Starbucks Calories: Best and Worst Beverage Choices
Before Starbucks a coffee shop was just a coffee shop. Starbucks changed everything about the simple cup of joe, first in the United States and then worldwide. Their expansion to distant locations has been accompanied by a greatly expanded menu. You can buy a ‘simple’ cup of coffee, sure, but you can also buy dozens of fancy frozen, hot or cold coffee and tea drinks, as well as pastries, bottled beverages, cookies, other snacks, and yes, some healthy options too. The danger in stopping at this type of establishment on your way to work is that the offerings are so tempting, even if you’ve already consumed a healthy breakfast. In addition, what might seem like a fairly innocent flavored caffeinated beverage can turn out to be a calorie and fat bomb.
Calories in a Starbucks Frappuccino®
The Frappuccino® was first introduced by Starbucks in 1995. It is a registered trademark of this company, and the name cannot be used by any other establishment. However, this beverage didn’t start with Starbucks. It was originally developed, named and trademarked by the owner of a coffee shop in Eastern Massachusetts, George Howell. When he sold his place to Starbucks in 1994, he also sold the rights to use market and sell this now famous coffee drink. It is a frozen coffee drink with ice, espresso coffee, milk and other ingredients. Originally, only one flavor, the coffee Frappuccino®, was available. Now there are dozens of varieties, some prepared without any coffee! The basic Frappuccino® blended coffee drinks include the following varieties: coffee, mocha, espresso, caramel, Java Chip™, vanilla and White Chocolate Mocha™, all topped with whipped cream. Each is available in three sizes: tall, grande and venti. A tall espresso Frappuccino™ has the fewest calories, about 146 per drink and 1.9 g fat. The second best option in this category is the tall coffee Frappuccino™, which provides 184 calories and 2.5 g fat. Any other variety, for a tall size, averages about 300 calories going all the way up to 520 for a venti Java Chip™ and grams of fat range from 11 to 20 g per beverage.
Luckily, Starbucks introduced a limited-choice ‘light’ Frappuccino® line. This is your most ‘diet-friendly’ option and you may choose from coffee, caramel and mocha. Calories range from 91 and less than 1 g fat for a tall coffee to 192 calories and nearly 2 g fat for a venti caramel. You are saving many calories and fat grams by bypassing the ‘whip.’ Then there are the Frappuccino® Blended Creams. These may or may not have coffee but are all ‘flavored cream’ blended beverages, topped with whipped cream. You may choose from the following ‘cream’ flavors: vanilla, caramel, chocolate, chocolate chip and strawberries & cream, all topped with whipped cream. The lowest calorie option is a tall vanilla cream with whipped cream, providing 310 calories and 10 g fat. The highest calorie option (by a few calories) is the venti chocolate chip with whipped cream, providing 563 calories and 19 g fat per serving.
The final choices in the Frappuccino® beverage family are the juice blends. While they are lower in calories and fat than many of the other Frappuccino® drinks, they are high in sugar. You can choose either mango or raspberry and the calorie and fat content is nearly identical for each. A tall juice blend provides about 157 calories and less than ½ g fat, while a venti provides 229 calories and ½ g fat.
Starbucks nutrition facts: popular items
In terms of popular beverage choices, the Frappuccino® ranks very high. Other best-sellers include the house blend, caramel macchiatos, mochas and lattes (hot or iced), iced chai teas, breakfast blends and Starbucks signature hot chocolates are all among the ‘most frequently ordered’ according to Starbucks baristas. There are many variables when it comes to the nutrition facts on these beverages. For example, is the beverage made with skim, 2% or whole milk? Is it topped with whipped cream and/or flavored syrup? What is the size? As a rule, it is probably wise to avoid all of the hot chocolates, the white chocolate mochas with whipped cream and many of the Frappuccino® blended drinks. However, starbucks boasts that they offer dozens of cold and hot beverages that weigh in at less than 200 calories each. Some of the best-selling and lower calorie picks include the following.
- Plain brewed coffee with nothing added: 5 calories and 0 g fat
- Nonfat Tazo® green tea latte: 130 calories and 0 g fat
- Nonfat cappuccino: 80 calories and 0 g fat
- Nonfat café latte or sugar-free latte: 120 calories and 0 g fat
- Nonfat caramel macchiato: 170 calories and 1 g fat
- Soy Tazo® Chai Latte: 190 calories and 2.5 g fat
- Nonfat café mocha (no whipped cream): 170 calories and 1.5 g fat
- Nonfat vanilla crème: 180 calories and 0 g fat
- Light coffee Frappuccino®: 91 calories and less than 1 g fat
- Light caramel Frappuccino®: 140 calories and 1.5 g fat
- Shaken Tazo® iced black tea lemonade: 90 calories and 0 g fat
- Nonfat iced vanilla latte: 120 calories and 0 g fat
- Nonfat iced caramel macchiato: 140 calories and 1 g fat
- Nonfat iced Tazo® chai tea latte: 170 calories and 0 g fat
- Iced coffee (with classic syrup): 60 calories and 0 g fat
- Iced soymilk chai tea latte: 160 calories and 2.5g fat
*(all values are for a ‘tall’ sized beverage)
- Professors House: Coffee Facts and Statistics
- Starbucks Beverage Nutrition Information. PDF
- Starbucks.com: Delicious Drinks under 200