What Is A Handcrafted Drink At Starbucks

Oh, Starbucks, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. The whipped cream, the caramel sauce, the chai tea, the matcha latte, and mocha cookie crumble. I first became addicted to your rich, bold caffeinated goodness in college. Now, I’m hooked for life. And with the plethora of options at Starbucks, I will always find a drink to get excited about. You can have a healthy pick-me-up or a decadent dessert drink; all made at the hands of the magical Starbucks baristas. If you are new to Starbucks or want to branch out from your standard coffee, what is a handcrafted drink at Starbucks?

A handcrafted drink at Starbucks is any drink made behind the counter by the barista. Brewed coffees, teas, and bottled drinks do not qualify as handcrafted drinks at Starbucks.

To any newbie, the choices at your local Starbucks seem overwhelming. There are 170,000 ways to customize your Starbucks order. But don’t let that stop you from exploring the world of delicious handcrafted beverages a la Starbucks. Let’s explore some of Starbucks’ most popular and defining drinks to educate you on the different options.

Caffe Latte

The classic coffeehouse beverage. A Caffe Latte consists of 1-2 shots of espresso with sweet steamed milk over it. Starbucks offers a variety of milks, from cow’s milk variations to almond, coconut, and soy milk varieties. If you are going with the standard milk option in your latte, Starbucks will use 2% cow’s milk. You can add sugar, sugar alternative, cinnamon, or vanilla flavoring to your liking at the self-serve counter. 


This cup starts with a shot of espresso again, but with less steamed milk than the latte. The rest of the cup is filled with thick, frothy milk foam. This makes the texture of the Cappuccino thicker than the latte and tastes a little sweeter too. Again, you can customize your choice of milk and add in any flavoring extras.

Caramel Macchiato

One of the most iconic Starbucks beverages, the Caramel Macchiato is a must-try for any true blue Starbucks fan. Added to the espresso base is a good helping of steamed milk, velvety foam, vanilla-flavored syrup, and caramel sauce. 

Caffe Americano

This beverage has a very fancy name for a simple drink. It just consists of a shot of espresso and hot water. Drink it black or with some added sugar or flavoring. 

Caffe Mocha (and White Chocolate Mocha)

These two drinks are made the same way, the only difference being the sauce’s flavor. They both consist of espresso, steamed milk, and whipped cream. The Caffe Mocha has a simple bittersweet mocha sauce, while the White Chocolate Mocha has a white chocolate sauce. Both are delicious and worth the calories!

Chai Tea Latte

This drink contains Chai Tea Concentrate, steamed milk, and water. The Starbucks chai tea concentrate is a black tea with hints of cardamom and vanilla.


The typical Starbucks Frappuccino is made with coffee, espresso, ice, milk, and Frappuccino syrup. Suppose you are looking for a non-coffee beverage. The vanilla bean Frappuccino, strawberry Frappuccino, double chocolate chip Frappuccino, and matcha green tea Frappuccino can all be made without coffee (although the matcha green tea Frapp does have caffeine).

Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino

This drink is a social media star and, thus, a trendy drink at Starbucks. It consists of ice, milk, coffee, caramel syrup, dark caramel sauce, whipped cream with a caramel drizzle on top, and crunchy caramel-sugar toppings. You can also order a non-coffee version of this if you want.

Mocha Cookie Crumble

If you’re a fan of coffee and chocolate cookies, this Frappuccino may be for you. It’s a blend of coffee, mocha sauce, milk, and ice with Frappuccino chips, whipped cream, chocolate cookie crumble, and mocha drizzle. Like other Frappuccinos, it can be ordered as a non-coffee drink.

The Takeaway

While this article has outlined some of Starbucks’ most popular handcrafted coffee drinks, we have only scratched the surface of the offerings available to customers at their local Starbucks. We have yet to explore their Refresher, lemonade-style drinks, or food offerings.

If you are brand new to trying Starbucks or a regular Starbucks consumer looking to branch out in your beverage selection, I hope the information provided in this article helps you find your coffee bliss. As you try new drinkable options, take comfort in the Starbucks barista promise: “Love your beverage or let us know. We will always make it right.” Happy drinking!

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