20 Strongest Starbucks Drinks: Ranked By Caffeine Levels!

Let's face it; nothing beats a trip to Starbucks. Ordering your favorite drink and sitting in their cozy atmosphere brightens up anyone's afternoon.

When you’re ordering from their menu, do you ever consider which drink will give you the most caffeine? Which one will help you get through your day the most?  

In this guide, we will explore the strongest coffee at Starbucks and which ones you haven’t tried that could give you a bigger hit of caffeine.  

This list has been compiled by the level of caffeine in the most ordered versions of the drink. The caffeine content can differ based on the size of the coffee.  

1. Blonde Roast Espresso Beans 

To kick things off, let's look at the beans they offer, which automatically makes your drinks stronger.  

If you go often, you will have noticed the blonde roast brewed coffee being offered. This is their version of a light roast, roasted at lower temperatures for less time.[1]

Many people assume that a dark roast contains more caffeine, but they would be wrong. 

Starbucks Blonde Roast Espresso Beans

Lighter roasts contain more caffeine because the moisture and oils are retained, meaning you'll get more caffeine in the espresso shots.  

A doppio blonde espresso (made with two espresso shots) has 170 mg of caffeine, compared to their signature roast, which contains 150mg. 

Next time you go in, give it a go! You’ll find notes of citrus and fruity undertones in their blonde shot.

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2. True North Blonde Roast Filter Coffee 

If you want something that’s really going to keep you awake during the workday (or on those long nights of studying!), the True North Blonde Filter is the way to go as it's the strongest coffee at Starbucks.  

Reportedly, baristas have to use a smaller scoop of the beans because of their strength when brewed. 

Starbucks' nutritional information website does indeed confirm that you’ll get 475 mg of caffeine in a venti size. A pretty big hit of caffeine!  

Surprisingly, for such a strong coffee, you’ll find the taste to be smooth, sweet, and rich in citrus and floral notes. This is one of the most popular hot drinks on Starbucks menu.

The lighter roast doesn't contain the oils that create the bitter taste in a dark roast, so it would be better suited for people who like sweeter tasting coffee.  

Starbucks True North Blonde Roast Filter Coffee

3. Starbucks Clover Brewed Coffee 

Before rushing off to the nearest Starbucks to try this coffee, you might want to make sure they stock it.

A Clover brewed coffee is only available in stores that have the Clover machine, so it may not be available in your area. That being said, once you have located a store, this is not one to miss! 

Clover brewed coffee is fairly intense. It has a full bodied flavor with some citrusy and floral notes, but you can definitely taste how much stronger it is compared to regular blonde roast brewed coffee.

The Clover brewed coffee is available in dark roast, medium roast, and light roasts, and the caffeine content is reversed.

Forget what you know about light and dark roasts because this vacuum-press machine is shaking things up.  

  • Dark Roast: 475mg 
  • Medium Roast: 445mg 
  • Light Roast: 425mg 

As confusing as it is, the Clover brewed coffee will give you more caffeine than their standard drinks.

They can also only make one of these brewed coffee drinks at a time, meaning each brew is unique to the last drop and gives a world of different flavors.  

Starbucks Clover Brewed Coffee by Barista

4. Iced Shaken Espresso (Doubleshot On Ice) 

A venti-sized iced shaken espresso is sure to keep you going on those summer days.

Originally named Doubleshot on Ice, it was renamed because the confusion to customers and baristas alike led to the drink only including two shots - when it should include five.  

The espresso shots are poured over ice, shaken, and then poured into more ice and topped with milk and syrups. 

Containing up to 375 mg of caffeine, this sweet mix of coffee and milk gives you a great start to any hot day. 

Even in a grande size, you can expect up to 300 mg of caffeine, so you’ll never be short with this drink! 

Starbucks Iced Shaken Espresso

5. Blonde Caffè Americano 

Enjoy the traditional Americano? It’s a simple yet satisfying beverage to enjoy in the daytime.

As mentioned, the blonde roast will give you more of a caffeine hit naturally. Including it in your Americano boosts it up to 340mg of caffeine.  

Not bad for a standard menu item. Topped with a variety of milk and syrups, this Starbucks coffee can appeal to a lot of people, whether they are a coffee maestro or a novice. 

Enjoy a classic coffee with a stronger yet sweeter brew! 

Starbucks Blonde Caffè Americano

6. Iced Brown Sugar Oat Shaken Espresso 

Looking for a strong, vegan-friendly, and sweet coffee? The brown sugar shaken espresso has got it all!

Containing four shots of blonde espresso, topped with six pumps of brown sugar syrup and topped with oat milk, the variety you get in this drink is outstanding.  

Along with the sweet flavors, you’ll also get a pretty good hit of caffeine. The drink contains 340 mg of caffeine, meaning you’ll get a decent kick to start your day right. 

Because it’s made with oat milk, too, it’s 100% vegan friendly Starbucks drink. 

The brown sugar syrup is also vegan friendly, so it’s a friendlier drink to the planet. This Starbucks iced coffee can really be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere. 

Starbucks Iced Brown Sugar Oat Shaken Espresso

7. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew 

If you're not a fan of the traditional strong, bitter-tasting coffee, Starbucks has you covered!

Cold-brew delivers a blend of bolder and sweeter notes thanks to its brewing process, but for some coffee lovers, it can be too much. The vanilla sweet cream cold brew fixes this issue.[2]

The Starbucks cold brew is made as standard and is then topped off with vanilla syrup and vanilla sweet cream, cold foam or cascara cold foam. 

Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew

It’s much easier to drink than a standard cold brew and still gives you a bigger caffeine hit - at 320mg for venti. 

This Starbucks iced coffee contains more caffeine than a standard cold brew as it requires more coffee in its base.

A sweet start, and finished off with the hit of smooth coffee in every sip of this cold brew coffee.   

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8. Pike Place Filter Coffee 

A rumor once stated that Starbucks roast their coffee for longer to flatten the flavor, thereby making it taste the same everywhere.

Whether or not this is true is beyond the point, because their filter coffee still provides a great taste whatever store you go into. The pike place filter roast is no exception.  

Their smooth and rich roast was crafted by blenders in 2008 and has been available ever since.

Starbucks Pike Place Filter Coffee

You’ll find it in every Starbucks you go into, and each time you’ll get a great tasting and high caffeine drink. 

The grande version of this Starbucks coffee alone has 308 mg of caffeine in it, and if you upgrade to a venti it contains 410mg! 

So next time you go, have a lookout for their brewed selection and give the pike place a chance to keep you going. 

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9. Cold Brew Coffee 

If you prefer a stronger flavor of coffee and aren’t keen on vanilla sweet cream, perhaps the standard Starbucks cold brew coffee will be up your alley. 

Starbucks cold brew coffee drinks are made different from the rest of their coffee, as it’s brewed for longer. 

In order to retain the same flavor, you would get in a hot coffee, the coffee beans need to be steeped for anywhere from 8-20 hours. 

If you’ve been in and noticed they’re sold out, it’s because it just takes so long to get right! 

Even in a shorter brew where the coffee beans are steeped for 8 hours, you’ll get a strong and bold-tasting coffee.

Their brew is made with a darker roast so that the gound has a full, rich palette. 

Each sip of this Starbucks coffee contains notes of cocoa and nutty flavors. And it’s not short on caffeine, either; a grande will give you 300 mg of caffeine, while a large will go up to 360. 

Not a bad fit for a smaller size! 

Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee

10. Iced Caffè Americano 

The great thing about Americanos is their simplicity. The espresso over hot water has been around since World War 2, and pouring them over ice water gives them the same iconic taste.

Starbucks tends to use more shots of coffee in their iced drinks, which means the iced Americano gives you a stronger flavor with each sip. 

Because of the extra shots, an iced americano will give you 300 mg of caffeine.

In those summer months when you want a cool down and a perk up, this iced coffee will have everything you need.  

Starbucks Iced Caffè Americano

11. Nitro Cold Brew 

The iconic Starbucks nitro cold brew has a bizarre look of tap beer and isn’t served any higher than a grande. But it’s definitely a change to your usual Starbucks espresso drinks. 

The difference here between a cold brew and nitro cold brew is that it’s infused with nitrogen during the pouring process, hence why it’s served through a tap.  

The added nitrogen gives the cold brew a smoother and sweeter flavor, along with a decent boost of caffeine. It’s visually appealing, too.

Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew

The bubbles give the nitro cold brew an iconic look that reminds me of ordering drinks at a bar.

They can’t serve any higher than a grande nitro cold brew because of their strength and nitrogen content, but you’ll still get a generous helping of 280 mg of caffeine.  

The nitro cold brew is really smooth, but it's still one of the strongest coffee options. You can add a layer of cold foam on top to sweeten the drink, and cascara cold foam works pretty well. 

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12. Nitro Cold Brew With Dark Cocoa Almond Milk Foam

If you’re not a fan of the cold brew's strength, then don’t worry!

Thankfully Starbucks allows you to customize the drinks to how you prefer it, and adding dark cocoa almond milk foam gives the nitro cold brew a sweeter twist - kind of like an alternative to regular whipped cream. 

The foam helps to offset the strength from the Starbucks coffee beans, but don't be fooled because it's still one of the strongest Starbucks drinks around.

This nitro cold brew alternative still contains 280 mg of caffeine. A perfect twist to an iconic Starbucks drink! 

Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew With Dark Cocoa Almond Milk Foam

13. Iced Caffè Mocha 

The great thing about mochas is the chocolatey twist you get. Their mocha with a dark roast combines the bitter and sweet flavors together to create an excellent chocolate coffee!

It's made with espresso, chocolate malt powder, milk, and it then topped with whipped cream. And it works even better over ice.  

The iced mocha does contain more shots in, as the drink wouldn’t have the same notes in them.

That means you're getting more coffee and a bigger caffeine hit. An iced mocha contains 265mg, which would be perfect to get you through a long night of studying if you need it! 

Starbucks Iced Caffè Mocha

14. Iced Coffee 

The iced coffee varies from their other version of iced drinks.

This is their filter blend (different from their espresso drinks) poured over ice and cold water, giving you the same experiences in a pike place, but iced instead! 

Their largest variation of this (Trenta) gives you 235mg of caffeine content and several pumps of sugar syrup. 

It's a great blend of sweet and coffee that will provide you with a very much-needed pick-me-up! 

If you’re not keen on black coffee, you can still add a variety of milk and syrups to sweeten up the flavor while retaining the caffeine. A simple but effective drink! 

Iced Coffee starbucks

15. Blonde Caffè Latte 

The best-selling drink at Starbucks is the latte. And it’s easy to see why - the blend of steamed milk with two/three shots of espresso is an excellent drink for any time of the day.

It’s versatile, too. It works well with different syrup flavors, with less or more coffee shots, and with whipped cream on top, and you can have it as an iced caffè latte - it’s truly a great drink.  

Remember we mentioned the blonde roast? Well, simply by switching your latte to blonde, you're giving yourself a sweeter and higher caffeine hit for your day.

The blonde latte has 225mg of caffeine content while having floral notes and citrus undertones, making it a smoother, tasty coffee to get through the morning.  

Want a bit more flavor in your strong latte? Make it a Starbucks blonde vanilla latte by adding vanilla syrup, or drizzle some bittersweet mocha sauce on top.

You can even add chai spices to make it a dirty chai tea latte. Starbucks lattes are strong, but customisable, so you can have this drink however you like. 

Starbucks Blonde Caffè Latte

16. Caffè Americano 

Americanos are arguably the strongest coffee at Starbucks. It’s a classic drink that’s existed since the 1940s when American soldiers found the Italian espresso too strong.

The flavors you get with an americano vary, and each one is unique.  

So in terms of sizes, the tall/grande/venti americanos come with 2/3/4 shots of coffee. The average grande Americano will have 225mg of caffeine content in it. 

Topped with a variety of milks, it can really boost your energy throughout the day!  

Starbucks Caffè Americano

17. Iced Caramel Macchiato 

Caramel macchiatos are a unique drink at Starbucks, as they contain a mix of vanilla and coffee topped with a caramel finish.

But they’re weaker than other coffees, only containing two shots at the largest size. It’s for those who enjoy sweeter flavors but don’t want as much coffee.  

That’s where the iced caramel macchiato comes into play. The iced version contains up to 4 shots, meaning you’ll get a stronger hit. 

The reason behind this is the iced caramel macchiato is a lot weaker in flavor compared to the hot version, so adding more coffee solves this problem.

Next time you want a sweeter caffeine hit, try the iced caramel macchiato! 

Prefer creamier espresso drinks? You can ask for an iced latte macchiato.

This has the same amount of blonde roast brewed coffee, but more milk so the latte macchiato is smoother and easier to drink - despite the high caffeine content. 

You can also ask for a regular latte macchiato which is made with steamed milk and served hot.

You can also get the espresso macchiato which has no steamed milk, and less hot water to give you a concentrated coffee with the most caffeine content of the three macchiato options.

Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato

18. Triple Shot Espresso 

The espresso from Starbucks provides a flavorsome and robust drink to top off a meal or kick-start your day.

Each roast and blend offers such a range of notes that it’s hard to pick a favorite. Espressos are popular because they’re also strong in caffeine.

If a doppio isn’t going to cut it, then you can also opt for a triple shot espresso! Because there’s no milk, it can be quite overpowering at first, but the 225mg of caffeine content is worth it.

Adding blonde takes it up to 235mg, so you’re sure to be alert during meetings or classes.  

Starbucks Triple Shot Espresso

19. Espresso Frappuccino Blended 

Most blended frappuccinos at Starbucks contain very little caffeine. They make up for it with plenty of sugar to taste.

That’s because the frappuccinos use a special kind of frap roast, which is instant coffee made in a cold brew. 

It contains less caffeine content, but gives the Starbucks drinks a smoother taste.  

The espresso frappuccino is the only exception. These are espresso shots blended together with the frap roast and coffee base to create a stronger frappuccino.

It contains 185mg of caffeine, which is higher than the others. It makes a great taste of coffee and classic frappuccino that will give you the hit you need for the day. 

Starbucks Espresso Frappuccino Blended

20. Flat White 

The flat white is a fairly new addition to the coffee scene, emerging from Australia in the mid-1980s. Simply put, it’s a mix of espresso shots with smooth, textured milk giving it a velvety taste.

It’s stronger than a latte because the milk isn’t suppressing the coffee flavor and gives you a stronger taste.  

Overall, a flat white at Starbucks gives you 130mg of caffeine, which is a nice amount to get you through your day. Its texture and strength make it a classic drink to fuel you through whatever you need it to! 

Starbucks Flat White

What Makes These Starbucks Strongest Coffees? 

Just what makes the caffeine so high in these Starbucks drinks?

The strongest coffee, True North Blonde filter coffee, is simply brewed with the exact right amount of grounds to give it a good mix of coffee flavor and caffeine content.

All the blonde roast coffees in Starbucks contain approximately 10% more caffeine.  

If you want stronger than strongest, and have the capacity to do so, order a espresso roast Clover coffee.

The caffeine in these Starbucks drinks harbors more caffeine, which is retained through the brewing process. You can get short of 500mg in one Clover coffee.[3] 

You’ll find that the other strong Starbucks drinks, such as the Americano or cold brew, become stronger when you add stronger roasts to them.

Mixing up your coffee and trying lighter roasted beans can give you the extra boost while retaining the flavors you enjoy.  

The key to some caffeinated Starbucks drinks is the espresso content.

Each espresso shot you add will make your drink stronger, and it's why an espresso macchiato has more caffeine than a regular macchiato. 

Even a sweet drink like the iced white chocolate mocha can become one of the strongest on the Starbucks menu if you add extra shots, and you don't have to rely on mega strong cold brewed coffee to get your fix. 

Common Strong Starbucks Drinks Questions 

Which Starbucks drink gives you the most energy? 

There are a lot of caffeinated Starbucks drinks, but the nitro cold brew with vanilla sweet cream gives you the most caffeine content, as well as a good hit of sugar.

What is a sweet, strong coffee at Starbucks? 

The iced caramel macchiato is a good mix of sweet and strong. The vanilla and caramel mix is retained in the drink, while the coffee added provides a better dose of caffeine. 

Is espresso stronger than coffee? 

An espresso shot contains 63mg of caffeine per 1 ounce, whereas coffee contains 12 - 16mg per ounce. A straight espresso shot is stronger than regular coffee. 

Does a darker roast mean stronger coffee? 

Not necessarily. A darker roast means it has been roasted for longer in higher temperatures. This means there’s been more time for the caffeine to burn away or dissolve with the moisture. Lighter roasts are considered stronger in caffeine, but darker roasts are stronger in taste. 

Conclusion - Get Your Caffeine Fix!

Next time you go to Starbucks, don’t settle for your usual order.

There’s more caffeine to have and flavors to taste in every drink, and with such a vast menu, you're not short on choice for coffee at Starbucks. 

If you feel like an extra boost, try the true north blonde filter which is the strongest coffee at Starbucks, but for something more low-key, a flat white will keep you energized and free of coffee jitters.

Don’t limit yourself to just one type of java!   


1. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2122186/whole-bean

2. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2121859/iced

3. https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/kitchen/clover-coffee-maker.htm

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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