The Starbucks vanilla latte – or blonde vanilla latte – is a simple but delicious menu item. It is made similarly to their regular latte, with four pumps of vanilla syrup for a sweeter flavor.
The vanilla latte is a shot of espresso combined with frothed milk and vanilla syrup. It is available to customize to your taste, so whether you’re vegan or think four pumps are too much, there’s an option for you. It is one of the most popular menu items due to its sweet and simple flavor.
Starbucks drinks can be daunting to order due to their highly customizable nature.
Here is everything you need to know, including how to order one and how you can customize it.
Starbucks vanilla latte ingredients
Starbucks vanilla latte is a simple coffee drink and contains only three ingredients.
This makes it one of the easiest drinks to order and one of the simplest to modify for your barista. The ingredients are as follows:
- Brewed espresso
- Vanilla syrup (sugar, water, natural flavors, potassium sorbate, citric acid)
A Grande (16 fl oz) contains 35g (1.23 oz) of sugars, 6g (0.21 oz) of fat, and 170 mg (0.01 oz) of caffeine, although these numbers change when you make alterations to the drink.
While most allergens are replaceable in the drink, Starbucks cannot guarantee there won’t be cross-contamination.
If you have a severe allergy, speak to the staff to find the best option for you.
How to customize the Starbucks vanilla latte
You can customize your order to your taste in a few different ways. These are some of the best customizations available at Starbucks right now.
Change your coffee shot
The standard menu version of the Starbucks vanilla latte is made with a double espresso shot. Here are a few ways you can change that.
- Change the number of espresso shots in your coffee. If this is your first drink of the day, you might want that extra kick in your drink, or if you’re not looking for a considerable buzz, you can reduce it to a single shot.
- Switch to decaf. If you like your coffee decaffeinated, there are many options available. You can order your coffee completely decaffeinated or choose a low-caffeine option like a 1/2 decaf.
- Change your espresso roast. Starbucks allows you to choose between their signature espresso roast or their blonde espresso roast.
- Customize your espresso method. Starbucks offers the option to choose between ristretto and long-shot espresso. The ristretto uses less water than the long shot, allowing for a more concentrated coffee flavor.
Customize your milk options
The menu version of a vanilla latte includes a standard 2% milk. However, there are lots of reasons this might be unsuitable for you.
If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, you will want an alternative. You may even want to switch to a heavier milk option if you feel extra indulgent.
Here are a few ways you can customize your milk:
- Go dairy free. Starbucks offers a range of milk alternatives, so you can still enjoy your coffee if you don’t drink milk. Choose from almond, coconut, oat, and soy milk.
- Opt for creamier milk. Starbucks default to a 2% milk option. While this is better for you, it might not be to your taste. Starbucks offers whole milk and half-and-half to make your coffee a little creamier.
- Opt for nonfat milk. Is 2% fat too much for your taste? You can order completely nonfat milk to make your drink that bit healthier.
- Go for cream instead. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, why not go for a cream? Starbucks currently offers heavy cream and vanilla sweet cream in your drink.
- Customize the foam. A good latte has just the right amount of foam. If you want your barista to go a little lighter or heavier on the foam, you can ask them at the counter or opt for it online.
Customize your flavor
Starbucks vanilla latte comes with four pumps of vanilla syrup, but it is highly customizable. Here are some things you can do to customize your flavor.
- Reduce the amount of vanilla syrup. If you want a milder taste in your latte, you can ask them to put fewer pumps of vanilla. You can even add more if you like, but this is too strong for most people.
- Add extra syrups. There are too many syrups available to list here, but some of the best to complement a vanilla latte are apple brown sugar, caramel, or cinnamon dolce syrup.
- Switch to a sugar-free vanilla syrup. The vanilla is available in a sugar-free option, so if you want to opt for a healthier drink, then just ask for four pumps of that instead of the regular syrup.
- Add a sauce. There is a great variety of sauces available to add to your drink. Add the toasted white chocolate mocha or pumpkin sauce for a seasonal twist to your drink.
- Add a topping. If you love a cozy Starbucks drink, whipped cream is a must. You can also add sprinkles, cinnamon powder, and a variety of foams. Ask your barista what they offer for the best options.
How to order a Starbucks vanilla latte
The Starbucks vanilla latte is already listed on the menu as a blonde vanilla latte. If you are happy with the latte as it comes, then all you have to do is ask for this, and you’re ready to go.
You can also order on their website. This is really helpful if you want to add customizations because all of the options are listed there for you to change as you like.
If you like your coffee with lots of alterations, ordering this way will save you and the barista a lot of time.
If you want to customize your coffee in-store, your barista will happily do this for you.
However, it is a good idea to have your order decided on before you get to the counter so you don’t hold up the queue too much.
They have a great range of options, but try and keep it as simple as possible. Baristas are only human, and complex orders can hold people up.
If you want to get more tips on how to order at Starbucks like a pro, have a look at this article.
Can you make a Starbucks vanilla latte at home?
Due to its simple ingredient list, anyone can make a delicious vanilla latte at home that is just as good as the Starbucks version.
The great thing about this is that it is even more customizable than the Starbucks version. You can make it exactly how you like it.
You can find my recipe for a vanilla latte with homemade syrup here on this website.
The recipe teaches you how to make your own vanilla syrup, but you can follow along with any sort of syrup to make your own vanilla lattes at home.
If you prefer to make your coffee in a machine, you can easily recreate the latte this way as well.
Amazon sells Starbucks by Nespresso Blonde Roast Espresso pods for your device to create the same classic Starbucks espresso you know and love. Just add milk and vanilla syrup for a great-tasting coffee.
Starbucks vanilla latte FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions about this delicious drink:
Does a vanilla latte contain coffee?
Yes, the vanilla latte contains two shots of espresso. This can be customized how you like, so you can swap for decaf if you want to reduce your caffeine intake.
Is a Starbucks vanilla latte sweet or bitter?
The Starbucks vanilla latte comes very sweet, with plenty of frothed milk and four pumps of vanilla syrup.
If you would like a more bitter vanilla latte, perhaps opt for an extra shot of coffee and fewer pumps of vanilla syrup. You can also add vanilla syrup to a cappuccino for a hint of vanilla with a richer taste.
What is the difference between a vanilla latte and vanilla coffee?
Vanilla lattes are made in a specific way, whereas a vanilla coffee could be any kind of coffee that has added vanilla syrup.
A latte is made with a shot or two of espresso, topped with frothed milk. Adding vanilla syrup to this specific drink will make it a vanilla latte.
Are vanilla lattes healthy?
While the Starbucks version of a vanilla latte is high in sugar and fat, it doesn’t have to be unhealthy.
You can substitute your milk for a lighter version of the drink or opt for a sugar-free syrup when ordering if you consume them regularly. However, in moderation, a regular vanilla latte is not bad for you.
Starbucks vanilla lattes are an excellent sweet take on the traditional latte.
Whether ordered at Starbucks or made in your kitchen, it is a great seasonal drink that makes your caffeine fix a little more fun.
Remember that everything should be consumed in moderation, and you should always ask your local branch if you have any allergy issues or other requirements.
Starbucks stocks milk and gluten-based products, and they cannot guarantee a lack of cross-contamination.