The Caffeine Content Of 23 Popular Starbucks Drinks, Ranked Lowest To Highest

A trip to Starbucks can be a daily ritual, a luxury treat, or a strategic energy boost. The appeal of Starbucks lies in its varied menu, which provides an array of options to suit every palate and purpose. For some, the familiarity of their favorite order is a simple, carefully brewed coffee that kick-starts their morning. For others, Starbucks is an indulgence; a place to experiment with special drinks rich in flavor and texture.

Yet, every patron, regardless of their order, has a choice to make when they approach the Starbucks counter. This choice extends beyond flavor, considering nutritional factors like sugar, dairy, and, most significantly, caffeine content.

The choice of caffeinated beverages, in particular, is influenced by many factors. It could be the desire for an energy surge in the middle of a workday or the need to remain alert during an intense study session. Whatever the motivation, the caffeine content of the chosen drink should align with the desired outcome. Understanding the caffeine content of Starbucks beverages is thus as integral to the ordering process as deciding between a Frappuccino or a latte. For the purposes of consistency, we compared the caffeine content of these drinks in the grande size of 16 fluid ounces. 

23. Honey Citrus Mint Tea - 16 milligrams

Once known as the Medicine Ball, this secret menu item has transitioned to become a staple on the core menu. This concoction is a blend of herbal and green tea, each contributing to the overall flavor. The tea bags are steeped in steamed lemonade and hot water, providing a tart and warm base.

The addition of honey sweetens the brew and gives it a comforting touch. This drink has gained popularity, especially during colder seasons, as it relieves a sore throat. Despite its soothing qualities, remember that it contains a small amount of caffeine from green tea. Therefore, if you want to sleep off a cold, consider asking for a version made exclusively with the caffeine-free Peach Tranquility tea bags.

22. Iced Green Tea - 25 milligrams

For those seeking a higher caffeine content than the Honey Citrus Mint Tea, an Iced Green Tea can be an ideal choice. This beverage is highly refreshing, making it a favorite among tea lovers. You have the option to order it either sweetened or unsweetened, aligning it perfectly with your personal preferences. Additionally, the Iced Green Tea can be given an exciting twist by opting for the lemonade variety, which adds a tangy freshness to the drink.

The beauty of this tea lies in its flexibility; the tea content remains consistent regardless of whether the barista adds water, lemonade, or even juice. This allows you to customize the drink to suit your specific taste preferences.

21. Iced Black Tea - 25 milligrams

Contrary to common belief, Starbucks' Iced Black Tea does not contain more caffeine than its Green Tea counterpart. Two iced tea latte varieties are available that pack a stronger caffeine punch, but a simple Iced Black Tea does not fall into this category.

Much like the Iced Green Tea, the Iced Black Tea also offers various customization options. You can enjoy it with adding lemonade or some sweetener, or leave it unsweetened. The beauty of these modifications is that they do not alter the caffeine content of the drink, allowing you to adjust the flavor profile without changing the caffeine level.

20. Chai Crème Frappuccino - 40 milligrams

Most of Starbucks' creme Frappuccinos are not caffeinated, with the exception of the chai and matcha varieties. These drinks have a higher caffeine content than Iced Black Tea and also have the added bonus of being frosty, creamy, and delicious.

The Chai Frappuccino, in particular, uses pumps of chai tea concentrate rather than tea bags, giving it a strong, distinct flavor. Interestingly enough, a chai Frappuccino has half the pumps as a chai latte of the same size. However, if you prefer your chai prepared in a traditional way, you can certainly order a regular chai made with tea bags from the Starbucks menu.

19. Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers - 45 milligrams

The fruity flavors of Starbucks Refreshers can easily deceive one into forgetting that these drinks are indeed caffeinated. All the diverse flavors have a comparable caffeine content, which is roughly half that of a regular cup of coffee.

So, while these won't supercharge you with a massive burst of energy, they certainly do provide a moderate boost, all the while you're enjoying the delightful fruit flavors. Starbucks Refreshers make a superb choice for those who aren't fans of the traditional taste of coffee or tea but still desire the stimulating benefits caffeine has to offer.

18. Pink Drink Starbucks Refreshers - 45 milligrams

The Medicine Ball isn't the only Starbucks beverage that has journeyed from the secret menu to earn a permanent spot on the standard menu. The Pink Drink is another such delight that has made this fascinating transition. Named for its appealing light pink hue and characterized by its distinctly fruity flavor, this drink falls under the Starbucks Refresher category. Like other Refreshers, it's easy to overlook that the Pink Drink is caffeinated due to its fruity profile.

In a standard Refresher, the refresher base is mixed with water. However, the Pink Drink swaps water with coconut milk, giving it a creamy and tropical spin. Nevertheless, it maintains the same refresher base as the regular Strawberry Açaí Starbucks Refresher. This means it carries the same caffeine content, despite the texture and flavor differences.

17. Matcha Crème Frappuccino - 70 miligrams

While the caffeine content differs significantly between the Chai Latte and Chai Frappuccino, the Matcha Creme Frappuccino and Matcha Latte are almost identical in their caffeine levels. We're not sure where this difference happens, as the same number of matcha scoops are used in each, but if you really care about that 10-milligram difference in caffeine and want just a bit less than a regular Matcha Tea Latte, choose the Frappuccino version.

The grande version of each drink includes three scoops of matcha. All the matcha-based drinks are undoubtedly delectable, but there's a special appeal to the Matcha Creme Frappuccino. It beautifully marries the varied flavors present in the beverage into a seamless blend. Plus, the addition of whipped cream adds a delightful creaminess that truly elevates the experience.

16. Matcha Tea Latte - 80 milligrams

Certainly, this in no way suggests that the Matcha Tea Latte is any less enjoyable. This drink is also exceptionally delightful, with both the hot and iced versions proving to be great options. Given that they contain the same amount of caffeine, your choice boils down to the temperature that suits your taste best.

Additionally, these drinks provide the convenience of easy milk substitutions. Although you can replace the base milk in your Frappuccino with a different type, this can sometimes alter the consistency of the drink, potentially making it less enjoyable. Therefore, if you plan to switch out the milk for a different type, we recommend opting for the lattes over the Frappuccino.

15. Caramel Frappuccino - 90 milligrams

Despite their milkshake-like consistency, Frappuccinos can pack a caffeine punch comparable to a typical cup of coffee. In a grande size of the coffee versions, you can expect a similar caffeine boost to a single serving of your regular brew. Of course, the caffeine in a Frappuccino comes with a delightful mix of sugar and cream, making it an enticing option for those who prefer a more dessert-like coffee experience.

The Caramel Frappuccino, for example, includes a flavorful mix of coffee, milk, caramel syrup, and ice, all topped off with whipped cream and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. If the standard amount of caramel isn't enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, don't hesitate to ask your barista to add extra caramel drizzle around the inside of the cup.

14. Chai Tea Latte - 95 milligrams

With double the amount of chai compared to the Frappuccino version, the Chai Tea Latte delivers a significantly stronger caffeine punch. And before you say anything, yes, we know the word chai means tea, so it's also baffling to us why the brand named this drink this way. Anyway, much like the Matcha Tea Latte, it's far simpler to substitute the milk in a tea latte than in a Frappuccino, giving you more flexibility in customization.

If you're seeking an even greater caffeine boost, add an espresso shot to your drink, transforming it into a Dirty Chai Latte. However, this modification will increase the caffeine content beyond 95 milligrams. Therefore, if you're sensitive to caffeine or trying to moderate your intake, it's crucial to proceed cautiously when considering this option.

13. Mocha Frappuccino - 100 milligrams

While a Mocha Frappuccino and a Caramel Frappuccino both contain the same number of pumps of the Frappuccino roast coffee base, the Mocha Frappuccino actually boasts a higher caffeine content. This is due to the mocha sauce used in preparing the drink, which contains a small amount of caffeine.

A close examination of the Starbucks menu reveals that the seemingly caffeine-free option of hot chocolate contains caffeine, thanks to this very mocha sauce. Though the amount of caffeine the mocha sauce contributes is relatively small, it's definitely present and contributes to the overall caffeine content of the drink. As such, it's logical that the Mocha Frappuccino would have a higher caffeine content than the Caramel Frappuccino.

12. Java Chip Frappuccino - 105 milligrams

While the Mocha Frappuccino does have more caffeine than other variants, the Java Chip Frappuccino tops it with a slightly higher caffeine content. This is largely due to the Frappuccino chips used in its recipe, which are made of ingredients similar to those in the mocha sauce, and, therefore, contribute to the overall caffeine content of the drink.

If you're seeking a frozen, coffee-infused treat to give you a caffeine kick, the Java Chip Frappuccino could be the perfect choice. However, it's also crucial to consider this caffeine content when deciding on a drink for later in the day. If you aim to avoid a caffeine dose that might interfere with your sleep, particularly in the late afternoon or early evening, you might want to steer clear of the Java Chip Frappuccino.

11. Flat White - 130 milligrams

If you're craving a coffee that's smooth, opt for a Flat White. This luxurious drink pairs ristretto espresso with steamed whole milk, offering a more indulgent experience than the usual latte. While Starbucks typically uses 2% milk as the base for its drinks, the whole milk in a Flat White brings an extra level of creaminess.

Ristretto coffee is a unique variant of espresso, characterized by its less bitter flavor profile compared to standard espresso. This flavor difference is due to the brewing process. Ristretto uses a 1-to-1 ratio of coffee to water instead of the espresso ratio, which uses a higher proportion of espresso than water. As a result, a Flat White can be an excellent choice for those looking for a richer, smoother, and sweeter coffee experience.

10. Caffè Latte - 150 milligrams

Despite Starbucks's extensive and sometimes complex menu, the beverage recipes are quite straightforward. Typically, the varying sizes of drinks correspond to a specific number of pumps, scoops, pours, or shots. As a result, many drinks have identical caffeine content, given they contain the same number of espresso shots. This is especially true for most of the handcrafted espresso beverages on the menu.

Perhaps the most popular of these is the caffé latte, a simple yet satisfying blend of espresso, steamed milk, and a touch of frothed milk. Its charm lies in its simplicity and the balance between the espresso's robust flavor and the milk's creaminess.

9. Cappuccino - 150 milligrams

The Cappuccino is a drink closely related to the caffé latte. Like the latte, a cappuccino also contains the same number of espresso shots and incorporates steamed milk and foam. However, the balance between foam and steamed milk tends to be closer to a cappuccino, offering a distinctly different mouthfeel and taste.

One of the ways to customize a cappuccino to your liking is to alter the proportions of foam and steamed milk. If you prefer a drink with more steamed milk, you can request a wet cappuccino, which will have a higher ratio of milk to foam. Conversely, if you're a fan of a frothier experience, you can order a dry cappuccino with a higher proportion of foam than milk.

8. Iced Caramel Macchiato - 150 milligrams

When it comes to iced drinks, the espresso rule deviates slightly from that of hot beverages. This difference is likely because the venti size for iced drinks is 24 ounces, compared to the 20-ounce size for hot drinks. However, a grande iced handcrafted espresso drink will contain the same amount of coffee as a grande hot drink.

The Iced Caramel Macchiato is one of the more unique offerings on the iced espresso menu. The preparation of this drink starts with pumps of vanilla syrup at the bottom of the cup, followed by ice, milk, and espresso shots poured on top. It's then finished off with a generous drizzle of caramel syrup. The layers gradually meld into each other as the drink sits, creating a visually stunning cascade of flavors.

7. Espresso Frappuccino - 155 milligrams

The Espresso Frappuccino is the most heavily caffeinated among all the Frappuccino variants. This blended beverage incorporates the same base number of Frappuccino roast pumps as the other coffee-based grande Frappuccinos but with an added shot of espresso.

In this case, the shot of espresso serves as the primary flavoring agent, setting it apart from other Frappuccinos which use flavorings like caramel, mocha, or white mocha. The extra shot of espresso not only amplifies the caffeine content but also adds a robust coffee flavor to the drink. It's worth noting this Frappuccino flavor doesn't come with whip cream as a default, but you can ask for it to be added.

6. Iced Coffee - 165 milligrams

You may find it surprising to learn that Starbucks' iced coffee actually contains more caffeine than its espresso drinks, but the difference is indeed quite significant. Starbucks' iced coffee is a popular choice not only for its higher caffeine content but also for its simplicity and ease with which it can be customized.

Moreover, if you're in need of a substantial caffeine boost, you might want to consider enjoying your first iced coffee while at the Starbucks location. This is because iced coffees are eligible for free refills for Starbucks Rewards members. This means that you can enjoy not only your initial refreshing, caffeinated drink but also have the opportunity for an extra boost without an additional cost.

5. Caffè Mocha - 175 milligrams

You may be curious about why a Caffé Mocha has an extra 25 milligrams of caffeine compared to a caffé latte, given that the primary difference between these two drinks is the addition of mocha sauce and a dollop of whipped cream in the Caffé Mocha. As it turns out, that extra caffeination comes directly from the mocha sauce.

Just as a Mocha Frappuccino has a higher caffeine content than a Caramel Frappuccino due to the mocha sauce, a Caffé Mocha is more caffeinated than a regular caffé latte for the same reason. On the other hand, if you would prefer to leave off 25 extra milligrams of caffeine, check out a White Mocha. This uses a white chocolate mocha sauce rather than a regular mocha sauce, and it is caffeine free.

4. Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew - 185 milligrams

We are absolutely enamored with Starbucks' cold brew options, and although the coffee itself is quite delicious, it's probably really the varieties of cold foam that steal the show, if we're being honest. All of the different varieties of cold brew that comes with cold foam have the same caffeine content because the only significant difference between them is the cold foam option and the flavored syrup if there is one. From a cold brew, expect a smooth feel and a sweet flavor, made only better by the cold foam and other unique additions.

3. Iced Caffè Americano - 225 milligrams

We often sing the benefits of opting for an Iced Cafe Americano over an iced coffee or even a cold brew because this drink packs more caffeine. At 225 milligrams, it ranks highly on the list in terms of caffeine content, giving you more bang for your buck.

Plus, an Iced Cafe Americano is just as customizable as a cold brew or iced coffee, allowing you to add your choice of cold foam, flavor, or even creamer. An Americano is a simple mix of espresso and hot water, while an iced version combines espresso, ice, and cold water. Regardless of whether you order it hot or iced, the caffeine content in this drink remains the same at 225 milligrams.

2. Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso - 255 milligrams

While iced espresso drinks at Starbucks follow a different set of rules from hot espresso drinks, shaken espresso drinks follow yet another distinct set of guidelines. Whereas a grande iced espresso drink typically contains two espresso shots, a grande shaken espresso contains three. This additional shot of espresso accounts for the spike in caffeine content.

Shaken espresso drinks are particularly loved for their combination of a potent espresso kick, the creamy smoothness of oat milk, and the delicious brown sugar syrup. The ingredients are shaken together, resulting in a frothy, well-mixed beverage that's both refreshing and invigorating.

1. Pike Place Brewed Coffee - 310 milligrams

Yes, it's quite surprising but true that the Pike Place drip brew coffee comes with the highest caffeine content among all the beverages on the menu. This is largely due to the fact that black coffee is not mixed with any other liquids.

Every ounce of the 16-ounce serving (for a grande size) is purely caffeinated liquid. Of course, you can choose to add a splash of milk or some sweetener to tailor the drink to your taste, but the foundation of this drink is black coffee, and it's this pure, unadulterated coffee that gives it its high caffeine content.