As promised in my post on drinking calories, here we have a guide to the shrine of corporate existence: Starbucks. This article will give guidance on what NOT to order from Starbucks, and what to order instead.
Let me start by saying categorically: I CANNOT. DRINK. BLACK. COFFEE.
If I could, I would recommend that, this would be a very short post. Drink black coffee. It’s 5 calories. The end. But no, not me. I will gag. I need my coffee to be creamy. I need my tea not to taste like I am drinking freshly mowed lawn. So when I wrote this, I had all of you in mind – we want our yummy coffee and tea drinks, but if we wanted them to have 200+ calories, we’d just as well order the ice lemon pound cake. Not to speak ill of the cake – I like having my pastry as a 20 treat. But I don’t like the idea of drinking pastry every day, which is exactly what will happen if you are not careful about Starbucks ordering!!!
Don’t Order: Matcha green tea latte
A matcha green tea latte sounds healthy, right? But it clocks in at 240 calories and 32 grams of sugar! See more here.
Do order: Hot Green tea latte or Unsweetened iced green tea
If you still want a bit of foam with your green tea, get a hot green tea latte. This is kind of off-menu but the barista should understand it. It’s only going to set you back about 50 calories and 3 grams of sugar.
The Iced Green Tea is also a good option because it’s zero calories, and it’s also blended with mint to make it less “grassy,” which is one of the primary turn-offs of green tea for may people.
You can also check out my recipe for DIY Matcha Green Tea lattes in my morning energy drink post.
Don’t order: Skinny syrupy lattes
I was once the queen of Venti Skinny Caramel Macchiatos. Even though on its face 160 caloiries may not seem that bad, it is still about 23 grams of sugar. And I was drinking two of these a day. Yiiiikes.
The problem with the syrups is that they usually are loaded with sugar. And even if you get the sugar-free brand, that is loaded with chemicals that make you crave even more sugar (we discussed this in my post on protein bars). It always comes as a cost. Plus, it tastes nasty (doesn’t it??)
Also, I used to order nonfat lattes all the time, until I learned that nonfat milk actually has a lot of sugar. A grande nonfat latte with no flavors has EIGHTEEN grams of sugar.
Do order: Almond milk or coconut milk lattes
Almond milk latte grande size has 100 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 5 grams of sugar. Coconut milk lattes have 110 calories, with 10 grams of sugar. These are better alternatives if you want a milky drink.
The best option: BYOC (Bring your own creamer)
I have said this a lot – bring your own creamer. If you are getting Starbucks and coming back to your house or the office, then you can have one of the creamers that I recommend in my drinking calories post. They come in both powdered and liquid form, so you can transport if you are on the go. I usually order a plain Americano with one Stevia packet and sweeten it with Vanilla Supercreamer. Just as good as a Vanilla latte, for only 10 percent of the calories!
Don’t order: Frappuccinos
When I was in college, the glass bottle Frappuccinos has just become a thing. I remember thinking how could I possibly finish this thing in five seconds and not feel more awake. Oh yeah, because it’s liquid candy!! Even the “light” frappuccinos are packed with sugar. Every time I see someone carrying a frappuccino with a mound of whipped cream, I shudder. But I DO get the Cherry Blossom Frapp when it’s in limited edition in DC. Because you can’t call yourself a true Washingtonian if you don’t. That is what the 80/20 approach is all about.
Do order: Iced shaken espresso with Almond milk
You still get the icy creamy feeling of a Frappuccino, but without all the calories. Be sure not to include the classic syrup, and sweeten with Stevia in the Raw instead.
For an awesome DIY low cal Frappuccino recipe, combine:
- 1 cup Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1 tbsp monk fruit
- 1 tbsp stevia-sweetened 5 sparrows Frappe and Smoothie base
- 2 Tbsp Vanilla Super Creamer
- Blend and have a 50 calorie no-sugar Frappuccino instead !
Don’t order: Salted Caramel Cream or Irish Cream Cold Brew
The specialty flavor Nitro Cold Brews clock in at 230 calories and have 23 grams of sugar!
Do order: Plan Nitro Cold Brew or Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream
A plain Nitro Cold brew only has 5 calories, and if you drink it fresh it is actually very foamy and creamy. If you want a little something-something, get the Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream, which is like a light version of the other Cream cold brews above. It has 70 calories and 5 grams of sugar.
Other Starbucks recommendations
For the Keto diet: Keto Starbucks drinks (the Keto Queens)