Coffee Culture

How to Order Iced Coffee at Starbucks in 3 Easy Steps

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick

It’s a fact:

Starbucks offers a wide range of iced coffee flavors and sizes. And it doesn’t help that they use different words from other outlets.

This means that if you aren’t used to the process, you might find it hard to communicate with your barista.


Baristas are human like anybody else. Thus, they can get irritated for different reasons. And inconsistent, chaotic orders from different customers are great examples.


You should know what Starbucks offers and what you want to order before approaching your barista.

This would make ordering easier for you, your barista, and other customers. The barista can even make expert recommendations if you request.


When you walk into a Starbucks to buy iced coffee, you are faced with several options.

So, in three simple steps…

Let’s take a look at each to help you order your iced coffee without any hassle.

Step 1: Choose Your Size

Starbucks Cup Sizes

Different cup sizes present their own challenge when ordering at Starbucks. Therefore, you must be conversant with these sizes to avoid mistakes.


The size of the coffee is the first thing you order. So, here’s something you must know:

The type of coffee (hot or iced) determines the size at Starbucks. You can only request a short for hot coffee drinks, but not for iced coffee.

The cup sizes are shown below:

Size NameCup Size
Tall12 Ounces
Grande16 Ounces
Venti24 Ounces
Trenta31 Ounces

Step 2: Choose Your Flavor

After choosing a cup size, the next thing is to request the iced coffee drink of your choice.

But first:

You must know the types and flavors of iced coffee at Starbucks. Below are some of the most popular ones.

Basic Iced Coffee

Classic Iced Coffee Starbucks
Basic Iced Coffee

If you wish to add a sweetener or milk yourself, the basic iced coffee is your go-to drink. It is just a tasty combination of ice and coffee.

Here’s what’s interesting:

You can customize this drink by adding shots of espresso to give it a wholly different or stronger kick.

And if you are lactose intolerant or not a fan of dairy, soy or coconut milk makes for healthier alternatives.


Say you’re the basic iced coffee type but willing to get out of that space and explore something else — Starbucks offers a lot of other options as well.

For example:

The Iced Latte

Iced Latte Starbucks
Iced Latte

Instead of the basic iced coffee, you may want to try an iced latte.

No matter how picky you are, Starbucks always has an iced latte that appeals to you. The beverage is rich in espresso, cold milk, and ice. So, it’s sweet and creamy.

You’ll find the following in the iced latte menu:

  • Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • Starbucks Reserve Iced Latte
  • Iced Caffe Latte
  • Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte
  • Starbucks Reserve Iced Hazelnut Bianco Latte
  • Iced Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte

If you ask me:

The iced latte promises a good time, whichever one you opt for.

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee Starbucks
Chocolate Cold Brew Coffee


If the basic iced coffee and the iced latte options don’t appeal to you, a Cold Brew Coffee is another interesting option.

It is relatively new on Starbucks’ menu. As the name implies, it is brewed in cold water, so it is the ideal drink for ice.

Cold brew guarantees a smoother and richer taste than hot or iced coffee.

Yes, you read that right.

It is then left for you to either imagine how this drink tastes like or just go try it out.

To enjoy the cold brew even better:

You can add sweet or unsweetened cream before drinking. The different kinds of cold brew are:

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

More Iced Java Options…?

Other types of iced coffee at Starbucks include:

Step 3: Choose Your Drink


After becoming familiar with Starbucks terminologies and the ordering process, what should your iced coffee order sound like?

A good example is:

Can I have an iced pumpkin spice latte with oat milk in a venti cup?


You need to mention the exact iced coffee flavor and the size you want it in. Using this approach will foster better communication between you and your barista.


Do not forget to include the add-ons you wish to customize your iced coffee with.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Ordering Iced Coffee at Starbucks

Cup Size

The most common mistake people make is thinking the cup size for other beverages would suffice for iced coffee. Note, that Iced coffee has less space for coffee as the ice takes up a lot of space.

The question then becomes:

How do you ensure you have enough coffee and ice in your cup?

The solution to this is easy.

Simply order a cup bigger than what you would need for hot coffee. In other words, if you usually buy the 16-ounce hot grande, an iced coffee would require the 24-ounce Venti.

The extra eight ounces would serve as a room for the ice, additional syrup, cream, and other add-ons.

Adding Syrup and Sweetener

It is not a good idea to use both syrup and sweetener in your iced coffee. Doing so can make your coffee as sweet as fudge sauce.

This can also overpower your coffee flavors and strength.


So, here’s what we have learned:

  • There are plenty of iced coffee options at Starbucks.
  • The process and terminologies used in ordering iced coffee are different at Starbucks, so it is important to learn them.
  • They are different cup sizes. Iced coffee requires more giant cups than other types of coffee because the ice takes up a lot of cup space.
  • You can customize your iced coffee with several add-ons.
  • Your barista can make expert iced coffee recommendations for you.

With all that in mind:

Do you have any experience ordering iced coffee at Starbucks or have questions about ordering iced coffee?

Please, leave a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best iced coffee at Starbucks?

The question of the best iced coffee at Starbucks is subjective. However, Starbucks baristas have picked the following as the top iced coffees:

●        Iced Chocolate Almond Milk Shaken Espresso,
●        Iced White Chocolate Mocha,
●        Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee,
●        Iced Starbucks Blonde Caffe Americano,
●        and Iced Caramel Macchiato

How do you order a sweet iced coffee at Starbucks?

To order sweet iced coffee at Starbucks, request the basic iced coffee alongside sweetener, cream, or milk. You can also add syrups like vanilla or caramel before your coffee is iced to sweeten it.

What should I add to my iced coffee at Starbucks?

There are various add-ons for your Starbucks iced coffee. However, what you add depends primarily on the type of iced coffee you’re having. Say you’re having the iced Starbucks Blonde Caffe Americano, you could also add ristretto shots instead of espresso. It also goes well with caramel sauce, lemonade, coconut milk, and cold foam.

What is an iced coffee called at Starbucks?

Starbucks offers different types of iced coffee with different names. Examples include cold brew coffee, iced americano, and iced lattes.

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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