Whether you're in need of a new, keto-friendly Starbucks order or you're simply looking to limit your sugar, there are in fact a variety of low-carb low-sugar drinks at Starbucks that are far more than a basic drip coffee.
I did some serious coffee drinking for this post (often along with a savory keto scone or a lemon poppy seed muffin) I'm happy to say that ordering low carb drinks at Starbucks isn't as challenging as you may think.
From non-dairy options to sugar-free syrups and the many ways you're able to customize your order, keto-friendly Starbucks drinks can in fact be pretty straightforward. Hassle-free, even.
So, how do you order a keto drink at Starbucks? The Starbucks menu is quite large, there are endless ways to customize, and there's sugar in nearly everything these days. However, it's not impossible to enjoy Starbucks on a keto or low-carb diet and my hope is this guide will help simplify what to order and how.
tips for ordering
When ordering low-carb low-sugar drinks at Starbucks, first glance at the menu can be a bit daunting. Many of the drink options- especially Starbucks' specialty drinks- contain their own special powdered mixes or concentrates which are loaded with added sugars (and yes- sadly, that includes the fan-fave PSL).
Before diving into the best low-carb low-sugar drinks at Starbucks, here are a few tips to make your keto Starbucks coffee order a little easier.
When ordering low-carb drinks at Starbucks:
- Choose your milk wisely. Starbucks offers several milk options to choose from including non-dairy almond milk, coconut milk and soy milk. All of their non-dairy beverages are sweetened, containing 5g sugar, 7g sugar, and 13g of sugar, respectively (per cup). Your best low-carb option? Heavy cream or almond milk.
- Skip the whip. Whipped cream topping contains extra sugar and carbs and there's just no way around it.
- Be very specific. Requesting a Skinny Latté is not enough. Even their "skinny" drinks contain added sugars (even in the fat-free milk) so make sure to be very clear about the type of milk you'd like, the syrup you'd like, etc.
- Choose the best sweetener options.
- Sugar-free syrups: Wondering what syrups are sugar-free at Starbucks? The chain offers at least one sugar-free syrup (Vanilla) which, according to the nutritional label, contains 0g carbs/sugar. However, it is made with maltodextrin, one of the artificial sweeteners that is pretty high on the glycemic index. Personally, I'm okay with one pump of sugar-free sweetener occasionally and that's usually sweet enough for me (two pumps for a larger drink). For reference, Starbucks typically uses three pumps of syrup in a Tall (12-ounce drink).
- Stevia: Starbucks carries Stevia in the Raw which is a somewhat deceiving name for a product that is made with stevia and dextrose, aka sugar. But the amount isn't too high- one packet contains less than 1g sugar and carbs so it can be fine in small amounts. You might want to reconsider it if you're a 6-packet-per-cup coffee drinker. 😉
- Bring your own sweetener: For the most control over the sugar content, the best option is to bring your own sugar substitutes. I like all-natural monk fruit drops like these or these from Lakanto. These sweetener packets (monk fruit, erythritol and stevia blend) are also handy but there are many other sweetener alternatives, even flavored simple syrups, that are a great option and are easy to add to your beverages.
low-carb drinks at Starbucks
So, which beverages are considered low-carb drinks at Starbucks?
All of the keto Starbucks drinks below made with heavy cream will average between 2g and 5g net carbs, depending on your drink size. The almond milk lattes will be a tad higher on the carb/sugar count, but not by much. One cup of Starbucks almond milk has 5g added sugar so even a tall almond milk latte will easily come in around 7-8g net carbs.
Choosing your favorite keto Starbucks drinks really comes down to what your personal goals are on the ketogenic diet and what your taste buds enjoy.
Here are some of the most popular drink orders for keto dieters and anyone looking for a delicious, sugar-free option at the coffee shop.
1. Americano or Blonde Americano
What it is: Americano is simply espresso with hot water, which means it's already low-carb. Enjoy it hot or iced, plain or sweetened, cream or no cream. A Blonde Americano has a more smooth, rich flavor.
How to order: Request a hot or iced americano with Blonde espresso. If you'd prefer it with cream, ask for a splash of heavy cream or heavy cream + water (to thin it down a bit). Sweeten with 1-2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup or a stevia packet, if desired.
2. Low-carb Flat White
What it is: A standard Flat White is a shot of espresso with steamed milk, i.e. a latte without the foam.
How to order: Request a hot or iced Flat White with half heavy cream and half water. Enjoy plain, with stevia, or with sugar-free syrup.
Note: For a non-dairy option, Starbucks carries its signature Honey Almond Milk Flat White. Make it low-sugar by asking for only one pump of Starbucks' Honey Blend (a "tall" usually comes with three pumps). Their honey blend is basically watered-down honey, but even one pump may push this drink above 5g net carbs.
3. Iced Green Tea
What it is: Starbucks' green tea is a light and refreshing green tea blend with mint, lemongrass and lemon verbena. It's zero calories and a delicious, low-caffeine beverage (in fact, any of Starbucks teas - except for the juice/tea blends- can be enjoyed this way).
How to order: Ask for a green iced tea, either unsweetened or sweetened with your choice of sugar-free vanilla syrup, stevia or your own sweetener.
4. Low-carb Espresso Macchiato
What it is: A traditional macchiato has one (or two if you'd like) shots of espresso with a splash of milk, which means you'll get the same amount of caffeine but in a much smaller serving. It's rich and a delicious keto-friendly drink. For reference, a macchiato will only fill a 12-ounce cup about halfway.
How to order: Ask for a hot macchiato or blonde macchiato with heavy cream (or heavy cream with a splash of water) instead of milk.
5. Keto Iced Coffee
What it is: Your everyday, classic drip coffee on ice. You can't go wrong with an iced coffee, as long as you skip the high-sugar flavor syrups and milk.
How to order: Ask for an unsweetened iced coffee with cream or request heavy cream + water. If non-dairy, choose almond milk or coconut milk as your creamer (note: their non-dairy beverages are sweetened). Add a packet of stevia or request Starbucks' sugar-free vanilla (or other flavors they might have) for an extra special treat.
6. Cold Brew Coffee
What it is: Starbucks cold brew is slow-steeped coffee served cold, best on ice.
How to order: Request a cold brew. For a creamier drink, ask for a splash of heavy whipping cream (or heavy cream + water to thin it out) or a little bit of almond milk. For a sweeter cold brew, you can easily add your own keto-friendly sweetener or request sugar-free syrup.
7. Nitro Cold Brew
What it is: Nitro Cold Brew is basically cold brew on tap, infused with nitrogen to create microbubbles. It makes the drink extra frothy with a head of foam.
How to order: Order the same way as a Cold Brew, enjoyed plain or with a splash of heavy cream or almond milk. For a sweeter beverage, add one pump sugar-free syrup or your own sweetener.
8. Low-carb Almond Milk Latte (Non-Dairy)
What it is: A shot of espresso, steamed almond milk and a layer of foam. Hot or iced, an almond milk latté is certainly a treat and there are still many ways to customize it! Out of all of Starbucks' non-dairy beverage options, almond milk contains the least amount of carbs and sugar, with 5g net carbs and 5g sugar per cup.
How to order: Request an almond milk latte (choose Blonde espresso shots for a smoother flavor). If you'd like a touch of sweet, ask for sugar-free vanilla or cinnamon dolce syrup or add your own sweetener.
9. low-carb chai tea latte
What it is: Hot chai tea is served latte-style, with steamed milk and topped with foam. It is cozy and warming with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Starbucks offers two types of Chai Tea lattes so be sure to request the "lightly sweet" option.
How to order: Order a "Lightly Sweet Chai Tea Latte" with half heavy cream, half water. Request it sweetened with stevia or sugar-free vanilla syrup instead of liquid cane sugar (standard). Optional: add a shot of espresso for a "dirty chai."
10. low-carb London Fog latte
What it is: Classic, Earl Grey tea meets latte. A London Fog is cozy yet bright, with hints of citrus, lavender and vanilla in a warm, frothy, black tea beverage. It's the perfect keto-friendly option for a hot, non-coffee drink.
How to order: Request a London Fog with half heavy cream and half water. To sweeten, ask for two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup or one pump of sugar-free vanilla + one stevia packet.
11. iced shaken espresso
What it is: A rich, full-bodied espresso that is shaken, chilled, and served with a splash of milk over ice. This one is easy to make and low-carb, low-sugar just by swapping out the milk.
How to order: Ask for an iced shaken espresso with heavy cream or almond milk instead of 2% milk or whole milk. Add one pump of sugar-free vanilla syrup, if desired.
12. low-sugar cinnamon dolce latte
What it is: A keto-friendly take on Starbucks' classic Cinnamon Dolce Latte with easy swaps to make the drink low-carb, low-sugar.
How to order: Ask for a Cinnamon Dolce Latte made with half heavy cream and half water (or almond milk for non-dairy). Request 1-2 pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup, no whip, and skip the cinnamon dolce drizzle topping too.
Note: Starbucks does not always carry sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup and it might be a seasonal sweetener.
13. iced blonde cappuccino
What it is: A cappuccino (espresso with a splash of milk and foam) but use blonde roast espresso and order it on ice. It's rich, velvety, and yet still cold and refreshing.
How to order: Ask for an iced blonde cappuccino with heavy cream instead of milk. Starbucks also offers this drink with its Cold Foam, which is frothy, sweetened foam. For that option, request Cold Foam with sugar-free vanilla syrup.
14. keto caffé misto
What it is: Half brewed coffee, half steamed milk, a caffé misto is an easy Starbucks drink to make keto-friendly and is delicious either hot or iced.
How to order: Ask for a hot or iced caffé misto made with half heavy cream, half water (instead of milk) or with almond milk for a non-dairy drink. You can also customize it further by requesting sugar-free sweetener.
15. low-carb iced blonde vanilla latte
What it is: Blonde espresso with milk and vanilla syrup served over ice, this classic is thankfully simple to customize and turn into a low-carb Starbucks drink.
How to order: Reqeust an iced blonde vanilla latte with 1-2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup and half heavy cream, half water. For non-dairy, ask for almond milk.
frequently asked questions
- Which Starbucks drink has the least sugar? Coffee in its purest form, like drip coffees or Americanos, are your best bet. The milks are typically where the carbs/sugar come in so for the least amount of sugar and carbs, choose zero-carb heavy cream as your milk option.
- How do you order low sugar at Starbucks? Low-sugar drinks at Starbucks are totally doable, as long as you ask for sugar-free syrup (I find that 1-2 pumps is usually sweet enough) and go with heavy cream or almond milk. You can also request Stevia in the Raw or bring your own low-sugar sweetener.
- Is almond milk keto friendly? Yes! Almond milk is naturally low in carbs and sugar, especially when it is unsweetened. Currently, Starbucks only carries sweetened almond milk which has about 4g added sugar and 5g net carbs per cup.
- Can you have a sugar-free vanilla latte on keto? You can enjoy a sugar-free vanilla latté on keto as long as it is customized. Request half heavy cream, half water (or almond milk) to reduce the amount of sugar.
Which drink is your favorite? If you try any of these keto Starbucks drinks, let me know! And if you have your own favorite drink, feel free to share it in the comments below or tag me on Instagram @stemandspoon.
p.s. Need on-the-go food recs to go with your new keto Starbucks drink? There's something extra yummy about a keto chocolate zucchini muffin or a slice of keto lemon pound cake with specialty coffee.
For more flavor options and control over the carb count, consider adding your own sweetener to your low-carb low-sugar drinks at Starbucks:
- Liquid monk fruit sweetener like llinea monk fruit (a few drops is all you'll need)
- Whole Earth sweetener packets, a blend of monk fruit, erythritol and stevia
- Lakanto extracts and simple syrups (affiliate- use code STEMANDSPOON for 15% off your order)
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- This list of 25 high protein keto recipes! Each one is filling and flavorful.