17 Caffeine-Free Starbucks Drinks, Ranked

Ever wonder why some opt for decaffeinated coffee or caffeine-free drinks at Starbucks? Although much of the population tolerates caffeine, there are several reasons why some choose caffeine-free beverage options instead. Caffeine can irritate sensitive stomachs, cause anxiety or jitters, and lead to other unpleasant symptoms. On top of that, even decaffeinated coffee contains trace amounts of caffeine, which is why many prefer to avoid caffeine altogether. 

Although Starbucks doesn't highlight its caffeine-free specialties, quite a few beverages at the chain fit the bill. Whether you're searching for something light and refreshing or rich and comforting, Starbucks is home to an array of caffeine-free options. Still, navigating the menu can be daunting, even for seasoned Starbucks fans. To help you narrow it down, we tried 17 caffeine-free drinks at Starbucks, ranking them from worst to best. So sit back and relax — you may even find your new favorite drink order on the list.

17. Lemonade

Listen, we love lemonade. But Starbucks' lemonade — or the iteration we tried — just didn't do it for us. We ordered it on a hot and humid day, and the cold, cloudy drink seemed inviting enough at first. Yet after our first sip, we couldn't make sense of what was in our cup. Initially, we thought some of the drink's ice had melted away, watering down its refreshing, citrusy qualities. But having swirled, shaken, and stirred it to high heaven, we realized it wasn't the fault of the ice but the lemonade itself.

Don't get us wrong; this lemonade has something resembling flavor, though it's not what you'd expect from the staple summer drink. Instead, you get a hit of stark acidity with no true lemon tang or sweetness. For us, lemonade should have a bit of both, but Starbucks' version was little more than water with a bite. Further, according to the chain, a tall cup of its lemonade typically contains 19 grams of sugar. Sadly, we tasted none in our drink, leaving us wondering where it could have gone.

16. Steamed milk

There's no denying that steamed milk is one of the least glamorous options on the menu, but we wouldn't have café favorites like Starbucks Steamers without it. Starbucks' milk options have steadily grown, beginning with soymilk in 2004 and, most recently, almond milk, introduced in 2016. All dairy-based Starbucks drinks come with 2% milk unless you specify otherwise, and we chose to sample the default option in our steamed milk.

For us, the foam was the most enjoyable part of Starbucks' steamed milk. After that, it was relatively unpleasant, but your mileage may vary if you're a dedicated milk drinker. We could see steamed milk being an enjoyable nightcap, but we wouldn't recommend it as a daytime drink choice unless you're operating on a night-shift schedule. It's common knowledge that steamed milk is a folk remedy for sleeplessness, and we felt pretty drowsy after tasting it. Sure, steamed milk has its benefits, but our encounter with it didn't fully mooo-ve us.

15. Iced Passion Tango Tea Lemonade

If you thought that Starbucks' Refreshers were caffeine free, you thought wrong — and so did we. Unfortunately, we learned that each fruity beverage contains green coffee bean extract, delivering a potent dose of caffeine. Thus, those looking for something similar without the jitters may be drawn to Starbucks' Iced Passion Tango Tea Lemonade instead.

It could be down to our distaste for Starbucks' lemonade, but this was one of the most disappointing Starbucks drinks we tried. We ordered light ice in our drink to better assess its flavor, but the Passion Tea with Lemonade still felt watered down to us. Starbucks' lemonade is already too acidic and mixing it with ultra-tart Passion Tea is unconscionable — that is, unless you enjoy the taste of pure citric acid. 

On the upside, this drink is less acidic than straight Passion Tea, but you'd get the same effect from adding a dash of tea to ice water. Our suggestion is to save yourself the money and do just that.

14. White Hot Chocolate

There's nothing quite like hot chocolate in winter, but a tall Starbucks hot chocolate contains 20 milligrams of caffeine. If you're looking for a similar vibe without the risk of jitters, the chain's Hot White Chocolate seems like a reasonable fix.

Visually, there isn't much to differentiate White Hot Chocolate from drinks like steamed milk. It has a foam layer on top, though we later learned it should come with whipped cream. Our first sip revealed a hint of white chocolate flavor but it dissipated almost instantly. Considering this drink contains 14 grams of sugar in a tall-sized cup, it has absolutely no business being this bland.

All in all, the White Hot Chocolate is forgettable compared to the other caffeine-free choices in our ranking. Like the Starbucks White Chocolate Frappuccino, we yearned for something more to hold our interest. Fortunately, this drink does get an upgrade during the winter season. The Starbucks Toasted White Hot Chocolate transforms the original recipe using flavors of caramelized white chocolate and cheerful colored sprinkles. That said, we doubt we'll order the original version again soon.

13. White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino

Starbucks unveiled the iconic Frappuccino in 1995, beginning with the Coffee and Mocha varieties. A typical Frappuccino contains finely blended ice, coffee, and a flavor base or syrup. Today, you can find several caffeine-free choices, including the White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino.

You'd think this drink would taste similar to a vanilla milkshake based on looks alone. However, once you get past the whipped cream, you'll find this couldn't be further from the truth. Whipped cream can work wonders for some Frappuccinos, but it doesn't do the White Chocolate variety any favors. The drink is essentially iced milk and sugar, and the oiliness of whipped cream against the rapidly-melting duo is slightly off-putting. Moreover, there's not much flavor to this drink aside from sugar. Put bluntly, Starbucks could easily up the ante on the White Chocolate Frappuccino. White chocolate shavings, lavender buds, or even sprinkles would be excellent choices to elevate this underwhelming offering.

12. Peach Tranquility

We're big on peach, so we couldn't wait to discover what this Teavana tea would taste like. Like Passion Tango, the Peach Tranquility blend features licorice root, apple, and citric acid. The pyramid-shaped Peach Tranquility teabag also contains tiny chunks of candied pineapple, peach, chamomile flowers, and pollen. We let the mixture steep for several minutes and were impressed with the tea's beautiful orange glow. It developed a warm peach aroma, at which point we decided it was time to give it a sip.

Oddly, Peach Tranquility was very mild tasting, regardless of how long we let it steep. A hint of peach surfaced from somewhere in its depths, but it tasted weak and artificial. Given the plethora of ingredients jammed inside its teabag, we thought there would be more to love about Peach Tranquility. Perhaps we just had a bad batch, but we'd advise skipping this one and brewing your peach tea at home. At $2.95 for a tall cup of the stuff, you're better off buying a box of tea for roughly the same price.

11. Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino

When ordering a caffeine-free Frappuccino at Starbucks, you have to tread carefully. Although the crème menu options are listed separately from coffee-based varieties, several crème drinks contain caffeine, like matcha and chai. Fortunately, the Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino is a safe pick if you want something cool and caffeine-free.

We thought the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino was more pleasant to look at than the White Chocolate Frap, thanks to the tiny flecks of real vanilla beans scattered throughout its cup. Nevertheless, it suffered from several issues that affected its overall score. For reasons unknown to us, some Frappuccinos seemed to melt far more quickly than others, with vanilla bean and white chocolate both falling victim to this phenomenon. The Vanilla Bean Frappuccino tasted sad within minutes of being served, like watered-down milk left out to thaw. Although we liked its subtle vanilla undertones, this drink was also far too sweet. Ultimately, we can see how vanilla bean might win over some, but it just wasn't a fit for us.

10. Cinnamon Dolce Crème

The Cinnamon Dolce Crème was a challenge to track down. We found it on Starbucks' website, but it wasn't visible on our app. Fortunately, our Starbucks had no problem whipping this drink up for us. From our understanding, it consists of steamed milk, cinnamon dolce syrup, and cinnamon dolce topping — which is basically cinnamon and sugar.

We didn't realize at the time that our Cinnamon Dolce Crème was missing its (whipped) cream, but we doubt it would've changed how we felt about this drink. Truth be told, this one's a wildcard. The cinnamon dolce topping doesn't quite mesh with the drink's foam, and we weren't sure what to make of the actual beverage. Cinnamon sugar is delicious on buttered toast or baked goods but strangely reminiscent of leftover breakfast cereal when swirled into milk. Still, though we didn't love it, we didn't necessarily hate it. In hindsight, the Cinnamon Dolce Crème was one of the more unusual beverages in our ranking, but we wouldn't be opposed to ordering it again.

9. Passion Tango Tea

Though it's only available iced, Teavana's Passion Tango replaces Starbucks' former in-store offering, Tazo Passion tea. The brightly-colored beverage contains no passionfruit extract but a blend of hibiscus, lemongrass, licorice root, and apple. At first glance, we were impressed by this tea's dazzling berry hue. Right off the bat, it's mouth-puckeringly tangy, with a tannic aftertaste from the first ingredient, dried hibiscus. If you like floral flavors such as rose or lavender, you'll most likely enjoy Passion Tango Tea — as long as you don't mind its slight sourness.

Is it a substitute for homemade hibiscus tea? We're afraid not. But this chilled drink is refreshing, if only slightly too tart for our liking. We'd suggest topping it with extra ice or a dash of plant-based milk to soften its acidity. Passion Tango Tea wasn't our favorite caffeine-free order at Starbucks, but as the only iced tea option, it's worth giving it a shot.

8. Steamed apple juice

Before our caffeine-free roundup, we never noticed that steamed apple juice was on the menu at Starbucks. According to the chain, this warm, fruity beverage promises to "soothe and embolden your day" — bold claims coming from a cup of apple juice, but we gave it the benefit of the doubt.

The first thing we noticed about our steamed cup of apple juice was its brilliant color, a sort of amber we can only liken to 1970s glassware. Another observation? It retained heat very well. Perhaps, too well. If you're ordering Starbucks Steamed Apple Juice for children, we'd recommend asking your barista to prepare it at a lower temperature. In terms of its taste, the steamed apple juice didn't let us down, though it may have been just a tad too sweet. While we're not sure it soothed or emboldened our days, we can say that this apple juice made for a decent hot drink. It was a lovely change of pace.

7. Strawberry Crème Frappuccino

Although strawberry isn't quite as popular a flavor as chocolate or vanilla, it has a solid fan base at Starbucks. The Starbucks Pink Drink is a favorite choice for many, but as part of the Refreshers line, even a tall-sized serving can contain as much as 35 milligrams of caffeine. Fortunately, the coffeehouse chain's Strawberry Crème Frappuccino, a blend of puréed strawberries, milk, and ice, is a completely caffeine-free alternative.

Of all the caffeine-free Frappuccinos on the menu, the Strawberry Crème was one of our favorites. Unlike vanilla bean or white chocolate, Strawberry Crème's prominent flavor shone through long after our Frappuccino's ice crystal melted away. It's worth noting that the Strawberry Crème is very sweet, but you can remove the simple syrup to tone it down without compromising it too much. Lastly, make sure your drink comes with a drizzle of strawberry purée over the top — it's a delicious accompaniment to the whipped cream topping that you won't want to miss.

6. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème Frappuccino

Caramel lovers, rejoice: There's a non-caffeinated Frappuccino out there for you. With that in mind, there are quite a few caramel-based Frappuccinos on Starbucks' menu, and two contain caffeine. To avoid ordering a caffeinated beverage by mistake, make sure you ask for the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème, not the standard Caramel Ribbon Crunch, its espresso-based counterpart.

We've always enjoyed coffee-based caramel Frappuccinos from Starbucks, so we weren't surprised that the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème turned out to be one of our top picks. The whipped cream is arguably the most enjoyable aspect of any Frappuccino, and the Caramel Ribbon Crunch's toppings don't miss. Once you've whittled away at the whipped cream and sugar crumbles, what's left is a luscious mixture of sweet and salty goodness. Our only suggestion? The caramel sauce should be drizzled along the sides of the drink, not the base, in order to optimize this Frappuccino's flavor.

5. Blended Strawberry Lemonade

The only thing better than lemonade is frozen lemonade, especially when summer's in full swing. Adding a dash of fruit, like mango, watermelon, or strawberry, to the mix improves things even further. If this sounds right up your alley, Starbucks' Blended Strawberry Lemonade is the caffeine-free drink you'll want to sip all season.

After trying the chain's standard lemonade, we weren't excited about sampling Starbucks' Blended Strawberry Lemonade. Against all odds, this icy beverage made quite an impression on us. If we learned anything from our caffeine-free Starbucks adventure, it's that the chain's strawberry purée is nothing short of a miracle worker. The summer fruit does most of the heavy lifting in this drink, taking a subpar lemonade to delicious new heights. The downside? This summery treat won't stay frozen for long in warm weather — after only a few minutes, our beautiful frosty potion melted down to a tiny, sherbert-colored iceberg.

4. Mint Majesty

Starbucks gets a lot of things right, but we weren't impressed by the breadth of its herbal tea selection. Caffeine-free customers have only two choices for hot tea: Teavana's Peach Tranquility or Mint Majesty. The former failed to satisfy our craving for peachy tea, but we tried to keep an open mind before trying Mint Majesty.

According to Starbucks, this tea blend features spearmint and peppermint leaves, with a touch of lemon verbena. Thankfully, it has no citric acid or natural flavor extracts, so all you taste is authentic mintiness. We'll be the first to admit that mint can be a polarizing flavor, but we enjoyed sipping the Starbucks Mint Majesty. It won't replace coffee, but it has a much stronger flavor than Peach Tranquility, with a brisk, cooling quality to round things out. If you're looking for a delicate pick-me-up to enjoy at any time of day, we can't recommend Mint Majesty enough.

3. Vanilla Crème

Starbucks Steamers are the closest thing you'll find to a caffeine-free latte on its menu. They consist of steamed milk, flavored syrup, and an optional dollop of whipped cream. The only issue is that there aren't many to choose from. Unless you have a custom drink order in mind, you can sample Cinnamon Dolce or Vanilla Crème.

While Cinnamon Dolce Crème left us unsure of how to feel, Vanilla Crème was an instant favorite. This comforting caffeine-free drink has a subtle vanilla scent and a layer of silky smooth foam, providing a latte-like experience for those missing their former drink orders. It has a pleasant, balanced sweetness, though you can adjust the amount of vanilla syrup to suit your preferences. Of all the vanilla-based beverages we tried on our many Starbucks runs, Vanilla Crème was the only one that proved difficult to put down. Even if you don't adhere to a caffeine-free lifestyle, we can't imagine a better choice to sip on a chilly winter's night.

2. Strawberry Cookie Frappuccino

At the risk of annoying our local baristas, we decided to try our hand at developing a caffeine-free alternative not listed on the menu. Initially, we'd hoped to incorporate raspberry syrup, but we learned that Starbucks discontinued the memorable flavor. Cutting our losses, we assembled something we'd call a Strawberry Cookie Frappuccino instead. It's a tall White Chocolate Frappuccino with strawberry purée lining its cup, topped with whipped cream, crunch topping, and more strawberry purée on top — similar to 2018's Serious Strawberry Frappuccino.

We preferred the Strawberry Cookie Frappuccino over Starbucks' classic Strawberry Frappuccino by a mile. Layers of strawberry purée brought out the best of Starbucks' whipped cream and milky Frappuccino base. Its bright, sweet flavor reminded us of old-fashioned strawberry milk straight from the carton. Furthermore, lining the cup with syrup seemed to help the Frappuccino hold its flavor instead of becoming a watered-down mess. We're not sure why Starbucks discontinued the Serious Strawberry Frappucino, but we'd order this homage to it any day.

1. Caramel Apple Spice

If you're the type of person who wishes it were autumn year-round, allow us to introduce you to Caramel Apple Spice. Though you may have overlooked it in the past, this fall-themed drink is a permanent menu fixture at Starbucks. After tasting it, it's easy to see why.

Immediately after lifting its lid, we sensed the familiar fragrance of warm apple pie. True to its name, Caramel Apple Spice is made from a base of steamed apple juice, topped with whipped cream, and finished with cinnamon syrup and caramel sauce. Even though we didn't pick up on much spice, we were smitten with this caffeine-free drink at first sip. 

We tried it two ways: the original version, which contains 54 grams of sugar in a tall serving, and with a cinnamon dolce topping in place of its caramel drizzle. Both forms are enjoyable, but the original interpretation is far more unique, even if it is unbelievably sweet. Whether you're looking for a pumpkin spice latte alternative or simply want to explore more of Starbucks' caffeine-free menu, you should sample Caramel Apple Spice at least once in your life.