Save money making these classic Starbucks drinks at home

A lot of people, especially millennials, have made a habit out of going to Starbucks for a quick coffee run. However, the pandemic is making us think twice before spending money on not-so-necessary things, so it is a great opportunity to learn how to do it yourself!

The days of going out for a cup of coffee are behind us, not for good, but for the time being. And coffee lovers are struggling with the nostalgic feeling of missing their favorite coffee chains, the smell of freshly ground beans in the morning and the sweet taste of syrup. Oh, good old days.

However, this turns out to be the perfect opportunity to learn how to do it at home. You will save money —and time, because you can make these babies in only 5 minutes.

What you’ll need:

Simple syrup: Most classic Starbucks drinks use syrup instead of stevia or sugar crystal, as they will not dissolve into the drink the same way. It is really easy to make (well, there’s a reason why it’s called simple syrup, right?): heat one cup of sugar and one cup of water on the stove for a few minutes, add a tablespoon of vanilla extract for some flavor!

Caramel: You can either buy a bottle of caramel —or you can do it yourself following this recipe from Food Network. Hint: you can add extra salt to bring out the flavor!

Whipped cream: Most Starbucks drinks are topped with whipped cream, so this is a must. Again, you can either buy it or whip it yourself —using an electric mixer on a half a cup of heavy cream until it looks firm and nice, about two minutes.

Coffee: this one is pretty obvious. Most Starbucks drinks are espresso-based, so unless you have an espresso maker, regular instant coffee will just do the trick.

SEE ALSO: Save money and "make Crispy French Fries at home!" 

The recipes

Caramel Macchiato

Caramel Macchiato might be hard to spell, but it is really easy to make. Warm a serving cup, add 1 tbsp. of vanilla syrup in the cup, froth two-thirds cup of milk and add milk foam in, pour in one shot of espresso and drizzle caramel sauce on top. Ready to serve!


This popular beverage can be easily made. Most recipes call for ice, coffee and flavoring, but that recipe can be watery. Starbucks uses a thickening agent to hold it together. You can use xanthan gum (don’t worry, sounds complicated but it is sold in any baking aisle) or cornstarch. Just blend ice, coffee, milk, caramel sauce and sugar together in a blender until smooth. Add your preferred thickening agent —slowly, though— and mix until you get the desired consistency. Enjoy!

Starbucks Refresher

If you read the ingredients of any Starbucks refresher, you will find some crazy names there. Of course, they have to use preservatives and flavors enhancer, but you don’t need to use any of that if you do it at home for a one time drink. Increase your summer vibes by following these simple steps: you’ll need water, lime juice, mint leaves, cucumber, sugar or sweetener and limes for garnish. Start by finely chopping the mint leaves and cucumber, fill a pitcher with water and add the chopped veggies. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes (you can let it sit overnight for extra flavor). Add lime juice and sugar and ready to drink!

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