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Ranking Popular Starbucks Drinks Based on How Fun They Were for Me to Make

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

This summer, I worked as a barista at Starbucks. Was that the greatest idea for a summer job that I ever had? No, but I walked away knowing how to make most Starbucks drinks and will forever be able to tell if my drink was made incorrectly. While I could rank these drinks based on their taste, it is more fun to talk about how fun they were to make. 

*These rankings are solely based on how these drinks were ordered at the store where I worked.*

1. Iced Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso

This was probably one of the drinks I made the most over the summer, but that isn’t bad. Shaken espressos are the most fun to make, especially when you make them with blonde espresso. The already pretty-looking blonde espresso gets a more aerated look (yes, blonde espresso is the most pretty-looking espresso). The brown sugar syrup and the cinnamon powder smell are to die for. After everything is shaken, pour the espresso mixture into a cup and top it off with oat milk. There was something about the drink’s look after oat milk was added. The only problem with this drink was it was often one that, while I was shaking it, I would spill it all over myself and the floor. 

2. Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers & Dragon Drink

These 3 drinks were close seconds to being the most fun to make. What makes these

drinks, one of the most fun to make is that they color change when the dragon fruit inclusions are added. It goes from a clear drink, or a whitish one in the case of the Dragon Drink, to the pretty purple color everyone knows and loves. Shaker drinks, like the iced brown sugar shaken espressos, are always fun to make, and the shakers can help get some anger out. Finally, this is one of the only drinks that didn’t get majorly modified, making my life a little easier. 

3. Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade

While this drink was pretty simple, something about it made me like to make it. It smells really good, almost sweet, and like tea, but not too much of either smell. This drink required a shaker (no wonder it’s so high up on the list). The drink’s color wasn’t overwhelmingly pretty, but the warm pinkish-yellow made it look forever refreshing and like the best drink for summer. The only downside was that my store was often out of peach juice, so I didn’t get to make it often. 

4. Medicine Ball

Again, while not complex, it was one of my favorites to make, mainly because

it had much more going on than the other hot teas at Starbucks. It required honey, 2 types of tea, and steamed lemonade to top it off. The steamed lemonade was my favorite part of the drink. It wasn’t nearly as complicated as steaming milk (it’s harder than it looks), it smells good, and it looks interesting after it’s steamed (picture bubbly lemonade that isn’t fizzy). This drink was generally made the same across all sizes, which helped me remember how to make it. The downsides to making a medicine ball were that tea bags are sometimes annoying to deal with when there is a rush, and it takes a little bit longer than the other drinks because there are more interesting components put together. 

5. Iced Caramel Macchiato

This one is different from most other espresso bar drinks because of the order in which you put the ingredients into a cup (this kept it interesting). One of my favorite parts of the drink was being able to prepare different parts of the drink while the shots were pulled (a time saver when in a rush). The smell of the vanilla syrup in the milk was amazing. It’s a little bit of a quirky drink because you add the ice before the shots. However, once put together, it looks like the perfect drink. The problem with this drink being so different from the other espresso drinks is that it was harder to measure the amount of milk and ice to put in the cup (and it’s a pain to fix if you underfill the cup). 

6. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

This drink was not the most fun to make, but not the worst either. There wasn’t too much I physically had to do (which is nice after a big rush of orders). The addition of the sweet cream is what makes it a little bit more fun to make. It makes the drink look more interesting with the wisps of cream throughout. Despite not being terribly interesting to make, it was probably one of the easiest drinks to measure out. However, its inconvenience came in because the cold brew taps were far from everything else in the store that I worked at. 

7. Iced Matcha

Despite being a fan favorite, the iced matcha was one of the most annoying to make. It had a fun color change after it was shaken together, and it is a shaker drink, but it had so many annoying parts of making it. The matcha powder gets everywhere (when dry and wet), and it was not my favorite to clean up. It was a relatively hard drink to measure out because it gets foamy when shaken and then deflates (makes the drink look underfilled when it had been, in fact, overfilled previously). Overall, it is one of my least favorite drinks to make. 

8. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino

This drink was by far my least favorite to make. I used various caramel sauces when making it, but that was by far the most fun part of the drink. The cup was decorated, which is different from most other frappuccinos, so it set itself apart from them in that respect. However, the drink would get everywhere when pouring it into the cup and then when trying to put on a dome lid after putting whipped cream on. Additionally, I wasn’t a fan of the drizzle and caramel crunch pieces on top because it forced me to put whipped cream on the drink before placing the lid on (it deforms the cup a little because whipped cream expands). This was my most dreaded beverage to make. 

Sarah McAuliffe

Holy Cross '27

Sarah is a freshman at Holy Cross from Mountain Lakes, NJ. She enjoys going to the beach, going to cute coffee shops, listening to music and hanging out with friends.