Ever stood in front of the Starbucks menu completely clueless as to what everything means? Do you always order the same thing because you don’t know the difference between a latte and a cappuccino? For that matter, you may wonder, what’s the difference between a frappuccino and an iced drink? Well, fear no more: having worked as a barista myself, I am here to give answers to those confusing coffee questions.
First, let me start off by pointing out the different types of beverages that Starbucks has to offer.
- The latte: the latte is made with steamed milk and espresso and has a small amount of foam on the top.
- The cappuccino: made with steamed milk and espresso, the cappuccino has much more foam than the latte, so if you ask for one with little foam, you might as well just get the latte.
- The caramel macchiato: this drink has steamed milk, espresso, vanilla, and caramel. This is a layered drink, meaning that the ingredients are added in a certain order, so if you stir it, you’re just getting a vanilla latte with some caramel in it.
- The frappuccino: this drink is more of a desert than the other beverages. Made with a special base and a flavor addition, it is blended with ice. Some frappuccinos are made with a coffee base, while others are cream based. So whether or not it has caffeine depends on the base.
- Brewed coffee: this is just your standard cup of coffee such as you would make at home, only Starbucks offers a variety of blends that you don’t find at the grocery store. Because many people don’t drink their coffee black, you will often hear “café au lait,” which just means coffee with milk.
Now that I have explained the various types of drinks, let’s move on to how one should order a drink. This of course depends on a number of questions.
1. Looking for something with caffeine? If so, choose any of the above drinks and make sure to get a coffee-based frappuccino. If you want a decaffeinated drink, just ask for decaf espresso or a decaf blend for coffee and a cream base for a frappuccino.