17 Best Starbucks Espresso Drinks (Popular Options)

Espresso is basically the original coffee, and almost all popular coffee drinks are a variation of it.

Starbucks has a massive menu, and it can be difficult trying to stay on top of everything they have to offer. 

You may struggle to find the best espresso drinks, but don't worry because we're here to make it simple, and in this guide, we'll introduce all the best Starbucks espresso drinks for you to try on your next visit.  

Starbucks has a lot of espresso drinks. Some very obviously have espresso in, but some don’t feature the espresso as prominently.

We’ve created a list of the best espresso drinks, both hot and cold, so you’ve got all the options to choose how you get your espresso fix. 

1. Espresso (Regular Style) 

Let's start with one of the obvious espresso drinks, the Starbucks espresso.

It's the classic Italian coffee that is brewed by forcing pressurized hot water through very fine coffee beans. 

Traditionally, an espresso is enjoyed straight without any whipped cream, steamed milk, or sugar, but it's also used as the base for many popular Starbucks espresso drinks.

Starbucks Espresso Shot

It's typically served as a solo (single), doppio (double), triple, or quad size so you can get as big an energy hit as you need.

The Starbucks regular espresso is the perfect diet drink for coffee lovers. It has no calories, no sugar, and 75mg of caffeine in a single shot. 

You can order a regular or blonde roast espresso, and the strong, bold flavor makes it really popular with coffee purists.    

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2. Espresso Macchiato 

If you appreciate the bold taste of espresso, but find it a little too harsh for your pallet, then you'll love the Starbucks espresso macchiato.[1]

These espresso drinks are made with a double espresso base and topped with a dollop of steamed milk. 

The steamed milk mixes with the crema from the coffee and gives the espresso macchiato a bit more smoothness which balances out the slightly bitter coffee.

The espresso macchiato is available as a solo, doppio, triple, or quad, and is a great morning drink for coffee lovers.  

Do you find an espresso macchiato too strong?

Well the good news is that an espresso macchiato will pair perfectly with Starbucks flavored syrups, and a caramel macchiato is a really popular order. 

A caramel macchiato is a sweet coffee made with caramel sauce. The caramel and espresso flavors blend beautifully, and give the caramel macchiato a bold, but sweet taste.

There's usually some layered sauce on the top of the caramel macchiato foam too to add some extra flavor. 

If you prefer cold espresso beverages then why not try the iced caramel macchiato.

This has all the same taste but caramel macchiato is poured over ice so it can be enjoyed as a summer beverage.

A regular espresso macchiato only has 20 calories and 95mg of caffeine, but a caramel macchiato has slightly more calories, with over 130 in a serving. 

An iced caramel macchiato also has about 130 calories. Of course the caramel macchiato will have more calories if you add more syrup. 

Whether you like a regular espresso macchiato, a caramel macchiato, or an iced caramel macchiato, it's one of the best espresso beverages and it's really popular with older coffee drinkers.

Espresso Macchiato

3. Espresso Con Panna 

For a richer version of an espresso macchiato, you can opt for the espresso con panna.

The espresso con panna is made with a double espresso and topped with a dollop of cream (heavy cream, not whipped cream) to give it an indulgent and smooth top layer.

The combination of espresso and cream in the espresso con panna works really well, and it's a more sophisticated take on a regular Starbucks espresso or espresso macchiato.  

Despite having cream, the espresso con panna is still a low-calorie espresso drink with only 35 calories in a serving. 

It's only available in one size, and there's about 100mg of caffeine in a serving, so the espresso con panna is a good option for those who want a big energy boost from a small drink.   

Espresso con Panna From Starbucks

4. Caffe Americano 

A Caffe Americano is what you might think of as a regular coffee, but it's actually based on an espresso.

The recipe is simple, it’s just an espresso topped up with hot filtered water, and many people choose to add milk, sugar, or sweeteners too. 

The Starbucks Caffe Americano is easier to drink than an espresso but still has the bold and intense Italian coffee drink taste. 

You can order it hot or cold, and it’s available year-round from Starbucks.

You can also choose between regular and decaf coffee beans if you’re trying to cut down on your caffeine intake.  

A Caffe Americano is a low-calorie Starbucks drink and actually has 0 calories if you drink it black. It's vegan and keto-friendly with absolutely no sugar. 

However, there's about 95mg of caffeine in a serving, and it's the perfect drink for coffee lovers who appreciate the taste of Starbucks espresso beans.  

Caffe Americano

5. Latte 

Lattes (sometimes called caffè latte) are one of the most popular Starbucks orders, and you'll see them on every single menu around the world.

There are a lot of different flavors of caffè latte, but at the heart of every Starbucks latte is a double espresso shot which is topped with steamed milk and a small amount of textured milk foam to give you a silky smooth and indulgent coffee. 

If you enjoy milky coffee drinks, then a Starbucks caffè latte is the perfect espresso drink for you.  

The milk content of this espresso drink makes this a higher calorie option, and there are over 190 calories in a serving. 

There’s also about 130mg of caffeine, so you’ll get a decent boost from the espresso. 

Many people choose to add syrup, too (caramel syrup and vanilla syrup are the most popular options), but this will add extra calories and sugar.

The mixture of the bold taste of espresso with the light steamed milk makes the caffè latte really easy to drink, and this is one of the favorites of younger coffee drinkers.  

Caffé Latte From Starbucks

6. Cappuccino 

A Starbucks cappuccino is made with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 frothed milk, so it's similar to a latte but slightly stronger and richer. 

It’s still regarded as a breakfast drink in Italy, but internationally the Starbucks Cappuccino is ordered year-round at any time of day as a more decadent and more drinkable take on an espresso.  

A Starbucks Cappuccino has 80 calories and 130mg of caffeine in a serving. You can definitely taste the espresso through the milky layers. 

Still, it's very smooth, and a Starbucks Cappuccino is a favorite with older coffee drinkers who want all the caffeine without the harshness of an espresso shot. 

Starbucks Cappuccino

7. Flat White 

The flat white is an espresso drink that is halfway between a latte and a cappuccino. 

It’s made using ristretto shots, which are basically concentrated espresso and give this drink an intense coffee taste.

The two shots of ristretto in the base of the Flat White are topped with steamed milk and a dot of foam to provide a slightly rich and slightly creamy taste.   

Starbucks use whole milk in their flat whites, whereas most other Starbucks drinks use 2% milk.

This gives the Flat White a fuller body than some other espresso drinks, but the stronger ristretto still cuts through.

A Flat White is fairly close to a latte, but with less liquid.

It has steamed milk, but much less than a latte, and the signature two shots of espresso make the Flat White taste quite different. 

Where lattes act as a vehicle for other flavors, a Flat White has it's own distinct flavor, and it's one of the favorites for true coffee lovers.  

The Flat White only comes in one size and has 120 calories and 95mg of caffeine in each serving. You can also order an Iced Flat White in the summer months. 

An Iced Flat White tastes a bit stronger because of the cold milk and it's not a very common order, but your Starbucks barista should be able to make it. 

Starbucks Flat White

8. Caffè Mocha 

Starbucks mochas are so sweet and chocolatey that you can barely taste the espresso, but it is there.

The caffè mocha is a mixture of coffee and hot chocolate and is made with an espresso base, chocolate syrup, steamed milk, and whipped cream topping.

It’s not one for the coffee purists, but it’s the perfect option for those who love the mixture of coffee and chocolate in one ceramic cup.  

Iced Caffè Mocha From Starbucks

A caffè mocha is a higher calorie hot espresso drink because of the steamed milk and chocolate sauce, but there are still only 140 calories in a serving. 

There's also about 95mg of caffeine from the espresso and 35 grams of sugar, so you'll get a decent-sized energy boost from a caffè mocha. 

This Starbucks espresso drink is sweeter than most of their other coffees and is a popular option for those who enjoy sugary and sweet Starbucks drinks.  

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9. Iced Espresso 

The iced espresso offers a cold alternative for lovers of Italian style coffee. It’s made by pouring hot espresso over ice to give you a refreshing but high caffeine beverage.

It's a lighter alternative to a Starbucks Frappuccino, and even though many people choose to add syrups and flavorings, it still has far fewer calories.  

In a single serving of these espresso drinks there are 25 calories (if you don't add syrup) and 80mg of caffeine. 

The mixture of ice and coffee really brings out the espresso flavor and makes this a popular drink with those who love the taste of Starbucks espresso.   

Starbucks Iced Espresso

10. Iced Shaken Espresso 

The Starbucks iced shaken espresso was launched in 2015 as a cold alternative to their classic espresso.

It’s made with an espresso base, 2% milk, 4 pumps of classic syrup, and ice. 

The barista then hand-shakes it, which gives it a frothy texture that makes the espresso drink much smoother.

The syrup does make it sweet, but you can still taste the prominent espresso throughout.  

An iced shaken espresso is a favorite with coffee purists and sweet coffee drinkers alike. It can be ordered in a tall, grande, or venti, and there are 100 calories and 14 grams of sugar in a serving. 

In a grande, there are 3 shots of espresso and a huge 225mg of caffeine, so even though it tastes cold and crisp, it should perk you up instantly.  

Starbucks Iced Shaken Espresso

11. Iced Latte 

If you want a smooth, milky espresso drink on a hot day, you can't go wrong with an iced latte.[2]

Starbucks offers a range of different flavored iced lattes, but they're all made with espresso, mixed with textured milk, and poured over ice.

You can then add various syrups or sauces to sweeten the drink as you like.  

Starbucks lattes are popular with anyone who enjoys a milky coffee, and they are a great way to enjoy an espresso.

There are 130 calories, 11 grams of sugar, and 150mg of caffeine in a typical serving, and iced lattes are typically enjoyed on a hot summer’s morning.   

Iced Caffe Latte From Starbucks

12. Iced Chocolate Almond Milk Shaken Espresso 

Chocolate and nuts work perfectly together, and when you add in espresso, it's just heaven.

This Starbucks drink uses the stronger blonde espresso roast, which is combined together with cocoa powder and almond milk. It's then hand-shaken over ice to give it a frothy and smooth texture.   

This is one of the most popular blond espresso drinks at Starbucks.

Despite having chocolate flavorings, this espresso drink isn’t overly sweet, and you can really taste the two shots of strong blonde roast espresso.

In a typically serving there are 110 calories, 16 grams of sugar, and a massive 255mg of caffeine. 

It might look like a chocolate milkshake, but it definitely doesn’t taste like one, though it is an enjoyable drink for those who like strong iced coffees.   

Starbucks Iced Chocolate Almond Milk Shaken Espresso

13. Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso 

Another popular hand-shaken Starbucks espresso drink is the iced brown sugar oat milk espresso.

It's a completely dairy-free Starbucks drink and has a sweet but spicy flavor from the combination of brown sugar syrup and cinnamon. 

It’s one of the most refreshing iced espresso drinks on the menu, and a popular order through spring and summer.  

Starbucks makes it by mixing blonde espresso, brown sugar syrup, and cinnamon flavorings. It’s then topped with oat milk and hand shaken over ice to make it smooth and easy to drink.

There are 120 calories, 13 grams of sugar, and 255mg of caffeine in a serving, so it’s perfect for those who like a big energy boost from their iced coffee.  

Starbucks Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso

14. Iced Toasted Vanilla Oat Shaken Espresso 

If you like caramel and vanilla syrup, this hand-shaken Starbucks drink is for you.

It combines Starbucks blonde espresso with caramelized vanilla flavorings, oat milk, and ice to give you a high-energy treat. 

The espresso isn't as prominent in this iced coffee, and while you can still taste some of the bold flavors, it's definitely sweeter than the other shaken espresso drinks Starbucks offers.  

There are 140 calories, 11 grams of sugar, and 255mg of caffeine in a single serving, so it definitely packs a punch, but the ingredients blend together well using the hand-shaken method. 

This is the perfect cold alternative for those who enjoy a strong but sweet coffee.   

Iced Toasted Vanilla Oat Shaken Espresso

15. Espresso Frappuccino 

Frappuccinos are known for being one of the most indulgent Starbucks drinks on the menu, and there are over 15 different variations to choose from, but the Espresso Frappuccino is the only one with espresso as the base.

This gives it a bolder taste, and the intense flavor of Starbucks espresso is noticeable in every mouthful.

It’s made by blending espresso, ice, and milk, giving it a thick and frothy texture that tastes similar to a coffee milkshake.  

This blended beverage has 210 calories, 46 grams of sugar, and 155mg of caffeine. 

For coffee lovers, it's like sipping an icy cup of joy, and it's definitely a Starbucks espresso drink to try this summer.  

Starbucks Espresso Frappuccino Blended

16. Affogato Frappuccino  

An Affogato is a classic Italian dessert that mixes ice cream and espresso to create a rich and sweet drink.[3]

The Starbucks Affogato Frappuccino is a secret menu espresso drink, and you won't find it on the regular menu. 

It doesn't mirror the traditional Affogato exactly, but the ingredients blend together to give you a sweet, creamy, coffee mess.  

If you want a rich espresso that’s closer to a dessert than a coffee, then this is one for you to try.

There are about 250 calories in a serving, 50 grams of sugar, and 85mg of caffeine from the mixture of whipped cream, chocolate, and sweetened milk. 

It isn’t your everyday Starbucks espresso drink, but it’s a great treat on a hot day.  

Ask Barista For: A vanilla bean Frappuccino, with a single shot of espresso poured in, 1 scoop of java chips, and whipped cream on the top.
Starbucks Affogato Frappuccino

17. The Happy Shot 

This secret menu espresso drink is a quick way to perk yourself up and put a smile on your face.

The cream adds a bit of richness to the drink, and the syrup adds some sweetness. 

This helps to balance out the slight bitterness of the rich espresso and makes the Starbucks happy shot much easier to drink. 

There are typically around 80 calories, 25 grams of sugar, and 150mg of caffeine in this secret menu espresso drink, and it’s a popular alternative to a caramel macchiato. 

Plus, it only costs $2, so it’s a cheap way to get a big hit of caffeine.  

Ask Barista For: 2 pumps of your favorite syrup (vanilla syrup works well), two shots of espresso, and cream (heavy cream not whipped cream). You then mix it all together and drink it in one go. 
The Happy Shot Drink From Starbucks

How To Order Starbucks Espresso Drinks

Starbucks uses espresso as the base for most of their most popular coffee drinks.

The espresso itself comes in 4 different sizes, and you can usually order Starbucks espresso-based drinks in tall, grande, or venti, though some cold drinks are only available in one size.  

Most of the espresso drinks on this list can be ordered directly from the barista because they’re on the regular menu, but you can customize them by adding syrups or toppings.

You can also change the cold or steamed milk for dairy-free alternatives (usually soy, coconut, or almond) to enjoy all the best espresso drinks even if you're lactose intolerant.

Hot Starbucks espresso drinks can be enjoyed with a decaf blend, but this isn’t an option for the cold espresso drinks.  

There are also some secret menu Starbucks drinks that aren't on the regular menu. You’ll need to speak to the barista to order these and tell them about the ingredients that you want.

This might seem weird, but it’s pretty normal in Starbucks, and it’s a great way to get the espresso drink that you really want.  

Starbucks espresso beverages tend to cost between $2 and $4 depending on the size and style of drink.

If you request extra syrups or flavorings, it will cost about $0.30 more, and an extra espresso shot is about $0.50. You can also add whipped cream or cold foam but there is a small cost.

You can order your favorite espresso beverages through the Starbucks app to skip the queues and put all your different additions on through the platform.

This will let you see exactly how much it will cost and the nutritional content of your drink.  

If you’re still struggling to pick from the list of espresso drinks, then you can speak to the barista. They’ll know all the flavors and ingredients and should be able to help you out.  

Common Starbucks Espresso Drink Questions 

What Starbucks drink has 2 shots of espresso? 

All Starbucks hot espresso drinks ordered in a Grande or Venti size will have two shots of espresso.

What is the sweetest espresso drink? 

The sweetest espresso drink is the espresso Frappuccino or the caffe mocha. These both have a lot of sugar and have extra sweetness from the whipped cream. You can also customize these drinks with various sweet syrups.

How much extra is 3 shots of espresso at Starbucks? 

Most espresso drinks come with two shots as standard, and it costs $1.75 to add one. To add 3 extra shots, it will cost about $3.75 depending on how you order it.  

Conclusion - Try These Espresso Drinks Today!

Starbucks espressos are strong, bold, and intense, but they aren’t for everyone.

Thankfully there are a lot of Starbucks espresso drinks to choose from which combine the Italian coffee taste with other ingredients, so there’s something for everyone. 

Hopefully, this guide has introduced some new Starbucks espresso drinks that you hadn’t heard of, and you have a lot of options for your next visit.  


1. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/412/hot

2. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/407/iced

3. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affogato

Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis is the Head of Marketing here at Barista HQ. While keeping up-to-date on the latest trends in coffee, you can find her sipping a cold brew with just a touch of milk on the beach in the afternoon and a Corona with lime in the evening. She is passionate about keeping you informed about what’s new in coffee.

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