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15 Strongest Starbucks Drinks (Ranked by Caffeine) (2023)

Welcome to my caffeinated adventure, where I’ve sipped and slurped my way through the 15 Strongest Starbucks Drinks (Ranked by Caffeine). After consuming enough caffeine to make a sloth sprint a marathon, I have emerged to share my findings with you. So, buckle up, my jittery friends – let’s dive in.

The strongest coffee at Starbucks was a hard one to organize because you could drink a tall latte or an espresso, and both have the same amount of caffeine in them.

So, in the end, I decided to organize by the pure amount of caffeine in the drink, no matter how big the drink is, rather than get complicated and rank caffeine by volume.

The Strongest Hot Drink Available With the Most Caffeine Content at Starbucks is:

The Strongest Cold Drink Available With the Most Caffeine Content at Starbucks is:

  • A Trenta Cold Brew (with ice) has 360mg of caffeine.

And if your local Starbucks doesn’t have Trenta cups, then you can order a Venti Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso with 340 mg of caffeine.

Data Source:

I scoured the Starbucks website, reviewing each drink and noting how much caffeine each one has. If interested, we also created a 15 Sweetest Starbucks Drinks Ranked by Sugar Content post.

List of the strongest starbucks drinks ranked by caffeine. The layout is from left to right and show the absolute most caffeine in a coffee that can be ordered no matter the size cup


List Of The 15 Strongest Starbucks Drinks (2023)

For reference, an espresso has 75 mg of caffeine, and one of those 5-hour energy drinks has about 225 mg.

Remember, you can make almost any drink stronger by asking for an extra shot of Espresso in it, or it turns out the blonde roast has more caffeine, so if you’re getting an espresso-based coffee, you can ask if you can get it as the blonde roast.

Name Hot or Cold Size Caffeine (mg)
Blonde Roast Filter Hot Venti


Pike Place Roast Filter Hot Venti


Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee Cold Trenta


Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso Cold Venti


Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew Cold Trenta


Iced Caffè Americano Cold Venti


Espresso Hot Quad


Honey Almondmilk Nitro Cold Brew Cold Grande


Nitro Cold Brew Cold Grande


Iced Coffee Cold Trenta


Iced Caffè Mocha Cold Venti


Starbucks Reserve Dark Chocolate Mocha Hot Venti


Iced Caramel Macchiato Cold Venti


Espresso Frappuccino® Blended Beverage Cold Venti


Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte Hot Venti




1. Blonde Roast Filter Coffee

This surprised me as the strongest drink, not only because it tastes lighter but I was sure espresso drinks would be more potent. But nope, they are more intense in terms of volume, which could change how it’s digested, but on the highest amount of caffeine, the Blonde Roast leads the charge.

If black coffee isn’t for you and you were hoping for a Frappuccino to top this list, then ask for vanilla to be added and leave room for milk.

I must admit that vanilla in coffee is delicious, especially with the Blonde Roast.

The Blonde Roast also has the advantage of being one of the healthier Starbucks choices because it’s got no sugar and no fat, so long as you have it without anything added.

2. Pike Place Roast Filter Coffee

This is as original a Starbucks drink as you can get; it’s the base drink you can order worldwide, and it’s been on the menu since it was crafted by the master blenders and roasters in 2008.

A Starbucks cup on a desk

The Pike Place Roast drink delivers a consistent 410 mg of caffeine in a Venti size. As I drained my cup, I marveled at how Starbucks has managed to make every cup taste the same worldwide. Hats off

3. Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee

I have written a few of these and have gotten acquainted with the Starbucks menu.

I must confess, I expected the Cold Brew to reign supreme in the caffeine kingdom. With 360 mg of caffeine in a Trenta size, it packs a punch that’s as smooth as it is strong.

The coffee is made with a 20-hour cold water steep, which is on the longer end of making a cold brew and results in a strong yet smooth drink.

4. Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso

I’m sorry, what?

A Starbucks Espresso Shot Cup

Four shots of Blonde Espresso, 6 pumps of brown sugar syrup, oat milk, ice, and a sprinkle of cinnamon make for a delightful and deceptively vegan-friendly concoction.

Its 340 mg of caffeine will have you bouncing off the walls.

An excellent and light drink between the Blonde Roast and the Oatmilk, with plenty of sweetness from the brown sugar.

5. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

For those who balk at the thought of 30 fl oz of black coffee, the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew offers a sweeter alternative with 320 mg of caffeine in a Trenta size. It’s a big, bold, and delicious vanilla caffeine experience.

And if Trenta is just too obscenely big, even the Venti size has 275 mg of caffeine, which is still a lot.

6. Iced Caffè Americano

When I need caffeine but don’t have time to linger, the Starbucks Iced Caffè Americano (hot or cold) delivers 4 espresso shots in a Venti size. It’s black coffee, extra black – a perfect canvas for caramel, vanilla, or even sweet cream.

A guy holding a cool iced starbucks coffee

7. Espresso

Sweet caffeine. #7 on the Strongest Starbucks Drinks list, look no further than a quad espresso. Four shots of potent caffeinated espresso wake-up juice will have you raring to go in no time.

A little-known caffeine boost tip… Opt for the Blonde roast for an extra 40 mg of caffeine. (Read on why coffee makes you poop, if you want…)

8. Honey Almondmilk Nitro Cold Brew

With 10% more caffeine than its unsweetened counterpart, this mysterious brew is a delightful mix of honey, almond milk, and Nitro Cold Brew. Its 290 mg of caffeine will leave you buzzing and bewildered.


9. Nitro Cold Brew

The Nitro Cold Brew’s cascading bubbles create a sweeter flavor and a stunning visual effect. Unfortunately, it’s unavailable in a Venti size, so you’ll have to settle for 280 mg of caffeine in a Grande, booooo!

A Cold Frothy Glass of Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

10. Iced Coffee

Surprisingly, Starbucks’ Iced Coffee isn’t just filtered coffee poured over ice. The addition of classic sugar syrup packs an extra jolt, making it a caffeinated delight with 270 mg of caffeine in a Trenta size.

As a note, you are getting 7 pumps of sugar syrup in the Trenta size!  Yes, you read that right.

11. Iced Caffè Mocha

The first drink falling outside the Strongest Starbucks Drink top 10 list is the Iced Caffè Mocha. This drink is essentially a cold hot chocolate with three Espresso shots. If there is such a thing, it’s the perfect blend of chocolate and coffee, with 225 mg of caffeine in a Venti size to keep you buzzing all day.

12. Starbucks Reserve Dark Chocolate Mocha

This is an interesting one because it’s one of the only hot drinks that comes as standard with 4 shots of Espresso in a Venti, but it only has as much caffeine as 3 regular shots of the Starbucks espresso roast.

That’s because while the Blonde roast has more caffeine, the Starbucks Reserve Roast has less but balances that with an extra shot, and you’re off to the races.

Not to mention the fact that dark chocolate is another excellent partner to coffee, and put both of them inside a mocha, and you’re on to a winner.

I look for the Starbucks Reserve Dark Chocolate Mocha when I’m in the mood for a sweet coffee. It was my halfway house when I was transforming myself into a coffee drinker.

13. Iced Caramel Macchiato

starbucks frappuccino vs cappuccino the differences

The iced caramel Macchiato stands stronger in caffeine content than a hot caramel macchiato.  Why? The drink calls for 3 shots of Espresso as a venti rather than 2.

This seems a little unusual; the cup’s oversized, but we believe the cup size accommodates the ice that goes in. So, for the same volume of coffee, the Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato delivers an extra shot, standard.

Strange right?

Not that it matters; all you need to know is that this is the stronger choice.

14. Espresso Frappuccino® Blended Drink

a starbucks frappuchino on a wall

Most of the Frappuccinos are surprisingly low in caffeine, relative to most of the other Starbucks drinks. We have found approximately 110-140 mg of caffeine in a Venti.

What these drinks lack in caffeine, they sure make up for in sugar. If you find a frappuccino wakes you up more than a coffee does, this is definitely why.

You can get an Espresso version (as with any normal Frappuccino drink) but is made with the Frappuccino roast coffee. Meaning it isn’t overly sweetened compared to other drinks.

Our recommendation is don’t do it with the Frappuccino Creme. They are coffee-free and often flavored differently, so an espresso shot will likely taste very strange.

15. Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte

We slotted the Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte here largely as a comparison. Our reasoning is to show that all the basic espresso drinks barely make the cut in terms of caffeine. Starbucks brews all of its strongest drinks with 2 espresso shots as a venti.

You get a little extra boost if you go with the Blonde Roast, but you’ll want to ask for an extra espresso to get a real punch.

A tip: save your money because both the Grande and the Venti are made with 2 Espresso shots.

So, if you want a cappuccino or a latte that will give you a buzz, get a grande size and ask for an extra shot. Or go for a Venti and ask for 2 additional shots if you mean business!

How To Make Your Starbucks Stronger

Ask for an Extra Shot

This is the simplest method to get your coffee stronger; ask for an extra shot of Espresso in it.

More coffee = more caffeine!

And if you’ve ordered a larger drink, it doesn’t change the flavor too much if you try to avoid black coffee. And you can even ask for an espresso in your filter coffee, known as…

Order a Red Eye Coffee

Red-eye coffee is one hell of a creation. It’s when you order a filter coffee and ask for an espresso shot. Ordering a Venti Blonde Roast will bring you over 500mg of caffeine!

Just be warned, that is some exceedingly strong coffee, so ensure there’s a bathroom to hand!

I wouldn’t recommend this drink if you are gearing up for a marathon. Although, if you are a self-confessed “caffeine junkie, ” it might be just the coffee you’re looking for.

Go For Blonde Roast

As I’ve said a few times, the blonde roast has a lighter flavor, but it has more caffeine in it. We’ve pinned it to just a little over 10% more, but it can’t be denied it’s a stronger coffee.

It’s always a delicious choice if you want a stronger coffee rather than a black coffee.

Grades of Coffee Roasting from White to Black

Avoid Frappuccinos

They provide a huge sugar hit but don’t cut the mustard in terms of caffeine. Sure, you get some, but it’s not much more than having a couple of cans of Diet Coke.

Ask For Your Espresso As a Long Shot

It’s debatable what difference this will make.

A long shot means more water runs through it to make it twice as big. You would think this should result in more caffeine being present. Though i’m not sure how much extra caffeine this would produce, but logically it should produce a little more.

Keep this on the back burner if things get desperate. Or, go crazy and order a second coffee in an hour; it’d be much easier!


Which Starbucks Refresher has the most caffeine?

White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino Blended Beverage

All the Starbucks Refreshers that get made that you can order as a Trenta size have 90mg of caffeine. So they are all as strong as each other.

The only exception is the Blueberry Acai drink. Served in a can, with only one size available, the Starbucks Blueberry Acai drink contains 50mg of caffeine.

Is Espresso stronger than coffee?

Yes, Espresso is stronger in terms of pure volume, but you can’t order a Venti espresso.

So, your regular filter coffee has more caffeine because you can order it in a bigger size. This surprised me, but that’s why I do so much research!

What Is The Best Drink at Starbucks to wake you up?

An espresso is the best choice at Starbucks if you need to wake up; it’s a quick blast of caffeine that zings you awake.

Even though it doesn’t have as much caffeine as the filter coffee, drinking it all simultaneously wakes you up quicker. Perhaps downing a whole filter coffee would be even more effective, but it doesn’t remotely sound enjoyable.

What Is The Best Starbucks Drink To Keep You Awake

This is where the filter coffee comes in.

Filter coffee is the best Starbucks drink to keep you awake. It has the most caffeine, and you can make it last longer, so the caffeine keeps up over time.

More caffeine will mean a bigger crash. Although, it’s the best choice if you need to wake up and stay awake.

Final Thoughts

I’m still surprised that Espresso wasn’t at the top of the list. It does explain why, after ordering a Venti black coffee, a friend beelined for the toilets not long after visiting Starbucks.

I hope this has helped! 

Related Reading

What are the Cup Sizes at Starbucks?
21 Best Caffeine Free Starbucks Drinks (Ranked by Popularity)
15 Sweetest Starbucks Drinks Ranked by Sugar Content
Healthiest Low Calorie Starbucks Drinks Ranked + How To Order Them
15 Healthiest Low Calorie Starbucks Drinks Ranked + How To Order Them
15 Best Iced and Cold Starbucks Drinks Ranked
Best Stainless Steel Coffee Makers


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