18 Best Coffee for Non-Coffee Drinkers: A Caffeine Guide for Newbies

Best Coffee for Non-Coffee Drinkers

It’s a tale as old as time. People have different tastes. So it’s perfectly understandable that some people don’t particularly enjoy the distinctly bold coffee taste.

But that doesn’t mean they have to give up exploring the coffee journey. There are still plenty of coffee options out there with a less intense coffee flavor yet are just as aromatic, delicious, and enjoyable.

In this article, I will list the best coffee drinks to help non-coffee drinkers find their next go-to menus at the coffee shop.

1. Iced Latte

For non-coffee drinkers, straight black brewed coffee drinks like espresso, drip coffee, French Press, and Pour-Overs wouldn’t be suitable picks due to the inherently powerful coffee taste.

So it’s best to go for coffee drinks that have added milk, sugar, and cream to reduce the bitter taste of coffee. Ask for oat milk if you can’t consume dairy.

And some of the best candidates for non-coffee drinkers have to be the sweet and luscious espresso-based beverages. Start with a simple serving of iced latte.

 A glass of iced latte

If you’re a stranger to the topic, a latte or caffè latte is a type of coffee drink that involves a strong shot of espresso being topped off with some sweet and creamy hot milk to balance out the intensity.

The milk is heated up to produce steamed milk and a velvety layer of foam around half an inch tall.

If you enjoy the look of some crafty latte art instead, opt for a wet foam instead.

2. Cappuccino

The cappuccino is another espresso-based coffee drink with steamed milk on top to knock your socks off.

The coffee taste is harmonized with the steamed milk and a very thick and prominent layer of dry foam on top.

Unlike the latte with a pretty lax ratio rule, on a cappuccino, each layer of the espresso shot, steamed milk, and dry foam have to take up one-third of the cup.

The foam layer is expected to be around three-quarters of an inch thick.


So you can definitely expect a milkier and foamier coffee experience when consuming a cappuccino.

3. Vanilla Latte

If you’re a fan of latte and looking for more variations of this milky espresso-based drink, look no further. Our first stop is the Vanilla Latte.

This should be popular among non-coffee drinkers with a sweet tooth as the addition of vanilla syrup to the classic latte bumps the sugariness remarkably.


But of course, feel free to adjust the amount of vanilla syrup if you’re looking for just a light scent of that universally loved vanilla flavor in your cup of coffee.

4. Mocha Latte

Any fans of chocolate around here? There’s a coffee drink that places a special emphasis on the chocolate flavor that will make you chipper.

The mocha or caffè mocha is an espresso-based drink that’s brewed with special Mocha coffee beans.

These coffee beans are grown and traded in Mocha, Yemen, and are well-loved in the coffee community for their naturally deep chocolate flavor tones.

Other than the chocolate coffee beans and the usual steamed milk, Mocha coffee drinks also call for extra hot chocolate in the mix to enhance the chocolate taste.


For those who like coffee extra sweet, you can also add whipped cream, chocolate and cocoa powder, and marshmallows on top as garnishings.

However, the mocha I’ve been talking about isn’t the same as the beverage in the title.

The mocha latte isn’t brewed with the special Mocha coffee beans, which is why it can easily be found at a regular coffee shop.

And baristas often use chocolate syrup rather than hot chocolate to add a lusciously sweet choco taste to the cup.

And as you would with the mocha, feel free to rain the coffee beverage with different adornments to sweeten it up and reduce the coffee flavor.

5. Peppermint Mocha

Whoever thought of putting chocolate and mint together are geniuses and their legacies still live on today as we even dedicate a national holiday to it.

If you’re a fan of this flavor combo, make sure to check out the Peppermint Mocha. No one says you have to have your coffee straight black. You can like coffee whatever way you want it. #loveislove

Use a shot of espresso (or a double shot of Ristretto) and some milk to make the usual latte.

A cup of Peppermint Mocha

Then pump in some peppermint syrup and chocolate syrup or mocha sauce to your desired amount to turn it into a refreshing and velvety-smooth cup of peppermint mocha.

6. Pumpkin Spice Latte

Even if you don’t drink coffee, you must have heard of this infamous Starbucks seasonal beverage.

Other than the basic espresso shots base and hot milk, the Pumpkin Spice Latte contains all of your favorite traditional fall flavors including pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

And like other tasty coffee drinks, the Pumpkin Spice Latte can also be enjoyed with a lump of whipped cream and extra garnishings, pumpkin spice topping in this case.

A glass of Pumpkin Spice Latte

It was first introduced by Starbucks in 2003 and has since become a well-anticipated drink every single autumn by coffee drinkers all around the world.

Non-coffee drinkers can also get a bang out of this scrumptious espresso drink. There’s only a subtle coffee flavor as the main focus is on the sweet and spicy pumpkin flavor and fragrance.

7. Chai Latte

Despite having the word “latte” in its name, this drink doesn’t have an ounce of coffee in it. Chai Latte is actually made with black tea, steamed milk, and chai spices.

It was introduced back in the 1990s by Starbucks (surprized, surprized) and has since gained huge popularity for its drinkability. It even went as far as getting favorably mentioned in a tweet by Khloe Kardashian.

A glass of Chai Latte

Both coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers can appreciate the aromatic Masala chai spices that are well mixed with the universally loved creamy and sweet taste of milk.

Coffee drinkers, especially, would often go for this non-coffee menu to satisfy their taste palate when they’re a bit over coffee or near their caffeine limit for the day.

8. Dirty Chai Latte

If you enjoy the latte and spices combo, here’s another option to spice up your daily routine.

Don’t mind the name. The word “dirty” doesn’t indicate that it’s dirty in the literal sense.

It, in fact, refers to the non-traditional shot of espresso added to the Chai Latte I mentioned above. So if you enjoy the chai spices and want to drink coffee, opt for the Dirty Chai Latte.

Other than the distinct spicy scent on top of the usual sweet and tasty latte, this brewed coffee also brings a multitude of health benefits that come from the masala spices.

So if you’re looking for a coffee that doesn’t taste like coffee? This is your des-tea-nation.

Dirty Chai Latte

Make sure to open up more to explore your coffee journey as these aren’t the only flavored lattes.

Feel free to also check out caramel, almond, hazelnut, matcha, coconut, and other fruity flavored hot coffee.

But keep in mind that the more popular the drinks become, the more the ingredients are commercially produced.

Many coffee chains have resolved to use flavored syrups and powders so the drinks definitely will not taste as authentic as the real thing.

This also increases the amount of sugar in the cup, and so it’s advised that these shouldn’t be an “everyday” drink but rather just as an occasional treat.

9. Vietnamese Coffee

The coffee world is wide and varies across different cultures, so why stick to drinking coffee with the same coffee tastes all the time?

A non-coffee drinker may not be aware that the regular coffee auto-drip machine, the staple coffee maker of American households, isn’t the only tool that can be used to make drip coffee.

Vietnamese phin coffee

Other manual brewers are just as capable of bringing the best coffee to the table.

The one to take the stage this time is the Vietnamese coffee brewed with the signature Vietnamese coffee filter called “phin”.

And the brewing device isn’t the only factor that distinguishes it from the black coffee in the US.

Vietnamese coffee also calls for fine dark-roasted Robusta coffee grounds as opposed to the usual medium ground medium roast Arabica.

Robusta is often regarded as the inferior type of coffee beans due to its grainier and more bitter coffee taste than the mildly sweet Arabica.

However, being the 2nd biggest coffee exporter in the world with Robusta being the majority, the Vietnamese have certainly figured out how to make the most out of these seemingly unfavorable coffee flavors.

The phin filter produces no ordinary coffee. The result is a slow drip, thick, and concentrated coffee, which may remind you of a shot of espresso, but it’s in fact stronger in both taste and caffeine.

Phin coffee

Since we’re looking for coffee that doesn’t taste like coffee too much, to significantly cut down the bitter taste of black coffee, enjoy the special Vietnamese coffee flavors with sweetened condensed milk.

10. Vietnamese Iced Coffee

To cool down the hot summer days, pour the cup over a tall glass of ice to make a Vietnamese iced coffee just like they do at Vietnamese restaurants.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

11. Cold Brew Coffee

One of the hottest coffee trends over the last decade is the Cold Brew, featuring full-bodied and fulfilling coffee flavors that take over 12 hours to brew.

That’s not the only interesting about this beverage that sets it apart from regular black coffee.

The grind size (coarsely rather than finely ground coffee) and brewing method can lower the coffee’s acidity and bitterness up to 67%!

Cold brew

Though you can enjoy it as it is, for our resident readers who want to minimize the coffee taste, cut the concentrate with water, ice, soda, syrup, milk, sugar, cream, etc.

Cold Brew is probably the best type of coffee to start with for people who don’t like coffee as it has the least amount of bitterness and acidity.

You can get really creative with this type of coffee.

12. Caramel Macchiato

Looking for a less syrupy sweet version of the classic vanilla latte? Get a Caramel Macchiato, another coffee beverage that blew up thanks to the influence of the global coffee chain Starbucks.

It’s technically a vanilla latte but is not as overwhelmingly sweetened, making it easier to consume if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth.

A cup of Caramel Macchiato

The “caramel” in “Caramel Macchiato” comes from the caramel syrup drizzling on top.

However, despite being called a Macchiato, it’s in fact more like a latte as the Macchiato contains a lot less milk than a latte.

But the reason why Starbucks called this a Caramel Macchiato has more to do with the layering of ingredients. Here, the espresso layer is placed on top of the milk, opposite from its latte.

This gives the Caramel Macchiato a distinct layering look that you can definitely tell from a glass cup of coffee.

13. Coffee Frappe

A Frappe coffee is essentially a lovechild of a shake and an iced coffee to produce a cool, smooth, and balanced cup of coffee.

The barista can feel free to improvise with the ingredients as the only thing that matters is that they are well mixed either by being shaken, beaten, or blended.

But the most widely accepted recipe these days originated from Greece which involves the usage of instant coffee, ice, milk, and sugar.

Although instant coffee is often frowned upon by coffee aficionados as nothing beats fresh coffee, we should respect the diversity. If we can make the best coffee out of it, why not?

 Coffee Frappe

The result is a bittersweet and foamy cup of Joe that can be enjoyed by anyone with a straw, as the foam formed on top of the coffee Frappe can be considered bitter, especially to first-time coffee drinkers.

14. French Vanilla

Did you know that flavors can be artificially added to coffee beans? Get a bag of flavored coffee to add a bit of flavor to your dull morning.

My top suggestion is the French Vanilla beans. They usually have a medium or light roast to best bring out the aromatic and buttery flavor of vanilla out.

French Vanilla

Feel free to use the French Vanilla beans to make different types of coffee, from the bold Moka Pot, balanced drip coffee, full-bodied French Press, to refreshing Cold Brew coffee.

Don’t be shy with the whipped cream, milk, and sugar for the French Vanilla if you like coffee that’s sweeter.

15. Irish Coffee

If you’re not an underage coffee drinker, why not give the alcohol and coffee combo a try?

The Irish sure know how to party as they paired Irish whisky and black coffee together for a real good time.

The alcohol and coffee are also mixed with sugar, before being topped with cream.

The result is a glass of Irish coffee that’s sweet and alcoholic (no shit!) yet still rich from the strong coffee. The cream also adds a layer of texture to form a fire party in your mouth.

 Irish coffee

16. Affogato

If you’re in the mood for some real dessert, get a taste of the Affogato. (One of my personal favorites!)

Meaning “drowned” in English, the word “affogato” captures perfectly the essence of this drink/dessert.

It only involves 2 ingredients – vanilla ice cream and espresso. The former is “drowned” in the latter.

Who cares about the debate over whether it’s a drink or a dessert.

 Pouring espresso over ice cream to make Affogato

What matters is the creamy and smooth ice cream and dark and full-bodied espresso mixed is delightful.

You may find variations of the flavor of the ice cream in the Affogato. Some areas may serve it with some fruity-flavored ice cream instead.

The espresso may also be replaced with a double shot of Ristretto for less bitterness yet double the strength.

17. Green Tea

The beverages I’ve listed so far, which can be found at almost every coffee shop BTW, are more geared towards those who do like coffee at least a little.

But if you really hate coffee, most coffee shops also serve soft drinks other than coffee as well.

One of the brightest candidates is tea, which is also a good source to get your caffeine fix.

Green tea

A classic cup of green tea, one of the least processed types of tea, can bring a whole lot of health benefits to the table, including cancer prevention, weight loss, and memory improvement.

It’s also easy to drink with little to no bitter flavor compounds. So opt for tea if you don’t like coffee.

18. Herbal Tea

If you prefer no caffeine, get a cup of herbal tea.

You can find it in a variety of tastes and aromas and they’ll come with health perks as well, just minus the energy boost.

Herbal Tea

If you don’t know where to start, check out some of these popular herbal teas: peppermint, ginger, rooibos, etc.

To Wrap Up Or Best Coffee for Non-Coffee Drinkers Guide

That’s my list of the best coffee for non-coffee drinkers. Some of us don’t like coffee as much as others, but that doesn’t mean there are no menus out there that can meet our personal preferences. You just have to know where to look.

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