'Hi, I'll take a grande iced coffee with a shot of espresso, two shots of heavy cream, and two pumps of sugarfree cinnamon dolce syrup, thanks!' ...
It’s my routine keto Starbucks order, and as a former Starbucks barista, my orders can be a little peculiar - we’re kind of known for that - but I’m here to make life easier for you. Knowledge is half the battle when it comes to these mystery drinks! So without further ado, I present: The Comprehensive KETO CONNECT Guide to Ordering Keto at Starbucks!
Before we get into it...
Now being a Starbucks Barista meant I had tasted and investigated every single syrup, drink, and flavor combination this beautiful beanery had to offer (seriously, it was part of the training). In order to know what to offer, you had to truly KNOW your product - ever stand in line for five minutes completely undecided? Yeah, it was my job to make sure you found your new fave, and quick!
The HUGE list of keto friendly foods.
Keto Coffee Lovers, Rejoice!
So let’s make a new fave, shall we? I’ve put together some handy graphics (save these to your phone for quick ordering)! Let’s see here, are you a coffee drinker? Some of you may be thinking, ‘Shan, why would they be reading this if they aren’t coffee drinkers?’ Well, if a Caramel Frappucino with extra caramel is your favorite Starbucks drink, you’re probably not a coffee lover - let’s just be real here - but hey! That’s totally fine and I’ve got you, boo. I’ve got you. Let me teach you how to get your low-carb Starbucks game on!
When Dave (my fiancee) puts a ‘splash’ of cream in his coffee, I swear to you, it’s at least ⅓ to ½ cup. It’s SO easy to get out of control with that stuff when it’s unmeasured, and when you're a Starbucks Barista - getting the drink out the door is generally your top priority...rather than measuring exactly (at least it was for me). When you ask for two shots of HWC, that’s exactly 2oz. You’ll know exactly how much cream to track with no mystery involved! That could save you anywhere from 1-5 carbs, easily, if someone were as heavy handed as….say….my guy (sorry honey, you’re still mad cute though)! Below is a chart that will tell you how many CARBS PER OUNCE these milks contain! You may be surprised!
You Sweet Thing, You!
It’s a learning curve, everyone, which is why I’m giving this post everything I got. I’m also committing to responding to all of your keto starbucks questions in the comments below, so if you have any specifics, you let me know! Tell me your favorite drinks, and I'll tell you how to make the Starbucks low carb drink of your dreams!
Sure! Treat Yo Self!
The beloved Pink Drink! This fruity drink is akin to a lightly sweetened, creamy pink starburst. You know, THE BEST FLAVOR! You could totally omit the cream and save yourself 2g of carbs, but for this drink as-ordered, you’ll be bringing in 4 carbs for a little slice of pink-drink heaven! How to order:
Hi, I'd like a venti passion iced tea, NO CLASSIC, with 2 shots of heavy whipping cream, and 4 pumps of sugarfree vanilla. Thanks!
Pictured below is my favorite, the Chai Tea (bag) with two shots of heavy cream and two of my own stevia! Saving me a whopping 52 carbs! Here's some stevia I love to carry with me. Trust me, at the end of the day you're gonna thank yourself for saving up those carbs!
You’ll have to add your own sweetness to it (the powdered packets all have maltodextrin so be warned, and their stevia is a blend that contains FRUCTOSE, and is 2g carbs.. What the what?)
But if you’re down for the classics, order ANY of the teas I’ve listed on this chart. You can have them served hot, shaken and poured over ice, quadruple bagged, creamy, with whipped cream (1-2g carbs per serving of whip), with or without water (iced teas come with extra water to dilute it. If you order it without water, you get a deliciously strong tea)!
“Hi, I’d like an iced venti green tea, UNSWEETENED, with NO WATER, and two lime slices!”
(They keep these amazing dehydrated lime slices for the LIME REFRESHER (which has added carbs, the limes - to our knowledge - are just dehydrated limes). Add a few limes in there for a cool refreshing drink!
“Hi I’d like a Grande earl grey, two tea bags, with 2 shots of heavy cream and a pump of Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce”
Gangster Frap - see what I did there? Okay, whatever.
I heard y'all like frappucinos....I think I can help you there!
‘Hi, I’d like a grande iced coffee with extra ice, 4 pumps of sugarfree cinnamon dolce and 3 shots of heavy cream, blended frappucino-style (they will ask you if you want the frappucino base. The answer is no. This is liquid sugar, you guys, trust me!) The consistency will be like a coffee slush and less like a milkshake, but trust me when I say it definitely scratches the itch! - 7 Net Carbs. Top with whip for a delicious low carb once-in-a-while! Keep in mind, the whip cream has sugar - but in a VERY small amount. A serving size of whip from Starbucks is around 1-2g carbs.
SO THAT'S IT! You've GRADUATED!
YOU DID IT. Look at you, all fancy with your custom drink. Someone get you a green apron and a full tip jar, STAT. You'll be the envy of your friends when you're sipping on some guilt-free LOW CARB Starbucks sweetness! Make it through the holiday season with all the warm drinks! A little note about asking for custom specifications: When I worked at Starbucks, the strangest requests I got included a 17-part order complete with extra shots, whipped cream, extra caramel sauce, two affogato shots, skim milk, three different syrups, and a larger cup. Your barista can handle it. Be brave. Speak up. If you're going to pay $5+ for a cup of coffee, get EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION.
Skip the Line, Make it at Home!
Did you know that you can order the EXACT Sugar free Starbucks syrups you see in the store? Just ask at the counter! Depending on where you go, you could score it for 8-12.00! Think of what a savings that is! You can even order a pump as well! Just be aware that the sweeteners used in the Sugar-free Vanilla contain Maltodextrin - and if you are sensitive to that, just be careful!
If you have a simple coffee frother, you'll be in decadent Keto Starbucks drink HEAVEN! Here's one I found that is super affordable! You can even add MCT to your coffee like THIS recipe here or try going iced with THIS great recipe!
Source: All nutritional information can be found in the official Starbucks Nutritional Breakdown. All items in this blog post have been tested and approved by me, your everyday former Starbucks Barista. Part of being a barista is knowing what the people want - as a whole - and if you didn't find something you liked on this post, feel free to tell me what YOUR favorite drinks are in the comments below! I'll be happy to tell you how you might be able to KETO-FY them at your local Starbucks! Promise!!
Finally, the opinions expressed in this article are my own, and do not represent KC as a whole. I practice a relatively relaxed form of keto - and have been relatively successful at it. My specific keto allows small pleasures like sugar-free syrup from time to time in an effort to keep things going long-term. Feel free to omit these as you see fit for your own keto journey. No pressure, dude.
Working as a barista taught me about every possible drink combinations at Starbucks. If you don't want to spend $5+ on a cup of coffee, you can always make it at home! Most drinks can be made keto friendly at Starbucks if you opt for sugar free flavored syrups and heavy cream instead of the high carb alternatives. Be cautious of iced drinks at Starbucks because they automatically add simple syrup to some of them. The best tip for ordering is to communicate with your barista and tell them you don't want any added sugar in your drinks!