Starbucks is one of the most popular coffee chains in the world, known for its delicious coffee drinks and wide variety of milk options. If you’re wondering what type of milk goes into your favorite Starbucks latte or cappuccino, you’re not alone.

With dairy, non-dairy, whole, skim, and more milk varieties on the menu, it can get confusing to keep track of what milk Starbucks uses.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Starbucks uses 2% reduced fat dairy milk as its default milk, but also offers whole, non-fat, and a range of non-dairy milk alternatives like soy, almond, coconut, and oat milk.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a detailed look at the various milk options at Starbucks and break down exactly what milk goes into specific drinks on the menu.

Starbucks Default Milk: 2% Reduced Fat Milk

When it comes to milk options at Starbucks, the default choice is 2% reduced fat milk. This milk is widely used in many of their popular drinks, providing a creamy and flavorful base. Let’s take a closer look at what makes 2% milk the go-to option for Starbucks.

Overview of 2% Milk

2% reduced fat milk is a popular choice for those looking for a balance between flavor and lower fat content. It contains 2% milk fat, which is significantly less than whole milk but still offers a rich and creamy taste.

This milk is made by removing some of the milk fat from whole milk, resulting in a lighter and less calorie-dense option.

Nutrition Facts

2% milk provides a range of nutrients that are beneficial for overall health. It is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. A typical serving of 2% milk (1 cup) contains approximately 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of protein.

It’s important to note that these values may vary slightly depending on the brand of milk used by Starbucks.

Taste and Texture

2% milk offers a smooth and creamy texture that enhances the flavor of Starbucks’ beverages. It adds richness without overpowering the taste of the coffee or other ingredients. The lower fat content compared to whole milk allows for a lighter mouthfeel, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a less heavy option.

Popular Starbucks Drinks Made With 2%

Many of Starbucks’ iconic drinks are made with 2% reduced fat milk as the default option. Some of these include:

  • Caffè Latte: A classic espresso-based drink topped with steamed 2% milk.
  • Cappuccino: Equal parts espresso, steamed 2% milk, and foam.
  • Mocha: Espresso combined with mocha sauce and steamed 2% milk, topped with whipped cream.
  • Flat White: A velvety mix of espresso and steamed 2% milk.

These are just a few examples, as 2% reduced fat milk is used in various other Starbucks beverages. If you have specific dietary preferences or restrictions, Starbucks also offers alternative milk options such as soy, almond, and coconut milk.

For further information on Starbucks’ milk choices and nutritional content, you can visit their official website here.

Whole Milk at Starbucks

Overview of Whole Milk

Whole milk is one of the options available for customers at Starbucks. It is a type of milk that contains a higher percentage of fat compared to other types, such as skim or 2% milk. Whole milk is often chosen for its rich and creamy texture, which adds a satisfying element to beverages.

Starbucks recognizes the importance of providing a variety of milk options to cater to different preferences. Whole milk is a popular choice among customers who enjoy the indulgent taste and mouthfeel it brings to their favorite Starbucks drinks.

Nutrition Facts

Whole milk contains essential nutrients that are beneficial for the body. It is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. However, it is important to note that whole milk also has a higher fat content compared to other milk options.

As per the USDA, a cup of whole milk contains approximately 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 8 grams of protein.

It is recommended to consume whole milk in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Customers who are looking for lower-fat options can choose alternatives like skim or 2% milk, which have reduced fat content while still providing essential nutrients.

Taste and Texture

The use of whole milk at Starbucks enhances the taste and texture of the beverages. Its higher fat content creates a creamy and velvety mouthfeel, making drinks more indulgent and satisfying. When combined with the carefully selected coffee beans and other ingredients, whole milk contributes to the overall flavor profile that Starbucks is known for.

Whether it’s a latte, cappuccino, or any other milk-based drink, the inclusion of whole milk adds a smooth and rich element to the taste experience. The balance between the coffee’s bold flavors and the creaminess of whole milk creates a delightful combination that keeps customers coming back for more.

Drinks Made With Whole Milk

Whole milk is used in a wide range of Starbucks beverages, including the classic Caffè Latte, Cappuccino, and Flat White. These drinks are known for their creamy texture and balanced flavors, thanks to the use of whole milk.

Additionally, customers can customize their drinks by requesting whole milk in other menu items such as Frappuccinos, hot chocolates, and macchiatos. The versatility of whole milk allows customers to enjoy a variety of indulgent and satisfying options at Starbucks.

For more information on Starbucks’ milk options, you can visit their official website:

Nonfat (Skim) Milk at Starbucks

Overview of Nonfat Milk

Nonfat milk, also known as skim milk, is a popular choice for those looking to reduce their calorie and fat intake. It is made by removing the cream from whole milk, resulting in a milk with little to no fat content.

Nonfat milk is commonly used in various food and beverage products, including coffee drinks at Starbucks.

Nutrition Facts

Nonfat milk is a great option for those who want to enjoy their coffee without the added calories and fat. It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, making it a healthier choice compared to whole milk. Nonfat milk is also a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein.

A typical serving of nonfat milk at Starbucks contains around 80-90 calories, depending on the size of the drink.

Taste and Texture

Nonfat milk has a lighter taste compared to whole milk, as it lacks the creamy and rich flavor that comes from the fat content. However, it still adds a subtle creaminess to your coffee, enhancing the overall flavor.

In terms of texture, nonfat milk creates a slightly thinner and less velvety mouthfeel compared to whole milk. Some people prefer this lighter texture, while others may find it less satisfying.

Drinks Made With Nonfat Milk

Starbucks offers a wide range of coffee and espresso-based drinks that can be made with nonfat milk. Whether you prefer a classic latte, cappuccino, or a refreshing iced coffee, you can customize your order to be made with nonfat milk.

Nonfat milk can also be used in flavored beverages such as the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte or the creamy Caramel Macchiato. It is important to note that nonfat milk may affect the overall taste and texture of certain drinks, so it’s always a good idea to ask your barista for recommendations or try different milk options to find your preferred choice.

For more information about the milk options at Starbucks, you can visit the official Starbucks website here.

Non-Dairy Milks at Starbucks

Soy Milk

Starbucks offers soy milk as a non-dairy alternative for customers who prefer it over traditional dairy milk. Soy milk is made from soybeans and has a creamy texture with a slightly nutty flavor. It is also a great source of protein and is low in saturated fat.

Many people enjoy soy milk in their coffee or as a base for lattes and other espresso-based beverages. According to a study published on NCBI, soy milk has also been found to have potential health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and improving bone health.

Almond Milk

Another popular non-dairy milk option at Starbucks is almond milk. Made from ground almonds and water, almond milk has a smooth and slightly sweet taste. It is naturally lactose-free and low in calories, making it a popular choice for those who are watching their calorie intake.

Almond milk is also a good source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps protect the body’s cells from damage. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology found that almond milk contains beneficial bioactive compounds that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Coconut Milk

For customers who enjoy the tropical flavor of coconut, Starbucks offers coconut milk as a non-dairy alternative. Coconut milk is made from the grated meat of mature coconuts and has a rich and creamy texture.

It adds a subtle hint of coconut flavor to beverages and is often used in tropical-inspired drinks. Coconut milk is also a good source of healthy fats and is naturally lactose-free. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut milk may have potential health benefits, such as boosting metabolism and improving brain function.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is a newer addition to Starbucks’ non-dairy milk options. Made from soaked and blended oats, oat milk has a creamy texture and a mild, slightly sweet taste. It is naturally free of lactose, nuts, and soy, making it a suitable choice for those with allergies or dietary restrictions.

Oat milk is also a good source of dietary fiber and beta-glucans, which have been found to have cholesterol-lowering effects. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, oat milk has a high nutritional value and can be a healthy alternative to dairy milk.

Other Non-Dairy Options

In addition to the popular non-dairy milk options mentioned above, Starbucks also offers other non-dairy alternatives such as rice milk and hemp milk. Rice milk is made from milled rice and has a mild and slightly sweet taste. Hemp milk is made from the seeds of the hemp plant and has a nutty flavor.

These non-dairy options provide additional choices for customers with specific dietary preferences or restrictions.

It’s important to note that while Starbucks offers these non-dairy milk options, they may not be available at all locations. It’s always a good idea to check with your local Starbucks to see which non-dairy milk options they offer.

Half & Half at Starbucks

Overview of Half & Half

Half & Half is a popular dairy product used in coffee shops, including Starbucks. It is a blend of equal parts whole milk and heavy cream, creating a rich and creamy texture that enhances the flavor of coffee. The name “half & half” refers to the equal parts of milk and cream used in the product.

At Starbucks, half & half is used as a creamer option for customers who prefer a creamier and smoother taste in their coffee. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various coffee beverages to add richness and depth of flavor.

Nutrition Facts

Half & Half is known for its creamy texture and delicious taste, but it is also important to consider its nutritional content. While it adds a touch of indulgence to your coffee, it is higher in calories and fat compared to other milk options.

According to the USDA, one tablespoon of half & half contains approximately 20 calories and 1.7 grams of fat. It also provides small amounts of protein and carbohydrates. It is important to be mindful of portion sizes when adding half & half to your coffee to maintain a balanced diet.


One of the reasons why half & half is a popular choice at Starbucks is its rich and creamy taste. The combination of whole milk and heavy cream creates a smooth and velvety texture that complements the flavors of coffee.

When added to a cup of coffee, half & half adds a subtle sweetness and creaminess, balancing out any bitterness or acidity. It enhances the overall taste of the coffee and creates a more enjoyable drinking experience.

Drinks Made With Half & Half

Half & Half is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various coffee beverages at Starbucks. It is commonly added to brewed coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.

For those looking for a more decadent treat, Starbucks offers specialty drinks like the Caramel Brulée Latte and the White Chocolate Mocha, both of which can be made with half & half. The addition of half & half to these drinks adds an extra layer of richness and creaminess.


When it comes to what milk Starbucks uses in their drinks, they offer a wide variety of dairy and non-dairy options. While 2% reduced fat milk is their default, you can customize your drink with whole milk, nonfat milk, soy, almond, coconut, oat milk and more.

Understanding the differences between milks can help you pick your perfect coffee drink. So next time you visit Starbucks, feel confident knowing which milk options align with your taste, dietary needs and preferences.

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