Our 8 Favorite Starbucks Lattes (Rated from Delicious to Brilliant)

A latte is the epitome of all that is good with specialty coffee. It’s rich in flavor, creamy in texture, and satisfying any time of day. There are so many different kinds of lattes from an iced cold, sweet vanilla latte to a rich, warming pumpkin spice latte, it really is the perfect drink for all seasons.

Starbucks has no shortage of options when it comes to lattes, hot or cold. They have a huge range of coffee-based delights and even a selection of tea lattes to suit every mood.

If you’ve been wondering which option is the best latte at Starbucks then you’re not alone. We’re going to delve into this question right now by first looking at the anatomy of this wonderful drink, how you can get creative with customizations, and finally, the best lattes at Starbucks so you can order one for yourself.

A Starbucks latte on a counter

What Defines a Latte?

When you order a latte from your Starbucks barista, this classic coffee drink usually consists of two ingredients. It starts with brewing a dark, double shot of espresso. This kind of coffee is brewed using hot water under high pressure to extract more flavor into a very concentrated shot of coffee. The pressure helps bring the fats out of the coffee beans and emulsifies them to leave a thick, foamy layer on top of the coffee called the crema.

To turn the espresso into a latte, the next ingredient needed is steamed milk. This is whole milk that has been heated and aerated by using a steam wand so that tiny air bubbles are included, giving it a very thick, creamy texture. This is poured over the coffee and then the drink is finished with a centimeter or so of milk foam on top.

That’s the basis of a latte but Starbucks have found many ways to take this simple drink and mix it up. Here are some of the ways the humble latte can be adapted.

Customizations

Size

Choose from a short (8 fl oz), tall (12 fl oz), grande (16 fl oz), or venti (20 fl oz).

Four different sizes of starbucks cups

Temperature

For every Starbucks latte, there’s an iced coffee or iced tea counterpart. The coffee (or tea) is brewed over ice and the milk used is cold to create a refreshing summer’s day treat.

Coffee/Tea

A double shot of espresso is the standard for a grande or venti Starbucks latte. The short and tall only receive 1 shot but you can always up the caffeine by asking for a double shot. You can also adjust the coffee flavor by asking for a ristretto (more concentrated, lower volume shot) or a long shot (less concentrated, higher volume of coffee).

You can choose Starbucks Signature Blend of coffee or the blonde roast if you prefer a lighter cup of coffee. If you’re caffeine-sensitive then opt for decaf, or choose from 1/2, 1/3, or 2/3 decaf.

Another base that Starbucks use for some of their lattes is tea. Breakfast tea, earl grey, chai, and matcha green tea all have their own version of this creamy drink.

Milk

A fresh glass of whole milk

2% milk is the typical choice when it comes to brewing a latte but there are numerous ways to switch this up. Non-fat milk, whole milk, half and half, and even heavy cream are all available to allow you to control the calories or increase the decadence.

For non-dairy folk, there’s the option to swap the milk for soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, or coconut milk. All of these choices steam up well and compliment the coffee flavor nicely.

You can adjust how much milk foam you want on top from none to a light topping or ask for extra if you like it bubbly. Another option you get is how hot you want the milk steamed. Ask for warm, hot, or extra hot to suit your preference.

Flavored Syrups

There’s always the option to add flavored syrups to your drink as it’s being made up to sweeten the deal and infuse it with flavor. The syrup flavors include brown sugar, caramel syrup, cinnamon dolce syrup, hazelnut syrup, peppermint syrup, raspberry, toasted vanilla, and plain vanilla syrup, or sugar free vanilla syrup.

Sauces are also available to include in your latte and these are mocha sauce, dark caramel sauce, white chocolate mocha sauce, and pistachio sauce.

Toppings

There are so many topping options available at Starbucks it’s almost too much to list here. Whipped cream is the classic addition but you can always add caramel drizzle or mocha drizzle on top as well. Cinnamon dolce sprinkles or just cinnamon powder makes it a lovely warming treat.

Iced drinks can also be adjusted to include salted caramel cream cold foam for more caramel flavors or vanilla sweet cream cold foam if you prefer.

Sweeteners

The final level of customization you can opt for is the addition of packets of sweeteners from stevia to sugar or liquid sweeteners. These are classic syrup, cane sugar, or a honey blend.

Best Starbucks Lattes/Iced Lattes

1. Caffe Latte/Iced Caffe Latte

A Starbucks Iced Caffe Latte

This is the classic Starbucks latte made with their signature roast coffee. Swap this out for a blonde espresso if you prefer or make it iced for a hot summer’s day. The caffe latte is the perfect all-rounder.

Another popular choice is to switch the espresso out for the small-lot, Starbucks Reserve coffee, perfect hot or cold!

2. Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte/Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte

For a lighter choice, the blonde espresso combines with vanilla syrup to give a lighter, sweeter tasting latte. Perfect enjoyed hot or over ice.

3. Cinnamon Dolce Latte/Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte

This option can be enjoyed as a holiday drink or all year round as a warming treat. It combines your latte with cinnamon dolce syrup, and tops it off with whipped cream and cinnamon dolce sprinkles.

4. Chai Tea Latte/Iced Chai Tea Latte

The most popular tea-based latte has to be the chai tea latte. It combines black tea with cinnamon, cloves, and many other warming spices. It’s delicious hot or cold or mix it up and make a dirty chai latte by adding a shot of espresso to the mix.

5. Matcha Green Tea Latte/Iced Matcha Tea Latte

A Matcha Tea Latte

Powdered green tea sweetened with sugar and topped with creamy milk makes this vibrant and delicious treat. Delicious and packed full of antioxidants, this drink is popular for many good reasons.

6. London Fog Tea Latte/Iced London Fog Tea Latte

Earl grey tea with its floral flavors combines beautifully with steamed milk and vanilla syrup to give this warming tasty treat.

7. Royal Breakfast Tea Latte/Iced Royal Breakfast Tea Latte

It’s similar to the London fog, but a lovely blend of black tea is used to form the base of this latte. Liquid cane sugar sweetens the deal and makes this drink into the perfect pick-me-up.

8. Starbucks Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte/Iced Starbucks Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte

Hazelnut-praline infused milk is used alongside Starbucks reserve coffee beans to make this rich and nutty treat.

Seasonal Favorites

a couple of chai lattes from above

Once a year, Starbucks opens the floodgates and releases a range of seasonal, festive drinks. Lattes are among the most popular drinks to choose thanks to how versatile they can be. Here are some options, past and present that will really get you into the holiday spirit.

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL)
  • Toffee Nut Latte
  • Caramel Brulee Latte
  • Chestnut Praline Latte
  • Pistachio Latte
  • Eggnog Latte
  • Pistachio Latte
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Peppermint Mocha

Other Popular Starbucks Drinks

You don’t have to rely on Starbucks secret menu to get creative with your order. Here are some non-latte Starbucks drinks that people can’t get enough of.

A Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

  • White Chocolate Mocha
  • Java Chip Frappuccino
  • Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
  • Caramel Macchiato
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
  • Pink Drink
  • Teavana Iced Tea
  • Cappuccino
  • Honey Almondmilk Flat White

F.A.Q.s

What is the best latte at Starbucks?

The good old-fashioned Caffe Latte is the most popular choice at Starbucks with the option of switching the espresso for Starbucks Reserve or Blonde option.

The most popular seasonal choice is the pumpkin spice latte that arrives on the menu every fall.

What are the best hot lattes at Starbucks?

The caffe latte is the most popular choice closely followed by the blonde vanilla latte and the cinnamon dolce latte.

What kind of lattes can you get at Starbucks?

Starbucks has a huge range of lattes available some with espresso base and some use tea. There are different flavored options sweetened with flavored syrups and even a whole range of seasonal options for the festive period.

What is the sweetest latte at Starbucks?

The sweetest lattes at Starbucks are the chai tea latte and the iced chai tea latte at 42g of sugar for a grande option. In second place is the cinnamon dolce latte with 40g of sugar.

Final Thoughts

There are more than a few lattes available at Starbucks and hundreds of ways to personalize each one. No matter what flavor you enjoy best, if you want it dairy-free or you’d rather have tea, there’s a Starbucks latte to satisfy you. Steaming hot on a cold winter’s morning or iced cold on a hot summer’s day, there’s no reason to avoid the drink you love all year round.

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