Here's What It Means To Order A Handcrafted Drink At Starbucks

If you've ever treated yourself to a morning or afternoon beverage at Starbucks, you might have noticed language around the store or in your app referring to "handcrafted beverages." This language can be a bit confusing, especially if you're not familiar with the company.

Handcrafted beverages essentially refer to anything that's made by hand (shocking, we know). That encompasses both hot and cold beverages. So, a frappuccino is just as much a handcrafted beverage as a caffe latte. But your standard hot coffee or tea wouldn't count as handcrafted. But more on that later.

Now, the coffee chain hasn't always focused on handcrafted brews. Back in the day, the store's main mission was to sell spices, beans, and tea for people to make their own beverages at home. However, after former CEO Howard Schulz took a trip to Italy, he encouraged the chain to transform itself into a classic coffeehouse with an espresso bar and tasty handmade drinks. Today, there's a wide selection of handcrafted drinks that you can choose from.

What falls into the realm of handcrafted brews?

When it comes to what counts as a handcrafted drink at Starbucks, you're looking at a pretty wide range of beverages. Frappuccinos and lattes are possibly the two most obvious handcrafted drinks, as they require baristas to blend and pour brews by hand. On top of that, Starbucks refreshers, shaken iced teas, and iced coffee drinks also count as handcrafted beverages.

What's more, pretty much anything on the Starbucks secret menu is bound to be highly involved. So, you can rest assured that the majority of those items are considered to be handcrafted drinks, as well.

Now that you know what handcrafted drinks are, let's talk about what isn't a handcrafted brew. Hot tea and hot black coffee don't fall into this category, as all that's required is for the barista to pour a cup of joe or dunk a few teabags in hot water. Plus, customizing your drink with sugar and cream is up to you over at the coffee bar. Similarly, pre-packaged items like Starbucks' new line of ready-to-drink coffees, don't count as there's no work involved on the barista's part to make them.

Beverages you might be surprised to hear are handcrafted

While things like a caramel macchiato might be obvious additions to the list of Starbucks handcrafted drinks, there are a few other items that make the list that might surprise you. For one, there's the cafe misto. A cafe misto consists simply of a hot brewed coffee with steamed milk on top. Although it's half hot coffee, to steam the milk, the barista has to get involved. So, this is considered a handcrafted drink.

Another one that might surprise you is hot chocolate. Although this doesn't include coffee, it's still made by hand by steaming milk and stirring in syrup. Similarly, other hot drinks such as a caramel apple spice or vanilla steamer also count as handcrafted drinks, as these both involve steaming hot liquid, pumping in syrups, and topping the drink off with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, or another topping. Or, if you were to order a tea latte, such as chai or matcha, these also count as handcrafted beverages. These, too, involve steaming milk and stirring in some powders or chai concentrate to put them together. Next time you head to this coffee chain, you now know which drinks are likely to fall into this category and which you might be better off making at home.