The Best Starbucks Drinks for Non-Coffee Drinkers

A classic staple across the world, but especially on college campuses, is coffee. You can’t go anywhere on a college campus without seeing at least 10 people carrying around a cup of coffee, and even that seems like an understatement. It’s the classic trope that college students have a coffee addiction—they all have to have at least one cup a day in order to function—and it seems that this stereotype has become a universal truth. 

But, what do you do when you don’t drink coffee? Although it may seem unlikely, there is a small population of students that don’t drink coffee, for whatever reason they may have. Don’t worry guys, I see you, and I’m here to help you navigate the deceivingly simple, yet vast menu at Starbucks. 

Although I am an avid coffee drinker, I wasn’t always. In fact, I thought I hated coffee until about a year and a half ago. Through a number of trials and errors, I finally found a coffee drink that I liked, and branched out from there. But, if you want to avoid the caffeinated brew, then here is a list of the Best Non-Coffee Drinks at Starbucks (as determined by me and a number of my peers). 


Matcha Green Tea Latte (Hot or Iced)*

Similar to coffee, matcha is an acquired taste, but don’t be so quick to knock this drink. A blend of matcha powder and milk, this sweet drink is a great pick me up. 

Author’s Recommendation: Try a “[size] iced matcha green tea latte, add [number] pumps of chai syrup and vanilla sweet cream cold foam.” If you don’t like a strong matcha flavor, I would add 3-4 pumps of chai, depending on the size you order. If you like matcha, add 1-2, or skip this step entirely! Be aware, this drink is quite sweet and very addicting!


Chai Tea Latte (Hot or Iced)*

Hot or iced, this drink feels like fall to me. A mixture of spices, black tea and steamed milk, a chai tea latte is the perfect balance between spicy and sweet. Sorry to my Pumpkin Spice Latte lovers, this is the real fall staple drink, and it’s available all year long.

Author’s Recommendation: Like they always say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” I’m sure there are variations of this drink out there that are mind-blowingly amazing, but I stick with the classic “[size, hot/iced] chai tea latte.” You just can’t go wrong here. 


Any of the Refreshers and their Variations*

My go-to summer pick me up, these drinks are delightfully refreshing and offer a variety of flavors to choose from. You can get them with lemonade or coconut milk (modeled after the infamous "Pink Drink"). these drinks are a great choice when you want something sweet and fruity. 

Author’s Recommendation: One of my friends got me hooked on these when he ordered me a “[size] strawberry açaí refresher with lemonade,” and now, I get it all the time in the summer. 


Any of the Teas (Hot or Iced)*

I’m not a big tea drinker, but I’ve heard amazing things about Starbucks' teas. You can get them hot or try them iced and blended with lemonade, either way is sure to satisfy your need. Starbucks offers a variety of blends, so you’re sure to find one that you’ll love. 

Author’s Recommendation: I’ve heard great things about their “[size] iced passion tango tea with lemonade” and the “[size] peach tranquility tea,” both of which are caffeine free!


Crème Frappuccinos 

The classic Starbucks drink, the one that got middle schoolers everywhere hooked on the brand. I’ll admit, I have not had a Frappuccino in years, but developed a serious craving for one while looking at the menu. Sometimes you just need a sugar rush to pick you up and these are the perfect drinks for that. Be aware, some of their Frappuccinos do contain coffee, but all of their crème based Fraps are coffee free! Just make sure to take a look at the menu beforehand, or even ask the barista while ordering. 

Author’s Recommendation: When I was younger, my go to was a “[size] double chocolaty chip crème Frappuccino*”, but I think my new favorite would have to be a “[size] caramel ribbon crunch crème Frappuccino.” Try them both, and see which is your favorite!


And of course, if none of these drinks are calling your name and beckoning you to try them, you can always stick with the classic Hot Chocolate. It’s a classic for a reason. 


So, go forth, my friends and master the Starbucks menu with the precision and skill of a regular coffee addict. 


*These items contain caffeine. Check the menu for more in-depth descriptions regarding amounts.