Making iced coffees has proven to be one of the biggest trends on TikTok, with 2.7 billion views for the hashtag #icedcoffee on the video platform. And just because we are heading into autumn, doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite cold drinks.
TikTok dominated the social media landscape in 2020, with a new report revealing that UK adults spent over three hours a day on social media. And now the app has managed to surpass two billion downloads on iOS and Android globally.
The social media platform is full of yummy food hacks, as well as dance routines, trends, and more, all of which helped keep us entertained while we spent more time inside last year. But what if these food hacks could actually save you money?
Our latest study takes 20 of TikTok’s most viewed Starbucks iced coffee recipes and reveals how much money you could save by making them at home.
Are you an extravagant frappuccino lover, with all the whipped cream and chocolate sprinkle add-ons? Or do you go for a more traditional, straight-forward cold brew? No matter your preference, TikTok has a recipe for just about every Starbucks coffee.
Taking 20 iced drinks from the Starbucks app, we found out which coffee had the highest number of hashtag views on the social media platform:
In first place was the classic Cold Brew. Made from just coffee and ice, the drink has managed to rack up an impressive 594.5 million views under the hashtag #coldbrew on TikTok, making it the site's most loved iced coffee recipe.
Next on the list was the Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte, which had a total of 21.7 million views under the hashtag #icedmatchalatte. Matcha beverages have become increasingly popular in cafes and restaurants due to their fun look and health benefits. So it’s clear to see why coffee lovers want to make the drink at home.
Completing the top three was the Iced Caramel Macchiato. The drink has proved popular among Starbucks fans thanks to its sweet sugar rush with caffeine. And it’s proven to be just as popular online, with over 11 million views under the hashtag #icedcaramelmacchiato on TikTok.
During the summer, having an iced coffee to start your day was the perfect way to cool down. But if you aren’t ready to let go of the cool drink life just yet, don’t fret. You can make your favourite cold caffeinated drink at home, even if they’re missing from the menu on the high street.
The average medium iced coffee in Starbucks costs an eye-watering £3.91 per drink and that’s without any extra pumps of syrup. So how much could you really save by making the drink yourself? We found out.
Looking at recipes from Google News and average price points of ingredients across three different supermarkets, we found the drink you could save the most money by making it at home is the iconic Coffee Frappuccino.
As one of Starbucks classic, creamy coolers, the iced coffee will cost you just £0.16 per serving to whip up yourself, instead of setting you back £4.20 every time.
The drink contains just a small number of ingredients including coffee, ice, milk and sugar, and would allow you to make 26 drinks for the price of one in Starbucks.
In second place was the Mocha Frappuccino, which will cost you just £0.18, to make at home. All you need is coffee, ice milk, cocoa powder and chocolate sauce and you will save yourself £4.02 every time you want the sweet beverage.
Taking third place on the list was the Java Chip Frappuccino, which could save you a total of £3.90 by making the drink at home. With ingredients including coffee, ice, milk chocolate chips and chocolate sauce, we calculated that the drink will only cost you £0.30 per serving compared to £4.20 at Starbucks.
Also making the top five was the famous “pink drink”, and now you can make it at home for just £0.58 a serving. The pink cooler made headlines when Starbucks released a new range of cold drinks to their menu over summer known as the ‘refresha’ range.
Make sure you’re stocked up on strawberries, berry tea bags, coconut milk, white grape juice and ice because you could be saving yourself £3.82 every time you fancy a Pink Coconut Refresha.
Caramel Frappuccino, Iced Mocha or Iced Chai Latte? Our report reveals how cheap it is to make some of TikTok’s most viral Starbucks drinks:
Source: Instagram / @peachyt__
TikTok hashtag views: 11,600,000
Price to make one serving: £0.40
% Cheaper than buying in Starbucks: 90%
As the third most viral Starbucks recipe on TikTok, the Iced Caramel Macchiato, is one of Starbucks’ most popular drinks. The sweet drink is filled with milk, sweet caramel sauce, coffee and ice and will cost you just £0.40 to make one at home.
Source: Instagram / @peachyt__
TikTok hashtag views: 6,000,000
Price to make one serving: £0.66
% Cheaper than buying in Starbucks: 85%
Having only launched this year, the Strawberry Acai Refresha has climbed its way to one of the most popular Starbucks drinks on TikTok and it’s easy to see why. The cool drink is great for summer, filled with strawberries, ice and acai powder, and will only cost you £0.66 for one serving at home.
Source: Instagram / @lrdreaming
TikTok hashtag views: 565,000
Price to make one serving: £0.38
% Cheaper than buying in Starbucks: 90%
The Iced White Chocolate Mocha has been a staple on the Starbucks menu for a few years now, thanks to its sweeter take on the classic Mocha. Filled with white chocolate, cream and more, you can now whip up the tasty drink at home for just £0.38 every time you want a slightly different sugar rush.
Source: Instagram / @cara_k_22
TikTok hashtag views: 685,000
Price to make one serving: £0.30
% Cheaper than buying in Starbucks: 93%
Are you a lover of all things chocolate? As the fifth cheapest drink in the study at just £0.30 per serving, the viral Java Chip drink is perfect for all the chocoholics out there. Blend together chocolate chips, coffee, chocolate sauce and milk, and you will fill that coffee craving in no time.
Source: Instagram / @myuka213
TikTok hashtag views: 484,700
Price to make one serving: £0.50
% Cheaper than buying in Starbucks: 88%
As the weather gets colder and autumn settles in, the smell of warm pumpkin spice lattes can be comforting. But for those who don’t want to wave goodbye to the iced coffee craze just yet, the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino can be a great alternative. And you can even make it from home for just £0.50 a serving.
Catherine Hiley, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com says: “Video streaming platforms like TikTok are now among the most used social media sites out there. So it’s not surprising to see food hacks, like making iced coffees have grown in popularity, while cafes were closed during lockdown.
“Not only can it be fun to try to replicate your favourite drinks at home, especially if you want to try doing something new, but buying and making the coffee yourself can actually save a lot of money, as well as reduce the amount of plastic you’re using.
“If TikTok is going to be your inspiration for making your own iced coffee at home, it’s important that users keep safe online while using the platform, including who you share things with, making your account private and hiding your location.
“For those who have already spotted some of Starbucks’ most viral recipes on TikTok, our new study will not only shed some light on how much you are really spending on your coffees every week but also how to make them at home for less than half the price.”
For this campaign, we took 35 iced coffees from the Starbucks App to gather a seed list of drinks.
TikTok’s Most Popular Iced Coffees
To find TikTok’s most popular iced coffees we used the seed list of drinks and searched their hashtags on the social media app to see which ones were viewed the most.
Price of making Starbucks drinks at home:
1. To gather a seed list of drinks to make at home, we took the top 20 most popular Starbucks drinks on TikTok found via hashtag views. Some drinks, including the “nitro” range and drinks with similar ingredients, were removed from the list to give enough differentiation.
2. Recipes from sites including Delish and Baking Mischief on Google News were then compiled to find the ingredients to make each drink. Each weight of ingredients for one serving* was then converted into grams or millilitres using the following sites, Fast2Eat, Metric Conversions, How Many Wiki, Traditional Oven, Espresso Coffee Guide, Simple Loose Leaf, Elephantastic Vegan Strawberry Plants, Aqua-Calc and The Calculator Site. One cup of ice (100g) was also used as a standard measurement for all drinks.
3. To calculate the cost of ingredients, we took the best selling own-brand products, or the same branded product across three different supermarkets including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s (and, where an item wasn’t available, from Ocado) and found the average price for 100g servings of each item.
4. The price of each coffee was then calculated by working out the cost of each serving of ingredients and adding them together.
5. Finally, to compare the price of making one coffee at home to buying one in store, we took the price of each drink** in “Grande” size from the Starbucks app.
*Some recipes gave measurements for more than one serving, and so were divided to find the weight of ingredients for one drink.
**Please note Starbucks drinks prices may differ slightly depending on your location in the UK
**All data correct as of 24th September 2021**