Coffee Culture

How to Order a Black Coffee at Starbucks in 3 Easy Steps

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick

Being one of the most famous coffee brands in the world:

Starbucks offers several unique and inventive drink options; so much that some customers sometimes wonder if they can obtain a regular cup of Black Coffee there.


One of the most ordered beverages by people at Starbucks is Black Coffee. And there are numerous Black Coffee types available.


How do you easily place your Black Coffee order?

Step 1: Select your cup size

To be able to choose your preferred cup, you must be aware of the cup sizes. Your barista receives this as the first part of your order.

The table below shows the cup sizes at Starbucks:

Name of CupSize of Cup
Short8 ounces
Tall12 ounces
Grande16 ounces
Venti24 ounces
Trenta31 ounces
Starbucks Cup Sizes

You should note that:

The Short cup can only be used when ordering a Hot Brewed Black Coffee. This is because whenever ice is added to the Cold Brew Black Coffee, it takes up space.

It’s also the reason Starbucks suggests a cup one size ahead. 

Step 2: Choose Your Flavor

The next step is to choose your desired flavor from among the Hot Brewed, Cold Brew, and Espresso.

But first:

To make an informed decision, you must have sufficient knowledge of the three types of Black Coffee: Hot Brewed, Cold Brew, and Espresso.

Hot Brewed Black Coffee

You need to know that Starbucks has three signature roasts that are used in making Hot Brewed Black Coffee:

  • Blonde Roast
  • Pike Place (Medium Roast)
  • Dark Roast

Dark roasts are stronger than blonde roasts because the flavors of the coffee beans vary. Additionally, Starbucks offers the decaffeinated version of the Pike Place Medium Roast.


Pike Place Medium Roast is typically one of the two pots of coffee always brewing in every Starbucks location.


You will always get Pike Place Medium Roast coffee in one instance. That is if you ask for Hot Brewed coffee without specifying which roast you want.


Due to its distinctive flavor, Pike Place Medium Roast coffee is the most preferred roast option among Starbucks customers.


You can enjoy your Hot Brewed Black Coffee by adding regular cream, milk, and half-and-half. If you are bored of these regular add-ons, you can add flavors like caramel syrup and pumpkin sauce.

You can also spice up the taste by adding toppings such as Cinnamon Dolce Sprinkles and Caramel Drizzle.

Cold Brew Black Coffee

At Starbucks, Cold Brew Coffee is not the same as Iced Coffee.

The difference?

Starbucks’ regular Iced Coffee is made with hot water and cooled by adding ice or by being refrigerated.

Meanwhile, Cold Brew Coffee is never exposed to heat at any stage. Time, instead of heat, extracts the coffee as it is immersed in cold water for 12 to 24 hours.

The catch:

Cold Brew Coffee has a smoother, richer flavor with a natural sweetness. If you want a highly caffeinated Black Coffee, this is your drink. On warm days, Cold Brew Black Coffee can be quite refreshing.

To foster your taste:

I recommend adding Toffee nut syrup and the milk of your choice. Also, you could add coconut milk and two pumps of white mocha sauce. Dark caramel syrup and a splash of cream is another good combination.

Better still:

You can try them all by exploring Starbucks’ Cold Brew Black Coffee add-ons.

More Cold Brew Options?

Asides from the original Cold Brew Black Coffee, Starbucks also offers the following Cold Brew flavors:

  • Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
  • Chocolate Cream Cold Brew
  • Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
  • Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee with Milk
  • Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
  • Nitro Cold Brew
  • Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew


Do you prefer Black Coffee with less caffeine? If so, an Espresso is what you should get.

Starbucks serves Espresso that has a naturally sweet and distinct caramel flavor since it is produced with hot water and espresso shots.


You can select from the Signature, Blonde, or Decaf kinds of Espresso when placing your order at Starbucks.


There are four different Espresso shot sizes: Solo, Doppio, Triple, and Quad. The Espresso without milk, cream, sugar, or any other extra ingredient is an excellent and healthy choice. Give it a try!

Other Starbucks Espresso beverages include:

  • Caffe Latte
  • Espresso Macchiato
  • Cinnamon Dolce Latte
  • Espresso con Panna Doppio

Step 3: Choose Your Drink

This is the final step that you take in the process of ordering a Black Coffee at Starbucks. At this point, you have an idea of the exact Black Coffee that you would like to order. So, go ahead and do so.


You must tell the barista if you want regular or decaffeinated coffee in addition to the cup size you choose.

If you intend to add milk or cream to your coffee, you should say, “With room.” If you want a full cup, simply say, “No room.”


When you walk into Starbucks to get a drink, what should your Black Coffee order sound like to the barista?

Here are a few illustrations:

“Can I have a grande dark roast Black Coffee with room?”

“I would like a venti cup Cold Brew Black Coffee with no room.

“I’d do a tall decaf espresso with Doppio shots.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Ordering Black Coffee at Starbucks

Excessive Cream Use

This may be the error customers make the most when ordering Black Coffee at Starbucks. It is easy to overdo it with the cream as you pour, resulting in a Black Coffee that tastes too creamy.

How do you ensure you have the right amount of cream in your Black Coffee? With practice and consideration for your own taste, you can perfect the art of adding cream to Black Coffee.

Not Communicating Specifics

Yes, your barista knows you want a Black Coffee. However, this raises further queries like “Hot or Cold?” “Regular or Decaf?” and so on.

To make your desired Black Coffee, the barista should not have to make assumptions.


So, here’s what we’ve learned:

  • Before speaking to the barista at Starbucks, you should be familiar with the procedure and vocabulary used to get Black Coffee there.
  • Starbucks offers Hot brewed Black Coffee, Cold Brew Black Coffee, and Espresso as its three main Black Coffee variants.
  • Cold Brew Coffee is different from Iced Coffee at Starbucks.
  • Pike Place (Medium roast) is the most popular roast that customers order for their Hot Brewed Coffee.
  • Your Black Coffee drink can be altered to your preferences by adding flavors of your choice.

Now that you know all these:

Please leave a comment below if you would like to share your experience ordering a Black Coffee. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions about ordering Black Coffee at Starbucks if you have any.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Black Coffee called in Starbucks?

Caffe Americano is the name of Starbucks’ Black Coffee. Espresso, Cold Brew Black Coffee, or Hot Brewed Black Coffee are also types of Black Coffee sold at Starbucks.

Is Black Coffee served at Starbucks?

The good news is that Starbucks does provide Black Coffee. Even better, there are three different kinds to choose from.

How do you order Black Coffee?

You must select the type of Black Coffee you want at Starbucks. The options are Espresso, Hot brewed, or Cold Brew Black coffee. Indicate the cup size and whether or not you want room inside the cup. This is the best way to order a Black Coffee at Starbucks.

What Can I Put in Starbucks Black Coffee?

You can put a couple of add-ons in your Starbucks Black Coffee, including half-and-half, vanilla syrup, sweet cream, cold foam, ordinary cream, sugar, and milk. But it depends on the kind of Black Coffee you are having. For example, adding cinnamon and one pump of vanilla syrup to Cold Brew Black Coffee is a great choice.

Erica Cervenkova
Coffee Connoisseur, SCA Member

As a coffee connoisseur and member of the Specialty Coffee Association, I am dedicated to understanding the sustainability of coffee pods and the impact it has on the environment. My expertise lies in the realm of capsule coffee machines, from the likes of Keurig and Nespresso to other well-known US brands. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others make informed decisions about their coffee choices. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a new way to enjoy your morning cup, I'm here to help.


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