What Is A Handcrafted Drink At Starbucks? (+ Other FAQs)

Starbucks is famous for the strange names of their drinks and cup sizes, but if you love the taste of their coffee and other drinks, it’s worthwhile to try and learn their language so that you can get the exact drink you want each time.

With this in mind, you may be wondering what handcrafted drinks at Starbucks are. If you’d like to find out, carry on reading for the answers below!

What Is A Handcrafted Drink At Starbucks In 2022?

All Starbucks drinks, hot or cold, can belong to one of two categories: brewed or handcrafted. Brewed drinks are brewed coffee and tea, while all other drinks are defined as handcrafted, as they require more preparation and contain additional ingredients. Starbucks handcrafted drinks include iced coffees and teas, frappuccinos, lattes, seasonal drinks, hot chocolate and more.

If you want to find out more about how handcrafted drinks are made, which drinks are included in this category, and how many Stars you need to get a handcrafted drink for free with Starbucks Rewards, keep reading for more facts!

What Is The Meaning Of A Handcrafted Drink At Starbucks?

Handcrafted drinks have a special meaning at Starbucks, as all of their drinks are defined as either brewed or handcrafted.

Brewed drinks are tea or coffee made without any other added ingredients or preparation. For a brewed drink, the customer or barista may add milk, cream, sugar/syrup or sprinkles of cinnamon, vanilla or chocolate powder.

However, handcrafted drinks are more complex and take more preparation behind the counter, such as steaming milk or cream, queuing shots from the espresso machine, blending drinks or shaking refreshers/ iced teas.

Handcrafted drinks will also have added ingredients besides the drink base, such as flavorings, toppings, juice, lemonade and other similar items.

In other words, the majority of Starbucks drinks, such as espresso-based drinks, cold coffees, hot chocolate, frappuccinos, iced teas, refreshers, steamers, and seasonal drinks are all considered handcrafted drinks.

Additionally, all handcrafted drinks can be customized, with various flavorings, toppings, sweeteners and creamers, which will raise or lower the price depending on the customization.

However, some drinks are excluded from the handcrafted drinks category, such as bottled coffee, tea, water, milk, juice and alcoholic beverages, as these require no preparation.

Further, handcrafted drinks are part of the Starbucks Rewards program, which enables you to earn free handcrafted drinks per 150 Stars!

What Are The Best Handcrafted Starbucks Drinks?

What Are The Best Handcrafted Starbucks Drinks?

Some Starbucks handcrafted drinks become popular bestsellers when they’re released, and listed below  are some of the most well-known drinks at Starbucks:

  • Vanilla Latte
  • Iced White Chocolate Mocha.
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino Blended Coffee
  • Java Chip Frappuccino
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Green Tea Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème
  • Chai Latte
  • Caramel Macchiato

In addition to the above-mentioned drinks, which are menu regulars, seasonal favorites at Starbucks like the Apple Crisp Macchiato and Peppermint Mocha are also very popular.

Further, fans of Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew will be happy to learn that this energizing drink is also considered to be handcrafted, due to the level of preparation that goes into nitrating the coffee.

What Are the Handcrafted Drinks At Starbucks?

Most drinks at Starbucks are considered to be handcrafted, as they require preparation and specific barista training to build (ex. pulling espresso shots and steaming milk).

For example, hot chocolate is considered a handcrafted drink at Starbucks, due to the chocolate syrup being mixed ahead of time, steaming the milk and adding whipped cream and chocolate drizzle.

Additionally, examples of handcrafted drinks from every category in the Starbucks menu are listed below:

Espresso-based Drinks

  • Doppio Espresso
  • Caffè Americano
  • Cappuccino
  • Flat White
  • Caffè Latte
  • Espresso Macchiato
  • Caffè Mocha

Blended Beverages (Frappuccinos)

  • Espresso Frappuccino
  • Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino
  • Java Chip Frappuccino
  • Chai Crème Frappuccino
  • Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino
  • Strawberry Crème Frappuccino
  • Matcha Crème Frappuccino
  • Vanilla Bean Crème

Iced Coffee

  • Iced Caffè Americano
  • Iced Shaken Espresso
  • Iced Flat White
  • Iced Caffè Latte
  • Iced Caramel Macchiato
  • Iced Caffè Mocha

Cold Brew

  • Cold Brew Coffee
  • Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
  • Nitro Cold Brew
  • Honey Almondmilk Nitro Cold Brew

Iced Teas/ Iced Tea Lattes

  • Iced Guava Black Tea
  • Iced Black Tea Lemonade
  • Iced London Fog Tea Latte
  • Iced Chai Tea Latte
  • Iced Green Tea Lemonade
  • Iced Matcha Lemonade
  • Iced Peach Green Tea
  • Iced Matcha Tea Latte
  • Iced Passion Tango Tea

Cold Drinks/ Refreshers

  • Iced Guava Passionfruit
  • Iced Pineapple Matcha
  • Star Drink
  • Kiwi Starfruit Refresher
  • Dragon Drink
  • Strawberry Açaí Refresher
  • Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade
  • Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher
  • Violet Drink
  • Blended Strawberry Lemonade

Seasonal Drinks

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • Pistachio Latte
  • Toffee Nut Latte
  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Christmas Cookie Latte
  • Sugar Cookie Oat Latte
  • Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew


  • Vanilla Creme
  • Pumpkin Spice Creme
  • Steamed Apple Juice

How Do I Get A Handcrafted Drink With Starbucks Rewards?

All handcrafted drinks are included in the Starbucks Rewards program meaning when you have earned 150 Stars, you can redeem them for a free drink.

Eligible drinks include all the beverages listed above, including holiday and seasonal drinks. In fact, you can even customize your Rewards drink for free, which usually drives up the price. 

Also, Starbucks sometimes offers promotions like BOGO (buy one, get one free) and coupons for free handcrafted drinks!

If you are looking to learn more, you can also see our posts on the most popular Starbucks drinks, how hot is Starbucks coffee, and how to order a medicine ball on Starbucks app.


Handcrafted drinks at Starbucks include all drinks that need preparation behind the counter, which includes nearly all Starbucks drinks besides brewed coffee and tea.

All Starbucks handcrafted drinks are part of the Starbucks Rewards program, and can be redeemed every time you earn 150 Stars. Additionally, when you get a handcrafted drink as a Reward, you can also customize it for free.

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