How to Order a Quad Over Ice + Fun Alternatives

If you're a loyal follower of the quad espresso over ice movement this is the article for you! We'll address all of the quad over ice questions below:
  • What is a Quad Over Ice
  • What is the Quad Over Ice Trick?
  • How to Order a Quad Over Ice
  • How to Order a Quad Over Ice in the Starbucks App
  • Drinks Similar to the Quad Over Ice
Let's get started!

How to Order a Quad Over Ice


What is a Quad Over Ice?

A quad over ice is a simple coffee drink that is made of four shots of espresso poured over ice. One shot of espresso is one ounce, so a quad shot is 4 ounces. A quad shot of espresso can vary from 184-500mg of caffeine.
Normally, an espresso drink like a latte or cappuccino will have 2 shots of espresso in it.
If you'd like to learn about the caffeine in a quad shot at different coffee shops (from 184mg-500mg) check out my article, How Much Caffeine is in 4 Shots of Espresso.

What is the Quad Over Ice Trick?

The quad over ice trick is a hack used by some Starbucks customers to get an iced latte with four shots of espresso for cheaper than usual.
The trick is done by ordering a quad shot of espresso over ice and then adding milk at the self-serve stand. This cuts the drink price almost in half.
A grande iced quad latte with milk is $6.65 + tax, whereas a quad over ice with milk added at the self-serve station is only $3.65 + tax
At some Starbucks, you can just request a quad over ice with milk and get a cheaper quad shot latte, but most baristas will only add a few ounces of milk if you order this way.
Now, I’m not here to debate morals or judge anyone for how they order their coffee.
On the one hand, someone may not feel guilty for not giving Starbucks $8 for a latte when the milk is provided separately and they don’t have to. On the other hand, someone may feel like they are “gaming the system” and think that Starbucks deserves the right payment for the drink they’re ordering.
I’m just a blogger on the internet, whether or not you use the “Quad Over Ice Trick” is up to you.

How Do I Order a Quad Over Ice?

Ordering a quad over ice at your favorite coffee shop is as simple as asking for a “quad over ice.” You can also clarify by ordering it as a “quad espresso over ice.” If you’d like to add milk, be sure to ask for a larger cup with room for it.
For some ideas on tasty quad espresso alterations, read below.

How to Order a Quad Over Ice in the Starbucks App

To order a quad over ice in the Starbucks app, navigate to the cold coffees portion of the menu. Scroll down to the “Iced Coffees” section and tap on iced espresso. You can then select a quad size or 4 shots of espresso. Finally, if you’re going to include milk to make it a latte you’ll want to change the cup size to grande to give the milk room.

Quad Over Ice Alternatives

If you’re a quad-over-ice fan then I can assume that you like your coffee in the following ways: Cold, caffeinated, and strong. Here are a few other drinks you may like:
Blonde Quad Over Ice
A blonde quad over ice is made with lighter roasted espresso beans than a regular espresso. This gives the drink a sweeter, smoother flavor with some citrus. The regular espresso roast holds a rich, nutty, chocolatey flavor.
Plus since the blonde espresso is a lighter roast, it has more caffeine than the regular roast! Just in case 4 shots weren’t enough for you 😉
So if you can’t get away from the quad over ice but want to change up the flavor a little, give the quad blonde over ice a try.
Quad Ristretto or Quad Long Over Ice
Another way to alter the flavor of a quad over ice is by ordering the espresso to be pulled ristretto or long.
A ristretto is pulled with less water which creates a more intense, sweeter shot.
A long or lungo is pulled with more water which creates a more bitter shot that's larger in size as well.
Most people who alter their espresso in one of these two ways go with ristretto, so I recommend starting with that. Simply order the drink as a: “quad ristretto over ice”
½ Decaf Quad Over Ice
I know, I know, the word that must never be named: DECAF. Hear me out for a second though. Most people don’t know that they can actually get the quad espresso flavor without the caffeine, simply by ordering it partially decaf. You can get 1, 2, of 3 shots of the quad shot as decaf espresso.
This means that if you’re someone who doesn’t like the effects of four shots of caffeine but still wants the espresso flavor, you don’t have to order a single or double shot over ice. You can still get a quad shot!
Sweetened Quad Over Ice
I know most quad-over-ice drinkers are avoiding flavorings, but adding some cinnamon, cold foam, or honey to a quad-over-ice can be really tasty. Navigate to the iced espresso in the Starbucks app to see all your sweetener and flavor options, or ask your barista for a recommendation, there’s a lot to choose from.

If you're curious about the caffeine content in different Starbucks “Quad” drinks, don't hesitate to check out my Guide on How to Order Quad Espresso at Starbucks Here.

This article was written by Josh, the founder, and owner of You can learn more about Josh on our About The Team page.


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