When it's chilly and dark out there, all I want is to get cozy with a tasty hot drink from Starbucks.

But I often end up falling into the habit of ordering my faves - not this year! I've been on a mission to find the very best (like no drink ever was).

In this guide, I’ll introduce you to the best hot drinks at Starbucks so you can try something new this winter.  

There's no one size fits all with Starbucks, and it does come down to personal preference.

I’ve created a list of the best main menu Starbucks drinks and some secret menu variations, so you've got the full range of options. 

I've also included some dairy, caffeine, and keto Starbucks drinks, so no matter what your dietary requirements are, you have loads of great hot drinks at Starbucks to choose from.   

1. Caramel Macchiato 

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

Caramel Macchiato Nutritional Breakdown 

(Hot - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Short

(8 fl oz)

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

120

190

250

310

Total Fat

4 g

6 g

7 g

9 g

Total Carbs

16 g

26 g

35 g

44 g

Sugar

15 g

25 g

33 g

42 g

Protein

5 g

8 g

10 g

13 g

Caffeine

75 mg

75 mg

150 mg

150 mg

Caramel Macchiato Nutritional Breakdown 

(Iced - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

180

250

350

Total Fat

5 g

7 g

9 g

Total Carbs

26 g

37 g

53 g

Sugar

24 g

34 g

49 g

Protein

7 g

10 g

13 g

Caffeine

75 mg

150 mg

225 mg

Caramel Macchiato Standard Ingredients
  • Milk 
  • Brewed Espresso 
  • Vanilla Syrup 
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Ice (For Iced Version)

The Caramel Macchiato is a Starbucks classic for me![1]

It combines sweet flavors of caramel with the bitterness of espresso to give a good balance which is popular with sugar and coffee lovers alike. 

I've been a Caramel Macchiato stan for a long time now. It gives me that perfect sweetness without overpowering my (admittedly large) sweet tooth.

This winter warmer makes a great pick-me-up on a cold morning or as a chilly afternoon treat. 

There are 250 calories in a single serving and 150mg of caffeine.

2. Caffé Americano 

Starbucks Americano

Caffe Americano Nutritional Breakdown 

(Hot - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Short

(8 fl oz)

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

5

10

15

15

Total Fat

0 g

0 g

0 g

0 g

Total Carbs

1 g

1 g

2 g

3 g

Sugar

0 g

0 g

0 g

0 g

Protein

0 g

1 g

1 g

1 g

Caffeine

75 mg

150 mg

225 mg

300 mg

Caffe Americano Nutritional Breakdown 

(Iced - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

10

15

15

Total Fat

0 g

0 g

0 g

Total Carbs

0

2 g

3 g

Sugar

0 g

0 g

0 g

Protein

1 g

1 g

1 g

Caffeine

150 mg

225 mg

300 mg

Caffé Americano Standard Ingredients
  • Water
  • Brewed Espresso
  • Ice (For Iced Version)

A Starbucks Caffé Americano is one of Starbucks' signature drinks, of course I had to include it.

It’s very simple, and is pretty much just espresso and hot water, but has a bold, full-bodied flavor from the espresso beans. 

The Caffé Americano is simple but unforgettable.

It’s a favorite with coffee purists who enjoy coffee straight up.  

A black Caffé Americano has no calories or sugar, so it's a great Starbucks drink for those on a keto diet. If you use a plant-based milk like me, then it's easy to get oat or almond milk versions instead.

It’s got a big kick with 150mg of caffeine, but you can also add an extra espresso shot if you want to.

3. Cappuccino 

Starbucks Cappuccino

Cappuccino Nutritional Breakdown 

(Hot - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Short

(8 fl oz)

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

70

100

140

200

Total Fat

2.5 g

4 g

5 g

8 g

Total Carbs

7 g

10 g

14 g

20 g

Sugar

6 g

9 g

12 g

19 g

Protein

4 g

7 g

9 g

13 g

Caffeine

75 mg

75 mg

150 mg

150 mg

Cappuccino Standard Ingredients
  • Milk
  • Brewed Espresso

The humble Cappuccino gets a lot of flack for being basic. But, hey, the classics are classic for a reason, right?

The Cappuccino has a strong, slightly bitter taste but the layer of milk foam helps to take the edge off. 

This gives it a silky-smooth texture that makes it popular with some younger Starbucks drinkers.

It's a good year-round keto Starbucks option because there's no sugar, and you can use an alternative milk if you're dairy-free (I recommend almond or oat milk!)

There are 140 calories and 150mg of caffeine in a single serving.  

4. Honey Almond Milk Flat White 

Starbucks Honey Almond Flat White
Honey Almond Milk Flat White Standard Ingredients
  • ristretto
  • steamed almond milk
  • honey blend

The Flat White has been one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks since 2015 - it's easy to see why.

A Flat White has a similar texture to Latte coffee drinks, but it's noticeably smoother.

It's made using a ristretto base and a slightly different preparation technique.[2]

The Honey Almond Milk Flat White has been a godsend since discovering I was lactose-intolerant. Plus, honey is my fave sweetener, so it's perfect for me!

Sweet, slightly nutty, creamy - what's not to love?

There are 170 calories and 130mg of caffeine in a serving.

5. White Chocolate Mocha 

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha

White Chocolate Mocha Nutritional Breakdown 

(Hot - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Short

(8 fl oz)

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

230

340

430

530

Total Fat

11 g

15 g

18 g

21 g

Total Carbs

27 g

41 g

54 g

68 g

Sugar

27 g

40 g

53 g

67 g

Protein

7 g

11 g

15 g

19 g

Caffeine

75 mg

75 mg

150 mg

150 mg

White Chocolate Mocha Nutritional Breakdown 

(Iced - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

310

420

560

Total Fat

15 g

20 g

24 g

Total Carbs

37 g

49 g

72 g

Sugar

36 g

48 g

70 g

Protein

8 g

11 g

15 g

Caffeine

75 mg

150 mg

225 mg

White Chocolate Mocha Standard Ingredients
  • Milk
  • White Chocolate Mocha Sauce
  • Brewed Espresso
  • Whipped Cream
  • Vanilla Syrup
  • Ice (For Iced Version)

The toasted white chocolate mocha is one of the sweetest Starbucks drinks.[3]

It’s the perfect choice for those who enjoy the rich flavors of white chocolate paired with espresso, but I’d say it's closer to a dessert than a coffee.  

Sweet, creamy, rich - what's not to love?

The white chocolate mocha is one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks for me. It always puts a smile on my face with its nostalgic taste.

There are 408 calories, 49 grams of sugar, and 150mg of caffeine in a single serving. 

Tips For An Even Tastier Drink
  • Ask for sugar-free syrup to cut the sugar content
  • Ask for plant-based milks and no whipped cream for a dairy-free alternative
  • Ask for decaf to have all the taste and none of the caffeine jitters (or just order a toasted white hot chocolate instead)

6. Blonde Vanilla Latte 

Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte

Blonde Vanilla Latte Nutritional Breakdown 

(Hot - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Short

(8 fl oz)

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

130

200

250

320

Total Fat

3.5 g

5 g

6 g

9 g

Total Carbs

18 g

28 g

37 g

46 g

Sugar

17 g

27 g

35 g

44 g

Protein

6 g

9 g

12 g

15 g

Caffeine

85 mg

85 mg

170 mg

170 mg

Blonde Vanilla Latte Nutritional Breakdown 

(Iced - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

140

190

270

Total Fat

3 g

4 g

5 g

Total Carbs

23 g

30 g

45 g

Sugar

22 g

28 g

41 g

Protein

6 g

7 g

10 g

Caffeine

85 mg

170 mg

255 mg

Blonde Vanilla Latte Standard Ingredients
  • Milk 
  • Brewed Espresso
  • Vanilla Syrup
  • Ice (For Iced Version)

When I wanna shake up my usual Latte, the Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte is my go-to.

It’s made using the Starbucks signature light roast blonde espresso, giving it a higher acidity and a sweeter taste. 

This, combined with the vanilla syrup, makes it lighter, more delicate, and great for drinking year-round.  

This is one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks for people like me who love really smooth, silky, and sweet caffeinated drinks.  

In a standard Blonde Espresso Vanilla Latte, there are 190 calories, 18 grams of sugar, and 170mg of caffeine. 

7. Pumpkin Spice Latte 

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte Nutritional Breakdown 

(Hot - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Short

(8 fl oz)

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

210

300

390

470

Total Fat

9 g

12 g

14 g

16 g

Total Carbs

26 g

39 g

52 g

65 g

Sugar

25 g

38 g

50 g

63 g

Protein

7 g

11 g

14 g

18 g

Caffeine

75 mg

75 mg

150 mg

150 mg

Pumpkin Spice Latte Nutritional Breakdown 

(Iced - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

270

370

480

Total Fat

12 g

16 g

18 g

Total Carbs

35 g

47 g

68 g

Sugar

34 g

45 g

65 g

Protein

8 g

11 g

15 g

Caffeine

75 mg

150 mg

225 mg

Pumpkin Spice Latte Standard Ingredients
  • Milk
  • Pumpkin Spice Sauce
  • Brewed Espresso
  • Whipped Cream
  • Vanilla Syrup
  • Pumpkin Spice Topping
  • Ice (For Iced Version)

No winter warmer list would be complete without Starbucks' signature Pumpkin Spiced Latte! 

This is the ultimate tribute to Thanksgiving, and I still remember being blown away by it when I first had it as a teenager.

It has a surprisingly complex flavor that mirrors the ever-popular pumpkin pie with a spicy but sweet taste. It also has a surprisingly big hit of coffee from the espresso base. 

The PSL is only available between September and November, so make sure you don’t miss it! 

In a Grande, there are 390 calories, 50 grams of sugar, and 150mg of caffeine.  

8. Chai Tea Latte 

Starbucks Chai Latte

Chai Tea Latte Nutritional Breakdown 

(Hot - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Short
(8 fl oz)

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

120

190

240

310

Total Fat

2 g

3.5 g

4.5 g

6 g

Total Carbs

22 g

34 g

45 g

56 g

Sugar

21 g

32 g

42 g

53 g

Protein

4 g

6 g

8 g

10 g

Caffeine

50 mg

70 mg

95 mg

120 mg

Chai Tea Latte Nutritional Breakdown 

(Iced - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

180

240

350

Total Fat

3 g

4 g

6 g

Total Carbs

33 g

44 g

65 g

Sugar

31 g

42 g

61 g

Protein

5 g

7 g

10 g

Caffeine

70 mg

95 mg

145 mg

Chai Tea Latte Standard Ingredients
  • Milk 
  • Water
  • Chai Tea Concentrate
  • Ice (For Iced Version)

Starbucks' Chai Tea Latte makes a great change from my usual honey citrus mint tea or green tea options. 

Chai tea lattes are one of the first Starbucks drinks I tried as a teen - I immediately fell in love!

The spices give the tea a warming cozy effect, making it perfect for a cold winter's night. 

The Starbucks chai tea latte actually works really well with plant-based milks and makes a good alternative to pick-me-up when I need a cozy boost. 

There are 240 calories, 42 grams of sugar, and 95mg of caffeine in a single serving. 

9. Toffee Nut Latte 

Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte
Toffee Nut Latte Standard Ingredients
  • espresso
  • steamed milk
  • toffee nut syrup
  • Whipped Cream (Topping)
  • toffee nut sprinkles

Toffee nut flavor blends so perfectly with coffee, so it's no surprise Starbucks offers this classic combo. 

The rich and buttery toffee mixes with the espresso to give a sweet but deep taste that's bolder than most other sweet lattes. 

This is a great option for when I want a Christmassy treat that is not so toothachingly sweet.

It’s only released around Christmas and you know I always count down the days until I can sip on one again!

There are 266 calories, 20 grams of sugar, and 113mg of caffeine in a single serving, and it's one of my fave winter warmers in the holiday season.  

Tips For An Even Tastier Drink
  • Want to make your toffee nut latte into a Snickerdoodle hot cocoa? Add in some cinnamon dolce latte syrup, white mocha sauce, and some extra cinnamon dolce topping to this toffee nut latte to make it a hot drink that's just like a Snickerdoodle cookie!

10. Peppermint Hot Chocolate 

Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Standard Ingredients
  • steamed milk
  • mocha sauce
  • peppermint syrup
  • whipped cream (Topping)
  • chocolate curls (Topping)

To me, peppermint and chocolate is the perfect pairing come winter, and this Peppermint Hot Chocolate is a delicious alternative to a regular Starbucks hot chocolate. 

The peppermint flavor makes it slightly lighter and gives me the smell and taste of Christmas in a cup. 

This is another limited-edition drink that you’ll only find on the Starbucks menu around November and December, so mark your calendar!

There are 440 calories and 56 grams of sugar in a serving but no caffeine, so it’s suitable for people of all ages. 

11. Cinnamon Dolce Latte 

Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte

Cinnamon Dolce Latte Nutritional Breakdown 

(Hot - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Short
(8 fl oz)

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

190

270

340

420

Total Fat

9 g

12 g

14 g

16 g

Total Carbs

22 g

33 g

43 g

54 g

Sugar

21 g

31 g

40 g

51 g

Protein

6 g

9 g

12 g

15 g

Caffeine

75 mg

75 mg

150 mg

150 mg

Cinnamon Dolce Latte Nutritional Breakdown 

(Iced - Without Modification)

Nutrients

Tall

(12 fl oz)

Grande

(16 fl oz)

Venti

(20-24 fl oz)

Calories

240

300

420

Total Fat

12 g

13 g

18 g

Total Carbs

29 g

38 g

55 g

Sugar

27 g

35 g

51 g

Protein

6 g

8 g

12 g

Caffeine

75 mg

150 mg

225 mg

Cinnamon Dolce Latte Standard Ingredients
  • Milk
  • Brewed Espresso
  • Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
  • Whipped Cream
  • Vanilla Syrup
  • Cinnamon Dolce Topping
  • Ice (For Iced Version)

When I want instant fall vibes outside of October, my go-to order is the Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

I love that it has a very sweet taste but a slight hint of spice running through it. However, you still get that heavy milk texture and strong coffee flavor, along with a big caffeine boost.  

To me, the Cinnamon Dolce Latte is perfect for long walks through the park and afternoons curled up with a good book.

There are 340 calories, 40 grams of sugar, and 150mg of caffeine in each serving.

12. Sugar Cookie Crème (Secret Menu) 

Starbucks Sugar Cookie Latte
Sugar Cookie Crème Standard Ingredients
  • steamed oat milk
  • sugar cookie syrup
  • sugar cookie sprinkles (Topping)

With a name like Sugar Cookie Crème, you know this secret menu item is going to be a sweet one. 

The slightly nutty taste of the oat milk is essential for this one and makes it a great sugary Starbucks drink for those avoiding dairy.  

The sugar cookie syrup used in the drink really reminds me of my childhood and baking cookies with my mom. 

Since it's so sweet and creamy, this caffeine-free drink is especially popular with kids. 

There are 250 calories and 28 grams of sugar in a serving.

How To Order This Secret Menu Drink?
  • Ask the barista for a steamed oat milk with two pumps of sugar cookie syrup to create this delectable concoction. Top it off with some sugar cookie sprinkles if you're feeling fancy.

13. Caramel Brulee Hot Chocolate (Secret Menu) 

Starbucks Caramel Brulee Hot Chocolate
Caramel Brûlée Hot Chocolate Standard Ingredients
  • hot chocolate
  • mocha syrup
  • caramel brûlée syrup

Caramel Brûlée Hot Chocolate is about as sweet as it can get, so I instantly knew that this was going to be the ultimate sweet Starbucks hot drink. 

The sweet but slightly bitter flavor of the caramel gives the drink a rich taste that makes me feeling like I'm sipping on dessert.

One pump of each syrup is usually enough, but I sometimes add more caramel drizzle on top if I'm feeling indulgent. 

There are 420 calories and 56 grams of sugar in a single serving of this dessert drink, but there’s no caffeine.

How To Order This Secret Menu Drink?
  • To order a Caramel Brûlée Hot Chocolate, you need to ask for a hot chocolate with added mocha syrup and caramel brûlée syrup.

14. Chai Apple Tea (Secret Menu) 

Starbucks Chai Tea with Apple Brown Sugar Syrup
Chai Apple Tea Standard Ingredients
  • chai apple Tea Concentrate
  • Caramel Apple Spice 
  • whipped cream

A Chai Apple Tea is a popular twist on the regular Chai Latte with added caramel apple spice flavors. 

I always order this bad boy around Halloween and Thanksgiving since it's such a good alternative to a pumpkin spiced latte. I love the PSL but apple and cinnamon are the fall flavors for me.

Honestly, just the smell of it warms me up. It's perfect fall vibes with every mouthful.

One serving contains 400 calories and 72 grams of sugar so beware if you're giving this caramel apple chai drink to kids because they'll be bouncing off the walls!

How To Order This Secret Menu Drink?
  • Ask the barista for a caramel apple spice with added chai concentrate. Add whipped cream for a truly next-level sweet drink.

15. Spiced Apple Pie (Secret Menu) 

Starbucks Spiced Apple Pie Latte
Spiced Apple Pie Standard Ingredients
  • passion tango tea
  • steamed apple Juice
  • cinnamon dolce syrup
  • whipped cream
  • crushed graham cracker (Topping)
  • extra dolce cinnamon syrup (Topping)

The Spiced Apple Pie is one of my fave Starbucks secret menu orders!

The combination of sweet and tart flavors of the apple with the spicy cinnamon topping makes this a really unique, refreshing, and warming drink. 

Somehow this tastes just like grandma's apple pie!

The look, smell, and taste of this drink just screams autumn, and it's my ultimate comfort drink in the cold months.

There are roughly 200 calories and 52 grams of sugar in a serving, but a lot of this comes from the apple juice, so there's not much you can do to lower it. 

How To Order This Secret Menu Drink?
  • To order the spiced apple pie, ask your barista for half passion tango tea, half steamed apple, 4 pumps of cinnamon dolce syrup, with whipped cream and crushed graham cracker on top. You can also ask for some extra dolce cinnamon syrup on top if you like it sweeter.

3 Starbucks Hot Drinks Ordering Tips

There are a few ways you can improve your hot drink order next time you go to Starbucks: 

1. Spice Things Up By Adding Flavor

One of the best ways to improve your hot drink is to add some extra flavor.

You can do this to almost any Starbucks drink by asking for a few pumps of your favorite flavored syrup or sauce. 

Caramel sauce, vanilla syrup, and cinnamon dolce topping are usually the most popular, but your barista will be able to help explain what’s available, and it usually costs $0.50 per extra pump. 

Some Starbucks sugar free drink syrups are also available if you’re trying to keep the sugar content down. 

There are also some additional toppings like the Starbucks salted brown butter topping and cinnamon dolce sprinkles. 

These aren't available year round, but can take your hot drink to the next level.

2. Swap Out The Milk

Almost 30 million people have lactose intolerance in the U.S alone, and millions of other people just don't want to consume dairy.

Many Starbucks hot drinks are based on milk, but that doesn't mean that you can't have them because you can switch from regular whole milk to almond, soy, or coconut milk.

Plant-based milk usually costs slightly more depending on the size of your drink, but it can actually improve the overall taste.
Online Starbucks Order For White Chocolate Mocha

3. Create Your Very Own Drink

Starbucks has so many ingredients behind the bar, so you don't have to stick to the regular menu for your coffee drinks.

Instead, think about the flavors and ingredients that you enjoy and talk to your barista about some options. 

Vanilla syrup, pistachio syrup, or toffee nut syrup combined with a hot cup of brewed espresso will make your taste buds sing, but you can choose from a wide range of options.

If you are looking to create your own hot Starbucks drink, then try to go at a quiet time, so the staff has more time to help you.  

Common Questions About Starbucks Hot Drinks 

Can you ask for extra hot at Starbucks? 

Yes, you can ask for extra hot at Starbucks. This means the milk will be steamed to 180 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the usual 150 degrees. [4]

How hot is the hot water at Starbucks? 

The hot water at Starbucks is heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Does Starbucks hot coffee come sweetened? 

No, Starbucks hot coffees like espresso and other Starbucks brewed coffee drinks never come sweetened. You will have to ask for syrups or add sugar yourself if you want a sweeter drink.   

Try These Drinks To Warm Up Your Soul Today!

Starbucks makes incredible hot drinks, and with such a comprehensive menu featuring everything from brewed coffee, to a London Fog Tea Latte, to a Snickerdoodle hot cocoa drink!

If you're looking for new flavors to try on your next visit, I highly recommend the Chai Tea Latte and Cinnamon Dolce Latte - they are perfect for warming your hands and your heart!   

References:

1. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/413/hot

2. https://stories.starbucks.com/stories/2016/what-is-ristretto/

3. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/420/hot

4. https://news.cancerresearchuk.org/2019/03/20/headlines-saying-hot-tea-causes-oesophageal-cancer-miss-crucial-details/

Starbucks Temperature and Sweetening FAQ

Karmy Widjaja

Author

Karmy Widjaja
Karmy Widjaja, holding a degree in Hospitality Administration, combines her academic background with a profound passion for the world of coffee. Her work is enriched with a wealth of insights, not only about the art of coffee making but also about the broader aspects of the coffee industry. Her quest for coffee perfection is a central theme in her engaging articles, as she continues to explore the vibrant coffee scene in Perth. And when it's time for a coffee break? Karmy's all about a laid-back flat white with almond milk – it's her go-to for a tasty coffee kick.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... flat white with almond milk.

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