drink launched with the original Frappuccino line, and its popularity remains strong. 

Coffee drinkers love it because it maintains a strong coffee taste, while non-coffee drinkers enjoy it for the sweet flavor profile. 

The recipe combines caramel syrup, coffee Frappuccino base, milk, and ice cubes, blended to a fine slush, with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

You can personalize your caramel coffee Frappuccino in many ways: add mocha drizzle to your cup for a flavor profile like a candy bar, or add espresso for a deeper taste of coffee. 

Many Starbucks regulars request extra caramel to line the cup, or add chocolate chips for texture. 

You can even add other flavors like cinnamon dolce, or vanilla if you like your coffee drinks sweeter.

Wrapping Up

The best coffee drinks at Starbucks are a matter of heavy debate, but the numbers don’t lie: these drinks rank among the most popular every year. 

Even as the Starbucks menu expands and changes, some classic favorites maintain their “best Starbucks drinks” status.

All of these Starbucks drinks are Interesting and offer plenty of opportunities to upgrade, tweak, and adjust to your exact tastes. Get out there and sample new flavors!