Starbucks has a massive menu, and their online “secret menu” has even more drinks than are offered in store. Do you want to order your Starbucks like a pro? Do you want to try out new drinks?

An upside down drink at Starbucks is when the milk, syrup, and/or foam of a drink is layered in a different position than usual. An upside down espresso will have the foam at the bottom of the drink, below the expresso, instead of at the top. 

Caffeine content levels differ from drink to drink, and there is special lingo that every Starbucks goer must know. From ristretto to flat whites to macchiatos and lattes, this article will help you find the right specialty Starbucks drink for you.

What does upside down shot mean?

An upside down shot means that the espresso in a latte is added last, instead of first. Typically, the espresso is poured first into the cup, making it sit at the bottom. In an upside down shot, the milk is poured first and then the coffee and foam are layered on top.

In an Espresso Macchiato, traditionally, there are two shots of espresso and then a dollop of foam on top. If you were to order an Upside Down Espresso Macchiato, the foam would be beneath the espresso, rather than on top.

One of the more popular drinks, Iced Caramel Macchiatos, are usually made by first layering the syrup, then milk, then ice, and finally two shots of espresso. An Upside Down Caramel Macchiato is made in reverse, with the expresso at the bottom of the cup.

What are two shots of espresso called at Starbucks?

If you want to order your Starbucks like a pro, you can call your two shots of espresso a “Doppio”, which means “double” in Italian. Some baristas may not be familiar with this term, so you may be better off just using the phrase “double shot”.

In most coffee shops, two shots of espresso are the regular amount included in standard drinks. If you want three shots you can say “triple” and for four shots you’ll want to use the word “quad”.

What does ristretto mean at Starbucks?

The word “Ristretto” at Starbucks means that the espresso short is short, also known as restricted. To make a ristretto shot, the barista will use less hot water than in a regular espresso shot. The same grounds are used, but the amount of time that the barista spends pouring the hot water over the espresso will be shorter.

Ristretto shots at Starbucks are smaller, more concentrated espresso shots. They are about 15-20 mL of espresso, rather than the 25-35 mL found in traditional espresso. For this reason, they are more concentrated.

What’s a ristretto Starbucks?

Different flavor profiles of espresso develop depending on how much hot water is used. At the beginning of the pour, the espresso is more sweet, acidic, and rich. At the end of the pour, the espresso can develop a more bitter and diluted taste.

Since the ristretto shot only contains the beginning of the espresso pour, the flavor profile is sweeter and richer than a typical espresso shot. Due to this, the ristretto has a distinct lack of bitterness. This does not mean, however, that it has more caffeine, since the drink portion size is smaller.

However, if you were to drink the same amount of ristretto and espresso, the ristretto would have a higher amount of caffeine. Ristretto shots are included in Flat Whites, but they can be added as a substitute instead of espresso in many drinks.

Starbucks recommends that you try adding ristretto shots in any of your espresso based beverages for a fully customized experience. Ristretto shots can be substituted, for an extra fee, into drinks like Caramel Macchiatos, Eggnog Lattes, Starbucks Doubleshots on ice, or Americanos.

What is an upside down Starbucks drink?

An upside down Starbucks drink is a drink that is made in the opposite order than originally intended. Some Starbucks baristas may be unhappy when you order this type of drink because they can be difficult to prepare and you may end up just ordering another style of drink.

Upside down drinks may cost extra depending on the location. Typically, however, since the same ingredients are used, the price will remain the same. If you request your Starbucks drink upside down, you should be sure to tip your barista for their extra work.

Starbucks drinks may be layered, or they may be stirred. Stirred means that the ingredients of the drink would be prepared as usual, but then blended together. If you were to order an iced macchiato, this would mean that the distinct layers of milk would be mixed together.

What is an upside down flat white?

An upside down flat white is a flat white made in reverse. Typically a flat white starts with two ristretto espresso shots and then steamed milk and microfoam are layered on top. For an upside down flat white, the ristretto shots are pulled over the steamed whole milk and foam.

The process of creating an upside down flat white is about the same as creating a latte macchiato. However, flat whites contain ristretto shots and a bit less foam. Since latte macchiatos at Starbucks are seasonal and only available for a limited time, an upside down Flat White can be a good alternative.

Is a macchiato just an upside down latte?

In general, yes, a macchiato is just an upside down latte. The word “macchiato” means marked or stained. This relates to the fact that the espresso is poured over the frothed milk, creating a “mark” where the coffee goes through the white milk.

Depending on your store location, it may be cheaper to order an upside down Caramel Macchiato than a Vanilla Latte with added caramel drizzle, even though they are essentially the same thing.

What is the strongest caffeinated drink at Starbucks?

If you want the strongest caffeinated drink at Starbucks, you should order a Venti True North Blonde Roast filter coffee, which comes in at a whopping 475 mg of caffeine.

What is an extra shot of espresso at Starbucks?

An extra shot of espresso costs 60 cents and is an additional shot in your coffee. If you were ordering a tall drink, it traditionally will come with one shot. For a grande, it will come with two. For a venti, your drink will come with three shorts.

Ordering an extra shot of espresso will add additional caffeine to your drink and it can make your drink taste more bitter and stronger than usual. To combat this change of taste, you can add additional milk or sweetener. If you are looking to get extra energy for the day, an extra shot of espresso is the way to go.

What Starbucks drink has 5 shots of espresso?

A venti Double Shot on ice has 5 shots of espresso. Five shots of espresso begins to approach the 400 mg daily limit that the EFSA recommends people stay below, so definitely do not have any other additional caffeine that day.

What drink gives you the most energy at Starbucks?

The drink at Starbucks that will give you the most energy is the venti Double Shot on ice, coming in at 375 mg of caffeine.

What is the strongest shot of espresso at Starbucks?

The Blonde Roast Starbucks espresso shot has 10 more mg of caffeine than the traditional blend espresso shot, making it the strongest shot of espresso at Starbucks.


Upside down Starbucks drinks are drinks that are made in reverse order.  You can customize your Starbucks drinks’ taste and caffeine content by altering the type of espresso, choosing ristretto rather than espresso, and adding extra shots of espresso.