Let’s Talk about Starbucks Coffee!


Are you craving for a cup of hot and aromatic beverage? But don’t feel like making your own? Wouldn’t it be nice if you can get your tea or coffee professionally brewed? YES! But where to go? Of course, Starbucks! A must-have for all the caffeine lovers and a great place to hang out with friends and family. However, if you want to enjoy the actual taste of their drinks and order like a pro then you can consider some pointers before placing an order.

Starbucks Coffee review

A Shot of Expresso

Many of the beverages in Starbucks have espresso shots in them. One-shot contains around 75mg of caffeine. All the espresso shots are brewed automatically. Their machines grind the beans to make the shots. Traditionally, this process was done by hand. Sometimes, when they have to maintain the machines, the amount of caffeine may vary but they try to maintain the best estimation of 75mg per shot. A list of espresso shot may come in handy for you:

  • 1 shot (1 oz.) calls “Single/Solo” contains around 75mg of caffeine.
  • 2 shots (2 oz.) calls “Double/Doppio contains around 150mg of caffeine.
  • 3 shots (3 oz.) calls “Triple” contains around 225mg of caffeine.
  • 4 shots (4 oz.) calls “Quad” contains around 300mg of caffeine.
  • 1 shot decaf (1 oz.) calls “Single/Solo Decaf” contains around 3mg of caffeine.
  • 1 shot half-caf (1 oz.) calls “Single/Solo Half-Caf” contains around 40mg of caffeine.

Sizes of the Drinks

Unlike KFC or McDonalds, using the term “regular”, “small”, “medium”, “large” or “extra-large” will only confuse the baristas and will require you to more specific. This is because Starbucks has a specific set of terms used for the sizes of the drinks. So, to spare yourself from the embarrassment, you can familiarise yourself with their special terms:

  • Short refers to the smallest drink size Starbucks offers to their customers. This drink consists of 8 oz and you can only order hot beverages in this size. Since this size is not included in their menu, you need to specify yourself when placing the order. Interestingly, this is also the size of the cup in which kids’ drinks are served. 
  • Tall refers to the tall cups with 12 oz. of drinks. In case you ask for a “small” drink, they will give you this amount.
  • Grande refers to the 16 oz. of drinks which applies for both cold or hot drinks. Starbucks serve their smoothies only in this size. In case you ask for a “medium” drink, they will give you this amount.
  • Venti refers to 24 oz. of iced drinks and 20 oz. of hot drinks. In case you order a “large” size drink, they will give you this amount. 
  • Trenta refers to 30 oz. drinks available only for ice coffee, ice tea and refreshers.

Temperatures of the Drinks

Generally, baristas will steam the milk of your drink at 160 degrees Fahrenheit if you don’t specify any temperature. You can indeed control the hotness of your drink and go up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. For soy milk, the max. temperature is 180 degrees Fahrenheit or it’ll burn.

  • Kids’ drinks are made at 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Extra Hot drinks (special request) are made at 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Coffee and Hot tea are prepared at 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Choices of Milk

The choices of milk in Starbucks include skim/non-fat, soy, 1%, 2 %, whole, half-and-half (also called, breve), vanilla soy milk, and heavy whipping cream.

Most of the time, if nothing is specified then the beverages are prepared with 2% low-fat milk. However, the delicious, cold frappiccino drink is generally prepared with whole milk unless specified. The flat White drink is also made with whole milk.

Starbucks also seasonally offers Eggnog, particularly from October/November to January/February. You can substitute the milk in your drink with Eggnog! The Eggnog Latte is made of 1/3 milk (2%) and 2/3 Eggnog.

Flavours – Regular and Seasonal

Regular flavours of Starbucks include mocha, white mocha, classic, raspberry, peppermint, toffee nut, hazelnut, cinnamon dolce, caramel, vanilla, tazo chai, and teavana Oprah chai. Most of these can also come in sugar-free.

Regular flavours of Starbucks include blackberry, peach, sugar-free peppermint, gingerbread, caramel brulee, and pumpkin spice.


The consistency of the syrup added in the drinks are maintained using pumps. One pump of syrup measures to be ¼ oz. White mocha, mocha, and chai pumps are of ½ oz. You can also adjust the pumps or the amount of syrup in your drink according to your requirement. Just ask the baristas.

  • Short – hot only (8oz) has 2 syrup pumps and 1 shot of espresso.
  • Tall (12 oz) has 3 syrup pumps and 1 shot of espresso.
  • Grande (16oz) has 4 syrup pumps and 2 shot of espresso.
  • Venti – hot (20 oz) has 5 syrup pumps and 2 shot of espresso.
  • Venti – iced (24 oz) has 6 syrup pumps and 3 shot of espresso.
  • Trenta – iced only (32 oz) has 7 syrup pumps and N/A shot of espresso.

Skinny Drinks

Skinny drinks are prepared with sugar-free syrup and non-fat/skim milk. There will be no topping of whipped cream on these drinks unless specified. Usually, skinny drink refers to latte but if requested any drink can be made like this.

Grande flavoured latte has 250 calories, 6g fat, and 35g sugars.

Grande skinny flavoured latte has 120 calories, 0g fat, and 16g sugars.

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