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10 Best Low-Calorie Starbucks Drinks in 2023: Ranked & Reviewed!

starbucks drink

Do you crave something sweet after lunch? Do you want to quench your thirst without having to reach for a sugary drink? If you answered yes to both of these questions, we have the beverage for you. At Starbucks, lattes are known for their delicious flavors and scrumptious toppings. However, many of the beverages at this coffee chain are super-caloric as well. Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy your favorite drinks while staying within calorie limits.

Here is our list of the top 10 low-calorie drinks at Starbucks:

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The 10 Best Low-Calorie Drinks at Starbucks:

1. Espresso Mint Frappuccino

Iced mint latte in a glass
Image Credit: Liliya Kandrashevich, Shutterstock
Calories: 140
Has Protein?: Yes

The espresso mint Frappuccino is one of the healthiest drinks at Starbucks. It’s refreshing, low in calories, and contains no sugar, so it won’t cause your blood sugar to spike. This drink is made with Starbucks espresso, mint syrup, and nonfat milk, so it’s high in protein. This drink provides a whopping 15 grams of protein and only 140 calories per serving. If you’re looking for a low-calorie drink that’s also high in protein, this is the drink for you.


2. Matcha Lite Frappuccino

Starbucks Matcha Frappuccino green drink at the beach_Nicole

Calories: 130
Has Protein?: Yes

The matcha lite Frappuccino is another great choice if you’re looking for a low-calorie drink. A tall matcha lite Frappuccino is only 130 calories, but it’s high in protein as well. The popular drink has 10 grams of protein, making it a great beverage if you’re trying to build muscle or lose weight. This drink is made with Starbucks matcha lite sauce, nonfat milk, and ice. If you’re a big fan of matcha, this drink is for you.


3. Turmeric Latte

turmeric coffee-pixabay
Credit: flockine, Pixabay
Calories: 110
Has Protein?: Yes

This drink is a great choice if you’re trying to stay within a specific budget, as it’s one of the more affordable low-calorie drinks at Starbucks. A tall turmeric latte only has 110 calories, so it’s a great choice for people who are dieting. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory herb, and a tall turmeric latte contains about 500 mg of curcumin, which is the active compound in turmeric. So, if you’re trying to reduce your inflammation, this drink is worth considering.


4. Dark Roast Coffee

Starbucks hot drink in cup with sleeve_Kate

Calories: 95
Has Protein?: Yes

If you’re trying to avoid dairy for whatever reason, the dark roast java blend is the perfect substitution. This drink is made with 100% Arabica coffee beans, cane sugar, nonfat milk, natural and artificial flavors, and caramel coloring. This drink has a high amount of caffeine, so it’s great if you need a boost to start your day. This drink also provides you with 17 grams of protein and only 95 calories per serving, so it’s a great choice if you’re trying to build muscle or lose weight.


5. Caramel Macchiato

Starbucks iced caramel macchiato in a to-go cup_Kate

Calories: 130
Has Protein?: Yes

If you’re craving a coffee drink, try a caramel macchiato. This drink is made with espresso, nonfat milk, caramel sauce, and caramel drizzle. This drink is low in calories, but it packs a ton of flavor. A tall caramel macchiato has only 130 calories, so it’s a great choice if you’re dieting. If you’re looking for a caffeine boost, this drink is for you.


6. Protein Baked Frappuccino

three frappuccinos
Image: AppleZoomZoom, Shutterstock
Calories: 140
Has Protein?: Yes

The protein baked Frappuccino is another great choice if you’re trying to build muscle or lose weight. This drink is made with Starbucks espresso, nonfat milk, and caramel drizzle. This drink provides an impressive 22 grams of protein per serving and only 140 calories. If you’re trying to build muscle or lose weight, this drink is perfect for you.


7. Cold Foam Coffee

Starbucks cold brew with sweet vanilla cold foam in plastic cup_Kate

Calories: 80
Has Protein?: Yes

The cold foam coffee is one of the most unique low-calorie drinks at Starbucks. It’s made with cold brew coffee, nonfat milk, coconut milk, vanilla syrup, and cinnamon. This drink has only 80 calories per serving, so it’s a great choice if you’re dieting. If you’ve ever wanted to try a cold brew coffee, this drink is perfect for you. If you’re looking for a unique beverage that’s low in calories, but high in flavor, this is the drink for you.


8. Cold Brew Coffee

Almond Milk Cold Brew Coffee Latte in glass jar
Image Credit: Ekaterina Kondratova, Shutterstock
Calories: 35
Has Protein?: Yes

If you’re trying to lower your caffeine intake, try a tall cold brew coffee. This drink is made with cold brew coffee, nonfat milk, coconut milk, vanilla syrup, and cinnamon. This drink is only 35 calories per serving, so it’s a great choice if you’re dieting. If you’re looking for the least caloric drink Starbucks has to offer, this is the one for you.


9. Emperor’s Clouds and Mist Tea

starbucks honey citrus mint tea in paper cups_kate

Calories: 0
Has Protein?: No

This deliciously named green tea is a favorite of many Starbucks aficionados. The tea drink has no calories whatsoever. The cup contains only 15 mg of caffeine, making it lower in calories. It’s not the only Starbucks low-calorie drink, all the herbal teas on their main menu are calorie-free. This drink has a rich, toasty flavor. It’s the perfect Starbucks beverage for early mornings, this has an earthy, nutty taste and is not too sweet.


10. Black Coffee

two starbucks hot drinks in paper cups by office chair_kate

Calories: 5 or less
Has Protein?: No

Starbucks’ flavor pumps and creamers are the biggest source of calories. These add sweetness and flavor to the coffee, but Starbucks’ base is strong. A large cup of black coffee, whether hot or cold, light or dark roast, has only five calories. Black coffee is also easy to make and one of the most affordable options. This makes it a great choice for morning commutes. This is a great way to begin your day with low-calorie coffee and the unadulterated, pure taste of coffee.

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Top 6 Ways to Cut Calories at Starbucks:

Unfortunately, there aren’t many ways to cut down on calories when you visit Starbucks. Their menu is fairly limited and most of their drinks are made from a combination of syrups, milk, foam and sugar. That being said, there are a few ways to reduce the number of calories in your next Starbucks order.

Stay Away from Syrups

Syrups are one of the biggest calorie traps at Starbucks. Most of their syrups are made with heavy cream and a ton of sugar. If you’re trying to cut back on calories, then syrups are best avoided. That being said, you don’t have to avoid syrup entirely.

If you add a syrup to your drink, try adding a smaller amount or swap out a high-calorie syrup for a low-calorie option like sugar. Some of Starbucks’ syrups are made with artificial sweeteners, which are calorie-free. If you aren’t sure what’s in your syrup, it’s probably best to avoid it.

Ask for Half-Pours

Half-pours are a great way to reduce the amount of sugar and calories in your drink. A half-pour is half of the amount of syrup used to make a full-size drink. If you’re just getting a latte or an Americano, you can ask for a half-pour instead of a full-size drink.

If you’re getting anything else, you can still ask for a half-pour, but they’ll only put half of the syrup in. This is great if you want to cut down on sugar but still want to get the full Starbucks experience. You can also do this if you just want a smaller drink.

Order Coffee and Tea Black

Ordering drinks black means no milk, cream, or sugar. While this may not work for everyone, it’s a great way to cut back on calories. You can even order iced drinks black, which is especially good for iced coffee and iced lattes. You’ll have to get creative if you’re just ordering black, but it can be done. If you’re thinking of ordering black, try adding a few add-ons to up the nutritional content of your drink.

barista holding starbucks cold brew
Image Credit: Omar Lopez, Unsplash

Go for Soy Instead of Cream

If you’re getting a drink that normally comes with dairy (like a latte or a cappuccino), ask for soy instead of cream. This will reduce the number of calories in your drink by around 100. Be aware that soy is more likely to cause an upset stomach than dairy, so try to avoid it if you’re sensitive.

You can also try asking for almond or coconut milk, although they’re a little less common at Starbucks. They’re better for your waistline, but they don’t taste quite the same.

Be Smart with Your Add-Ons

If you’re getting a drink with dairy or soy, you can boost the nutritional content of your drink by adding protein powder. Protein powder is made from whey or soy, which is about 75% protein. If you’re getting a drink with dairy, try adding nut butter or a few nuts for added nutritional value.

You can also try adding spices like cinnamon or cardamom. Cinnamon is great for controlling blood sugar levels and cardamom has a number of health benefits.

Go Light on the Milk and Cream

If you’re getting a drink with dairy, try going light on the milk or cream. You can also try asking for nonfat milk or soy instead of dairy. This can help reduce the number of calories in your drink significantly. You can also try getting a lighter drink. If you’re getting a latte, try switching to a latte macchiato. If you’re getting a frappe, ask for a lighter frappe. If you’re getting a vanilla latte, ask for no whipped cream and just half the amount of syrup.

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Conclusion

Now that you know how to make a healthier order at Starbucks, you’re ready to get started. Before you visit your local Starbucks, make a list of the drinks you want and try to stick to it as best you can. That way, you won’t find yourself tempted by everything on the menu.


Featured Image Credit: QUI NGUYEN, Unsplash

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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