Order A Shaken Espresso From Starbucks For A Cheaper, Stronger Latte Alternative

If you enjoy Starbucks iced caffè lattes but are craving more of a coffee kick, the iced shaken espresso might just become your new favorite drink. Introduced in 2021, it's the company's reimagined version of its now discontinued Doubleshot on Ice ... if you liked that, then you'll love this even more. The shaken espresso is like a latte on steroids — it's sweeter, stronger, and with more of a coffee-forward punch. Not only that, but it's cheaper, too. The price for a grande iced latte is $5.25 while a shaken espresso is $4.45, depending on region.

Another difference is that the shaken beverage has less milk but more sweetener. There's also more espresso, three shots instead of two, resulting in a robust drink with more caffeine. An iced latte has 75 milligrams of caffeine in a tall, 150 in a grande, and 225 in a venti. In comparison, the shaken espresso has 150 milligrams in a tall, 225 in a grande, and 300 in venti. If you're looking for a coffee-fueled energy boost, this will do the trick.

The other difference is the eponymous shaking in the beverage's name. It's modeled on a classic caffè shakerato, a popular Italian summer drink made with espresso and sugar that's shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker until foamy, and served in a martini glass. While you won't get the martini treatment at Starbucks, you will get a deliciously creamy, cold espresso that will both wake you up and hit that sweet spot.

Shaken iced espresso brings a potent punch of flavor

A grande iced shaken espresso is made with 2% milk, four pumps of simple syrup, three shots of Starbucks' signature roast espresso, and ice. The shaking is more than just a gimmick; it's what gives the drink its creamy, frothy consistency.

The process of shaking the ingredients together does more than just mix them — it both aerates and dilutes them. This serves to chill and blend the components while mellowing the harshness of straight espresso. As everything is agitated, aeration creates a foamy texture that diffuses throughout the beverage. This is the secret for how to make a low or non-alcoholic espresso martini and the reason why a cocktail shaker is key to better-tasting coffee.

On the other hand, a grande iced caffè latte is also made with 2% milk, only two shots of espresso, and no additional sweetener. The drink is served over ice rather than shaken and blended with it. A big factor that distinguishes the flavors and strength of the two drinks has to do with the amount of milk used. A latte is essentially a milk-based drink with espresso added (latte is the word for milk in Italian) while a shaken espresso is basically the opposite, it's a coffee-based drink with a touch of milk. You can look at it as a hack for getting more caffeine for less, or, as a more elegant alternative for experiencing full-bodied espresso.

Plant-based and customization options

Starbucks offers many options for customizing drinks, either in person or on the app. There are lots of ways to add flavor to your shaken espresso, and there are even two exciting plant-based versions already on the menu. The iced hazelnut oatmilk shaken espresso is made with Oatly oatmilk, hazelnut syrup, and blonde roast espresso, and the similar iced brown sugar version is made with pumps of brown sugar syrup and gets dusted with cinnamon powder. In fact, the popular iced brown sugar shaken espresso has the distinction of being the first oatmilk beverage added to Starbucks' permanent menu when the non-dairy vegan milk option was made available nationwide in 2021.

Launched at the same time as the oatmilk drinks was an iced chocolate almondmilk variety, which is sadly no longer on the menu. Chocolate is fantastic with espresso, however, and with some simple customizing, you can still order the drink exactly as it was originally made. Start with a standard shaken espresso but swap the signature roast for the blonde espresso. Change the milk option to almondmilk, add chocolate malt from the powders dropdown menu, and thank us later.

You can also create your own shaken espresso just the way you like it and with any kind of milk. Try it with caramel, vanilla, or toffeenut syrup or perhaps a mocha drizzle. The base drink includes four pumps of syrup, but you can always order cloying sweet Starbucks drinks half-sweet for a less sugary treat.