The Anatomy of a Starbucks Beverage

This right here is my kind of anatomy. I can’t stand to look at—or even think about—anything that has to do with the inside of a body in too much detail, so anatomy is something I try to avoid at all costs.

The anatomy of a Starbucks beverage, however, is much more approachable. And honestly, I’m disappointed I didn’t find this infographic sooner. Starbucks posted it in their Newsroom over a year ago, but I just came across it recently on Pinterest. (Example # 202349247 of why Pinterest is a lifesaver!)

In addition to some fun facts about customizing and taste testing their beverages, Starbucks also included a bunch of super easy to read diagrams that show how all their most popular beverages differ.

The Anatomy of a Starbucks Beverage Infographic | | #hellolatte

Now, I almost never order a regular coffee from Starbucks, simply because I can make that at home. If I’m going to Starbucks, I’m either getting a Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte or a specialty latte depending on the season. (Full Disclosure: I am shockingly not that into the PSL. I don’t dislike it, but it doesn’t get me going like it does for some people. However, the new Toasted Graham Latte…now that’s an awesome autumn beverage.)

If I’m going cold, I’ll get a Tall Vanilla Iced Coffee with soy, or, now that its available, I’ll go for a cold brew if I want that stronger flavor. I really don’t order tea or any other non-coffee drinks too often, although I am a fan of the Starbucks Refreshers.

But, as much as I love them, and as often as I order them, I couldn’t rattle off the milk to espresso to syrup ratios of my favorite beverages if you asked.

The Anatomy of a Starbucks Beverage Infographic | |#hellolatte
Photo by Blake Richard Verdoorn at

Before my boyfriend got hooked on Starbucks, he would ask me about the differences between a cappuccino, latte, foam, steamed milk, etc., and I would reply honestly by saying, “I know it has to do with the ratios of all the ingredients, but I can’t tell you exactly what they are. It’s best to just try them all and find your favorites.” (He grew up in a small town that was 20+ miles away from the closest cafe, so he didn’t get addicted until he went to college in Pittsburgh. Poor, poor empty childhood.)

Trying them all is certainly one way to do it, but if you’d rather get prepared or narrow down your options a bit first, you can check out another great page that Starbucks offers on their website. This page uses graphics to show the differences amongst espresso classics based on your taste for more espresso vs. more milk.

Or, if you want to figure out the best blend to buy and serve at home, you can use the Starbucks Coffee Finder. Just answer three questions about your tastes, and they’ll recommend your best bean.

There’s honestly so much good information on their website that you would never find if you didn’t take a look. I’m all about browsing a menu online before I go ANYWHERE, so I don’t feel the pressure when I arrive. Maybe it’s the Millennial in me or my Type A tendencies, but I like to be prepared, and the internet certainly helps.

So next time you’re thinking about trying something new, do your research first. Your barista will thank you, and so will your taste buds.

About Erica Tuite

Erica Tuite is a 24-year-old writer, copyeditor, coffee enthusiast, dog mom and lover of all things feminine. She's also the creator of

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