A Buzzing Experience: Strongest Coffee Options at Starbucks

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Some days, all you need is a drink to get you moving and thinking as quickly as possible.

So you head to your favorite Starbucks chain. While getting into the door, you might be wondering what their strongest coffee is. And strongest, I mean their drink that has the most caffeine.

I did some digging to find out the most caffeinated drinks they have at Starbucks.

Short Answer: The top 3 strongest coffees at Starbucks are the Clover Brewed Coffee, the Blonde Roast Brewed Coffee, and the Pike Place Roast Brewed Coffee. They’re strong because they contain more than 235 mg of caffeine for a 12 oz or a tall serving.

Starbucks Italian Roast has a caffeine content of around 75mg of caffeine, which is lower than most roasts. In comparison, a regular cup of brewed coffee has 95mg of caffeine. The Italian Roast also has a sweet and strong flavor due to being a dark roast.

In this post, I’ve listed not just the top 3 strongest coffees at Starbucks, but 7, and I’ve included both hot and cold drinks with the highest caffeine concentration. So let’s get this ball rolling.

How to compare different caffeinated drinks?

top view of the different kinds of coffee arranged in a circle.

There are several elements that can influence the level of caffeine in your cup of coffee. They include:

  • The brewing method
  • Type of roast
  • Amount of coffee used
  • Size of the serving
  • Water temperature

Several different factors affect your coffee’s caffeine content. In fact, the brewing method alone can alter how much caffeine is in your cup (coffee made using a French press will have more caffeine than drip).

This is due to the length of time each brewing method takes. The longer the brew the more caffeine your coffee will have. Of course, temperature and the type of coffee beans you’re using also play a significant part.

What has the most caffeine at Starbucks?

The most caffeine content is found in plain brewed coffee. Each blend, however, contains a varied quantity of caffeine.

According to Caffeine Informer’s research, Reserve Roasts and Dark Roasts have the highest caffeine amounts. A 16-ounce brewed cup made with either of these blends contains 380 mg of caffeine.

Following the footsteps of the above roasts, Starbucks’ medium roast brewed coffee contains 375 mg of caffeine in a 16-ounce serving, while Blonde Roast has 360 milligrams of caffeine in a 16-ounce serving.

When it comes to caffeine intake, there isn’t much of a difference between these 3 blends. In fact, they contain just the acceptable amount of caffeine that we might need on those stressful days. Any more than that would be considered too much, so be cautious.

Let’s have a look at the table below to see which coffees are the strongest at Starbucks:

Coffee NameCaffeine Content in a Tall cup (12 oz)What is it?
Starbucks Clover Brewed Coffee280mgHot Coffee, Clover brewed
Blonde Roast Brewed Coffee270mgHot Drip Coffee, lightly roasted coffee beans
Pike Place Roast Brewed Coffee235mgHot coffee, Drip Brew, Dark Roast
Nitro Cold Brew215mgIced Coffee, Cold Brew Coffee
Starbucks Dark Roast Coffee195mgHot coffee, Drip Brew, Dark Roast
Blonde Caffè Americano170mgHot Espresso with Water
Cold Brew155mgIced Coffee, Cold Brew Coffee

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the caffeinated beverages available at Starbucks so that means there’s more!

By adding milk to your coffee, you can lessen the caffeine amount. The barista will very certainly ask how much milk you want in your coffee, so you’ll start with less coffee, espresso, or cold brew.

List of the strongest coffee at Starbucks

A to-go cup of Starbucks coffee,

1 – Clover Brewed Coffee

Clover Brewed Coffee is a modern way of brewing coffee that has given many people a new way to enjoy their favorite caffeinated beverage.

Starbucks launched the Clover Brewing System over a decade ago. This way coffee is brewed using a vacuum-press method. It’s similar to a French press that’s automatic.

There is around 280 mg of caffeine in a tall cup of Clover brewed coffee. This makes it the strongest coffee that Starbucks offers! You can select your preferred coffee to be brewed with the Clover system.

The Italian Roast Clover, Caffé Verona Clover, Espresso Roast Clover, or French Roast Clover all contain 280 mg of caffeine in a tall cup. Surprisingly, you can even get decaf Clover Brewed coffees which contain as low as 20 mg of caffeine in a single tall cup.

The coffee produced with this kind of brew is not only strong but also quite unique in taste. However, you may not get a Clover brewed coffee at every Starbucks outlet. Only selected locations have this machine to prepare this kind of coffee.

2 – Blonde Roast Brewed Coffee

The caffeine content in the Blond roast is slightly lower in this coffee blend – 270 mg per tall cup serving.

Starbucks’ light roast is the Blonde Roast. The beans are roasted for less time than dark roasts. The end result is a more acidic, smoother-tasting drink with more caffeine.

Overall, it’s among the most popular coffee blends at Starbucks.

A steaming mug of Starbucks coffee.

3 – Pike Place Roast Brewed Coffee

The Pike Place roast refers to the early days of Starbucks when there was only one retail location – Pike Place Market in Seattle – and it’s unquestionably the most famous Starbucks roast.

You can get this coffee at any Starbucks location around the world, and it will taste the same regardless of where you order it.

When it comes to the strongest coffees at Starbucks, the Pike Place roast brewed coffee ranks third. It contains 235 mg of caffeine in a tall cup serving. That’s more than enough to keep you going for a few hours!

4 – Nitro Cold Brew

Starbucks’ Nitro Cold Brew is a refreshing drink. It’s the classic cold brew with nitrogen oxide bubbles.

Although it’s not served with ice, the nitrogen infusion cools the coffee. As a result, Nitro Cold Brew tends to be a stronger drink as it’s not diluted. A tall cup of Nitro Cold Brew gives you 215 mg of caffeine.

Also, the infusion of Nitrogen in the coffee adds a sweetness to it, giving it a distinct flavor!

5 – Starbucks Dark Roast Coffee

The Dark Roast coffee of Starbucks is bitter and bold. Opposite to what most people think, a dark roast contains a lesser amount of caffeine than a lighter roast.

Yet, a tall cup still energizes you with around 195 mg of caffeine. That’s undoubtedly enough to ensure that you won’t fall asleep anytime soon!

6 – Blonde Caffè Americano

In sixth place, we finally get an espresso-based drink. Many people believe espresso is a very strong drink, so this may come as a surprise to them.

At Starbucks, you get two shots of blonde roast espresso topped with hot water. This produces a smooth-tasting Americano with 170 mg of caffeine to keep you going!

Interested to know more about an Americano? Check out my post over here.

7 – Cold Brew

The last item on the list is regular Starbucks Cold Brew coffee. Starbucks’ baristas brew them in small batches every day. The coffee is made by steeping it in cold water for about 20 hours, yielding a smooth, pleasant flavor.

This coffee is served over ice and a tall cup provides you with around 155 mg of caffeine.

If you prefer a smoother coffee, order the Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew, which contains 150 mg of caffeine in a tall serving.

If you want to learn more about what a cold brew is, you can read about it right here.

I invite you to watch this video if you want to know more about the top 5 caffeinated drinks at Starbucks.

How much caffeine is in a Starbucks coffee?

If you’re not in the mood for a traditionally brewed coffee, try a unique tasting switched-up coffee. Let’s look at how much caffeine is in some of the most popular Starbucks drinks.

With 280 milligrams of caffeine in a grande (16 ounce) serving, Nitro Cold Brew is at the top of the list. You can also get the Nitro Cold Brew with sweet cream if you have a sweet tooth.

The Nitro Cold Brew is closely followed by the Blonde Café Americano and Latte Macchiato, both of which contain 255 mg of caffeine. Flat White comes next, with 195 milligrams of caffeine.

Café Mocha contains a slightly higher amount of caffeine than the rest of the remaining Starbucks coffee blends since it contains chocolate. And just in case you don’t know, chocolate also contains caffeine. Flavored mochas contain 175 milligrams of caffeine.

All of the coffees listed below, whether plain or flavored, contain 150 mg of caffeine and these are the following:

  • Caramel Macchiato
  • Cappuccino
  • Caffé Latte
  • Double-shot espresso

To sum it up

Starbucks has done an excellent job with coffee marketing because you rarely see their advertisements anywhere in the world but they’re still very popular. They make great coffee and provide excellent service so their success has grown through word of mouth.

Most people have a favorite Starbucks drink and I do too. Most though don’t bother looking into the caffeine content unless they’re curious or if they need to increase or decrease their caffeine intake but I’m hoping this informative post has changed that.

When it comes to favorite drinks, I enjoy Starbucks’ Nitro Cold Brew because I’m fascinated by the process of infusing nitrogen oxide bubbles into coffee to make it cold. And because there’s no ice, the coffee isn’t diluted, so you still get that needed caffeine kick with a cold drink.

Anyway, when it comes to Starbucks’ strongest coffees, you can really rely on their selections to give you that caffeine buzz plus they’re all delicious. But as I reminder for all, let’s drink coffee in moderation.