The Clever Starbucks Hack For Maximizing The Flavor Of Your Coffee

With Starbuck's reputation as an international coffee chain, the biggest cafe of its kind in the U.S. by far (per Statista), there's a whole lot the store has to offer its customers in the caffeine department, and we don't just mean pumpkin spice lattes. With all those menu offerings, it can be hard to keep track of what drinks are available here in the first place. According to Starbucks Stories, there are 170,000 ways to customize your drink. Chances are that even if you're a devoted fan of the cafe, you're not familiar with every single drink offering yet, especially since the number keeps growing every year — including this month with Starbucks adding on a few more holiday eats and drinks per the Starbucks website.

Whether you're a frequent consumer of the chain's unique lineup of Frappucinos, or the more traditional offerings of Americanos and iced coffees, there are lots to try. And as the menu grows, it's easy to overlook some of the longest-running Starbucks offerings. If you're worried about what you might be missing out on, we have a suggestion for you. To up your latte game, try asking for this next time you're in a store. 

Some Starbucks sizes, secrets, and more

Starbucks has a whole lot on its menu you may not know about, so let's shed some light on a few underrated menu items. To start, a few Starbucks baristas shared some of the least-ordered drinks from their store, and one standout was the chain's espresso con panna per a Reddit thread. Coffee fanatics might already be familiar with this one, but for those that aren't, this drink has two shots of espresso and a dollop of whipped cream. It's an especially balanced option for a quick pick-me-up at only 35 calories per the Starbucks website

You might not know that there's more to the lineup of Starbucks cup sizes than tall, grande, and venti. If you're somebody that can never get enough coffee, Starbucks has a size above its venti called trenta (via Starbucks). For reference, the venti holds 20 ounces (a cold venti actually holds 24) while the trenta can hold 31 ounces. The cup is only available for specific cold drinks, but it can fit up to four cups of coffee in one — something to keep in mind for when you just really need that extra energy.

Another drink option customers might not know about is the flat white (per Starbucks). The drink is a whole lot like a regular latte, with a special twist. The espresso shot is different, and the drink is topped with "microfoam," just like in an espresso macchiato (via Starbucks). And if you're looking to maximize the flavor of your next drink from Starbucks, this type of espresso might be something you'll want to ask for. 

Try this ristretto espresso in your next latte

When blonde espresso made its way onto Starbucks menus in 2017 per Starbucks Stories, a lot of people thought the only options for espresso were now blonde, decaf, and regular. Well, there's another choice available too: the ristretto shot. According to Starbucks Stories, a ristretto shot is very similar to a regular shot of espresso but is made with less water. For reference, espresso is simply a mix of ground espresso beans and water. Ristretto is the same thing in a smaller package. While that may seem like a tiny change, it means the ristretto shot will have a syrupy texture and may be sweeter compared to espresso's strong, bitter flavor. That's the appeal for a lot of caffeine fans.

To make this espresso, baristas only have to "pull" the first half of a regular espresso shot (via Starbucks). Because of that difference in size, some people tend to order ristretto as a double shot to maximize the caffeine in their coffee. According to Starbucks, ristretto shots are already used to make its flat white, but you can add it to most any drink. If you're curious to try ristretto shots in another drink, try adding it to a caramel macchiato, or even the seasonal eggnog latte. Go ahead and give it a shot.