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A Guide to Iced Shaken Espresso Drinks at Starbucks

Wondering exactly what an iced shaken espresso is? Here's a guide to Starbucks line-up of shaken espresso drinks. See all the flavor combinations, how it's different from an iced latte and more.
Iced Shaken Espresso Beverages at Starbucks.

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What is an Iced Shaken Espresso?

An iced shaken espresso is a type of cold coffee beverage that, as its name implies, shakes together ice with shots of espresso. A flavored syrup or sweetener is shaken into the drink, as well.

The popularity of iced shaken espresso drinks grew exponentially when Starbucks added a line-up of flavored shaken espressos to their menu.

But unlike a typical iced shaken espresso known as a shakerato, Starbucks pours a splash of cold milk on top, too.

Overall, a Starbucks iced shaken espresso is a foamy, coffee-forward drink that’s creamy and velvety smooth.

Starbucks Iced Shaken Espresso

The launch of shaken espressos at Starbucks in early 2021 introduced customers to this “new” type of drink.

However, shakeratos have long-existed in Italian coffee shops.

A tall size iced shaken espresso at Starbucks.
An iced shaken espresso at Starbucks is similar to an Italian shakerato, but with a splash of milk.

Prior to launching shaken espressos, Starbucks already offered a similar drink, the Doubleshot on Ice.

The Doubleshot was like a shaken espresso sans shaking.

In fact, when shaken espressos were added to the Starbucks menu, Doubleshot on Ice was removed.

Starbucks offers four shaken espresso flavor combinations.

  1. Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
  2. Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso
  3. Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
  4. Iced Shaken Espresso

Three of the drinks are prepared with a non-dairy milk alternative and blonde roast espresso shots.

Additionally, you can customize shaken espressos with other flavors. Pumpkin shaken espressos are popular during the fall.

5 Differences Between an Iced Shaken Espresso and an Iced Latte

Since a Starbucks iced shaken espresso combines ice, espresso, syrup and milk you might be wondering how it differs from a flavored iced latte which also combines ice, espresso, syrup and milk.

A Starbucks iced shaken espresso next to an iced latte.
One main difference between a Starbucks iced shaken espresso and iced latte is that the shaken drink contains one more shot of brewed espresso than the latte.

1. Shaking vs Stirring

The main difference between an iced shaken espresso and an iced latte is that one drink is prepared by shaking while the other is stirred.

Using a drink shaker is an important part of the process. It impacts both the drink’s flavor and mouthfeel.

For example, vigorously shaking the espresso, syrup and ice, chills the espresso.

Importantly, it also dilutes some of the ice which brings the espresso to the perfect strength.

Finally, the espresso is aerated with tons of tiny bubbles giving the drink a smooth feel and foamy top.

2. Number of Espresso Shots & Caffeine Content

Starbucks shaken espresso beverages contain one additional shot of brewed espresso compared to their iced latte counterparts.

In fact, shaken espressos are one of the most caffeinated drinks you can get at Starbucks.

Specifically, tall, grande and venti iced shaken espressos at Starbucks are made with 2, 3 and 4 shots of espresso respectively, whereas, the same size iced lattes have 1, 2 and 3 shots of espresso.

Since the shaken espresso contains more espresso than an iced latte, it also has more caffeine—about 75 to 85 additional milligrams.

3. Amount of Syrup & Sugar Content

Iced shaken espressos have half the amount of syrup as Starbucks iced lattes.

If you take a look at both types of drinks on the Starbucks app, you might think I’m mistaken since the number of pumps of syrup per cup size is the same for shaken espressos and lattes.

But here’s what you need to understand.

The physical pumps on the syrup bottles for shaken espresso flavors, like brown sugar syrup, are equipped with half-dose pumps.

This means, each press of the pump by the barista puts out half the amount of syrup compared to bottles with full-size pumps.

Since a shaken espresso has half the syrup as an iced latte, the calorie and sugar content from the syrup is also cut in half.

4. Amount of Milk

All-in-all, an iced latte has more milk in it than a properly made Starbucks iced shaken espresso.

The shaken espresso gets a splash of milk poured on top. The milk is not shaken with the the other ingredients.

An iced latte is a milkier beverage.

5. Taste of an Iced Shaken Espresso

Overall, a Starbucks iced shaken espresso has more espresso but less syrup and milk compared to an iced latte.

These differences make a shaken espresso more coffee-forward than many other Starbucks espresso drinks.

If you find Starbucks lattes and mochas to be too sugary and sweet, then you really should try an iced shaken espresso.

The taste of espresso really has a chance to shine through.

Ordering Options

When it comes to ordering an iced shaken espresso, you’ve got a few choices.

Drink Sizes: Like all iced espresso beverages at Starbucks, the iced shaken espresso comes in three sizes: tall (12 fl oz). grande (16 fl oz) and venti (24 fl oz).

Sweeteners: Every iced shaken espresso is shaken with a sweetened syrup or powder. For instance the Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso is sweetened with chocolate malt powder. A regular Iced Shaken Espresso has classic syrup added to it.

However, if you want to customize the flavor of a shaken espresso, you can order it with any syrup flavor you want.

Espresso Roast: Starbucks has three types of espresso roast. You can choose any type of espresso you want.

  1. Signature dark roast espresso is the standard espresso used in a plain Iced Shaken Espresso.
  2. Blonde light roast espresso is the standard espresso used in the Iced Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso, as well as toasted vanilla and chocolate shaken espressos.
  3. Decaf espresso can be substituted for dark or blonde, if desired.

Milk Options: Starbucks milk options include dairy and non-dairy alternatives. You can add any type of milk you want, but make note, three of the shaken espressos on the Starbucks menu are already dairy-free.

Ice: Ice is a key component of an shaken espresso. I highly recommend not asking for light ice when ordering a shaken espresso. The reason is, that some of the ice is meant to be diluted to offset the extra shot of espresso. A certain amount of ice is also necessary to make the drink super chilly.

Questions You May Have

Is a Starbucks iced latte the same thing as an iced shaken espresso?

Iced lattes and iced shaken espresso drinks at Starbucks are made with the same ingredients. However, a shaken espresso contains more espresso but less syrup and milk than a latte. Shaking the espresso also aerates into a velvety smooth consistency.

What coffee can I order at Starbucks if I don’t want a super sweet drink?

You can order any espresso beverage at Starbucks without added syrup or sweetener. However, if you want a flavored coffee that’s not overly sweet, opt for an iced shaken espresso. They get half the amount of sweetened syrup as lattes.