I’m not going to lie; there are days when my regular, grande-sized coffee won’t cut it. Call it burnout or whatever, but we just have to accept that in times like these, even the best coffees in Starbucks won’t fulfill your yearning for a tasty beverage.
One trick that I always do is go with my plan B, ordering non-coffee beverages for a week instead. This tricks me into missing that sweet cup of Joe until the craving kicks back in, and suddenly I’m not tired of the smell and the taste anymore.
If ever you’re in the same situation, let me help by giving you my best coffee alternatives in Starbucks!
1. Caramel Apple Spice
Try to envision an apple pie in liquid form, and this is it. The cinnamon syrup gives the apple juice that subtle kick in your mouth that’ll make you feel fuzzy and warm. Complement that with the whipped cream and caramel drizzle topping, and you’re suddenly back at your parent’s house with one sip.
2. Hot Chocolate (Without The Whipped Cream)
I know what some of you are thinking, “Starbucks’s Hot Chocolate has some coffee in it!” Although it does have caffeine, it doesn’t have coffee (let’s stop with this myth). All chocolate has caffeine, people!
It only contains 30 mg. of caffeine per 16 oz. That’s low compared to their coffee-based beverages; you’re not going to lose sleep over it!
I remove the whipped cream to cut the calories and savor the pure cocoa taste. What I love about this is that I can effortlessly pair it with something salty to eat. I heard drinking hot chocolate can be beneficial to your body.
You might find our guide on the best Starbucks snacks helpful.
3. The Pink Drink
If you’re not familiar with this iconic beverage, it’s made from Starbucks’s strawberry acai, and coconut milk base capped off with freeze-dried strawberries.
Not only does this look gorgeous, but the taste is magical and refreshing. It’s tarty but creamy at the same time because the coconut milk somehow negates the sourness of the strawberry acai and fruit. The aftertaste is not unpleasant either, but the best part is chewing the fruit while drinking.
If you have a sweet tooth, you might enjoy our explainer on can you get hot chocolate Nespresso pods.
4. Jade Citrus Mint Brewed Tea
Whenever I’m feeling under the weather, I always go for Starbucks’s array of herbal teas to make me feel better. I prefer Jade Citrus Mint Brewed Tea. This green tea is blended with mint, lemon verbena, and lemongrass, which gives its contradictory taste – it’s hot, but it’s simultaneously cooling because of the mint element.
The floral taste is not too overpowering either, thanks to the lemongrass. This soothing beverage has its health benefits, as mint tea is rich in polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation. When ordering, try to add some honey as I found it perfectly complements the tea.
You might also be interested in our explainer on does Starbucks sell coffee grinders.
5. Iced Matcha Tea Latte
Matcha contains caffeine and l-theanine. The latter is an amino acid found in matcha that promotes alertness and calm at the same time. This compound subdues the caffeine’s side effects (anxiety and jitters).
This is usually my go-to once my shift ends because t prepares me well for the commute back home and helps me stay awake for some precious me-time without affecting my sleeping pattern. I don’t recommend adding sweeteners as it minimizes that earthy and grassy flavor that makes it unique. Still, if you’re considering it, I suggest going for an extra pump of vanilla instead of honey or artificial sweeteners.
A trending variant blend making rounds online is called the “Zendaya.” It’s an iced matcha green tea latte with coconut milk. I haven’t personally tried this, but I’m a total sucker for coconut milk, so it’s coming soon.