Milk in Starbucks Drinks
Milk is a key component in many Starbucks drinks.
But do you know exactly what type of milk comes in all the different kinds of beverages at Starbucks?
Whether you order a latte, iced shaken espresso or blended frappuccino, each drink is made according to a Starbucks recipe card. The card indicates which milk the barista is supposed to use.
Like all-things-Starbucks, you can switch one type of milk for another.
Just keep in mind, milk substitutions may affect the drink’s taste, creaminess and calories, among other things.
Overall, there are ten milks to pick from at Starbucks and four of them are non-dairy alternatives.
Additionally, there’s sweetened whipped cream which is mainly heavy cream and vanilla syrup.
RELATED: 12 Delicious Dairy-Free Starbucks Drinks
Starbucks Default Milk in Every Drink
The default milk Starbucks uses to make most drinks is 2% dairy milk.
However, the kind of milk depends on the type of drink ordered. For example, the default milk in most Starbucks frappuccinos is whole milk.
The name of the Starbucks drink may also give a clue to which milk is in it.
For instance, an Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso contains almond milk.
And an Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso has oat milk.
Obviously, that’s not rocket science.
However, if you’re not sure what kind of milk comes in an Iced White Chocolate Mocha or Caramel Macchiato, you can ask the barista or take a look at the Starbucks app. It lists all the ingredients.
Otherwise, here’s a quick run-down of the standard milk that comes in every Starbucks drink.
Starbucks Drinks with 2% Milk
- Caramel Macchiato
- Chai Tea Latte
- Cold Brew Coffee with Milk
- Espresso Macchiato
- Hot Chocolate
- Iced Coffee with Milk
- Iced Shaken Espresso
- London Fog Tea Latte
- Matcha Latte
- Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte
The standard milk used in almost every espresso beverage at Starbucks is 2% reduced fat milk, unless you request otherwise.
Exceptions are flat whites and any drink that lists another type of milk in its name, like “Almondmilk” or “Oatmilk.”
Additionally, all Starbucks tea lattes are made with 2% milk.
Two-percent dairy is also the basis for all the milk steamers and hot chocolates at Starbucks.
Want a splash of milk in a cup of brewed coffee or tea?
You guessed it! Two-percent dairy is also what you’ll get unless you specify otherwise.
For the creamiest espresso drink possible, get a breve with half-and-half instead of 2%.
RELATED: Caffeine in Starbucks Lattes (Every Size, Hot & Iced)
Starbucks Drinks with Whole Milk
- Flat White
- Frappuccinos (unless stated otherwise)
Traditionally flat whites are made with whole milk.
In fact, a regular flat white is the only type of espresso drink at Starbucks that is made with whole milk instead of 2%.
The extra fat and sugar the whole milk provides, gives the flat white its signature creamy texture.
Additionally, both coffee-based and creme-based frappuccinos are blended with whole milk.
There are a couple exceptions, but they’re easy to spot since the alternative milk is in the drink’s name.
Starbucks Drinks with Almond Milk
- Honey Almondmilk Flat White
- Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso
- Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte (seasonal)
- Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Frappuccino (seasonal)
- Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Creme Frappuccino (seasonal)
Almond is a popular non-dairy milk option at Starbucks. And it’s a fantastic way to cut calories on your Starbucks drink.
This nutty milk is considered the “healthiest” of the plant-based milk offerings.
Per cup, Starbucks almond milk contains 60 calories.
For comparison, coconut milk at Starbucks has 80 calories per cup, soy has 130 and oat has 140.
Almond milk also has the least amount of added sugar out of all the dairy alternatives, clocking in at 4 grams per cup.
Oat and coconut milk both have 7 grams of added sugar per cup while soy has 12 grams.
RELATED: Starbucks Almond Milk Nutrition: The Healthiest Milk Revealed
Starbucks Drinks with Oat Milk
- Apple Crisp Oatmilk Creme Frappuccino (seasonal)
- Apple Crisp Oatmilk Frappuccino (seasonal)
- Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato (seasonal)
- Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
- Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
Oatly Barista Edition oat milk is the most recent non-dairy milk alternative offered by Starbucks.
This plant-based milk foams up nicely and is delicious with coffee.
Oat milk also pairs perfectly with many Starbucks flavors like brown sugar and toasted vanilla.
Starbucks Drinks with Coconut Milk
- Dragon Drink Refreshers Beverage
- Paradise Drink Refreshers Beverage
- Pink Drink Refreshers Beverage
- Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte
If you’re looking for a tried and true menu drink that comes with coconut milk, look closely at the Refreshers Beverages.
Each of the three tropical flavors (mango dragonfruit, pineapple passionfruit and strawberry acai) has a version that’s combined with coconut milk.
These creamy coconut Refreshers are called Dragon Drink, Paradise Drink and Pink Drink.
Coconut milk is also good in coffee.
In fact, one of my favorite off-menu drinks at Starbucks is the Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte.
Who knew the combination of espresso and coconut could be so magical?
Starbucks Drinks with Vanilla Sweet Cream
- Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew Coffee
- Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
There are only two drinks on the Starbucks menu where the default milk added in is vanilla sweet cream: Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew and the nitro cold brew option.
If you’re not familiar, the vanilla sweet cream milk option at Starbucks is a mix of heavy cream, nonfat milk and vanilla syrup that the baristas make daily.
A splash (or more) can be added to any drink, and it can also be blended into vanilla sweet cream cold foam.
RELATED: Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew (Including Caffeine & Calories)
Questions You May Have
Substituting the standard milk in a Starbucks drink may cost more. Customizing with a plant-based milk, half and half or heavy cream costs around an additional .70 cents. Vanilla sweet cream is about an additional $1.25.
If you’re adding milk to a Starbucks drink that doesn’t come with milk in it, like iced coffee, hot brewed coffee, or hot tea, then 2% reduced fat milk is the standard. However, you can ask for another type of milk.
There are three Starbucks Refreshers drinks on the menu that are mixed with coconut milk: Dragon Drink, Paradise Drink and Pink Drink.