Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha: What To Know Before Ordering

Let's just say it, ordering from Starbucks can be a little overwhelming. The menu is already big, and it seems like every day the Seattle coffee chain is adding in new seasonal or temporary choices. With new additions all the time, it can be hard to work through and get the opportunity to try all the regular items.

If the White Chocolate Mocha has been on your list for a while, take this as your sign to take the plunge and make this your next order. A sweet, decadent drink, Starbucks' White Chocolate Mocha is definitely not one you want to sleep on.

But, if you've never had it before, it's not surprising to wonder what it actually is, and more importantly, what it tastes like. If you're looking for your go-to guide for all things white mocha, read on to learn all about what will soon be your new favorite drink.

What is it and how is it made?

Starbucks' White Chocolate Mocha is very similar to their standard mocha, the big difference being, as the name implies, the type of chocolate sauce used. Similar to a mocha, a White Chocolate Mocha is made with steamed milk and shots of espresso, but it gets white chocolate sauce. This is then all topped with whipped cream for a decadent and delicious drink.

In many ways, this drink is made similarly to a latte. As far as the actual liquid contents go, it's about 80% steamed milk and 20% espresso, according to Starbucks. For this reason, it's much more rich and creamy than, say, a cup of brewed coffee with cream poured in. If you were wondering how the white chocolate fits in there, it's mixed with the espresso before the milk is added.

The standard recipe uses 2% milk, but as all drinks are at Starbucks, this is customizable if you don't want a lot of dairy. However, be warned that the White Chocolate Mocha sauce does have milk in it, so if you order this drink even with an alternative milk, it won't be completely vegan or lactose-free.

What does a White Chocolate Mocha taste like?

If there was only one word to describe the White Chocolate Mocha, it'd probably be sweet. The drink is definitely on the more decadent side of the spectrum, and probably not the best for people who prefer a more bold or rich coffee flavor. If you do like a more sugary java, this beverage is definitely for you.

On ChickAdvisor, an online community review platform, the White Chocolate Mocha averages 4.5 out of 5 stars. "I love the Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha. It is sweet and creamy and awesome with whipped cream," one reviewer wrote.

On Reddit, some Starbucks baristas have equated the White Chocolate Mocha syrup to taste somewhere between what you'd find biting into a white chocolate bar and sweetened condensed milk. Once it's mixed with the milk and espresso, you've got a rich, sweet, subtly vanilla-like coffee drink.

While it's definitely less coffee-forward than other drinks on the menu, it doesn't mean you can't taste the espresso at all. It's a good balance for anyone who likes to taste the flavor of coffee, but not be consumed by that alone.

Is it a permanent menu item?

The White Chocolate Mocha is a permanent item on the Starbucks menu. The Seattle-based coffee shop has made no indication that it's going away anytime soon.

However, Starbucks does offer certain variations of this drink from time to time that are available for a limited period. In the winter, around the holidays, the company often brings back the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, a variation of their classic white mocha but with a little more spice, per Insider.

They've also had a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha before that is also a fan favorite in the months of November and December. Inside secret: A similar version of this drink can be ordered year-round if you just ask for a White Chocolate Mocha with peppermint syrup.

With the white mocha seemingly as staple as brewed coffee, the real question isn't if the drink is going to go away, but rather what variations of it will Starbucks debut next.

How nutritious is it?

From a nutrition standpoint, the White Chocolate Mocha might not be your best friend. This isn't to say it's completely unhealthy, just that it shouldn't be the biggest element of a balanced diet.

While the espresso itself provides little more than caffeine, the rest of the beverage is very calorically dense. Since it's made with 2% milk, there's a lot of dairy in the drink. You may get some calcium and vitamin D from here, but probably not enough to realistically balance out the other elements of the drink to make it a substantially nutritious choice.

The White Chocolate Mocha sauce is made from a lot of sugar — in fact, it's the first ingredient in the syrup, per Starbucks. The whipped cream also adds fat and additional sugar, since it's sweetened with vanilla syrup.

Following the standard recipe, a grande has 430 calories, 18 grams of fat, 53 grams of sugar, and 54 grams of carbohydrates. If the rule is everything in moderation, it's probably a drink best reserved for smaller quantities.

How much caffeine is in it?

If you're thinking about the White Chocolate Mocha because you're in need of a pick-me-up, caffeine content is likely your main question. Luckily, given the drink is espresso-based, it's pretty easy to customize just how much caffeine you want in your drink.

In a grande and following the standard recipe with two shots of espresso, the drink has 150 milligrams of caffeine. If you compare this to a grande brewed Pike's Place that has 310 milligrams of caffeine, you can start to see where you're sitting.

If you want more caffeine, feel free to add an extra shot or two of espresso. Each shot contains 75 milligrams of caffeine. If you're wanting to avoid some jitters, order your drink with less than the standard amount.

If you're looking at a tall or venti as your size of choice, they have one and three shots, respectively, when following the standard recipe.

How much does it cost and how do you order it?

A White Chocolate Mocha is similarly priced to other espresso-based beverages on the Starbucks menu, so the amount shouldn't be too surprising. A tall costs $3.75, a grande $4.45, and a venti $4.75. If you want to get really technical, a venti at 20 fluid ounces is definitely the best bang for your buck. If you order any modifications, like an extra shot or an alternative milk, it may cost a little more.

Since the White Chocolate Mocha is part of the Starbucks menu, it's not a hard one to order — no secret menu this time! You can order with your barista or through the company's mobile app, depending on what you find easier. If you want to make any modifications, you can easily let your barista know or adjust the recipe when you order off of your phone. But, no matter how you choose to get it, you'll surely be happy that you did.