If you’re new to keto, one of the first challenges you’ve likely faced is figuring out how to make your morning Starbucks order low-carb. With the cap at just 50 grams per day, it’s easy to blow half (or more) of the allotted carbohydrates on one sugary, delicious Starbucks drink. The good news is that there are more keto-friendly options on the menu than plain black coffee. The name of the game is just to minimize your milk and sugar intake, which are the two chief carb-loaders. Here are 13 keto Starbucks drinks to try, plus tips on how to order them.
13 Best Keto Starbucks Drinks to Order
1. Drip, Iced or Cold Brew Coffee (0g Net Carbs)
Hi, old reliable. Plain coffee is basically carb-free. 12 ounces, or a Starbucks tall cup, contains less than one gram of carbs.
2. Hot or Cold Coffee With Sugar-Free Syrup (1g+ Net Carbs)
Here’s the thing: Sugar-free syrups are a great way to sweeten your drink without added sugar or calories, but they can contain hidden carbs that can knock you out of ketosis if used in excess. As long as you stick to two pumps (aka about 1g of net carbs) and use almond milk or another plant-based milk and half and half or heavy cream, you’re in the clear. Sugar-free vanilla, caramel and hazelnut syrups are commonly available.
3. Unsweetened Hot or Iced Tea (0g Net Carbs)
It’s just water and tea, which are essentially carb-free by nature. If you’re ordering iced tea, be sure to let the barista know you want it unsweetened; the default recipes include classic syrup, otherwise known as liquid sugar. If you like your tea with milk, go for a splash of heavy cream or a steamed heavy cream topper, which is higher in fat and lower in carbs than regular milk.
4. Espresso Shots (1g Net Carbs)
Like black coffee, espresso is essentially free of carbs. (We’re talking about half a gram per shot.) Order yourself a doppio, aka two shots, and either sip it as is or add a splash of cream or almond milk to mellow it out, if it’s too bitter for you. You can even add a half or whole pump of sugar-free syrup while you’re at it to make what’s essentially the cutest, tiniest keto latte ever.
5. Hot or Iced Americano (0g Net Carbs)
Americanos are nothing but espresso and water, so you won’t have to worry about tallying up carbs with this order. Feel free to add a pump or two of sugar-free flavoring or a splash of milk if it’s too bitter for your taste.
6. Tall Latte or Cappuccino With Heavy Cream (8.5 Net Carbs)
Heavy cream’s carb count is lower than both half and half and milk. It’s also much higher in calories and fat, but that’s not necessarily a problem if you’re on keto. Stick to a tall latte or cappuccino so you know you’re limited to about eight ounces of cream.
7. Short Caffè Breve Or Caffè Misto With (7g Net Carbs)
The standard milk used in espresso drinks at Starbucks is two percent. Due to milk’s natural sugar, regular milk is too high in carbs to be keto-friendly (11g net carbs for eight ounces), unless you’re having just a splash or two. Ordering a breve latte (espresso topped with steamed half and half instead of milk) or a misto drip coffee (half drip coffee and half milk, but in this case, you’d use half and half or cream) can reduce the drink’s carbs while also upping its creaminess. Stick to about six ounces of half and half or cream by ordering an eight-ounce short.
8. Grande Almond Flat White (2g Net Carbs)
If you love lattes but have never tried a Flat White, it’s long overdue. It’s a blend of espresso and steamed milk, but the milk is steamed to have microfoam, which gives the drink a velvety consistency. Espresso is carb-free, but the dairy definitely isn’t. So, swap in almond milk, which is way lower in carbs than dairy milk with about one net carb per cup, at least at Starbucks. (Some almond milks with a lot of added sugar aren’t low in carbs.)
9. Tall Low-Carb Mocha (~10-12g Net Carbs)
You may notice the term “skinny” on the Starbucks menu in front of lower-calorie drinks, but that doesn’t mean they’re inherently low-carb. For instance, a grande Skinny Mocha has 20g net carbs. Here are a few tweaks you can make to get that count lower: Make it a tall, use only two pumps of skinny mocha sauce and ask the barista to use almond milk or a 50/50 mix of hot water and heavy cream.
10. Grande Keto Pink Drink Or White Drink (2-4g Net Carbs)
These crafty recipes have made the rounds in online keto circles for a reason, being that they’re pretty darn delicious. To order a White Drink, ask for an iced Peach Citrus White Tea with up to three pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup and a splash or two of heavy cream. A low-carb Pink Drink is the same, except it starts with Passion Tango Tea instead of peach.
11. Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte (2.5g Net Carbs)
A regular tall Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte clocks in at 23 grams of carbohydrates and 22 grams of sugar. Swap the milk for less cream or plant-based milk to ax about 12 grams of sugar and carbs the and opt for the sugar-free vanilla syrup instead. Your new grand carb total? About 2.5 grams if you choose almond milk.
12. London Fog (~1g Net Carbs)
For those who prefer tea, you can still enjoy this doctored-up Earl Grey. Choose a plant-based milk (almond is the lowest in carbs, but you can still go with oat or soy) and go easy on the sugar-free vanilla syrup. A pump will cost you a carb.
13. Keto Frappuccino (3g Net Carbs)
Love Frappuccino drinks? Well, have your cake and eat it, too. This secret menu hack starts with the Espresso Frappuccino and makes the following tweaks: Go for the tall then request no Frappuccino base nor the usual syrups. Instead, you’ll want an unsweetened ice coffee with two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup and two shots of heavy cream. Ask them to blend it Frappuccino-style and voilà. (For a script of exactly what to say when you order, check out Hip2Keto.)