Traditionally, coffee is best served hot. But in this modern age, tradition is something that a lot of people break, and when it comes to making coffee in the most unconventional yet captivating way, Starbucks is still the undisputed champion.
Some people prefer it hot, but there are also those who prefer it chilled or at semi-freezing temperatures. Here are 10 of the very best iced coffee drinks that you can order and enjoy in the halls of Starbucks.
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1. Cold Brew
In Starbucks, as well as in most coffee shops, cold brew is usually presented as iced coffee because that’s how it is known for commercially speaking. Cold-brew coffee at Starbucks could be ordered iced, ice-cold, or even just with water at normal room temperature, depending of course on the customer’s preference.
Quick Fact: Compared to regular coffee, cold brew is concentrated at a ratio of 1:4 to 1:8. It has more caffeine, which makes it a lot stronger than your usual coffee drink.
Instead of using heat to extract the oils from coffee beans, cold brew utilizes time instead. It is created by soaking medium-to-coarse ground coffee into cold water to soften them until the desired liquid is obtained. The significant trait that makes it well-loved by customers is its sweetness, which is way above that of typical hot coffee.
2. Iced Caffe Latte
The name is Italian for “coffee with milk”. In Starbucks, it is your perfect milk-forward cooldown. The barista serves it as rich, dark espresso combined with milk and served over ice. In contrast to a hot latte, it doesn’t typically have steam milk or foam.
In its best form, Iced Caffe Latte is allowed to cool down after brewing and let it reach normal room temperature before the ice gets added to it. Doing otherwise would make the ice cubes dissolve quickly which would make the coffee too diluted – something that would not be pleasant to picky clients.
Usually, iced lattes are added with flavoring syrups or sugar. There are also customers who want them in a purist form which would consist only of coffee and ice.
3. Iced Caramel Macchiato
Though making this at home is easy for a lot of people and would cost only very little, the Iced Caramel Macchiato is still one of the most in-demand iced coffees at Starbucks. It is known as a delectable coffee treat. Technically speaking, it is just a “layered latte” with shots of espresso, vanilla syrup, milk, and topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce.
If you are someone who’s a novice coffee-drinker in places like Starbucks, this could be the perfect treat for you. Though it is typically calorie-heavy, you may have it dairy-free or even vegan.
Compared to latte-based drinks, the Iced Caramel Macchiato is typically stronger. It is usually sipped by drinking the sweet foam first, then the espresso, and then the milk.
4. Iced Americano
Made by brewing a shot of espresso and combining it with hot water, this one is an espresso drink presented as a super-powered cup of coffee. Brewing this includes a shot of espresso poured directly into the ice, which will be topped with iced water later on.
Quick Fact: Its taste can be described as espresso coffee in a slightly diluted drink. Because more coffee is used than usual, it has a richer and more robust taste. Compared to most Starbucks drinks, the Iced Americano is a bit bitter.
Surprisingly though, it has a lot of varieties due to the syrups that baristas would add to them. Believed to be the drink for those who are faint at heart, this drink is meant for the bravest and the boldest coffee drinkers.
5. Iced Caffe Mocha
Known to originate from Yemen, it is common knowledge that Mocha is a mixture of chocolate and coffee. In Starbucks, the Iced Caffe Mocha is now one of the most sought-after choco-laced drinks in any of their outlets. Because of the added sweetness from the whipped cream and chocolate sauce, the Iced Caffe Mocha is not a very strong drink.
From the perspective of enthusiasts, the sweetness disguises the strength of its flavor. For those who complain that this drink is unhealthy, you can also try its very close variant, the Iced Skinny Mocha which is fairly healthy, compared to most mocha-based drinks.
With around 350 calories packed into it, it is a rich, full-bodied espresso. It comes with bittersweet mocha sauce, along with milk and ice. On a cold day, experts, as well as seasoned coffee-lovers, openly declare that the Iced Caffe Mocha is the perfect drink on a cold day that can satisfy one’s indulgence.
6. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
The mixture in it is usually vanilla simple syrup, heavy cream, and 2% milk. Brewed rather slowly, it comes as a super smooth, icy-cold cup of coffee. The sweet underlying flavor that it has includes the refreshing taste of citrus fruits and soft chocolate flavors that baristas mix into it upon customers’ request.
The vanilla on the mix enhances the coffee’s natural flavor. Some enthusiasts recommend that the drink must not be stirred too much as the natural distinguishing taste would be ruined. Compared to most blended beverages, Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew brings out the coffee flavor at a much higher level.
With 140mg of caffeine in the mix, it generates a kind of strength that is often regarded by experts as a lead character instead of just a supporting player.
7. Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte
In this drink, blonde espresso is created first which comprises a lightly roasted coffee bean. Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte can be thought of as a smoother, mellower version of the signature dark roast espresso of Starbucks. Blonde espresso is named as such because it is a slightly lighter roast from Latin American and East African coffee beans.
A standard blonde espresso serving consists of 250 calories which makes it an average in that category. You may have it served as an extra-smooth blonde espresso, with velvety steamed milk, and vanilla syrup. It has approximately 225mg of caffeine according to Starbucks’ ingredient page.
Quick Fact: If you want to have a coffee drink that doesn’t taste like coffee at all, this drink is what you’re looking for.
8. Iced Shaken Espresso
“A full-bodied espresso is shaken with sweetness” is the tagline for which the product is known. The recipe for this drink includes 4 pumps of the simple classic syrup, 3 shots of classic Starbucks espresso, ice, and a splash of milk at 2%.
Some customers prefer the bitter taste of espresso on ice to the fullest, and it’s the reason why this drink was born. Sipping this drink starts with a remarkable rush of espresso flavor and would typically finish with an overwhelming sweetness.
The refreshing sweet flavor that it has is coupled with the strong punch of its caffeine which makes it one of those Starbucks drinks that you won’t easily forget once you get to taste it. With the delightful taste of coffee, espresso, and the classic syrup, it can be the most ideal “on-the-go drink”.
9. Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
It is usually served with a foam made with nonfat milk and is served with sugar-free vanilla, which makes it one of the healthiest Starbucks drinks in existence. If the barista hears you ordering a Salted Caramel drink, he would often use a blend of turbinado sugar and smoked sea salt.
If you prefer your iced coffee in a savory-sweetened form, this might not be the drink for you. But if you want to experience a diversely-flavored Starbucks drink, the Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew is something to watch out for.
Packed with a total of 220 calories, this drink is a very ideal balance of the intensely-rich coffee flavor everyone is so accustomed to, in a very smooth sweet finish.
10. Iced Honey Almond Flat White
In simple words, this drink can be described as “The typical Starbucks latte with a little added honey sweetness.” In contrast to a coconut milk latte, you might find it surprisingly sweeter. When paired with almond milk, it can create that signature espresso taste poured on ice.
Such a mixture can certainly create that nuanced flavor that you might have encountered whenever you sip some plant-based products. The microfoam on top of it makes it very creamy and not to mention, very visually appealing as well.
With a hint of honey, the Iced Honey Almond Flat White is the perfect amount of nutty sweetness and creaminess.
Quick Fact: Flat White drinks generally contain 130 milligrams of caffeine, along with the 120 calories it is packed with, which makes it quite low compared to other drinks.
Coffee is one of the most-consumed commodities all over the world in which it comes at a very close second to gasoline. As long as people buy it and drink it, experimentalists will always find new ways in making it tastier and more enjoyable.
If you’ve never been to Starbucks and have been looking for a reason to, their iced coffee drinks could be the ultimate drive that can bring you there.