Avoid A Sweet Surprise When Ordering Starbucks Iced Coffee

Are you an avid iced coffee drinker whose go-to cafe isn't necessarily Starbucks? Well, it's hard to avoid the Seattle-based chain these days so we've got a tip for your iced coffee order to avoid a sweet surprise the next time you walk into a Starbucks — especially if you don't like sugar in your caffeinated beverage.

When you order your iced coffee, specify that you want your iced coffee unsweetened. Why? Because Starbucks automatically puts its classic syrup in regular iced coffee (with the exception being its cold brews). It might sound strange to get sugar in your coffee when you don't ask for it, but that's how their recipe works. If you want the proper Starbucks lingo, you can order an "iced coffee without classic" or an "unsweetened iced coffee." And don't forget that sizes here are tall (small), grande (medium), and venti (large).

What does Starbucks sweeten its iced coffee with?

What exactly do Starbucks baristas put inside their iced coffee to sweeten it? They use classic syrup, which is the chain's version of a simple syrup that contains 80 calories per 30-milliliter serving. The syrup is basically sugar and water in syrup form, which avoids any sugar grains from falling to the bottom of your iced beverage since it won't dissolve like it would in a hot coffee. According to the Starbucks menu, three pumps of its classic syrup go into a tall iced coffee, four in a grande, and six in a venti iced coffee.

If you prefer a bit less sweetness in your morning coffee, customize your order by asking for fewer pumps of their classic syrup in your iced coffee. You can also swap it for another sweetener like Splenda if that's more of your thing. Do you prefer sweetness with an essence of vanilla or caramel? You can order your iced coffee with the chain's other syrups like caramel, hazelnut, toffee nut, or vanilla if you want some flavor swirled into your drink. These flavored syrups do not cost more than the classic syrup either, according to a recent order from Starbucks. Don't forget these ordering hacks pertain specifically to iced coffee, because their hot coffees do not come with classic syrup by default.