September 23, 2021

17 Strongest Starbucks Drinks—(Ranked by the Most Caffeine)

Clint Doerfler
Clint Doerfler
 | 
Updated: August 11, 2022
       
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Strongest drinks at Starbucks - 17 Caffeine Powerhouses
When you’re having a “morning” and need a quick, thorough caffeine fix, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Starbucks. Everybody knows this place is home to some of the best and strongest caffeine drinks on Earth.

However, not all the drinks on the Starbucks menu are created equal.

For the sake of consistency and to keep things simple, I’ve listed the Venti size (591 mL or close to 20 fl. oz.) for every drink listed.

These are the most caffeinated beverages you can order directly from the menu, without customizations (extra shots) or secret menu items.

So if you need that extra boost to get through the day, then stick to the drinks below.

What is the strongest coffee at Starbucks?

The strongest drink at Starbucks is a Venti True North Blonde Roast filter coffee, which contains 475mg of caffeine.

The strongest espresso based drink is an Iced Shaken Espresso (formerly “Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice”) which clocks in at 375mg. This is also the strongest cold drink as well.
True North Blend Blonde Roast - 475mg Caffeine in the Venti
True North Blend Blonde Roast – 475mg Caffeine in the Venti
Just to put that into perspective, the same amount of Red Bull contains roughly 178mg of caffeine, while the same sized Monster Energy drink has around 212mg of caffeine.

The next strongest drinks are the Clover® Brewed Coffee lineup—Dark, Medium, and Light Roast—coming in at 470mg, 445mg, and 425mg respectively.

The Clover branded drinks require a Clover machine and not every Starbucks location has one, so these drinks may not be available in all stores. However, if your local Starbucks has one, try it! There’s a lot of positive buzz surrounding the drinks made with the Clover® Brewing System.

Top 17 Strongest Starbucks Drinks on the Menu — Highest To Lowest Caffeine

Click each name to jump to that section.

1. True North Blend Blonde Roast Coffee - 475mg Caffeine

Snuggled up in a blanket and Keeping warm with a hot True North Blend Blonde Roast from Starbucks
Keeping Warm With a True North Blend Blonde Roast – 475mg Caffeine
Although I referenced the caffeine content directly from Starbucks’ nutritional information (and the True North Blonde topped all the other drinks), there’s still some debate on the internet regarding the notion that this blend contains the most caffeine.

Starbucks employees are reportedly supposed to use a different, and smaller, green scoop to measure out the Blonde Roast beans. With that said, the argument is that the caffeine content pretty much “evens out” when compared to other blends.

Regardless, I have to believe the nutritional information posted by corporate is accurate.

In terms of the taste, it turns out the strongest drink at Starbucks has a very smooth and delicious aftertaste—something I wasn’t expecting considering it’s at the top of the Starbucks caffeine food chain.

This is a beverage that you should consider enjoying black, if you can summon up the courage. But if you’re feeling like you need a little sumpin’ sumpin’, just ask for a little of your favorite syrup and to leave some room for your creamer or milk.

2. Clover Dark—3. Clover Medium—4. Clover Light Roast Brewed Coffee —470mg - 425mg Caffeine

The Clover Brewing System at Starbucks delivers 470mg - 425mg of caffeine from their Dark Roast to their Light Roast
Clover Brewing System at Starbucks—470mg – 425mg Caffeine
Behold the Starbucks Clover Brewing system.

Paired with their rare, small-lot Starbucks Reserve Coffees (available in several roasts), this dedicated, vacuum-press machine drums up some of the highest caffeine content in the beverage industry.

Also, because the Clover brews a single cup of coffee at a time, Baristas can craft some of the most exquisite and unique flavors ever experienced. The Clover offers an unparalleled richness, depth of flavor, and dimension to everything they brew with it—not to mention masses of caffeine!

As mentioned earlier, however, only select Starbucks stores carry this innovative machine. For those who are lucky enough to experience its magic, a Clover brewed coffee can be truly enlightening.

You may also be interested to know how it works.
  • Clover Dark Roast – 470mg
  • Clover Medium Roast – 445mg
  • Clover Light Roast – 425mg

5. Brewed Coffee - (Pike Place Roast) - 410mg Caffeine

Brewed coffee (Pike Place) medium roast
Brewed Coffee Medium Roast (Pike Place) – 410mg Caffeine
When you order a “regular” coffee at Starbucks, you can expect to be served a medium roast coffee by the name of “Pike Place Roast”.

Pike Place Roast, the original Starbucks blend crafted April 8, 2008, promised to re-invent and revitalize coffee as we know it.

At its heart, Pike Place Roast is a filter coffee. It’s great for drip machines and pour over apparatus, but I will attest it also makes one of the best espressos I’ve ever had (when properly ground of course).

With 410mg of caffeine in a Venti, Pike Place Roast offers you the perfect kick-start to a long day.

If you’re looking for a well-rounded, aromatic, plain old cup-o-joe without the fancy stuff, look no further than Pike Place Roast.

6. Iced Shaken Espresso (Formerly “Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice”) - 375mg Caffeine

Perfectly concocted Iced Shaken Espresso (formerly known as the “Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice”)
Iced Shaken Espresso (f.k.a. “Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice”) – 375mg Caffeine
Formerly known as the “Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice”, the Venti-sized “Iced Shaken Espresso” contains five shots of espresso over ice, with a touch of classic syrup and a splash of milk.

Starbucks renamed it because of the confusion the term “Doubleshot” was presenting to the masses—employees included. Some baristas were only putting in two shots of espresso in the Venti size option, when it called for five.

When made properly, it’s a delightful concoction of iced espresso heavenly goodness.

If you need a pick me up, this drink clocks in at a solid 375mg of caffeine. Time to shake things up!

7. Nitro Cold Brew - 354mg Caffeine

You can't really order a Venti size Nitro Cold Brew—only a Tall or a Grande.

But if you could order the Venti, it would contain around 354mg of caffeine, placing it 7th on our list.

This math was done by calculating the caffeine in both the Tall (215mg) and Grande (280mg), averaging it out, then applying it to the capacity of a Venti.

8. Brewed Coffee - Dark Roast - 340mg Caffeine

Dark Roast brewed coffee - 340mg Caffeine
Dark Roast Brewed Coffee – 340mg Caffeine
A cup of drip-brewed, dark roast coffee still packs a good caffeine punch.

If you prefer the consistent taste of a dark roast, Starbucks’ variety of dark roasts (Espresso Roast, Sumatra, Verona, Italian Roast, French Roast) have less caffeine than the Medium and Blonde roasts above, but still deliver on their promise to get you moving.

If you’re looking to enjoy some Starbucks at home, I (and many others) highly recommend starting with the Caffe Verona. It’s a rock solid contender.

9. Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee - 300mg Caffeine

Holding up a cold brew coffee with creamer
Cold Brew – 300mg Caffeine
If you’re not familiar, the cold brewing process differs greatly from conventional methods of brewing coffee.

Instead of brewing with hot water for a couple minutes or less, cold brew is just that, brewed with cold water in a refrigerated environment.

Because of this, it extracts the coffee much differently than traditional hot water brewing, resulting in a smoother, less acidic coffee.

Typically, the coffee grounds in a cold brew method are properly extracted within an 8 to 24-hour period. Starbucks steeps theirs for 20 hours before serving.

A Starby’s Cold Brew puts out 300mg of caffeine in its Venti size cup.

10. Caffè Americano - 300mg Caffeine

Enjoying a Caffe Americano at Starbucks
The Caffè Americano at Starbucks Has 300mg Caffeine
An Americano is simply the combination of espresso shots and water. Because of the espresso, it still has a light layer of crema synonymous with espresso. You can enjoy an Americano hot or on ice.

This style of drink is a great alternative for those who need a kick in the behind, but prefer a smoother and less bold coffee.

A Venti Americano at Starbucks contains 4 shots of espresso and contains 300mg of caffeine.

11. Iced Caffè Americano - 300mg Caffeine

An Iced Americano also has 300mg Caffeine
The Iced Version of the Americano – 300mg Caffeine
The cold version of the Americano, the Iced Caffe Americano, contains four espresso shots, topped with cold water, then served over ice.

This is a great alternative to the traditional Americano when the “sun’s beatin’ down on my baseball hat”.

Sweeten the deal by adding some creamer and your favorite Starbucks syrup or sauce flavor.

The Iced Americano contains 300mg of caffeine.

12. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew - 275mg Caffeine

Creamer swirling through a Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew - Yummy!
Ahhh, the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew! – 275mg Caffeine
More of a dessert coffee kind of person? Well, if you have a bit of a “sweeter” personality, this one is right up your alley.

Starbucks still makes the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew using the cold brewing method, but with a little added extra love.

Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew, a summer-time iced coffee favorite at Starbucks, has everything you crave.

With every sip, you get a delicious taste of Starbucks’ hand-crafted cold brew. Accented with vanilla, it’s served over ice and topped off with vanilla sweet cream or vanilla sweet cream cold foam for a delectable finish.

It’s not just the picture-perfect presentation that makes this drink so appealing either—you can taste the richness of the cream in each coffee-and-ice sip. You might just melt in your chair.

This masterpiece has 275mg of caffeine to mix things up.

13. Iced Caffè Mocha - 265mg Caffeine

If you've hit a brick wall, the Iced Caffè Mocha will get you going again!
Hit a Brick Wall? The Iced Caffè Mocha Will Get You Going Again! – 265mg Caffeine
I can still recall my first Caffè Mocha at a Barnes and Noble. The nostalgia takes me right back to the smell of brand new books and fresh espresso. I go there in my mind whenever and wherever I order a Caffè Mocha.

Starbucks’ Iced Caffè Mocha is no different. It’s simple, yet the rich flavors keep me coming back time and time again.

An inspired blend of Starbucks Espresso Roast coffee, it’s the perfect marriage of three shots of full-bodied espresso, rich, dark chocolate mocha, milk and ice, and sweetened whipped cream. This perfect little slice of heaven packs in 265mg of caffeine.

For a little added pep in your step, ask your barista to throw in another shot of espresso. Now you can finish a few more chapters.

14. Iced Coffee - 235mg - 170mg Caffeine

An Iced Coffee at Starbucks - Cold, delicious, and 235mg Caffeine
Good Ol' Plain Iced Coffee - 235mg Caffeine
I would say “plain old iced coffee”, but this tastes far from it! Starbucks’ Iced Coffee is perfect for those who love their coffee “ice and sweet”.

Choose from two different options: Iced Coffee or Iced Coffee with Milk.

Iced coffee is just that, iced coffee made to order with Starbucks Espresso Roast coffee and ice. This caffeinated pick-me-up has 235mg of caffeine and is perfect for any time of day. Whether it’s your morning commute, lunch break, or the afternoon slump, ride it out “ice” and easy with this smooth, refreshing beverage.

If you’re not a fan of black coffee or you don’t need as much of a lift, go for the Iced Coffee with Milk. This drink is made to accommodate the milk, which depletes the overall caffeine content. The Iced Coffee with Milk has 170mg of caffeine and is a great option for those who enjoy their coffee without all the extra jitters.

15. Iced Caffè Latte - 225mg Caffeine

It won't be full for long! The Iced Caffè Latte packs in 225mg of house-cleaning caffeine!
Need To Clean House? The Iced Caffè Latte Packs in 225mg of “Limitless” Caffeine!
This is the perfectly delicious cooldown for any time of the day. A triple shot of dark, rich espresso combined with 2% milk, this cold caffeine delight is ready to help you get $h!t done!

Drawing nearer to the end of our list, the Iced Caffè Latte comes in at 225mg of caffeine. That’s less than half the caffeine of the True North Blend Blonde Roast that tops our list, yet satisfying enough for those looking for a milder energy boost.

16. Iced Caramel Macchiato - 225mg Caffeine

The Iced Caramel Macchiato has more shots than its hotter brother, the standard Caramel Macchiato.
The Iced Caramel Macchiato Has One Shot More Than Its Hot Brother, the Standard Caramel Macchiato.
Because it’s made with 3 shots of espresso instead of 2, the iced version of the Caramel Macchiato is stronger than its brother, the standard Caramel Macchiato, which is served hot.

I’m not exactly sure why this is. Perhaps the extra shot compensates for the melting ice? This way, you don’t get a watered-down, weak tasting coffee.

At any rate, the Iced Caramel Macchiato has 225mg of caffeine, whereas the standard Caramel Macchiato only has 150mg. The more you know.

17. Espresso (Triple Shot) - 225mg Caffeine

Need me a triple shot of that stuff! Triple shot espresso - 225mg Caffeine
♪ Need Me a Triple Shot of That Stuff! ♫ Espresso Triple Shot – 225mg Caffeine
Last, but not least (in caffeine), is the Espresso Triple Shot.

Served in its purest form, the Triple Shot of Espresso comes with no milk or sugar. It’s simply a high concentration of Espresso Roast coffee, extracted under high pressure, with a natural crema floating on top.

Espresso, if you don’t already know, is one of the most potent forms of coffee you can drink (ounce for ounce anyhow). Each standard (regular) shot contains around 75mg of caffeine.

So, when you down 3 shots in a standard Espresso Triple Shot, that’s 225mg of caffeine. Wakey-wakey!

How To Make Your Coffee Stronger at Starbucks

“Another shot, bartender...errr....barista!”

For a little added kick, just ask your barista for an extra shot or two of espresso. This is the easiest way to “next-level” your coffee.

Be careful not to go too overboard with it, though. You don’t want your drink to be too bitter or overpowering. This works well for all espresso-based drinks, and even regular drip coffee—a perfect segue into…

I Spy With My Little Red Eye...Coffee

Simply put, a red eye is a regular brewed coffee with a shot of espresso on top.

It’s easy to make at home if you have an espresso machine, and even easier to order at Starbucks. However, because most specialty coffee shops pull two shots at a time, you’ll usually end up with two shots added to your coffee.

If you added two shots of espresso to a Venti True Blonde, you would have a drink that tops out at 625mg of caffeine. That’ll do, Donkey. That’ll do.

Steer Clear of the Frappuccino, Dear.

Don’t confuse caffeine with sugar. Sugar will make you crash, and a sugar-high is not what we’re looking for here.
Not the Caffeine You're Looking For
Some Frappuccinos at Starbucks contain enough sugar to throw an elephant into a diabetic fit. That said, they also contain very little caffeine. So, instead of waking you up, you’ll be hibernating like a bear when that sugar-high wears off.

“...by a Long Shot”

Lungo (Italian for “long”), as the name implies, is a long espresso shot. A long shot takes longer to extract and uses more water (by 2x the time and water).

A normal shot of espresso is ideally extracted between 26 and 32 seconds, whereas a long shot can vary upwards to a minute.

This extracts the coffee to the fullest degree and also extracts the maximum amount of caffeine possible. This will effectively result in a milder tasting shot of espresso if experienced on its own.

Stronger Than All

Starbucks offers a wide variety of drinks, many of which are high in caffeine. Whether you’re looking for the strongest Starbucks drink with espresso in it or just need something to get you through that mid-afternoon slump, there’s something for everyone.

Hypocritical Disclaimer: We also recommend keeping caffeine consumption to a moderate level. The recommended amount of caffeine per day is 400 milligrams, so one cup of coffee should be plenty. Blah, blah.

Happy Tweaking!
Clint Doerfler
Clint Doerfler is the founder of Coffee Gear Gurus® and has been obsessed with everything coffee since a very young “growth-stunting” age. He is passionate about helping fellow coffee lovers make amazing coffee at home, no matter what their level of experience.
Featured Image Starbucks Photo by Khadeeja Yasser 

Frequently Caffeinated. Questions?

What's the Best Caffeine Drink at Starbucks?

Best caffeinated drink at Starbucks, depending on your taste:
  • Sweet tooth = Iced White Chocolate Mocha w/ whipped cream—225 mg caffeine, 80 g sugar
  • Normal brewed coffee = True North Blend Blonde Roast—475 mg caffeine
  • Icy but deadly = Iced Shaken Espresso—375 mg caffeine
  • Tasty hot classic = Caffè Mocha—185 mg caffeine

What Is the Strongest Starbucks Iced Coffee?

The strongest iced coffee (and strongest cold drink) at Starbucks is the “Iced Shaken Espresso”, formerly known as the “Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice”.

It contains four shots of espresso in the Venti (which used to be five shots), for 300mg of caffeine total.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of indulging in this drink, it’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up on a sweltering day.

What Is the Strongest Espresso at Starbucks?

The strongest espresso-based drink at Starbucks is only the 6th strongest on our list. The “Iced Shaken Espresso” contains four shots of espresso in the Venti and delivers 300mg of caffeine.

As mentioned above, this is trumped by the “regular” brewed drip coffees available at Starbucks, such as the True North Blend Blonde Roast, which contains an eye-opening 475mg of caffeine.

Which Starbucks Refresher Has the Most Caffeine?

All the Starbucks Refreshers have the same amount of caffeine at 70-85mg for the Venti size. Of course, if you want to go for max caff, then opt for the Trenta size, which will put you between 90-110mg of caffeine.

What Starbucks drinks have no caffeine?

Many of Starbucks’ drinks are caffeine-free and delicious, such as many of their hot and cold teas, Crème-based drinks, hot chocolates, & lemonades.

Here’s a nice little compilation of non-caffeinated drinks at Starbucks.

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?

The amount of caffeine in an espresso versus a regular coffee is mostly determined by how much of each you consume. The amount of caffeine in espresso is about 63 – 75 mg per 1 ounce, whereas regular coffee has 12 – 16 mg per ounce on average.

So yes, ounce for ounce, espresso has more caffeine.

However, it’s unlikely you’re going to drink 12 ounces of espresso (12 shots! 🤮) or just 1 ounce of regular coffee. In addition, the type of coffee bean, roast level, and how you measure your coffee (weight vs volume) can significantly change the caffeine output in either scenario.

Nonetheless, some people still maintain the belief that espresso has a greater amount of caffeine than regular coffee. We might attribute this to the strength in which it’s brewed (1:2 ratio) and other influential factors.

Let’s consider an espresso-based beverage, such as a latte or cappuccino, which mostly comprises milk, water, and/or syrups (which don’t add caffeine).

Is it possible the reason so many coffee drinkers think espresso has more caffeine than coffee is because they’re getting a sugar-high and not a caffeine buzz?

What’s Are the Strongest Starbucks Drinks to Wake You Up the Quickest?

If you need to wake up pronto, an espresso (or four) from Starbucks are your golden ticket. It’s a quick hit of caffeine that will get you where you need to go quicker than slowly sipping on a regular joe.

On the show, “The First 48”, you’ll notice that one of the first things homicide detectives do when they “get the call” at 3 o’clock in the morning is grab an espresso or two on the street.

What Is the Best Starbucks Drink To Keep You Awake?

To keep you awake, go for a regular brewed coffee like the True North Blend Blonde Roast or Clover Brewed coffees. Add sugar, cream, and other flavors to it as you desire, but be careful of the impending sugar crash.

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