Anyone with child experience—whether it’s kids of your own or a profitable babysitting gig—knows that you can’t take them anywhere without a few “I want (fill in the blank).” Kids are naturally curious, and if they see you sipping on a latte or a vibrant Starbucks Refresher, they’re going to want one, too. Of course, there’s no way we’re about to hand a caffeine-laden Frappucino to a human being with already boundless energy. These nine caffeine-free beverages will satisfy the “I wants” of any child on a hot spring day.
Caffeine-free drinks at Starbucks
Children aside, sometimes adults need a refreshing beverage with a little less jolt to it. Whether you’ve already had your morning coffee or it’s 3pm and you just want something a little fun and sweet to power through a never-ending afternoon, the beverages below can appeal to grown-ups, too.
Remember, decaf is always an option, too. If you love the taste of coffee but don’t want to throw off your beauty sleep, you can order decaf anything (with the exception of the Refreshers, which all contain green coffee extract). A decaf soy mocha on a chilly evening or a decaf Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso on a balmy spring night can both be exceptional.
One final note on caffeine: the blonde roast actually contains slightly more caffeine than the medium and dark roasts. For example, a grande Blonde roast coffee contains 360 milligrams of caffeine compared to the same size Pike roast which contains 310 milligrams of caffeine. If you need a pick-me-up but are sensitive to caffeine, swap out any Blonde espresso shots (which are automatically included in the Iced Shaken Espressos) with the classic Signature Espresso.
9 kid-friendly vegan drinks at Starbucks
From blended Frappucinos (hold the whip) to brightly hued lemonade mixers, here are nine cool Starbucks drinks to order for kiddos, from toddlers to tweens.
1 Herbal iced teas
Starbucks can make an iced version of any loose leaf tea available in-store. Mint Majesty, Peach Tranquility, and Comfort Brewed Wellness Tea are all good picks. For a fun, hot-pink twist on lemonade, order your tot an Iced Passion Tango Tea Lemonade.
2 Purple Drink
Not to be confused with the caffeine-spiked Pink and Violet Drinks, the Purple Drink is an equally colorful fruity beverage that won’t send kids into a tailspin. Ask for a mix of Passion Tango iced tea, organic soy or coconut milk, a pump of vanilla syrup, and blackberries—shaken, not stirred.
3 Evolution Fresh Juice
Let your kid have their pick of an organic, 100-percent juice from the refrigerated section of the store as you wait to order your cold brew. Flavors include Organic Super Fruit Greens, Mighty Watermelon, Orange, Vital Berry, and Defense Up (a vitamin-C-packed tropical blend of fruits). Ask the barista for a tall cup with ice, then pour the juice over ice so your kid feels like they’re sipping a custom-made drink, just like the grown-ups.
4 Chocolate milk
Baristas can add a pump or two of vegan-friendly chocolate syrup to any of the non-dairy milk offerings for a custom chocolate milk. Choose from soy, almond, coconut, or oat milk for your kiddo’s chocolate-infused beverage. Ask for freeze dried strawberry slices for a fun and fruity floating addition.
5 Hazelnut milk
Truly, you can do this with any flavor (Toffeenut, Toasted Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon Dolce, etc), but hazelnut is a crowd-pleaser no matter the age. Ask for a tall cup of almond milk (or oat or soy) with two pumps of hazelnut syrup and you have custom-made, perfectly sweet hazelnut milk. Nutrition tip for parents: soy milk has the most protein and calcium out of all the Starbucks non-dairy milk options. If you’re looking to sneak in some nutrition along with your kids’ “fun” drink, opt for soy.
6 Crème Frappuccinos
All Frappuccinos are not created equal (or vegan). In fact, there are thousands of ways to customize these blended beverages—one of which includes creating (vegan) crème-based, coffee-free concoctions. Vanilla Bean Crème and Strawberries and Crème are kid-friendly staples—just be sure to ask for no whipped cream. Also steer clear of anything made with caramel sauce and Java Chips, as they both contain dairy. Barista tip: add one pump of hazelnut syrup to the vanilla or strawberry Crème for a cake batter-inspired flavor kids (and adults) will love.
7 Flavored Spindrift
Swap soda for a fruity can of sparkling water. Let your kid choose from Grapefruit or Raspberry Lime, then ask your barista for a tall cup with ice and fresh strawberries. Pour the chilled can over the ice and fruit for a fizzy, caffeine-and-sugar-free refresher.
8 Blended Strawberry Lemonade
The Blended Strawberry Lemonade is a menu staple that you can order by name, or get creative and try lemonade blended with peach, mango, or raspberry syrups for a smoothie-like drink with a kid-friendly amount of pucker. Steer clear of the chain’s new Frozen Lemonade Refreshers as these contain caffeine.
9 Decaf anything
Just about everything at Starbucks can be made decaffeinated, beyond the Refreshers and nitro cold brew. Your preteen wanting a more grown-up option? Try an Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte with decaf blonde espresso, soy milk, no whip, and replace dolce sprinkles (which contain dairy) with nutmeg or chocolate powder. Frappuccinos can also be re-worked sans caffeine by subbing in decaffeinated shots. Cut down on sugar as well by asking for a decaf Caramel Frappuccino with sugar-free syrup (made with Splenda, FYI), no whip, and no drizzle.