Everyone loves achieving that much-needed caffeine buzz, and few places are more convenient for it than the worldwide chain, Starbucks! However, if you’re as passionate about coffee as I am, you may find yourself wondering: which is the most caffeinated Starbucks drink?

The most caffeinated Starbucks drink is a hot Blonde Roast, usually a Veranda blend, which has 475 milligrams of caffeine. The runner-up is a hot Pike Place roast at 410 milligrams, followed by Nitro Cold Brew. The Nitro ups the 360 milligrams of caffeine that a normal Cold Brew has by increasing the coffee-to-water ratio in the drink.

There’s more to Starbucks’ most caffeinated beverages than coffee and cold brew, though! In this article, we’ll not only provide you with a little information on how caffeine works but a list of the Top 10 Most Caffeinated Starbucks Drinks!

Top 10 Most Caffeinated Starbucks Drinks

The most caffeinated drinks in Starbucks are measured by how many milligrams of coffee the beverage has. This list won’t measure each beverage by the strength of flavor, but by how much of a caffeine buzz your body can get by drinking each! The list is found below:

  1. Venti Veranda Roast
  2. Nitro Cold Brew
  3. Regular Starbucks Cold Brew
  4. Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso
  5. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
  6. Café Americano
  7. Quad Espresso
  8. Starbucks Iced Coffee
  9. Café Mocha
  10. Caramel Macchiato

Let’s take a closer look at each of the drinks on this list and what helps them pack such a caffeinated punch!

1.   Venti Veranda Roast

With all of the highly-advertised drink recipes and sometimes complex names, it can be startling to learn that the most caffeinated beverage Starbucks serves is actually just plain drip coffee!

Though espresso technically has more milligrams of caffeine per ounce when compared to regular coffee, there simply aren’t very many ounces of espresso in any Starbucks recipe. By contrast, a venti, hot Starbucks coffee is twenty-six ounces. At around 16 milligrams of caffeine in every ounce, a Venti Blonde roast from Starbucks can have up to 475 milligrams altogether!

You may be wondering: why blonde, in particular? A blonde coffee roast like Starbucks’ Veranda recipe may have fewer oxidants and less of a “coffee” flavor than a regular roast, but it is more caffeinated.

In fact, blonde coffee beans roasted at Starbucks, as well as blonde espresso beans, are roasted at slightly cooler temperatures than regular beans. In addition, they aren’t roasted for quite as long. All of this combines to make blonde coffee like the Veranda Roast more caffeinated by around 65 milligrams!

Pike Place Roast

If you find yourself missing the less-smooth, more prominently flavored regular coffee when drinking Veranda, you can choose to drink Pike Place, instead. The Pike is Starbucks’ original, time-tested coffee brew, and it is only slightly less caffeinated than the Blonde.

At 410 milligrams of caffeine, the classic Pike Place is a great, simple coffee roast to try without losing the buzz of energy! If either Veranda or Pike turns out to be too strong in bitterness for you, don’t worry: Starbucks offers a variety of flavors, from Vanilla to Cinnamon Dolce, to sweeten the coffee with! Don’t forget cream, which can take the edge off of the flavor.

2.   Nitro Cold Brew

Second on our list is technically the Nitro Cold Brew! The reason it makes 2nd place on a technicality lies in Starbucks’ “Grande-only” size policy.

You see, Starbucks’ Cold Brew recipe includes a whopping 360 milligrams of caffeine, but only when it is ordered in the large or “Venti” size. The Nitro recipe, which adds nitrogen gas to the beverage recipe, cannot be sold in a Venti size. So instead of getting a 26-ounce Venti of the caffeinated liquid, customers are limited to enjoying a 16-ounce Grande of the Nitro.

Still, if 16 ounces of the regular Cold Brew were compared with 16 ounces of the Nitro version, it is the nitrogen-infused drink that would have the most caffeine! The reason for this difference? To answer simply: one gets more ice than the other!

 A Nitro Cold Brew from Starbucks is designed to be smooth and dark in flavor. The nitrogen gas brings that flavor out more prominently, and turns the already-smooth Cold Brew into an aerated, cascading hit! To preserve the cool-looking way the aerated foam at the top of the drink “cascades” down, Starbucks baristas do not include any ice in the beverage.

This means that although both Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew are made from the same caffeine base, the Grande Nitro will always have more caffeine than a Grande recipe of regular Cold Brew.

Altogether, Nitro Cold Brew has 280 milligrams of caffeine when ordered in it’s natural, Grande size.

3.   Regular Starbucks Cold Brew

Speaking of the regular Starbucks Cold Brew, it’s because of the size variance alone that it came in third place under Nitro Cold Brew as far as caffeine content goes! When ordered in it’s largest size, the 26-ounce Venti, the Starbucks Cold Brew has 360 milligrams of caffeine.

One of the advantages to drinking Cold Brew instead of Iced Coffee, besides the higher amount of caffeine, is the flavor. If you’re not a fan of the bitterness most coffee drinks have to offer, the Cold Brew might be for you! Noted for it’s “smooth” flavor, Cold Brew from Starbucks usually has fruity notes and can be augmented by vanilla or popular flavored foam toppings!

4.   Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso

Finally, Espresso makes an appearance on our list of Caffeinated Drinks! As stated above, the reason espresso is not more caffeinated than regular coffee or even cold brew lies in the size of the beverage. Simply put, espresso just isn’t consumed in large quantities!

A typical Starbucks drink, like the Café Lattes and Café Mochas, only get 3 shots of Starbucks espresso; and only if ordered in the largest sizes! This only takes up around 3 fluid ounces of the 26-ounce beverage.

The caffeine levels can be increased by switching to Blonde Espresso, which is more caffeinated, but the fact is, there just isn’t much espresso content in any of Starbucks’ drinks. None, that is, except the Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso!

The Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso is not only a complicated drink to say, but a complicated drink to make, too.

Instead of the common 3 shots of espresso in other Starbucks crafted beverages, the Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso gets 4 when ordered as a Venti! Not only that, but these shots are the blonde variety. This means that the Brown Sugar drink gets as much as 360 milligrams of caffeine, altogether!

5.   Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Though far removed from it’s other Cold Brew brothers at 5th place on the list, the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew is still a highly caffeinated, sweet beverage in the Starbucks lineup!

When ordered in a Venti size, the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew is made up of four pumps of Vanilla syrup, Starbucks Cold Brew, and topped with the sugary Vanilla Sweet Cream mixture.

It tastes very similar to pouring nice, smooth Cold Brew over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, without losing the benefits of 320 milligrams of caffeine when ordered in a Venti!

6.   Café Americano

The Café Americano is not for the faint of heart, and is often offered by Starbucks baristas as a more robustly-flavored alternative to regular coffee. Simple to make, the Café Americano is mostly water with several espresso shots added to it.

In the largest size, which is technically the Venti iced version, a Café Americano has 4 shots of regular espresso and contains around 300 milligrams of caffeine. Just like regular coffee, the sharp tang of the espresso can be dulled or added to by one of Starbucks’ sweet syrups or cream.

7.   Quad Espresso

If you are looking to have all the robustness of espresso flavor and caffeine with none of the water, ice, or milk products cutting it, order a Quad espresso! This is the fanciest way to say 4 shots of Espresso, poured directly into a Starbucks cup with no additional ingredients.

This amounts to 300 milligrams of caffeine, just like a Venti Americano, so all you’re really paying for is the purity of the espresso taste!

8.   Starbucks Iced Coffee

Starbucks Iced Coffee is very similar in appearance, structure, and size options to Starbucks Cold Brew, with two notable exceptions. These are caffeine content and flavor! Starbucks Iced Coffee only has 280 milligrams of caffeine, and only that much if ordered in the whopping 30-ounce Trenta size!

The caffeine is usually diluted by the ice component of the drink, and is not as smooth as Cold Brew in taste.

9.   Café Mocha

The Café Mocha is an incredibly popular drink among Starbucks customers, though it is not one of the more caffeinated on this list. If selected in the largest size, an Iced Venti, a Café Mocha receives 3 shots of regular Espresso, making it a 265ml-of-caffeine beverage. If, on the other hand, you prefer it hot, the largest Mocha will only receive 2 shots of regular espresso.

A Café Mocha from Starbucks is very similar to hot chocolate, being composed of chocolate sauce and milk with the added features of espresso and whipped cream. Sweet, but cozy, the Iced Mocha is a decadent choice!

10.   Caramel Macchiato

Speaking of decadent, the last drink on our list is the famous Caramel Macchiato. A favorite among any Starbucks regular, the Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato is the most caffeinated way to order this beverage, coming in at 225 milligrams of caffeine!

This drink is famous for it’s pretty appearance. Instead of adding espresso shots at the bottom of the recipe, a Caramel Macchiato is what’s known as a “layered” drink. It involves vanilla syrup on the bottom, milk, and finally, a topping of Espresso and caramel drizzle that sit and trickle down from the highest point of the drink.

If you find yourself wishing this drink were less nice to look at but a little sweeter at first-sip, request to have it made “upside down.” This is a cool way of telling the Starbucks Baristas that you prefer the ingredients of the drink mixed together instead of layered!

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the most caffeinated Starbucks Drinks are actually plain old coffee, with Blond Roasts being more caffeinated than regular roasts. Closely following these are Starbucks’ Cold Brew beverages. To get the most caffeine in any Starbucks drink, order the largest size of your favorite recipe and remember that iced drinks usually get more espresso than hot ones!