Starbucks was born in Seattle, home to the sort of damp, cool weather that cries out for a hot beverage. Their menu includes around 50 distinct drinks at any given time with innumerable variations of those options. Feeling overwhelmed? Allow us to make some suggestions. To condense the menu, today we've decided to focus on the best hot drinks at Starbucks that steam rather than the cold drinks. You won't find refreshers like the white chocolate mocha frappuccino, nitro cold brew, iced coffee, or an iced green tea in here. No hot chocolate, cappuccino, or green tea latte.
The 6 Best Hot Drinks at Starbucks
We've rounded up 6 of the very best Starbucks drinks. Cuddle up with a simmering cup of one of Starbucks' very best hot drinks year round.
1. Café Americano
A fitting tribute to espresso's elegant simplicity, Café Americano is a coffee drink with just two ingredients: a double shot of espresso and hot water poured immediately on top. This simple recipe yields the impressive depth and subtlety that is exclusive to freshly ground espresso brews. Who needs salted caramel, dragonfruit or elaborate secret menu drinks like the pink drink? A classic coffee speaks for itself and is all you need. Get a venti for an extra pick-me-up!
Typically made with an even ratio of espresso to hot water, this Italian classic can dial up the caffeine with extra espresso shots. However, it's the perfectly timed addition of very hot water to the espresso that is the essential step. Your taste buds will thank you for the intense coffee flavor in this Starbucks coffee.
Simplicity --a double-shot of espresso-- is a winning formula for the small yet strong Doppio. It serves as the foundation of most of the more complex and larger espresso-based drinks. A cheap, tasty option, this packs a big punch despite its small size.
Coffee drinkers know that all popular drinks start with a simple shot of espresso, and this one takes the cake.
3. Caramel Macchiato
Espresso poured over the creamy foam and steamed milk blends beneath a "crosshatch of sweet caramel"-- a caramel drizzle design that showcases each barista's unique, creative touch - to produce the complex, sugary Caramel Macchiato. Cousin of the caramel Frappuccino, the flavored syrup in this macchiato adds a delicious sweetness that conjures feeling of warmth and indulgence. If you're a coffee lover with a sweet tooth, we heartily recommend this best hot drink at Starbucks. For warm days, try the iced caramel macchiato!
4. Flat White
A relative newcomer to the Starbucks menu, hailing from Australia, the Flat White is fast becoming a favorite, served up in grande cups.
A double-shot of espresso gives this hot drink a bigger caffeine-kick than lattes while a delicately folded head of steamed milk produces it's signature silky texture. This makes it perfect for a pick-me-up that also provides warmth and comfort. For a vegan version, get coconut milk or almond milk in place of regular or whole milk.
5. Pike Place Blend
Simple, flavorful, and familiar, Pike Place--a medium-roast blend named for the original Starbucks, which opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1971 is a signature Starbucks offering. "Smooth and balanced", this blend aims to please and warm a wide audience of hot-coffee enthusiasts and it makes our list of the best hot drinks at Starbucks.
6. Pumpkin Spice Latte
The classic version of the latte is a single espresso shot in steamed milk with a light layer of pumpkin cream cold foam. Starbucks brews up a seemingly endless variety of these popular offerings through the year, including the Pumpkin Spice Latte or PSL.
Eagerly awaited every fall, yet only briefly available, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is without a doubt Starbucks' most anticipated seasonal product. This drink's pumpkin-spice sauce blends notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove into a nostalgic combination of autumn flavors. And let's not forget the vanilla syrup or the whipped cream on top.
With a carefully manufactured brevity and aggressive marketing campaign--including a dedicated Twitter feed --the spiced latte's devoted following has spawned customer-designed apps to track its impending arrival in stores.
Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
This post was originally published on October 8, 2020.