30 Best Hot Drinks At Starbucks, Ranked

Starbucks has a substantial drink menu to choose from, and to be honest, it can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you don't know what each drink is. To repeat customers, this is not a challenge, but to those who don't frequent this coffeehouse chain for their usual cup of joe, the possibilities can seem limitless. Again, good for some, but terrifying to others.

If you fall more in the "overwhelmed and/or annoyed" category, we're here to help. We know there are a lot of hot drinks at Starbucks to choose from and we want to make it as easy as possible, so we created a helpful guide to some of the best hot drinks at Starbucks to get you started. From macchiatos to cappuccinos, pumpkin spice lattes to peppermint mochas (and just about everything in between), we cover them all, exploring how they are made and what they taste like. Life can be hard — finding your drink of choice on your next Starbucks trip shouldn't be.

30. Caramel Apple Spice

The reason this Starbucks drink is the last on our list has nothing to do with flavor. It is really tasty, but many don't know about it or think to order it when faced with other autumnal options. However, if you want a fall-inspired drink that isn't the usual Pumpkin Spice Latte, you may want to consider giving the Caramel Apple Spice a try. Instead of being made with milk, this hot drink is crafted with steamed apple juice for an ultra juicy flavor that's perfect for fall (via Delish). Combined with cinnamon syrup and drizzled with caramel sauce, this is both refreshing and sweet.

But if you're one of those who can't get enough pumpkin everything, there is a trick to making this drink feel even more fall. Delish says you can order this with pumpkin sauce to achieve that perfect blend of seasonal spices in one cup. Just be warned: this drink does not include any tea or coffee, therefore does not have any caffeine.

29. Pistachio Latte

The Pistachio Latte is relatively new to the Starbucks menu, but has already proved to be a solid addition. Steam milk combined with a few pumps of pistachio syrup and salted brown butter topping creates a tasty treat for your taste buds. And while you may think this is just another sweet drink, think again. Thrillist says the Pistachio Latte is the perfect blend of salty and sweet, thanks to the pistachio flavoring and butter topping.

According to LorAnn Oils, pistachio flavoring is been big in Mediterranean cooking, especially when it comes to desserts. Its mild nutty flavor complements almost anything sweet. It makes sense that Starbucks would jump on board with the flavor when searching for a new latte.

28. Pike Place Roast

If you're a big Starbucks fan, there's a good chance you've had their Pike Place blend coffee. With a name that comes from the original coffeehouse location in Seattle's Pike Place Market, Starbucks says it created this coffee blend for its stores everywhere back in 2008. The taste is pretty smooth, as it blends a mix of coffees from Latin America, while offering some warm and cozy flavors of chocolate and nuts.

How you drink this coffee is up to you: black or with milk and sugar, cream, or adding in a flavored syrup of your choosing. It's a good option for those who want a simple cup of coffee when they go to Starbucks or feel a bit overwhelmed by the extensive menu. Be warned, this drink can have a strong, bitter taste, as Starbucks is known for, which can be a bit too much for those who want something a little lighter.

27. Blonde Roast

It's no secret that Starbucks coffee sometimes has a dark roast, which can be too much for some. That is where the Blonde Roast (also referred to as the Veranda blend) comes in. It's much lighter than the medium and dark roasts and offers a milder flavor while still giving the customers what they like: a smooth cup of coffee. Starbucks says its mellow flavor took some time to achieve, trying over 80 different tries to land on this blend. But all the work seems to have paid off, as the current Blonde Roast is a favorite for many.

Like any of the regular coffee options at Starbucks, you can have it your way with milk or sugar, but we say it's best on its own with just a little bit of cream — its natural flavor is too nice to cover up. It's a great choice for anyone who wants a plain old cup of coffee that isn't too bitter and isn't looking for anything sweet.

26. Starbucks Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte

Sure, we love our usual cup of coffee brewed from an everyday dependable roast, but that doesn't mean we don't like to switch things up now and then. If you're like us and love hazelnut recipes you're bound to enjoy the Starbucks Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte. This caffeinated concoction is made with espresso and steamed milk that has been infused with hazelnut and praline for a nutty good flavor.

Though it is also available as an iced latte, we think this it works better as a hot beverage. The bitter taste of coffee isn't too strong here, and there's always the option to add a sweet vanilla cream topping if needed (or desired) for a sweeter finish. Whatever path you decide to take, you'll still get to enjoy the delicious taste of hazelnut in every sip, which is the whole point of this hot cup of yumminess. 

25. Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa

One of Starbucks' tastiest winter creations takes inspiration from a classic dessert. The Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa is made with white chocolate mocha and cinnamon dolce syrup to give that ultra-sweet taste of a freshly-baked warm Snickerdoodle cookie. The whipped cream on top with the dolce cinnamon sprinkles helps, too. According to Starbucks, this hot cocoa was introduced to the menu back in 2016 during the holidays to join the likes of all the beloved holiday-inspired hot cocoa sips.

We're happy to have the Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa added to the mix and can't agree more with this recommendation from Baking Mischief: "Pair it with a good book, some fluffy socks, and maybe a real snickerdoodle or two, and have yourself a perfectly cozy night in." The site adds that while this is generally a holiday treat, the baristas at Starbucks will likely be able to whip it up for you any time of the year when the craving strikes.

24. Apple Crisp Macchiato

Anyone who looks forward to the fall months is probably familiar with apple crisp. The simple cool weather standard, which is prepared with baked apples, cinnamon, and oats, gets a boost when topped with ice cream. Starbucks brings this tasty dessert combo into one cup with its Apple Crisp Macchiato. Made with espresso, steamed milk, and a caramelized-spiced apple drizzle over top, this coffee drink has all the flavors of fall and then some.

According to Starbucks, this drink made its debut in 2021 after the team explored the various flavor notes of apple in fall-inspired treats (like pie and crisp) and realized the importance of coffee paired with fruit. Who knew? Taste of Home advises not to expect the apple to overtake the richness of the coffee here, and don't be surprised if what you taste is more cinnamon and caramel. Regardless, if you're looking for a new autumnal drink, this might be your next go-to.

23. Hot Chocolate

Whether you call it hot chocolate or hot cocoa, one thing is for sure: we love this warm and chocolatey beverage on a cold day. What's Cooking America explains that, back in the day, hot chocolate was not at all like we know it today. The very first recipe for hot chocolate was made with wine and Chile peppers, in addition to cocoa beans. It wasn't served hot until much later on either, thanks to the Spaniards who realized how good this drink can be warmed up with some sugar. Today, hot chocolate is the ultimate drinkable treat when you want something sweet and cozy (and possibly spiked with bourbon) served fireside.

The hot chocolate at Starbucks will surely feed your craving for something decadent on a chilly winter night. Made with steamed milk and mocha sauce, it's rich in flavor. Top it off with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate, and this is a standard cup of chocolaty goodness that won't disappoint.

22. London Fog Tea Latte

What do you get when you mix a bergamot tea blend with steamed milk and vanilla syrup?: an upgraded version of the Earl Grey, or as Starbucks (and other coffee shops) call it, the London Fog Tea Latte. The delicate flavors help make this drink an easy one to enjoy and ideal for those who want something inviting that isn't a coffee drink or the standard tea from a bag option.

Dwell by Michelle claims it's the dried lavender that's steeped in Starbucks' London Fog Tea Latte that really makes it stand out as the perfect drink for when you need a little extra relaxation. But don't worry, this tea isn't going to make you fall asleep like a chamomile. According to What the Froth, the London Fog Tea Latte has the right amount of caffeine for an afternoon pick-me-up without being too hard on the stomach.

21. Vanilla Crème

Sure, we love our coffee drinks, especially when we need that quick shot of energy stat. But there are times when life calls for a hot and welcoming beverage to curl up on the couch with while watching your favorite shows. When you want all the cozy feels that comes along with a hot drink but without any of the added jolt that coffee has to offer, a Vanilla Crème is the right choice. Made with steamed milk and a few pumps of sweet vanilla syrup, this is one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks because it's all about serving up some rich creaminess with only two ingredients — well, three, if you count that whopping dollop of whipped cream on top. 

Pam's Daily Dish writes that this vanilla steamer is smooth without being overly decadent, making it the perfect cup for when you're trying to warm up but don't want to feel like you're diving deep into a dessert. 

20. Toasted White Hot Chocolate

We all love the traditional hot chocolate, but sometimes it's nice to change things up now and then. If you're a fan of the original hot chocolate at Starbucks you'll probably like this drink too. The Toasted White Hot Chocolate amplifies the traditional sweet treat with what Starbucks says is from the caramelized white chocolate topped with sugary red sprinkles. This is yet another go-to holiday drink that will be sure to fill you with holiday spirit.

The main difference here, besides using white chocolate as opposed to mocha sauce, is the sweetness factor; you'll probably find the Toasted White Hot Chocolate to be much sweeter than the traditional hot chocolate. Depending on your preferences, this could be a good or a bad thing, but we're sure any holiday enthusiast won't be able to resist at least trying it out.

19. Blonde Vanilla Latte

Some of the coffee blends at Starbucks (looking at you, Pike Place) can be a bit on the strong side. While that's a fine for some people who crave that bold flavor, it's not so great for those who aren't a fan of anything strong. 

Coffee drinkers who can't always handle the darker roasts might turn to the Blonde Vanilla Latte for an obvious reason: it's made with blonde espresso. This type of espresso is on the lighter side, so it can be an easier sip than the usual shots. The vanilla syrup helps add a bit of warmth to the mix, providing a slight sweetness, while the steamed milk stabilizes the flavor easily for a relaxed taste that is not too potent. Day of the Human says this vanilla latte may even surprise you with some soft floral notes that make for a unique and bright taste all around.

18. Cappuccino

A cappuccino is a simple hot drink made with just milk and espresso, and is a go-to for many classic coffee lovers. The Spruce Eats explains the name of this traditional Italian caffeinated drink means "little cap" which refers to the small patch of foamed milk atop the coffee. There's a lot to love with a cappuccino, including the way it looks, but it's the flavor that is the real key. It's strong and bold, allowing the flavor of the coffee to come through, though it can be bitter, which is why some prefer to add sugar to their cup. But it's frothy and creamy, making for a delectable sip and having you feeling slightly fancy.

Starbucks makes its cappuccino with two shots of espresso and milk, creating a well-balanced coffee drink that isn't too complicated. It's a great option for anyone looking for a classic coffee drink without having to study the menu.

17. Espresso

Espresso is a classic Italian coffee that packs a whole lot of flavor. According to The Spruce Eats, this small caffeinated drink is made using only very finely ground coffee and hot water. Usually any coffee roast can be used, although you can find specific espresso roasts designed for the best flavor.

Starbucks, for obvious reasons, uses its espresso roast to make this hot drink, offering signature caramel notes in every sip. Espresso is not for the faint of heart, but those who already have a love for the strong drink usually enjoy it from Starbucks. It's a solid option, but not necessarily one that stands out on the menu unless you're in a huge hurry and can't bring your coffee with you.

One tip: if you're looking for more caffeine (or just want to sound fancy while ordering) you can ask for a doppio, which is simply a double shot of espresso with a very cool name.

16. White Chocolate Mocha

Starbucks is home to sweet, dessert-like coffee drinks, and the White Chocolate Mocha is no different. This is one of those perfect drinks for when you're thinking dessert, but aren't interested in using a spoon. The drink is very sweet, as it's made with white chocolate sauce and whipped cream. The espresso offers a slightly bold zip, helping the drink stay balanced. The steamed milk also helps to even things out, to be fair, but you'll still be tasting a whole lotta sugar here.

The drink is ultra creamy and super-rich, so it may not be for everyone. If you're looking for an everyday coffee drink that is only about giving you a smooth, pick-me-up — something to savor the flavor of coffee — this might not be the best option. But if you are looking to treat yourself to a sweet afternoon drink, Starbucks' White Chocolate Mocha is worth a try.

15. Chai Tea Latte

When enjoying a hot cup of chai, be prepared for a spice-filled explosion in every sip. It's welcoming and comforting, making for a cozy tea drink to curl up with a good book on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Food & Wine explains that chai is made from black tea, along with spices that can include cardamom, ginger, clove, and nutmeg, among others.

The chai tea latte at Starbucks is a winner because of its robust flavor. Made with steamed milk and a foamy topping, this hot drink is all-around delicious. While chai already has some caffeine in it from the black tea, you can also add an espresso shot for an additional pick-me-up (aka a dirty chai). Either way you decide to order this hot drink at Starbucks, you won't be disappointed with its creamy texture and spiced flavor.

14. Peppermint Hot Chocolate

When that very first nip of cold winter air hits, we're rushing to get our hot cocoa fix at Starbucks. The chain serves a wide variety of sweet and decadent hot chocolate flavors, making the cold winter season all the more desirable. Case in point: the Peppermint Hot Chocolate. It's no surprise that this flavor works so well, since peppermint and chocolate have been a popular combination for a long time (York Peppermint Pattie, anyone?) and for good reason. The cool mint taste marries chocolate's sweet (but sometimes bitter) flavors just right.

Starbucks executes this rendition of hot chocolate perfectly by combining peppermint syrup and mocha sauce with steamed milk. The beverage is then topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with dark chocolate curls for a welcome, decadent final touch. Peppermint Hot Chocolate is definitely a drink that you'll want to sip on all through the Holidays.

13. Honey Almondmilk Flat White

Almond milk offers that perfect creamy, nutty flavor, which may be why it's so popular. However, it's not just the incredible flavor of this milk that has people replacing the regular stuff with it; There are some added benefits when drinking almond milk, too. WebMD says almond milk is packed with Vitamin E, which can help prevent certain health issues such as heart disease, and is a good source of magnesium.

The Honey Almondmilk Flat White at Starbucks is big on that sweet, nutty flavor, thanks to being made with almond milk plus a honey blend sweetener. The drink also has espresso in it, so you'll enjoy a bit of caffeine in here as well. Kitchn says this drink has a deeper espresso taste than you might expect, as the ingredient is not overpowered by a lot of artificial sweeteners like it is in other options.

12. Espresso Con Panna

We're all about getting our shots served straight up, and that doesn't just apply to spirits. When it comes to ordering an espresso, we tend to enjoy it served as is with very few additions to challenge its already rich and assertive taste. But Espresso Con Panna may have changed our minds about everything we once thought we knew about these small cups of caffeine. Made with two shots of espresso and a good amount of whipped cream, this hot drink is simple, delicious, and offers lots of creamy texture.

The reason Espresso Con Panna works so well is due to the flavor combination that mixes the light and sugary taste we love from whipped cream with the bold and bitter notes of coffee. The end result is the perfect blend of flavors you'll want to take your time to sip. While Starbucks tends to go overboard with its sweet drinks, this one hits the mark.  

11. Espresso Macchiato

An espresso macchiato is another one of those more traditional coffee drinks without all the added fluff (aka those sugary, flavored syrups many Starbucks customers love). Instead, it is made simply with shots of espresso and steamed milk. Coffee At Three says macchiato can be translated to "stained" in Italian, which in this case, relates to how the milk sits perfectly atop this espresso drink.

The espresso macchiato offered at Starbucks isn't made to be fancy or a game-changer, but it's a solid choice for anyone looking for a hot, caffeinated drink that isn't too sweet. This drink has a whole lot of flavor from the actual coffee, and you'll find it to be strong, bold, and very smooth.

10. Caffè Misto

We know Starbucks serves a lot of well-crafted fun and sugary drinks to enjoy any time of the year. But sometimes all we want is something simple and clean, and tastes well, like coffee rather than a cookie or slice of cake. Enter the Caffè Misto, which is made with steamed milk and freshly-brewed coffee so nothing is getting in the way of the bold richness we're looking for in a hot drink. According to Starbucks, the Caffè Misto can have different flavors depending on the type of coffee roast and doesn't include a top layer of foamed milk as a latte does.

This drink is also customizable at the chain. Roasty Coffee writes that you can always add in a flavored syrup if you're not keen on tasting only the beans, or you can choose to top your Caffè Misto off with whipped cream to help add a bit more texture while also giving it a little extra sweetness.

9. Honey Citrus Mint Tea

If tea is more your thing, or you want a break from the usual cup of joe, you might want to try the Honey Citrus Mint Tea. That is, if you haven't already. This hot beverage used to be only a Starbucks secret menu item but is now a regular offering because it gained so much popularity over time. This creation is made with two different tea bags: a citrus mint green tea and peach herbal tea. It is also infused with steamed lemonade and a honey blend sweetener to offer a refreshing but comforting taste.

Honey Citrus Mint Tea is also known as the Medicine Ball, and its refreshing minty and slightly sweet taste has been known to help soothe the symptoms of a stubborn cold. Whether it's enjoyed with a sore throat or not, we can't help but keep returning to it when we're craving something warm and calming.

8. Steamed Apple Juice

We love a tall glass of cold apple juice when we want something juicy and refreshing to sip. But when we are looking for something juicy and comforting, we can't help but order the Steamed Apple Juice at Starbucks. There's nothing fancy here; it's exactly how it sounds. It's made with fresh apple juice that is steamed to perfection to help bring out that warm apple flavor that is both tart and sweet.

The simplicity of the hot beverage is particularly comforting. While it's ideal for the fall season, it's an easy order any time of the year. Beyond its simplicity and accessibility, you can also feel good about drinking it since apple juice is packed with antioxidants, per Well + Good, which helps fight certain diseases and keeps us healthy. No wonder it's one of the best hot drinks at Starbucks. Talk about a win-win situation.

7. Flat White

Steamed whole milk and espresso make what Starbucks calls its flat white. But instead of using full shots of espresso, Starbucks uses ristretto shots. Starbucks explains the term ristretto translates to "restricted" in Italian. When it comes to a coffee drink, ristretto can be looked at as a shorter shot of espresso (only half of the full espresso shot), which gives it a slightly lighter and sweeter flavor than when using the full shot of espresso.

Starbucks' flat white is a hot drink that is not too bitter or bold, making it a nice addition to the menu for those who want something that will wake them up without any jitters. And since it's not flavored with any added sugars or sweeteners, you'll get to enjoy the flavor of the beans while the steamed milk provides a little creaminess that is smooth and tasty, making for a well-rounded coffee drink. 

6. Cinnamon Dolce Latte

Another sweet treat from Starbucks is the Cinnamon Dolce Latte. And this drink is bound to give a serious sugar rush — don't say we didn't warn you. But that doesn't stop all the customers from ordering it, as the Cinnamon Dolce Latte is a very popular menu item for good reason. The drink is made with cinnamon dolce syrup and topped with sprinkles, but according to KnowYourGrinder the flavor isn't too strong and the overall taste isn't as sweet as some of the other options at Starbucks.

Like other lattes on the Starbucks menu, the Cinnamon Dolce Latte is made with steamed milk so the texture is nice and creamy. The whipped cream and cinnamon dolce topping make it feel like a dessert. Those looking for more of a standard coffee drink may want to skip the whipped cream.

5. Peppermint Mocha

Where the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks is the go-to for the fall, the Peppermint Mocha is the drink for the holiday season. This hot drink is made of espresso and steamed milk along with mocha sauce and peppermint syrup, all topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls. We can't lie: it is one sweet drink. But one you have to try at least once every winter ... maybe twice.

Starbucks says the Peppermint Mocha was first added to the holiday menu back in 2002. After playing around with some seasonal flavors (think: white chocolate and cranberry) the chain finally settled on chocolate peppermint. Since its introduction, the Peppermint Mocha has easily become one of the most popular during the season. Though it's changed slightly over the years (once topped with red sprinkles, it is now showered with curls of dark chocolate), Starbucks customers don't seem to mind, continuing to order this drink as soon as the holiday tunes start to play.

4. Matcha Tea Latte

If you haven't jumped on the matcha bandwagon yet, maybe now is the time to consider. Time says matcha is made from young green tea leaves ground into a fine powder and whisked in hot water. Matcha is full of health benefits and packed with antioxidants, which possibly prevent heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. The tea can be on the sweeter side, but without any artificial flavor or added sugar, so any sweetness you are tasting is completely natural.

All this leads up to the matcha tea latte at Starbucks. This hot drink is made with a matcha tea blend and steamed milk so it's creamy and lush — and a perfect shade of light green. If you're one of the many matcha lovers (or soon to be lovers) out there, this drink is for you.

3. Caffè Americano

While Starbucks may be known for some sweet concoctions, the caffè Americano is not one of them. This is a coffee drink for those who want to taste the coffee beans, rather than a flavored syrup. It is made with two shots of espresso and hot water which Starbucks says creates the perfect crema. The deep flavor in this hot coffee drink is intense without any balance from the steamed milk, but that's a good thing here — this allows the flavor of coffee to shine, just the way black coffee fans like it.

The caffè Americano is a simple drink, but it's made to perfection. Plus, you can always add an extra shot of espresso if you're hankering for a bigger jolt. After all, it wouldn't be Starbucks without having the option to customize what you order. 

2. Pumpkin Spice Latte

Before most are even able to don our favorite sweaters, Starbucks brings this beloved fall drink. Each year, right before the season arrives (say, near the end of August) Starbucks rolls out its signature Pumpkin Spice Latte to the delight of fans, offering all the delicious cozy flavors of autumn in one warm cup. Here, you'll taste nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin without really tasting much of the coffee.

This popular drink has been around for a long time. Starbucks shares the Pumpkin Spice Latte was first tested in 2003 in select locations and saw a nationwide rollout the next year. This is no doubt one of the most sought-after hot drinks at Starbucks during the fall, with many wishing it was offered year round.

1. Caramel Macchiato

If you're looking for a little sweetness in your cup of java, a caramel macchiato will surely do the trick and then some. Made with steamed milk and brewed espresso, this Starbucks hot drink will give you that extra boost during the afternoon slump, while the vanilla-flavored syrup and caramel drizzle will feed your sweet tooth. The overall flavor is bold but oh-so-creamy, and super cozy, and if it turns out this drink is not sweet enough for you, there's always the option of adding whipped cream. Too sweet? Try adding an extra shot of espresso.

The caramel macchiato is an oldie but goodie. CopyKay Recipes says it has been on the menu since the coffee chain originally opened in Seattle back in 1971, so it has to be doing something right. It's a simple staple that won't let you down, especially for those who like their coffee drinks on the sweeter side.