The 5 Best Coffee Shop Orders for Non-Coffee Drinkers

I have always wanted to be a coffee-drinker, but have never gotten past the taste. Contrary to the warm, rich aroma of roasting beans, actually drinking coffee can be a bitter, acidic experience. For a long time, I chose to bypass caffeine altogether in favor of smoothies and muffins, but am now exploring more options, partly out of necessity. As a college student, I have discovered the power of caffeine for early morning classes and late night studying. Having a good drink on hand even helps me to focus during coffee shop schoolwork sessions. 


Listed below are some of my favorite drinks I have tried so far. You can get these at most places or even make them yourself! Although many recipes may seem complicated, simple ones can be found, making the process both enjoyable and cost effective on a college budget.

  1. 1. Matcha Green Tea Latte

    dark cafe desk with phone, matcha latte, and book.

    In my opinion, matcha green tea lattes deserve way more attention. These lattes taste amazing, and are good for you too. They can be made iced or hot and are typically made of milk, matcha powder and sweetener. I usually use oat milk and a small amount of sugar. Matcha tea is high in antioxidants and can boost brain function, improve complexion and safeguard heart health, among other benefits. Plus, I always feel sophisticated when I order matcha lattes.

  2. 2. Pumpkin Spice Latte

    Pumpkin spice lattes are in many ways the quintessential fall drink. The combination of pumpkin, cinnamon,and whipped cream pairs perfectly with the shifting weather and beautiful fall colors. Every year, pumpkin spice lattes come back into style along with activities like going apple picking and carving pumpkins for Halloween. Although coffee shop chains like Starbucks dominate this drink, you can also make it at home with milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and coffee.

  3. 3. Hot Chocolate

    Hot Chocolate in Mug on a wooden table surrounded by leaves

    For me, hot chocolate evokes cozy memories of sitting by the fireplace and watching the falling snow. Hot chocolate is a perfect treat for chilly days and is one of the most inexpensive drinks to make. Whether you buy it, make it from a mix or make it from scratch, hot chocolate is delicious. Adding marshmallows and whipped cream makes it even better.

  4. 4. Chai Tea Latte


    Drinking chai tea lattes is an easy way to get the benefits of caffeine without the taste of coffee. Chai tea can also support your immune system, protect overall cell health and alleviate nausea. Chai has a flavor composed of many spices and has an overall smooth taste. Adding milk to chai tones down the spices and enhances the flavor of the combination. Chai tea lattes can be made with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, vanilla, milk and brown sugar.

  5. 5. Frappuccinos

    Frappuccinos have been my go to Starbucks order since forever. True, it's more of an ice cream drink than anything, but it still kind of counts as coffee. Frappuccinos can be either caffeinated or non-caffeinated. The basis of a frappuccino is made with ice, milk, espresso and sweetener. From this base, all different types of toppings can be added, so feel free to get creative! Honestly, even though this may not be the healthiest way to drink coffee, it is one of the ways that tastes the best.

After reading this article, I hope you have a few new ideas for your next coffee shop order! Exploring new types of coffee-ish drinks is a super fun way to try something new. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and being adventurous always has benefits, even if it's just going to a different coffee shop. For me, finding new drinks has been an enjoyable way to explore my new home in Madison, WI.