Why is there no cinnamon dolce at Starbucks?

Starbucks is known for its wide variety of coffee drinks and baked goods. One of their most popular seasonal offerings is the cinnamon dolce latte, a cozy cinnamon and vanilla flavored espresso drink topped with sweetened milk foam. For years, Starbucks also sold cinnamon dolce syrup that allowed customers to recreate the flavor in drinks and baked goods at home. However, in recent years, the cinnamon dolce syrup appears to have been discontinued or is inconsistently available at Starbucks locations.

What is cinnamon dolce?

Cinnamon dolce is the name Starbucks uses for their cinnamon and vanilla flavored syrup. “Dolce” means sweet in Italian, indicating the syrup’s sweet cinnamon sugar taste. The cinnamon dolce syrup has notes of cinnamon and vanilla with a sweet finish. When added to espresso and milk, it creates a latte with a bold cinnamon aroma and a smooth sweetness. Starbucks introduced the cinnamon dolce latte as a winter seasonal drink several years ago. Customers loved the festive cinnamon flavor so much that the cinnamon dolce latte became a permanent menu item in 2008.

Why do customers love cinnamon dolce drinks and syrup?

There are several reasons why cinnamon dolce became a beloved staple drink at Starbucks:

  • Warm, comforting flavor – The cinnamon adds warmth and spice while the vanilla provides a smooth, velvety taste.
  • Smells like the holidays – Cinnamon has strong associations with the holidays and winter. The cinnamon dolce scent triggers nostalgia.
  • Customizable sweetness – Customers can customize the cinnamon dolce level when adding syrup to their drink. More syrup provides a sweeter dessert-like flavor.
  • Pairs well with espresso – The bold espresso taste balances the sweetness of the cinnamon dolce syrup well.
  • Versatile uses – The syrup can flavor lattes, cappuccinos, drip coffee, Frappuccinos, and baked goods like scones.

The appealing taste, versatility, and nostalgic scent help explain why cinnamon dolce has been a fan favorite seasonal flavor at Starbucks for over a decade.

Why was cinnamon dolce discontinued at Starbucks?

In 2017, Starbucks suddenly discontinued selling the cinnamon dolce syrup in retail stores and online. Customers could no longer purchase bottles of the syrup to make cinnamon dolce drinks and goodies at home. The flavored syrup disappear from stores with no formal announcement or explanation from Starbucks.

Later that same year, Starbucks also stopped featuring the cinnamon dolce latte on its permanent winter menu. Baristas could still make the drink if specially requested, but it was no longer prominently advertised. The disappearance of cinnamon dolce from stores and marketing materials left many customers confused and disappointed.

Here are some of the possible reasons why Starbucks may have discontinued cinnamon dolce:

Switch to natural flavors

In 2015, Starbucks pledged to remove all artificial flavors, dyes, and preservatives from its menu by 2020. The cinnamon dolce syrup likely contained artificial flavorings to enhance and standardize the taste. Starbucks may have decided to discontinue the syrup rather than reformulate a natural version without artificial ingredients. Creating a natural cinnamon dolce syrup that could match the original flavor profile at a large scale may have proved challenging.

Supply chain issues

Discontinuing the cinnamon dolce syrup may have been a logistical decision rather than a flavor preference. Keeping the syrup in supply at thousands of stores across 50 countries takes considerable coordination. If ingredient costs rose or vendors had availability issues, Starbucks may have cut the syrup to simplify operations. Removing a permanent menu item like the latte may have been a temporary quality control measure if syrup supply was unstable.

Low sales

Although popular among hardcore Starbucks fans, the cinnamon dolce latte and syrup were still niche offerings compared to top-sellers like pumpkin spice and peppermint mocha. Removing cinnamon dolce allowed Starbucks to streamline seasonal offerings and focus on producing its very highest volume holiday drinks. Discontinuing a lower demand product would reduce operational complexities for marginally improved profitability.

Customer health concerns

With public health initiatives highlighting the risks of excessive sugar intake, the super sweet cinnamon dolce syrup may have fallen out of favor. Starbucks has added more options like sugar-free syrups and lower calorie recipes to appeal to health-conscious customers. Removing an ultra-sweet flavored syrup aligns with Starbucks’ gradual shift towards less sugar-heavy menu choices.

Is cinnamon dolce ever coming back?

The return of cinnamon dolce remains uncertain. While it is no longer a permanent winter menu item or sold year-round in stores, cinnamon dolce does make limited-time appearances.

Holiday comeback

In November 2022, Starbucks brought back the cinnamon dolce latte for the holiday season. It returned alongside other seasonal favorites like caramel brulee and peppermint mocha. Offering cinnamon dolce for a short time may be Starbucks’ compromise to give customers their beloved seasonal flavor while keeping operations streamlined.

Regional/testing availability

Though cinnamon dolce is not sold nationwide, some localized Starbucks stores still offer the syrup or baked goods flavored with cinnamon dolce. Regional availability may indicate Starbucks is testing bringing back the flavor in certain markets. Limited-time regional offerings allow them to evaluate demand.

Special occasions

Occasionally cinnamon dolce products will appear unexpectedly on menus to drive traffic. For example, Starbucks offered a cinnamon dolce cake pop and cinnamon dolce Frappuccino for its 25th birthday in 2017. Sporadic specials allow Starbucks to bring back cinnamon dolce for excitement without committing to permanent availability.

How to order an off-menu cinnamon dolce drink

Even when not officially advertised, baristas can still make cinnamon dolce lattes, Frappuccinos and other customized beverages by special request. Here are some tips for ordering a “secret menu” cinnamon dolce drink:

  • Ask politely – A kind explanation of your discontinued favorite drink may inspire baristas to oblige.
  • Pick slower times – Avoid busy mornings. Requesting custom orders during slower hours makes it easier for baristas to prepare.
  • Specify amounts – State how many pumps of cinnamon dolce syrup you would prefer so your drink tastes perfect.
  • Substitute flavors – Ask for a substitution in another drink, like cinnamon dolce instead of vanilla in a latte.
  • Check availability – Call ahead to see if the store has cinnamon dolce syrup in stock to customize with.
  • Purchase syrup – You may be able to buy bottles of cinnamon dolce syrup if available to bring to the store.

With the right timing and friendly manner, you may be able to convince your barista to recreate your discontinued cinnamon dolce favorite. Be gracious if they cannot, as seasonal supplies are limited.

How to make cinnamon dolce drinks at home

Recreate the cinnamon dolce flavor at home by:

Using store-bought syrup

If you can find bottles of Starbucks cinnamon dolce syrup, add the desired amount to steamed milk, coffee or espresso for the perfect flavor. Start with 1-2 pumps per 8 oz drink and adjust to taste preferences.

Making your own cinnamon dolce syrup

DIY the syrup using these simple ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Simmer water and sugar over medium heat until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and vanilla. Let cool completely then bottle. Add 2-3 tablespoons per 8 oz of coffee or espresso drink and enjoy your homemade cinnamon dolce!

Using flavored creamers

Stir in cinnamon and vanilla flavored creamers like Coffeemate Vanilla Cinnamon Creamer to create a quick cinnamon dolce-esque taste. Adjust amounts to match sweetness preferences.

Adding spices

Recreate the flavors by shaking cinnamon powder and vanilla extract directly into your drink. Start with 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla per serving. Adjust according to your tastes.

The best cinnamon dolce drinks to order or make at home

Here are some of the most delicious cinnamon dolce products to order in-store or recreate on your own if you can’t resist the craving:

Cinnamon Dolce Latte

This original cold weather favorite combines cinnamon dolce syrup, espresso and steamed milk for a warming, luxurious treat. Order it in-store or make your own at home.

Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino

A blended crème Frappuccino with cinnamon dolce swirl and topping has a cool, creamy cinnamon spice flavor. Perfect for warmer weather or a cold winter pick-me-up.

Cinnamon Dolce Caffè Misto

The mix of half coffee, half steamed milk with cinnamon dolce syrup offers a lighter take perfect as an after dinner treat.

Iced Cinnamon Dolce Macchiato

Make this iced drink with steamed milk poured over espresso and cinnamon dolce syrup over ice for a touch of holiday spirit any time of year.

Cinnamon Dolce Crème

Prefer your cinnamon dolce without coffee or espresso? This blend of steamed milk and cinnamon dolce syrup is like drinking velvety holiday goodness.

Cinnamon Dolce Scones

Order these seasonal bakery treats in-store when available or bake your own at home using cinnamon dolce syrup or sprinkling in cinnamon sugar.


The disappearance of cinnamon dolce left many Starbucks fans desolate. While the reasons for its removal remain uncertain, intermittent holiday appearances give hope that this sweet seasonal favorite may one day return for good. Until then, loyal customers can recreate the taste by custom ordering, using at-home DIY recipes, or buying Starbucks’ limited-time cinnamon dolce specials. With some creativity and holiday spirit, we can still enjoy this cherished flavor.

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