For many people, hot coffee or fresh tea is the best way to start the day. However, Starbucks has created a separate section of hot drinks for those who do not want an espresso-based drink to start their day. These drinks include a line of steamers, hot juices, and flavored hot chocolates.
Among Starbucks’ hot drinks offerings are various options to choose from, suiting multiple flavor preferences. In this article, we are going to look at our top picks of the best hot drinks at Starbucks. This will help you decide which option you want to try the next time you visit your local Starbucks.
Overview of Top 8 Hot Drinks at Starbucks
- Toasted White Hot Chocolate
- Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- Caramel Apple Spice Juice
- Steamed Apple Juice
- Chestnut Praline Crème
- Caramel Brulée Crème
- Pistachio Crème
Top 8 Best Hot Drinks at Starbucks
1. Toasted White Hot Chocolate
For those wanting a sweeter alternative to hot chocolate, Starbucks’ Toasted White Hot Chocolate is a good option. This drink has sweet notes of caramelized white chocolate, which pairs well with steamed milk. You are left with a toasty drink to keep you warm on colder days.
The drink is made by steaming 2% milk and blending it with 4 pumps of toasted white chocolate mocha sauce. This is then topped with a generous serving of whipped cream and is decorated with holiday sugar sparkles.
- Nutritional Information: A 16-ounce serving of this drink contains 430 calories, 57 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of fat. These numbers can be adjusted by changing the cup size or adding or removing ingredients.
- Cup Sizes: You can order this toasted white, hot chocolate in a kid’s or small serving (both 8 ounces), tall (12 ounces), Grande (16 ounces), and Venti (20 ounces).
- Customizable Options: If you would prefer a dairy alternative, Starbucks has almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, and soy milk available. You can also adjust whether the milk is steamed, warm, or extra hot to make it suitable for your preferences.
2. Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
For those wanting to incorporate the sweetness of white, hot chocolate and balance it with a minty freshness, the Peppermint White Hot Chocolate is a good option. This drink is sweeter than the ordinary version and incorporates flavors of dark chocolate curls and refreshing peppermint.
It is made by steaming 2% milk and blending this with 4 pumps of white chocolate mocha sauce and 4 pumps of peppermint syrup. The drink is then topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls to create a rich and tasty hot drink.
- Nutritional Information: A Grande serving of this drink contains 520 calories, 74 grams of sugar, and 19 grams of fat. This is due to the flavored syrups used and the additional toppings, all of which contain sugar.
- Cup Sizes: You can order this peppermint drink in kid (8 ounces), short (8 ounces), tall (12 ounces), Grande (16 ounces), and Venti (20 ounces). Different cup sizes will have different nutritional information as the ingredients are adjusted.
- Customizable Options: If you would like to remove the toppings to reduce the sweetness of the drink, you can do this. Otherwise, the number of flavored syrup pumps of the flavors themselves can be changed.
3. Peppermint Hot Chocolate
There are many people who do not like white hot chocolate as it is much sweeter than the original. For those, you can order a normal hot chocolate or a Peppermint Hot Chocolate to get your hot beverage fixed. This tasty beverage incorporates the rich taste of chocolate and the freshness of peppermint.
It is made with steamed 2% milk which is then mixed with 4 pumps of peppermint syrup and 4 pumps of mocha sauce. The hot chocolate is then topped with milk foam, whipped cream, and chocolate curls. This leaves a rich and warming drink ideal for colder days.
- Nutritional Information: A Grande serving contains 440 calories, 56 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of fat. If you would like to reduce the sugar and calories, you can select a low-calorie milk alternative or decrease the number of syrup pumps.
- Cup Sizes: As with most hot drinks from Starbucks, this hot chocolate is available in 8 ounces (kids or short), 12 ounces (tall), 16 ounces (Grande), and 20 ounces (Venti).
- Customizable Options: If the drink is too rich, you can ask for fewer flavor pumps which will result in a sweet drink that is not as overwhelming. Otherwise, you can adjust the type of milk used or add a sweetener if needed.
4. Caramel Apple Spice Juice
If tea is not your go-to order but you want something warm, refreshing, and caffeine-free, then Starbucks’ Caramel Apple Spice Juice is a good option. It is suitable for those with dairy intolerances as it is made entirely without dairy.
This drink is made by steaming apple juice and stirring in 4 pumps of cinnamon dolce syrup. This is then poured into the chosen cup size and topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. A strong taste of sweet caramel and crisp apple is left, making this an ideal fall drink.
- Nutritional Information: This drink has a low-fat content, with 8 grams of fat per Grande serving. However, this drink does contain 380 calories and 70 grams of sugar per 16-ounce serving meaning it is not the healthiest option on Starbucks’ menu.
- Cup Sizes: You can order this drink in kids and short sizes (both 8 ounces), tall (12 ounces), Grande (16 ounces), and Venti (20 ounces). As a steamed juice, this drink is suitable for children and contains no caffeine.
- Customizable Options: Among the many customizable options is the choice to add chai to your drink to give it a spicier base. With this option, you can choose how many extra servings are added to your juice to make it the ideal flavor.
5. Steamed Apple Juice
For those wanting steamed apple juice without the additional caramel flavorings, the Steamed Apple Juice would be a good choice. It is made with solely steamed apple juice and no additional flavorings to ensure the flavor is uniquely crisp apple.
Among the various flavorings that would work well with steamed apple juice include brown sugar syrup, cinnamon dolce syrup, and toffee nut syrup. Any of these flavors would elevate the beverage and make it tastier for various flavor preferences.
- Nutritional Information: Given the lack of additional toppings or milk, it is no surprise that this drink contains 0 grams of fat. It does however contain 220 calories and 50 grams of sugar which comes from the natural sugars in 100% apple juice.
- Cup Sizes: You can order this steamed drink as kids (8 ounces), short (8 ounces), tall (12 ounces), Grande (16 ounces), or Venti (20 ounces) serving. This allows you the freedom to decide how much juice you would like to order and the option to order for children.
- Customizable Options: If you would like to customize this drink, you can add extra chai to add an earthy spice to your drink. Additionally, you can add whipped cream, fruit inclusions, and a variety of flavored syrups to your hot juice.
6. Chestnut Praline Crème
If you prefer a crème-based drink without caffeine, Starbucks’ Crème drinks are a good option. These beverages have a creamier and slightly sweeter taste than other options and are made with various flavorings. One option suitable for the colder months is the Chestnut Praline Crème.
This drink is made by steaming 2% milk and combining it with 4 pumps of chestnut praline syrup. By doing this, you are left with a creamy drink filled with flavors of spices and caramelized chestnuts. It is then topped with whipped cream and chestnut praline topping to leave a tasty and aesthetic drink.
- Nutritional Information: Per Grande serving, there are 350 calories, 41 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of fat. Adjusting the toppings or flavorings will result in the nutritional information changing accordingly.
- Cup Sizes: This drink is available in kids (8 ounces), short (8 ounces), tall (12 ounces), Grande (16 ounces), and Venti (20 ounces). As the drink does not contain caffeine, it is safe for children to consume this Crème.
- Customizable Options: If you would prefer the flavor to be toned down slightly, you can ask that the additional chestnut praline topping is not added.
7. Caramel Brulée Crème
The second Crème drink among our top picks is suitable for those looking for a sweet and rich flavored beverage. Starbucks’ Caramel Brulée Crème is sweet and rich with tastes of caramel and steamed milk. This results in a warming and tasty drink to keep toasty during the colder months.
It is made by steaming 2% milk and blending it with 4 pumps of caramel Brulée sauce. This is then topped with milk foam, whipped cream, and caramel Brulée topping. With the Crème base, the sauce, and the toppings, this drink may be too sweet for you. Therefore, you can adjust the number of flavor pumps.
- Nutritional Information: This crème contains the least number of calories among these options, containing 320 calories per Grande serving. Additionally, there are 37 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of fat.
- Cup Sizes: All Starbucks Crème drinks are available in 5 options. These include kids (8 ounces), short (8 ounces), tall (12 ounces), Grande (16 ounces), and Venti (20 ounces).
- Customizable Options: There are 2 options for add-ins with this drink, both involving the line of the cup with flavoring. This gives you an extra bit of flavor with the options including lining the cup with mocha sauce or with caramel sauce.
8. Pistachio Crème
For those who love the taste of Pistachio and want to avoid caffeine, Starbucks’ Pistachio Crème is a good hot drink option. It is made by steaming 2% milk and combining this with 4 pumps of pistachio sauce. The drink is then topped with salted brown butter topping to create a cozy drink.
If you have a dairy intolerance or follow a dairy-free diet, there are alternative milk options available. These include almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, and oat milk. Any of these options would allow you to enjoy this beverage without requiring dairy to be used.
- Nutritional Information: A Grande serving of this Pistachio Crème contains 330 calories, 47 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of fat. Adjusting the size of the drink or additional sweeteners or toppings will cause the nutritional information to change.
- Cup Sizes: This drink is available in kids and short sizes (both 8 ounces), tall (12 ounces), Grande (16 ounces), and Venti (20 ounces). These sizes are available for both takeaway cups and serving cups for sit-down service.
- Customizable Options: As with most Starbucks drinks, you can adjust the type of milk used in this drink (including 2% milk, dairy-free options, and heavy cream). Other customizations available are the number of pumps of pistachio sauce and additional toppings.