Starbucks Juniper Latte: The Ultimate Winter Coffee Delight

Starbucks juniper latte

The Starbucks Juniper Latte is a popular winter-inspired beverage that graces the menu of Starbucks stores for a limited time during the holiday season.

This unique drink brings together the rich flavor of the espresso with the subtle, refreshing notes of juniper, creating a delightful blend of seasonal tastes perfect for festive outdoor gatherings or cozy fireside chats.

A steaming cup of Starbucks juniper latte sits on a wooden table, surrounded by soft winter light and a sprinkle of fragrant juniper berries

Introduced in recent years and rapidly gaining popularity, the Juniper Latte has become a go-to treat for those looking to try something different from their traditional holiday drinks.

The combination of flavors, including piney juniper and citrus undertones, makes this drink a standout option for both coffee aficionados and casual Starbucks visitors alike.

With its memorable taste and festive appearance, it’s no wonder this drink has become a fan favorite during the winter months.

Key Takeaways

  • Starbucks Juniper Latte is a winter-inspired, limited-time holiday drink.
  • Combines rich espresso with subtle juniper and citrus flavors.
  • Gained popularity for its unique taste and festive appearance.

History of the Starbucks Juniper Latte

A barista pours steamed milk into a cup of espresso, adding a juniper syrup and a sprinkle of juniper sugar, creating the signature Starbucks Juniper Latte

Starbucks Reserve Roastery Debut

The Starbucks Juniper Latte made its initial debut at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle on November 27th.

This limited-time offering quickly gained popularity for its unique combination of flavors and aromas.

Customers were enticed by its woody aroma and notes of sweet mandarin and mulled spices.

Expansion to Starbucks Stores Nationwide

After a successful debut at the Roastery, the Juniper Latte expanded to Starbucks stores nationwide as a holiday beverage.

This provided customers with an opportunity to experience this festive drink at their local Starbucks.

The latte is made with espresso, milk, juniper syrup, and a pine-citrus sugar topping, making it an intriguing addition to the Starbucks holiday lineup.

Holiday Season Significance

The Starbucks Juniper Latte quickly became synonymous with the holiday season due to its wintery flavors and connection to World AIDS Day.

On December 1st, Starbucks honored World AIDS Day by donating 20 cents for every latte purchased, including the Juniper Latte, to help (RED) fight against AIDS.

This charitable aspect added an additional layer of significance for customers enjoying this seasonal beverage.

Overall, the Starbucks Juniper Latte has become a notable holiday offering that combines unique flavors, a festive atmosphere, and an opportunity to give back.

As a result, it has carved out its own niche within the Starbucks menu and has gained a dedicated following of fans each holiday season.

Ingredient Profile

A steaming cup of Starbucks Juniper Latte sits on a rustic wooden table, surrounded by fresh juniper berries and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Key Ingredients

The Starbucks Juniper Latte features a combination of rich, bold ingredients that blend harmoniously to create a unique and festive beverage.

The main components include Milk, Signature Espresso, and Juniper Syrup.

This syrup is made by combining demerara sugar, cane sugar, natural flavor, and potassium sorbate1.

Additionally, a dusting of Pine-Citrus Sugar adds a beautiful finishing touch to this latte.

Unique Flavor Palette

What sets the Juniper Latte apart from other Starbucks drinks is its distinctive taste profile.

The combination of Espresso, essential for any latte, and Juniper Syrup creates a delightful balance of rich, earthy flavors with a hint of sweetness.

As you savor your drink, you’ll notice the earthy and slightly floral notes provided by the dried juniper berries2. The Pine-Citrus Sugar dusting adds a subtle zest to this heavenly concoction.

Potential Allergens

As with any beverage, it’s essential to be aware of potential allergens present in the Juniper Latte.

The primary allergen to consider in this drink is Milk.

For those with dairy allergies or sensitivities, it’s important to be cautious and perhaps consider an alternative milk option.

The other ingredients in the latte, such as the Juniper Syrup and Pine-Citrus Sugar, typically do not contain known allergens.

However, it’s always best to consult Starbucks’ official website or inquire in-store if you have specific concerns.

Preparation Techniques

An overhead view of a barista pouring steamed milk into a cup of juniper-flavored espresso, with a backdrop of coffee beans and juniper berries

Steaming Milk

To make the perfect Starbucks Juniper Latte, the first step is to steam your milk.

Fill your steamer pitcher about halfway with a milk of your choice (whole, skim, or a non-dairy alternative).

Turn on your steamer wand and insert it at a slight angle into the milk, creating a whirlpool effect in the pitcher.

Keep an eye on the temperature and consistency of the milk.

It should reach around 150°F (65°C) and have a frothy texture. Make sure not to overheat or burn the milk, as this will affect the latte’s flavor.

Layering Flavors

While your milk is steaming, you can prepare the juniper syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients for the syrup and bring it to a simmer, stirring regularly.

Allow it to cook for about 15 minutes, then let it cool completely and strain it through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solid particles.

You can store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use.

To layer the flavors, start with a large cup or glass.

Pour a shot of espresso into the bottom of the cup, followed by a tablespoon (or more, depending on your preference) of the cooled juniper syrup.

Slowly pour the steamed milk on top, letting the flavors meld together.


For an authentic Starbucks Juniper Latte experience, you can garnish your homemade latte with a few final touches.

A light dusting of ground juniper berries on top of the frothy steamed milk adds an extra layer of flavor and aroma.

Additionally, you can add a sprig of fresh rosemary or a twist of orange peel for a pop of color and an extra hint of festive flavor.

By following these preparation techniques, you can easily create a delicious Starbucks Juniper Latte in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Remember to steam your milk carefully, layer your flavors, and add a creative garnish for an enjoyable and professional homemade latte experience.

Tasting Notes and Sensory Experience

A steaming cup of Starbucks Juniper Latte sits on a rustic wooden table, surrounded by fresh juniper berries and pine needles. The rich aroma of coffee and the earthy, herbal scent of juniper fill the air

Aroma Profile

Upon bringing the Starbucks Juniper Latte close to your nose, you will immediately notice its distinct evergreen aroma.

This unique scent is primarily attributed to the presence of juniper and is complemented by a subtle hint of sage.

Along with these earthy and herbal notes, a touch of citrusy essence further adds to the complexity of the aroma profile.

The combination of these scents creates a captivating experience that evokes the feeling of a cozy winter day.

Palate Description

When you take your first sip of the Juniper Latte, your taste buds will encounter a delightful medley of flavors.

The primary taste derives from juniper berries, giving the latte a soft pine hint.

Accompanying this distinctive taste is a delicate blend of citrus notes and cardamom, adding a zesty yet exotic touch to the beverage. Rounding off the palate, you’ll discover a mild orange flavor, creating a harmonious balance between the earthy and fruity components of the drink.

Visual Presentation

As you take a look at your Starbucks Juniper Latte, you’ll notice its enticing visual presentation that adds to the overall sensory experience.

The latte is topped with velvety smooth froth swirled intricately, creating a delightful pattern.

Lightly dusted atop the froth is an eye-catching blend of pine-citrus sugar, adding a bright sparkle to the beverage.

The contrast of the creamy white foam over the rich, dark coffee creates a visually appealing and appetizing aesthetic.

In conclusion, the Starbucks Juniper Latte offers a true sensory adventure, exuding a delightful combination of aromas and flavors that beautifully capture the essence of the winter season.

Be sure to enjoy this one-of-a-kind beverage while it’s available, and savor the unique sensory experience it offers.

Nutritional Information

A steaming cup of Starbucks Juniper Latte sits on a rustic wooden table, surrounded by fresh juniper berries and a sprig of fragrant rosemary. The nutritional information label is prominently displayed on the side of the cup

Calorie Content

When considering the calorie content of Starbucks’ Juniper Latte, a few factors come into play. The basic recipe made with 2% milk has 260 calories.

However, you can customize your drink to suit your dietary preferences. For example, if you choose whole milk, the calorie count increases to 370 calories for a venti-sized beverage.

On the other hand, opting for a nonfat milk version will reduce the overall caloric value. Remember, the added pine-citrus sugar garnish also contributes to the drink’s total calorie content.

Caffeine Levels

The caffeine levels in a Juniper Latte are similar to other espresso-based drinks offered by Starbucks.

As a reference, a plain latte made with Starbucks Company Blonde Espresso has 150 mg of caffeine per 12 fluid ounces.

Choosing a different size or customizing with additional shots of espresso will increase the caffeine content.

It’s essential to be mindful of your caffeine intake and adjust your order accordingly to suit your personal health goals and tolerance.

Starbucks Customer Experiences

A customer sips a juniper latte at a cozy Starbucks, surrounded by festive decor and the comforting aroma of coffee

Customer Feedback

The Starbucks Juniper Latte is an innovative experience that customers have had different reactions to.

Starbucks describes the flavor of this seasonal offering as a combination of juniper and sage, with an evergreen aroma and citrus notes.

Some customers love this unique profile, embracing a winter forest appeal in their coffee, while others find it to be an acquired taste.

Comparisons to Other Seasonal Offerings

Starbucks has a variety of seasonal drinks that cater to different customer preferences.

In comparison to other popular Starbucks seasonal beverages like the Pepper-mint Mocha, Gingerbread Latte, and Caramel Brulée, the Juniper Latte offers a more unconventional flavor palette.

Let’s briefly compare these options:

  • Peppermint Mocha: A classic blend of espresso, steamed milk, chocolate, and peppermint, topped with super whipped cream and dark chocolate curls. Ideal for those seeking a warm, nostalgic holiday experience.

  • Gingerbread Latte: A comforting combination of espresso, steamed milk, gingerbread syrup, and whipped cream, finished with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Perfect for those who appreciate the warm, spicy flavors of the holiday season.

  • Caramel Brulée: A rich and creamy mix of espresso, steamed milk, caramel brulée sauce, topped with whipped cream and caramel brulée topping. A choice for those who like a sweet and decadent treat during the holidays.

  • Juniper Latte: As mentioned earlier, it offers a distinct flavor, a mix of juniper and sage with evergreen and citrus notes, providing an alternative for those who want to try something different in their seasonal coffee experience.

Your choice will mainly depend on your personal preferences and the kind of experience you want to savor during the holiday season.

If you are a fan of unconventional flavors and willing to try something unique, the Juniper Latte can be a refreshing change.

NameStarbucks Juniper Latte
DescriptionA seasonal drink offered by Starbucks, featuring juniper syrup and espresso
IngredientsEspresso, steamed milk, juniper syrup, frothed milk
Flavor ProfileEarthy, herbal, slightly sweet with hints of pine from the juniper
AvailabilitySeasonal offering, typically available during the winter months
Size OptionsAvailable in various sizes, such as Tall (12 oz), Grande (16 oz), Venti (20 oz)
Caffeine ContentVaries based on size, typically around 75 mg for a Tall
CustomizationCan be customized with different milk options (e.g., almond, soy), and toppings (e.g., whipped cream)


The new Juniper Latte from Starbucks has certainly stirred a lot of interest since its release, offering a unique addition to the chain’s holiday menu.

With its distinctive taste, which some say resembles the essence of a pine tree, it’s becoming a topic of conversation among coffee enthusiasts and journalism circles alike.

Unlike traditional latte flavors or the sweet and creamy eggnog latte that returns to Starbucks every Christmas, the Juniper Latte brings something entirely new to the table.

Many who have tried it note that the Juniper Latte doesn’t taste like your average cup of joe. Instead, it has a woodsy, almost gin and tonic vibe, thanks to the juniper and sage notes, making it an adventurous choice for those looking to shake up their coffee routine.

Despite its unique profile, the drink does not overwhelm; the pine flavor is subtle, aiming to evoke the feel of Christmas without making you feel like you’re actually sipping a pine tree.

The introduction of the Juniper Latte has been met with mixed reactions.

Some appreciate its innovative approach to holiday flavors, praising its woodsy and slightly bitter aftertaste that sets it apart from the more traditional options.

Others, however, might find it a bit too out of the box, preferring the familiar comfort of classic holiday beverages.

Regardless of where you stand on the taste spectrum, the Juniper Latte is indicative of Starbucks’ willingness to experiment with its menu and cater to a broad range of palates.

For those curious about this novel beverage, it might just be the kind of seasonal twist you didn’t know you were looking for – or it could be a reminder of why you stick to your tried-and-true favorites.

Whether you end up loving or just barely tolerating it, trying the Juniper Latte could be a memorable part of your holiday season.

After all, experimenting with new flavors is what keeps the world of coffee exciting and diverse.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming cup of Starbucks Juniper Latte sits on a wooden table, surrounded by a cozy cafe atmosphere. The latte is topped with a frothy layer and garnished with a sprinkle of juniper berries

How many calories are in a Starbucks Juniper Latte?

The calorie content of a Starbucks Juniper Latte depends on the size and the milk used.

For a more specific count on the calorie content, reading latest info on Starbucks website can help.

What do reviews say about the Starbucks Juniper Latte?

The Starbucks Juniper Latte has received mixed reviews, with some appreciating already its unique flavor, while others found it too subtle or not sweet enough.

According to The Kitchn’s review, the Juniper Latte is not overly sweet and has a hint of pine and citrus.

Can you provide a recipe for making a Starbucks-style Juniper Latte at home?

Yes, you can make your own Starbucks-style Juniper Latte at home.

The recipe includes ingredients and instructions for making the juniper syrup, which is one of the key components of the beverage.

Will the Juniper Latte be returning to the Starbucks seasonal menu?

The return of Starbucks’ Juniper Latte to the seasonal menu may vary each year.

Keep an eye on Starbucks announcements and social media for information on their seasonal beverage offerings.

What are the ingredients in the Starbucks Juniper Latte?

The Starbucks Chain Juniper Latte features their signature espresso, steamed milk, juniper syrup, velvety foam, and is topped with a dusting of pine-citrus sugar.

You can probably find more details on the drink’s ingredients on the Starbucks member website.

How much caffeine is there in a Starbucks Juniper Latte?

The amount of caffeine in a Starbucks Juniper Latte will depend on the size of the beverage and the espresso shots that’s used.

Since it’s made with their signature espresso, you can expect a caffeine content similar to that of other Starbucks lattes.

For detailed information on caffeine content, refer to the Starbucks website.

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