There are two types of girls in this world: the ones who enjoy an iced Starbucks coffee while basking in the warmer weather, wearing a beautiful sundress, and the ones who drink Dunkin’.
All joking aside, no matter what your coffee preference is, it’s likely that even if you’re a Dunkin’ girlie, you’re intrigued by the new Starbucks creations from time to time. Although I try my best to make coffee from home most days, when I’m out and about on the weekends, I can’t help but take a detour through the Starbucks drive thru and indulge in a decadent and energizing treat. There’s just something about ordering an overpriced iced latte and wandering aimlessly through Target for hours just to fill your cart with things you don’t need. In my eyes, that’s considered self-care.
In any case, I thought it would be a fun little experiment to taste five of the most popular Starbucks iced coffees and find out which ones were worth ordering and which were worthy of dumping straight into the trash. I assembled an expert tasting team (a.k.a. my sisters, parents, and grandparents) to find out how these iconic coffee orders ranked. For simplicity’s sake, I ordered all of these iced coffees with oat milk to give them an even playing field.
Without further ado, here they are – from worst to best.
Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte
190 calories, 28g sugar, 4g fat
If you’re searching for an incredibly sweet and creamy milkshake, this “iced coffee” (if you can even call it that) is for you. If you close your eyes, you could easily convince yourself that you’re drinking a melted vanilla bean milkshake. Naturally, my little sister loved this one and claimed that it was her favorite. Who can blame her though? My go-to at her age was the vanilla bean frappuccino, and this is essentially the iced coffee version of that.
However, the rest of us were not a fan of this overly sweet, nearly white-colored drink filled with 28 grams of sugar. If you’re used to drinking black or unsweetened coffee, you’ll find that this one just takes things a tad too far.
Iced Honey Almondmilk Flat White
140 calories, 22g sugar, 3.5g fat
If you like the taste of honey, this one’s right up your alley. My grandma said this coffee was her favorite, and it’s usually her go-to when ordering. It’s not overly sweet, it has a subtle nutty flavor, and you can tell that the honey they use is real, but with that being said, it just doesn’t do much for me. If I’m going to treat myself to an overpriced coffee with 22 grams of sugar, it has gotta have some oomph.
Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
140 calories, 11g sugar, 4.5g fat
Nice try, Starbucks, but you can’t recreate the fan-favorite with a slight twist. This tastes similar to the brown sugar oatmilk shaken espresso we know and love, but there’s just something missing (ahem, the brown sugar flavor). While this caramelized vanilla version tastes watered down and less flavorful, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t still drink it if my other two favorites were sold out.
Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte
300 calories, 35g sugar, 13g fat
Ready to spice things up? Try this iced cinnamon dolce latte for a flavorful twist on your usual iced coffee. While I’m not quite as obsessed with this one as I am with the brown sugar flavor, I can’t say that I wouldn’t suck it down just as quickly. The cinnamon cuts through the sugar and provides you with just enough flavor that makes it so you finish your coffee craving more.
We opted to forego the cinnamon dolce sprinkles and whipped cream which, to be honest, could potentially bring it to the number one spot knocking the brown sugar oatmilk shaken espresso down a notch, but I guess we’ll never know. Noticeably, with the highest amount of calories, sugar, and fat out of all five though, I’m not sure I want to find out.
Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
120 calories, 13g sugar, 3g fat
Notably the best out of the five iced coffees (and the lowest in calories and fat), Starbucks’ iconic brown sugar oatmilk shaken espresso tastes like a cinnamon sugar cookie while still giving you that kick of espresso you need. It’s not too sweet, but it’s definitely sugary enough if you’re choosing to indulge in a specialty coffee as opposed to your usual unsweetened black.
If I could afford to get this concoction delivered to my doorstep every single day, I would. I've even gone as far as to test out Trader Joe’s brown sugar oat milk creamer to try to recreate my favorite iced coffee at home. The verdict on the TJ creamer: it’s nearly identical, but for a fraction of the price. Just make sure you don’t add too much, or it’ll be deadly sweet.
While nearly all of us had different reactions to the taste test because of our conflicting flavor palettes, the majority of us were able to come to a consensus on the order in which these iced coffees ranked. Depending on which flavors you typically gravitate toward and how sweet you like your coffee, there’s something for everyone on this list (yes, even if you prefer to drink Dunkin’).
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