No matter where you fall on the spectrum of coffee addiction, the Starbucks menu can be intimidating. As a former coffee-hater turned Starbucks Barista, I remember my fair share of disappointing drinks simply due to my lack of knowledge. Whether it's your first time stepping into a Starbucks or your 100th time, I'm here to help you decide on a drink that's sure to satisfy any craving. 

If You're a Coffee Hater

You don't understand the appeal of the bitter, unpleasant black liquid all your friends are addicted to, but that doesn't mean you can't get a delicious drink at Starbucks. 


If you're craving a hot, tea-based drink with milk, order a chai tea latte. With a good amount of caffeine, it can replace a cup of hot coffee and will keep you warm on a cold winter day. 

#SpoonTip: Chai tea lattes come with half water, half milk. If you want a creamier drink, ask for "no water."

Brewed Tea

Starbucks has an assortment of brewed tea flavors, from Peach Tranquility and Mint Majesty to Royal English Breakfast (black tea) and Emperor's Cloud and Mist (green tea). Ask for "room" if you want to add some milk to your hot tea.

#SpoonTip: If you do want milk (especially if you're heavy handed with creamer) ask for a "tall in a grande" or a "grande in a venti." This means you aren't giving up precious tea in order to fit your milk.

Iced Mango Black Tea or Peach Green Tea

 It may be freezing outside, but you're unfazed by mundane things such as weather-appropriate drinks. If you like tea, then this drink might just be for you. However, if you need something even sweeter, try the next drink.

Iced Mango Black Tea Lemonade or Peach Green Tea Lemonade

It's just like the above drink, but sweeter. And sweeter is basically synonymous with tastier, right?

Strawberry Açaí Refresher

You hate tea and you hate coffee, surely you can't hate juice as well? If so, try the strawberry açaí refresher. 

#SpoonTip: A popular modification is to replace the water in this drink with coconut milk. If you're a fan of the original strawberry açaí, try this twist, and maybe you'll have a new favorite drink.

Creme Frappuccino

A Frappuccino is basically a frozen dessert like ice cream, but less creamy. While some of the Frappuccinos at Starbucks have coffee, the creme Frappuccinos don't. If you like vanilla, try the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino and if you like chocolate go for the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino. Both come with whipped cream.

#SpoonTip: If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking the calorie bank, try your drink "light" (i.e. with nonfat milk and no whipped cream). It will taste the exact same, I promise! 

If You're a Coffee Addict

So you love a good brew, but what millennial goes to Starbucks for a cup of coffee? Here's a breakdown of drinks you can enjoy, while also being a little more adventurous than your average cup of joe.  


Winter has you dreaming of a red cup to warm your soul (or maybe just your ice cold fingers). If you don't mind milk, try a latte. If you want something to cut the bitterness, try adding a flavored syrup (vanilla latte, hazelnut latte, caramel latte, etc). But if you go in during the holiday season, try a festive drink, like the popular Chestnut Praline Latte, which comes with whipped cream.  

#SpoonTip: If the temperature of your drink is too hot or too cold, you can always adjust that. Ask for kids temperature for a latte you can immediately chug down and ask for extra hot to keep your drink piping with steam longer. If you hate the texture of foam, or you feel like it's air that is needlessly wasting space in your cup, ask for no foam as well. 


An americano is simply espresso with hot water. But boy do you sound sophisticated to all your friends.

#SpoonTip: If you'd like a splash of half and half, ask for "room" so the barista doesn't fill the cup to the rim with water. Or, as I mentioned earlier, ask for a "tall in a grande" or a "grande in a venti."

Cold brew

The cold brew coffee that's steeped in cold water for 20 hours has more caffeine than any other drink. It's a lot stronger than an iced coffee and comes without any cream or sugar. However, your local Starbucks can (and does) run out of Cold Brew, so have a second drink in mind, just in case.

#SpoonTip: If you can't handle this drink black, try the festive Sweet and Spicy Cold Brew, or just the year round Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew.


If you want a frozen coffee dessert, try a Frappuccino. You can get a plain coffee Frappuccino, which comes with coffee, milk, ice, and a plain syrup blended up into creamy, frozen coffee. You can also have some fun and get the popular caramel Frappuccino with coffee, milk, ice, syrup, and caramel flavoring, as well as whipped cream and caramel drizzle.

#SpoonTip: Extra caramel is FREE in a Caramel Frappuccino.

While Starbucks may seem like an intimidating place, once you understand the basics of the menu, it's actually not that bad. And the best part about Starbucks is that the baristas don't just want to make you a drink and never see your face again. We want to make sure your trip to Starbucks is pleasant and enjoyable. So if you ever get a drink you just can't stand, don't be afraid to ask for something else!