What Starbucks Drink Has The Most Caffeine?

An early morning drink from Starbucks is a great way to jumpstart the day. The coffee chain is truly an everyday hero when it comes to serving up reliable and consistent beverages, and it can certainly deliver a serious caffeine punch, too.

If you were wondering what packs the most punch, the menu item with the highest caffeine content happens to be a hot cup of Blonde Roast coffee, which contains 475 milligrams of caffeine in every 20-ounce venti serving— the equivalent of 6.3 shots of espresso. Made with 100% Arabica coffee beans, the Blonde Roast is actually Starbucks' lightest brew, which makes it smooth and easy to drink for those who prefer lighter coffee flavors. And, because lighter roasts are made from denser beans, they actually can have more caffeine.

Lovers of cold caffeinated drinks can also enjoy a sizeable dose of caffeine with Starbucks' Iced Espresso Roast Clover, which contains the most caffeine for an iced beverage with 470 milligrams in a 24-ounce venti serving. (There's a 4-ounce size difference between hot and cold venti drinks at Starbucks to accommodate ice in your cold beverage).

If you want to downsize from a large venti drink but still want to turbo-charge your caffeine intake, you can customize your Starbucks order to get the desired amount. For example, if you go for a tall 12-ounce Blonde Roast coffee (approximately 270 milligrams of caffeine) and ask for an extra espresso shot, it will add in 75 more milligrams.

What to order if you want caffeine but don't like coffee

If you'd like a drink from Starbucks with high caffeine content, but don't like the taste of coffee, there are still plenty of options to choose from. A chai tea latte is one of the most caffeinated coffee alternatives on the menu.

This tea-based option (containing a spicy mix of black tea, black pepper, cardamom, ginger, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon) contains 120 milligrams of caffeine in a 20-ounce venti serving, which is just 30 milligrams shy of the caffeine equivalent of two espresso shots at Starbucks. If you prefer a cold drink, you can enjoy 145 milligrams of caffeine in a venti iced chai tea latte.

For a fresh and fruity coffee alternative, you can also try an item from Starbucks Refreshers range, all of which between 60 and 70 milligrams of caffeine in a 24-ounce venti serving. This includes exotic drinks like the Strawberry Açaí Lemonade, Dragon Drink, or the Pineapple Passionfruit.

How much caffeine is too much?

When ordering caffeine-heavy drinks, and customizing your Starbucks order with extra espresso shots, it may be good to keep in mind the recommended limits for caffeine consumption. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on average, a healthy adult can safely consume 400 milligrams of caffeine a day (about four or five cups of medium-bodied coffee). 

Of course, these guidelines are generalized, as people have different levels of tolerance for caffeine depending on a variety of factors. For example, how fast a person is able to metabolize caffeine, and whether there are underlying health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, or anxiety-related diagnoses.

According to the FDA, overconsumption of caffeine can cause side-effects like insomnia, anxiety or low mood, elevated heart rate, stomach discomfort, nausea, headaches, and tremors or dizziness.

However, caffeine is unlikely to compromise your health if you stay close to your personal tolerance level. Most adults would need to consume around 1,200 milligrams of caffeine, or 12 cups of coffee, in quick back-to-back servings to put their health at risk — it's an extreme amount that even heavy coffee drinkers aren't likely to consume in one sitting.