15 Must-Try Starbucks Hot Drinks (Sip Your Way To Cozy!)

Starbucks has an amazing range of drinks, but it can be a little overwhelming when you’re up at the counter.

It’s difficult to know which hot drinks are available, and you can often fall into the habit of always ordering the same.

Well, don’t worry, because in this guide, we’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.

We’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.

We'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 

The caramel macchiato is a Starbucks classic.[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. 

The caramel macchiato is made by mixing steamed milk with vanilla syrup and foam, with a double espresso shot poured in the top. 

Caramel drizzle is then layered on top of the foam to complete it. There are 250 calories in a single serving and 150mg of caffeine.

A caramel macchiato is generally only available as a short, but you can order it as a Grande or a Tall, and they'll add in extra espresso. 

You can also order an iced caramel macchiato, but it's obviously not a winter warmer! The caramel macchiato shouldn’t be confused with a regular Starbucks caramel latte. 

The regular latte is more filling, but the caramel macchiato will give you a more noticeable caffeine boost.

It makes a great pick me up on a cold morning, but if this is too sweet for you, you can always order a regular espresso macchiato.

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

2. Caffe Americano 

A Starbucks Caffé Americano is one of their signature drinks, and you can’t create a list of the best hot drinks at Starbucks without including 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. 

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

A Caffé Americano is simple, it's just an espresso with hot water poured on top. It can be served as it is or customized by adding milk, cream, or sugar.

If you leave it black, there are no calories or sugar, so it's a great Starbucks drink for those on a keto diet, and if you use a plant-based milk, you can keep it dairy free. 

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

The Caffe Americano is simple but unforgettable.

It's one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks for those avoiding milky and sugary hot drinks and tends to be most popular with older Starbucks drinkers.  

Caffe Americano From Starbucks

3. Cappuccino 

A cappuccino is another classic Starbucks hot drink available in every store year-round. It 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.

Starbucks makes their cappuccino by pouring milk foam over a double espresso.

It's a good keto Starbucks option because there's no sugar, and you can use an alternative milk if you're dairy free.

Many people choose to add sugar to sweeten it, but if you have it straight up, there are 140 calories and 150mg of caffeine in a single serving.  

The Starbucks cappuccino is one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks and it's available everywhere, and you can walk into any store and order it without even having to look at the menu.  

Starbucks Cappuccino

4. Honey Almond Milk Flat White 

The flat white has been around for decades, but Starbucks only started offering it in 2015, but it has quickly become one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks.

It looks and has a similar texture to latte coffee drinks, but slight differences in the brewing technique and the espresso shot makes flat whites noticeably smoother.  

They are made using a ristretto base.[2] Ristretto is very similar to espresso, but the hot water is forced through more quickly. It’s then topped with steamed milk which creates a microfoam layer. 

This actually causes the espresso to rise through the foam so that there’s a coffee taste throughout the drink.

It’s served with whole milk and without any sugar or sweeteners, and there are 170 calories and 130mg of caffeine in a serving.

You can choose to change the milk to a plant-based alternative if you have a specific dairy restriction.

Many people enjoy the texture and strength of a flat white but prefer something sweeter.

The honey almond milk flat white uses steamed almond milk and a honey blend to sweeten it. 

The almond milk adds a nuttiness to the drink which compliments the honey, and makes a great dairy free option.

There are 180 calories and 140mg of caffeine in the almond milk variation, and you should be able to order this straight off the menu.  

Honey Almond Milk Flat White

5. White Chocolate Mocha 

The toasted white chocolate mocha is probably the sweetest Starbucks drink on the menu.[3]

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

The Starbucks white mocha is made by blending espresso, white chocolate sauce, and steamed milk, and it’s then topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls layered on top of the whipped cream. 

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

You can change the milk in the toasted white chocolate mocha to a plant-based alternative to make it dairy-free Starbucks drink and switch to sugar-free syrup to lower the sugar content. 

You can also ask for decaf, but you're probably better off just ordering a Starbucks white hot chocolate instead.

Just bear in mind that there's no dairy free whipped cream so you'll have to have this hot chocolate coffee without if you are vegan or lactose intolerant.

It's served at 150-160 degrees, but the whipped cream helps to cool the toasted white chocolate mocha down, so it should be drinkable pretty quickly.

The white chocolate mocha is one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks for those who need a big sugar and caffeine boost and will definitely put a smile on your face and entertain your taste buds on a cold winter's day.

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha coffee

6. Blonde Vanilla Latte 

If you like a classic latte, then the Starbucks blonde vanilla latte is probably going to be right up your alley.

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.  

It’s made with a Starbucks blonde espresso drink base, steamed milk, and a light layer of foam on top. 

It's often served with a layer of whipped cream on top too. You can customize it with any type of milk and even add extra vanilla syrup or espresso if you want to change the taste. 

In a standard blonde espresso vanilla latte, there are 190 calories, 18 grams of sugar, and 170mg of caffeine. 

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

Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte

7. Pumpkin Spice Latte 

No list would be complete without the Starbucks signature Pumpkin Spiced Latte.

This is the ultimate tribute to Thanksgiving, and every year pictures of pumpkin spiced lattes trend across social media when it’s released. 

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. 

A Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is made by mixing flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon dolce syrup, clove, and nutmeg, which are then mixed with espresso and steamed milk. 

It’s then topped with whipped cream and extra pumpkin pie spices on top of the whipped cream. In a Grande, there are 390 calories, 50 grams of sugar, and 150mg of caffeine.  

You can customize the Pumpkin Spice Latte with a dairy free alternative milk if you like, but it does dramatically change the taste, so we’d recommend ordering it straight up.

It’s generally only available between October and December, so make sure you don’t miss it! 

Pumpkin Spice Latte From Starbucks

8. Chai Tea Latte 

Starbucks have a wide range of hot teas to choose from, but their Chai Tea Latte makes a great change from your usual honey citrus mint tea or green tea options. 

Chai tea lattes are hugely popular with teenagers because of their unique flavor and texture.

The taste is certainly not for everyone, but we think the tea with the spices gives it a warming effect, making it perfect for a cold winter's night. 

Chai tea latte is made by combining black tea with cinnamon, cloves, and their unique spice mix. It’s then mixed with steamed milk and foam, so it has a similar texture to a latte. 

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

The Starbucks chai tea latte actually works really well with plant-based milks, and this is a great coffee alternative for those on a dairy free diet.  

It’s the only non-coffee Starbucks drink with a reasonable hit of caffeine and makes a good alternative to pick you up when you need a boost.

If you're looking for a more interesting alternative to your honey citrus mint tea then this is one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks for you.   

Chai Tea Latte

9. Toffee Nut Latte 

Toffee nut flavor blends so perfectly with coffee, so it's no surprise Starbucks has a hot drink that combines them.

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

It’s generally only released around Christmas and is a favorite with young and old Starbucks drinkers alike.  

The Starbucks Toffee Nut latte is made with an espresso base mixed with steamed milk and toffee nut syrup. 

It’s then topped with whipped cream and toffee nut sprinkles to complete the Christmassy look and taste. 

There are 266 calories, 20 grams of sugar, and 113mg of caffeine in a single serving, and it makes a brilliant winter warmer in the holiday season.  

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!

Toffee Nut Latte

10. Peppermint Hot Chocolate 

Peppermint and chocolate is another perfect pairing, and this is a delicious alternative to a regular Starbucks hot chocolate.

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

This is another limited-edition drink that you’ll probably only find on the Starbucks menu around November and December.

A Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate is made by blending mocha sauce, peppermint syrup, and steamed milk, and it’s then topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls layered on top of the whipped cream.

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

You can also switch to an alternative milk without impacting the flavor too much if you want to cut out the dairy.  

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

11. Cinnamon Dolce Latte 

Starbucks makes good use of cinnamon in their menu, and you can see why. The cinnamon dolce latte has a very sweet taste but a slight hint of spice running through it. 

It’s designed to cut through the heavy milky texture of the latte and give you some strong flavor, along with a big caffeine boost.  

This drink is made by combining espresso, steamed milk, and cinnamon dolce syrup.

It’s then topped with whipped cream and a cinnamon dolce syrup topping to make it even sweeter.

There are 340 calories, 40 grams of sugar, and 150mg of caffeine in each serving, though you can cut down slightly on the calories by asking for sugar-free syrup.  

Cinnamon Dolce Latte

12. Sugar Cookie Crème (Secret Menu) 

With a name like sugar cookie crème, you know this is going to be a sweet one.

This Starbucks drink isn’t on the main menu, but you can order it simply enough by asking for a steamed oat milk with sugar cookie syrup added in. 

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 has all the flavors that remind you of your childhood.

The richness of the milk just adds to that, and because there's no caffeine, this drink is especially popular with kids. 

There are 250 calories and 28 grams of sugar in a serving, but it's the perfect treat for young Starbucks drinkers.  

Ask 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.
Sugar Cookie Crème Latte From Starbucks

13. Caramel Brulee Hot Chocolate (Secret Menu) 

Caramel brulee is about as sweet as it can get, so when you're pairing that with a Starbucks hot chocolate, you know it's going to be a treat.

The sweet but slightly bitter flavor of the caramel gives the drink a rich taste, and it's one that makes you feel full and satisfied afterward.  

To order a caramel brulee hot chocolate, you need to ask for a hot chocolate with added mocha syrup and caramel brulee syrup.

One pump of each is usually enough, but you can always add more caramel drizzle on top if you’re feeling indulgent.

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

This isn’t an excellent option for those on a diet, but if you're looking for the ultimate sweet Starbucks hot drink, this secret menu option is for you.  

Caramel Brulee Hot Chocolate

14. Chai Apple Tea (Secret Menu) 

Not all Starbucks are calming and refreshing like the honey citrus mint tea - and the secret menu Chai apple is very different. 

A chai apple tea is a popular twist on the regular chai latte with a bit of added caramel apple spice flavors.

We all know that apple and cinnamon pair beautifully, and this Starbucks drink captures both flavors to give you some sweet warmth in every mouthful. 

It’s most popular around Halloween and Thanksgiving, and makes a good alternative to a pumpkin spiced latte for those who don’t enjoy the taste of coffee.  

The mixture of the caramel apple spice and chai gives you a double hit of cinnamon, along with the other spices, and just the smell of it will warm you up. 

There are about 400 calories and 72 grams of sugar in a single serving, so beware if you're giving this caramel apple chai drink to kids because they'll be bouncing off the walls!

Ask Barista For: A caramel apple spice with added chai concentrate. Add whipped cream for a truly next-level sweet drink.
Starbucks Chai Apple Tea

15. Spiced Apple Pie (Secret Menu) 

The spiced apple pie isn’t available on the regular Starbucks menu, but you can order it year-round from any store.

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

It’s made with passion tango tea, steamed apple juice, cinnamon dolce syrup, whipped cream, and a crunchy graham cracker topping. 

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. 

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

Starbucks Spiced Apple Pie Latte

Starbucks Hot Drinks (Cold Season Ordering Tips)

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

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.

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

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, this means the milk will be steamed to 180 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the usual 150 degrees. Be careful, though, because consuming overly hot beverages can damage your mouth and throat.[4]

How hot is the hot water at Starbucks? 

Starbucks heats their water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Does Starbucks hot coffee come sweetened? 

No, espresso and other Starbucks brewed coffee drinks never come sweetened unless you specifically ask for it, so you will have to ask for syrups or add sugar yourself.   

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!

Hopefully, this guide has shown you some Starbucks hot drinks you hadn't heard of before, and you've got some new flavors to try on your next visit.   


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/

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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