10 Ways to Add More Caffeine at Starbucks

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This site contains affiliate links.

In need of a caffeine boost? This guide shows simple ways to get more caffeine in your Starbucks drink without going up a size.
Starbucks caffeine in drinks like this iced coffee.

Need a Starbucks drink with a little extra caffeine? Then checkout this unique list of Starbucks caffeine boosts.

With the help of a Starbucks barista, this list shows you lots of easy ways to get more caffeine bang for your buck.

And the good news is, almost every switch, addition or customization is less than a dollar. Many of these Starbucks caffeine-boosting measures are actually free!

Now, you might be thinking, why not just get a bigger size drink for more caffeine.

But guess what? Going up a cup size at Starbucks doesn’t always mean you get more caffeine. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Starbucks Cup Sizes to understand why.

Let’s get started. Here are ten ways to get more caffeine at Starbucks.

All caffeine information is for grande size drinks unless otherwise noted.

1. Go for a Lighter Roast

Here’s a simple and free way to boost the caffeine in your next Starbucks coffee—get a lighter roast. That’s all you have to do.

In fact, the lighter the roast, the more caffeine. This is because the roasting process is shorter and more caffeine is retained.

So, on your next trip to Starbucks, make the switch to blonde for an extra boost of caffeine. Blonde is available for espresso drinks and drip brewed coffee.

It’s no surprise, blonde roast drinks make several appearance on this list of the 19 Most Caffeinated Starbucks Drinks.

Caffeine Content for Different Starbucks Roasts

Here’s a quick comparison of the approximate caffeine content for Starbucks coffees by type of roast.

Starbucks RoastEspressoBrewed
Pike PlaceN/A310mg
Approximate caffeine in Starbucks grande size drinks by roast

2. Opt for Brewed Coffee Instead of Espresso

Want a lot of caffeine-bang for your buck. Go for a good ol’ cup of hot coffee.

Not only does Starbucks hot-brewed, drip coffee have nearly double the caffeine of an equal size espresso drink, but it’s way cheaper.

For instance, a grande Pike Place is almost two dollars less than a grande latte, yet it has more than twice the caffeine.

Just take a look at the Starbucks Roast comparison chart above to see the big differences.

3. Order a Flat White instead of a Latte

Did you know that Starbucks Flat White drinks get one more shot of espresso than most other espresso drinks of the same size?

There’s a catch, though.

Flat whites are made with smooth-tasting ristretto shots.

Simply put, ristretto shots are pulled with less water and produce less caffeine. And for the record, a creamy Starbucks flat white is also made with whole milk instead of the standard 2% milk.

The thing is, even though a ristretto shot has less caffeine, that extra shot adds up to more caffeine overall.

For example, here’s how the caffeine in a flat white compares to a latte. Keep in mind, a flat white costs around fifty cents more than the latte.

Caffeine Comparison:

  • Flat White: 195mg
  • Caffe Latte: 150mg

4. Make it a Long Shot

Speaking of types of Starbucks espresso shots, baristas can also prepare long shots—another simple and free way to get more caffeine in your Starbucks drink.

Otherwise known as lingo in Italian, a long shot is basically the opposite of ristretto. Long shots are pulled with more water and have a longer extraction time.

And for anyone wanting to squeeze out every extra bit of caffeine, this is good news since long shots have more caffeine than traditional and ristretto shots.

5. Add-in Another Shot

If it’s one of those days where you need all the caffeine you can get, you can always add-in an extra shot of espresso.

While each additional shot of espresso costs around ninety cents, it adds both caffeine and more coffee flavor.

Another way to increase the amount of espresso is to size up from a tall to a grande.

However, this isn’t necessarily the case for every Starbucks cup size. This is because most short and tall espresso drinks are made with one espresso shot and most grande and ventis are made with two.

Did you know you can even boost the caffeine in your favorite frappuccino? Just order it affogato-style. Similar to an affogato dessert, your frappuccino will be “drowned” with a shot of espresso.

Here’s about how much caffeine is in a single shot of Starbucks espresso:

Caffeine Comparison:

  • Blonde Roast: 85mg per shot
  • Signature Roast: 75mg per shot

6. Make it a Venti Iced instead of Venti Hot

Iced venti drinks at Starbucks are actually larger than venti hot drinks—by 4 ounces, to be exact.

This means most venti iced espresso-drink recipes contain one more shot of espresso compared to their hot espresso counterparts.

There is a slight up-charge between venti iced and hot, about twenty to thirty cents, but you get another espresso shot.

Venti Iced Caffeine vs Venti Hot

Starbucks DrinkVenti IcedVenti Hot
Caffe Latte225mg150mg
Caffe Mocha265mg185mg
Caramel Macchiato225mg150mg
Amount of caffeine in Starbucks venti iced drinks compared to venti hot

7. Choose Cold Brew over Iced Coffee

Did you know cold brew coffee has more caffeine than regular hot-brewed, iced coffee?

This is because cold brewing coffee is a long process which extracts more caffeine. As a matter, Starbucks cold brew drinkers might be interested to know that it takes them 20 hours to make a batch of cold brew.

But if you love Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew and Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew as much as everyone else, then that twenty-hour brew time is well worth it.

Making the switch from iced coffee to cold brew gets you about 40mg more caffeine for around seventy cents.

Of note, a cup of nitro cold brew contains even more caffeine. The reason is simple. Nitro makes the cold brew so cold, no ice is needed. This means more cold brew in the cup.

Caffeine Comparison:

  • Nitro Cold Brew: 280mg
  • Cold Brew: 205mg
  • Iced Coffee: 165mg

8. Go for Light Ice

Sometimes asking for less ice, gets you more caffeine, sometimes it doesn’t. Let me explain.

Simple drinks like iced coffee, cold brew and iced tea, will contain more caffeine if you ask for less ice. Less ice means more caffeinated beverage.

However, this isn’t the case for iced espresso drinks.

For example, if you ask for less ice in an Iced White Chocolate Mocha or an Iced Caramel Macchiato, the caffeine content won’t change a bit. This is because the drink is still made with the same number of shots of espresso. Instead, to fill the cup up, you’ll probably get more milk.

9. Get an Extra Scoop of Matcha

Did you know all Starbucks matcha drinks contain caffeine? Unlike coffee drinkers, however, matcha tea drinkers enjoy the alertness the caffeine brings without a crash afterwards.

So if you’re a fan of Starbucks matcha lattes and want an extra caffeine boost, add in another scoop of matcha powder.

Each scoop contains approximately 27mg of caffeine and there’s is no charge when you add more to a matcha drink. However, it costs about ninety cents per scoop to add to a non-matcha drink.

10. Make it a Dirty Chai Latte

Here’s another caffeine-boosting tip for tea drinkers.

Turn your chai tea latte into a dirty chai tea latte. Simply add a shot of espresso to a chai latte for an additional 75mg of caffeine.

Want to eek out a little more caffeine from a regular chai latte? Just ask for light or no water.

Starbucks baristas make chai lattes by combining chai concentrate, water and milk. If you request light water or no water, you’ll get more chai, more caffeine and a stronger spicy chai flavor.

Caffeine Comparison:

  • Chai Tea Latte: 95mg
  • Dirty Chai Tea Latte: 170mg

More About Starbucks Caffeine Content