13 Underrated Starbucks Drinks You Need To Try

If you're a regular at Starbucks, chances are you've memorized your go-to order. It could be a latte with your favorite syrup, or maybe a Frappuccino blended to perfection with just the right amount of drizzle and whipped cream. Or perhaps you're the adventurous type, often asking the barista for their personal favorite recommendation.

For those less familiar with the coffee chain's extensive menu, the sheer variety of options can be somewhat overwhelming. The menu boards barely scratch the surface of what's available. Beyond the standard offerings and the not-so-secret menu options, Starbucks' mobile app often hosts a plethora of drinks that can't fit onto their physical menus.

That's why knowing about some of the less-appreciated beverages Starbucks offers can be incredibly helpful. These under-the-radar choices are often simpler and, therefore, tend to be a bit less expensive. In addition to saving a bit, ordering one of these hidden gems will likely impress your barista with your insider knowledge.

Caffé Misto

When you think about the many choices available while ordering a coffee with milk, generally, a latte generally comes to mind first. These delightful concoctions, known for their remarkable versatility, are indeed the usual go-to for many coffee enthusiasts. With just a couple of simple adjustments, a latte can be expertly tailored to suit individual tastes, rendering it uniquely perfect for each patron. Yet, hidden in plain sight among a host of favored brews, lies a beverage that, while often overlooked, is as adaptable as a latte, if not more so: the caffé misto.

This underappreciated beverage is an exquisite balance of coffee and steamed milk, served in equal proportions. The bitterness is subdued since it features drip coffee rather than espresso. The gentle profile, characterized by a half-and-half blend, provides an inviting canvas for a diverse array of flavors. Whether it's the subtly sweet allure of vanilla syrup or the richness of the increasingly popular macadamia syrup, the beverage effortlessly absorbs these additions, enhancing its natural charm. Plus, you can customize the type of milk used for a smooth misto with breve or a nondairy version with oat milk or any other alternative milk.

Matcha Tea Latte

It might come as a delightful surprise for enthusiasts of both tea and Starbucks to discover that the renowned coffee giant also boasts an impressive array of matcha tea options. The matcha tea latte, a delightful fusion of matcha powder and milk. In its powdered form, matcha may seem intimidating to tea lovers who are yet to explore this vibrant green elixir, but its distinct taste and texture can be quite a revelation. Though enjoyable on its own, the addition of frothy milk is an ideal complement to the earthiness of matcha. 

Available in both hot and iced versions, the matcha tea latte is worth ordering irrespective of the weather. Plus, its customization potential is virtually limitless. You can opt for alternative milk types like creamy coconut or velvety oat milk, or enhance the drink with a sweet hint of flavored syrup such as vanilla. If you're getting an iced version, top it with some cold foam or a decadent and delicious drink.

Iced Americano

As ardent coffee enthusiasts, we have a profound appreciation for the Iced Americano. The beverage boasts a substantial caffeine content, standing at an impressive 225 milligrams, noticeably higher than the 165 milligrams in the standard Starbucks iced coffee and the 205 milligrams found in cold brew. Additionally, it imparts a more robust flavor profile that distinguishes it from its cold counterparts.

The simple yet effective blend of ice, cold water, and espresso is what sets it apart. This approach yields a vibrant fusion that showcases the rich intensity of the coffee, allowing it to shine through even when chilled. More than just a caffeine powerhouse, the Iced Americano also champions versatility. It serves as a perfect base for personalization, readily inviting various syrups and types of milk into the mix. This combination results in a customizable beverage that can be tailored to your preference, much like its other coffee counterparts.

Peach Green Tea Lemonade

Ever since Starbucks unveiled its line of Refreshers, adding a vibrant touch of caffeine-infused fruity beverages to its menu, the delightful tea lemonades seem to have taken a back seat. This shift in popularity feels somewhat undeserved, particularly when one considers the alluring charm of Starbucks' Peach Green Tea Lemonade. This exceptional beverage has been a staple in our roster of tea drinks long before the advent of Refreshers on the menu.

The Peach Green Tea Lemonade stands out with its tantalizing blend of sweet and tangy flavors. It skillfully incorporates peach juice, which adds an extra bit to the brew, enhancing the overall taste profile. This peachy twist doesn't just work wonders in this beverage but also offers a delightful addition to other drinks on the menu.

While this juice blend is delightful enough to be savored on its own, consider an apple juice addition. The combination of peach and apple flavors creates an inviting concoction that pairs seamlessly with tea, imparting a delightful fruity twist.

Caramel Apple Spice

When fall descends, bringing with it the captivating allure of pumpkin spice lattes and other gourd-based beverages, the Caramel Apple Spice often plays second filled, overshadowed by these seasonal sensations. However, this decadent spin on mulled cider deserves a warmer reception. Not only is this cherished favorite of ours available throughout the year (yep, spring and summer too!), but the caffeine-free offering is one of the best Starbucks kid-friendly drinks.

The comforting blend of steamed apple juice is stirred with sugary cinnamon dolce syrup, crowned with a generous dollop of whipped cream, and a lavish drizzle of caramel on top. Though its rich, inviting taste is reminiscent of fall's comforting ambiance, the Caramel Apple Spice doesn't limit itself to just one season. If you're in need of a hot beverage that isn't coffee or tea during a chilly summer night or a crisp winter morning, here's your drink. 

Passion Tango Tea Lemonade

An herbal tea-based beverage featuring no caffeine, this vibrant drink is an excellent choice for young ones yearning for a fun, grown-up beverage just like their parents. But don't be mistaken; this isn't just for kids; adults are equally enchanted by its refreshing taste.

The Passion Tango Tea Lemonade owes its unique flavor profile to a harmonious blend of floral Passion tea, sweetened with Starbucks' classic syrup, then shaken roughly 10 times with tangy lemonade. This combination of flavors results in an exceptionally refreshing drink that is irresistibly quenching. Its delightful taste coupled with its stunning magenta hue ensures it's consumed as rapidly as it's admired.

Having sampled this captivating drink in all available sizes, we recommend a venti. The smaller options, while just as delicious, tend to disappear all too quickly, leaving you yearning for more. A larger cup provides a more satisfying experience, ensuring that your moment of refreshment lasts a little longer.

Matcha Creme Frappuccino

While a Matcha Tea Latte doesn't get the attention it deserves, its blended counterpart is even more frequently overlooked. Typically, those seeking matcha wouldn't turn to a Frappuccino, and conversely, those ordering a creme blended drink might balk at the prospect of a vibrant green beverage. However, the Matcha Creme Frappuccino presents an opportunity to enjoy the distinctive flavor of this exquisite green tea, making it an especially appealing choice for those just beginning their matcha journey.

Interestingly, it contains an equivalent amount of green tea powder as a Matcha Latte, which is exceptional for a Frappuccino. For example, a Chai Frappuccino contains half the chai than a standard Chai Latte, making it common for Frappuccinos to offer a somewhat diluted flavor compared to their latte counterparts. In this regard, the Matcha Creme Frappuccino stands out from the crowd, upholding the integrity of its star ingredient without compromise. As a result, it delivers a drink that embodies the matcha essence.

Dirty Chai Latte

Generally, when ordering from the Starbucks secret menu, you'll often find your barista unfamiliar with your desired concoction, necessitating a detailed breakdown of its ingredients. However, the Dirty Chai Latte stands as a notable exception to this rule. Although it doesn't feature on the regular menu, it's gained quasi-official status among baristas and seasoned Starbucks customers. Thus, when you step up to a Starbucks counter requesting a Dirty Chai, chances are they'll understand your order without a hitch.

This is essentially a Chai Latte jazzed up with one or more shots of espresso, resulting in a fusion of coffee and spice. It's available in both hot and iced versions, and the quantity of espresso shots is fully customizable, allowing you to adjust the caffeine level to your preference.

However, it's worth noting that extra espresso shots equate to additional charges, typically $1 per shot. So, while the Dirty Chai offers a delightful medley of flavors and an adjustable caffeine kick, remember that customization comes at a cost.

Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino

Considering the dazzling array of Frappuccinos that Starbucks offers, it's easy for some of the simpler options to be overshadowed. With those enticing flavors like Strawberries and Cream and visually appealing presentations with drizzle and even crunch topping, the complex blends often draw attention away from the humble yet delightful offerings, such as the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino.

This simple, delectable treat tastes strikingly reminiscent of a creamy vanilla milkshake thanks to a perfect blend of milk, ice, and aromatic vanilla bean powder. However, if you're interested in adding a caffeinated twist to this classic, you can opt for a Café Vanilla Frappuccino. This variant infuses the standard Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with a coffee base, creating a delightful interplay of sweet vanilla and robust coffee flavors. While this adjustment alters the taste considerably, it creates an indulgent coffee beverage that many find irresistible.

Espresso Con Panna

We're a fan of a tasty and interesting espresso drink as much as the next coffee fanatic, but sometimes, you want your java to be less of a sipper and more of a speedy pick-me-up. In such instances, an espresso shot fits the bill. Yet, pure espresso can be rather challenging to enjoy. Its potent, bitter taste may be hard to swallow for the unaccustomed, making the experience more about utility than pleasure. Fortunately, there are ways to make this caffeinated kick more palatable without diluting its efficiency. You might consider adding cream or sugar, but our preferred pairing is whipped cream. 

The espresso con panna strikes a delectable balance between robust coffee and delicate sweetness. The term "con panna" is Italian for "with cream," and true to its name, this beverage involves serving a shot (or shots) of espresso topped with a dollop of that whipped dairy goodness. The rich, creamy topping contrasts beautifully with the bitter espresso, smoothing its harsh edges without negating its potency. The result is a quick, energizing espresso shot that also delights the taste buds. Plus, since Starbucks uses vanilla syrup to flavor its whipped cream, you also get a little added deliciousness from the bean enhancement.

Blended Strawberry Lemonade

It's a well-known fact that Starbucks boasts a delightful range of blended beverages. With options both caffeinated and non-caffeinated, there's a Frappuccino to match nearly every taste. As these blended marvels typically garner most of the spotlight, other blended offerings sometimes find themselves in their shadow. Such is the fate of the Blended Strawberry Lemonade, an underrated yet refreshingly simple drink that doesn't quite get the attention it deserves.

The Blended Strawberry Lemonade is a straightforward yet invigorating blend of ice, lemonade, and strawberries whipped together to create a revitalizing, caffeine-free beverage. While it might not possess the grandeur or the glamour of the permanently featured Frappuccinos, it shouldn't be underestimated.

This vibrant blend serves as a wonderful alternative to the caffeinated titans dominating Starbucks' menu. It delivers a refreshing, fruity punch that's perfect for a hot summer's day or whenever you're seeking a drink that offers a burst of natural flavors minus the caffeine. Its under-the-radar status could even work to its advantage, transforming it into a secret gem that only the most adventurous Starbucks fans know to order.

London Fog Latte

There was a time when one could order a Tea Misto off the menu at Starbucks, just like its coffee counterpart. However, those offerings have since vanished, replaced by a selection of tea lattes. Among these, one stands out as a particular favorite: the London Fog.

Despite its dreary name, this blend of Earl Grey tea and steamed milk is absolutely delightful. And when the weather is hot, consider the chilled version made with cold milk and served over ice. Besides the primary ingredients, this beverage also features a dash of vanilla syrup, adding an aromatic undertone that complements the robust Earl Grey perfectly.

What makes the London Fog especially appealing is its versatility. It presents an enjoyable latte option for tea lovers, while the creamy milk and vanilla notes can soften the tea's intense flavors. Yet, for those who appreciate a stronger tea kick, the number of bags can be increased to elevate the brew's potency. Moreover, this versatile drink adapts well to various modifications. You could replace the standard 2% milk with oat milk for a plant-based alternative, or ask for it to be made breve for a creamier texture.

Honey Citrus Mint Tea

Once known as the Medicine Ball, this former viral secret menu sensation transitioned into a permanent menu item, much like the beloved Pink Drink. It's now listed as Honey Citrus Mint Tea, a name that adequately captures its soothing ingredients. When you order this comforting drink, you'll receive a blend steeped from two tea bags: Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea and Peach Tranquility, an herbal tea. These are steeped in a mix of hot water and steamed lemonade, then sweetened with a drizzle of honey, creating a beverage that beautifully straddles the line between sweet and tart.

As its original name, the "Medicine Ball," suggests, this brew is a favorite pick-me-up when you're feeling under the weather. It has a soothing effect on sore throats and provides a comforting warmth, making it an excellent choice when you're not at your best. Although it might be a red flag drink to order because it indicates to the barista that you may be under the weather, we still enjoy ordering it as a treat when we just need a tea built to soothe our throat.