Does Starbucks Have Black Coffee?

Starbucks became a mainstream brand when it gained acceptance for making mass-appeal coffee beverages trendy with a fancy presentation and often misspelled names that made for personal yet micro-viral content. If you’re a serious coffee drinker and do not like colorful coffee beverages with lots of sugar and whipped cream, you might wonder if Starbucks can be a decent emergency stop for your black coffee fix.

Starbucks has black coffee in various forms, including cafe americano, brewed coffee, espresso, and long black coffee. Ordering any of these drinks will get you a steaming cup of rich black coffee. You can also simply ask for “black coffee,” and the barista will handle your request.

In this article, we will go over each of the above types, so you know what to expect from each beverage. You’ll also find out what to order to get intense black coffee that can keep you up on a long road trip and help you focus on mentally-demanding tasks.

Cafe Americano

This is a fancy name for “diluted espresso.” If you want to get the buzz of espresso while prolonging the intake period, getting cafe americano is the best option. It is ideal for social settings and evenings rather than mornings and solitude. Order cafe Americano if:

  • You’re going to Starbucks to meet a friend. 
  • You have already had coffee in the morning.
  • You want to order a Tall (small) or Short (extra small) serving.
  • You drink coffee for the taste, and your local Starbucks is out of decaf.

Cafe Americano Starbucks Hack: Do not order larger cafe americano because the drink is made by dilution and larger batches just contain more water. Instead, opt for a drink where larger batches have more substance.

Brewed coffee

This is an option for those who want to consume a standard cup of brewed coffee and couldn’t care less about the Starbucks way of making coffee. The Starbucks brewed coffee is crafted using a state-of-the-art brewing machine that produces rich coffee without any additives like milk, sugar, and cream. You can request additions if you please. This beverage is best to order if:

  • You need morning coffee to be fully alert. 
  • You feel your focus slipping because of sleepiness
  • You’re looking to order a large cup (venti)

What to expect with Starbucks brewed coffee: Unless someone else has ordered a cup prior to you, your brewed coffee will need to be made fresh. The baristas often drain old coffee and can take up to 15 minutes brewing a new batch. If asked whether you would like to wait that long, please say “Yes.” 

If you say you don’t have the time, you might get a microwaved cup from the previously brewed batch. While it may not be stale, why pass on a fresh cup to get one that was brewed more than an hour ago?


While brewed coffee requires the use of a different machine, the quickest shot of caffeine you can get at your local Starbucks is a serving of espresso. Usually, you will not be asked for size as the shot itself is self-sizing, but you may be asked if you want single or double. Espresso is best if

  • You want to consume two cups’ worth of coffee in half the time 
  • You don’t want to draw out the coffee drinking experience
  • The intensity of dense coffee essence inspires your focus or creativity

Keep in mind: espresso is not any more caffeine-rich than Americano; it just has less water. You might feel dehydrated after ordering an espresso, so make sure you have a bottle of water around.

Long black

A long black is reverse Americano in that it too is made with diluted espresso, except the espresso is added to a cup of steaming water. As you may remember from earlier, in Americano, the water is added after the espresso is collected in a serving cup. 

In terms of chemical composition and tangible effect, both these drinks are the same, which means that you can order long black when you’re consuming coffee in a social setting and don’t want to take an intense dose in a short period.

Other black coffee drinks

Iced Americano

Iced Americano is the quicker version of cold brew. This beverage is made by pouring espresso into a cup, adding hot water to it, then pumping it full of ice to bring the drink’s temperature down. It is a decent summer drink that is technically black coffee. 

It is the best alternative to order if a coffee shop is out of decaf beans because it is diluted with both water and ice. At Starbucks, you can get a slightly more intense dose of cold black coffee by requesting the barista to add ice to your hot brewed coffee.


This drink shouldn’t be confused with iced Americano or brewed coffee with ice. Both of these drinks involve bringing down the temperature of hot coffee. Coffee made at high temperatures is intense and caffeine-rich. The mellower flavor with lower caffeine content requires the use of appropriately roasted beans or low temperature. 

Cold brew is made by brewing coffee in a refrigerator overnight. While Starbucks offers cold brew, it is not available at all branches at all times. That’s why it is advisable to first ask, “do you have cold brew, or do you add ice to brewed coffee?” This way, you won’t be disappointed by ordering a drink and getting a different one.


Ristretto is the opposite of Americano in terms of concentration. It is prepared using the same method and coffee grounds as an espresso except with half the water. Starbucks Risretto may not follow the standard proportions of an Italian Ristretto but is denser than its standard espresso, nonetheless. It is obviously best for those looking for significantly more caffeine and richer taste in a much smaller serving.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re headed to Starbucks to meet a friend or are looking up the options because it is the only coffee shop in your area, don’t worry, you can order black coffee in many forms at Starbucks. If all you want is to avoid milk and cream, order Americano, long black, or brewed coffee, and you’ll have your standard black coffee.

Tim S.

Tim loves roasting, brewing, and experimenting with coffee. After years of perfecting this craft, working as a barista, and owning a small coffee service in college, he has decided to share his knowledge with the world.

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