If you’re newly on keto, you’re likely trying to figure 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 your allotted carbohydrates on one sugary, delicious Starbucks drink. The good news? There are plenty of diet-friendly options on the menu that are more exciting than plain black coffee. The name of the game is minimizing milk and sugar, the two main sources of carbs in many Starbucks drinks. Presenting 16 keto Starbucks drinks to try on a low-carb meal plan, plus tips on how to order them.
The 16 Best Keto Starbucks Drinks (That Are Way More Fun Than Black Coffee)
Because carbs shouldn't keep you from caffeine
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 (about 1g of net carbs), you’re in the clear. Sugar-free vanilla, caramel and hazelnut syrups are commonly available at Starbucks. Lighten your joe with a touch of milk, non-dairy milk or cream to boot.
3. Cold Brew Coffee (0g Net Carbs)
Much like drip or iced coffee, cold brew is virtually free of carbs, calories and sugar. The difference is that it's brewed cold, which helps it retain caffeine. So, you'll get a bigger energy boost, whether you spike it with cream and sugar-free syrup or not. If you prefer your coffee silky-smooth and creamy, order nitro cold brew instead. It's infused with nitrogen to create sweetness without additional sugar and a deliciously velvety mouthfeel.
4. Unsweetened Hot or Iced Tea (0g Net Carbs)
Tea is an easy win when it comes to ordering keto Starbucks drinks. It’s just water and tea, which are 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 steamed heavy cream), which is higher in fat and lower in carbs than regular milk.
5. Espresso Shots (1g Net Carbs)
Like black coffee, espresso is essentially free of carbs. (We’re talking half a gram per shot.) Order yourself a doppio, meaning two shots, and sip it as is or add a splash of cream or almond milk to mellow it out, if it’s too bitter for your taste. You can even add half a pump of sugar-free syrup while you’re at it to make what’s essentially the cutest, tiniest keto latte ever.
6. Espresso con Panna (2g Net Carbs)
You don’t like espresso plain...but you also can’t down 12 ounces of milk first thing in the morning on keto. This modest mix of espresso and whipped cream should do the trick. Starbucks’s whipped cream is infused with vanilla syrup, so it’s already slightly sweet. It’ll melt and naturally mix into the bitter, robust shots as it sits, so the drink will become less harsh on your palate as you sip. (If you prefer steamed milk to whipped cream, ask for an Espresso Macchiato made with cream.)
7. 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 keto Starbucks drink. Feel free to add a pump or two of sugar-free flavoring or a splash of cream if it’s too bitter for you.
8. Tall Latte or Cappuccino with Heavy Cream (8.5g Net Carbs)
9. Short Caffè Breve or Caffè Misto with Half-and-Half or Cream (~7g Net Carbs)
The standard milk used for 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 only have a splash or two. Ordering a breve latte (espresso topped with steamed half-and-half instead of milk) or a caffè misto (half drip coffee and half milk, but in this case, you’d use half-and-half or cream) will reduce your 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 cup.
10. Grande Almond Flat White (2g Net Carbs)
If you love lattes but have never tried a flat white, it’s long overdue. This drink is a blend of espresso and steamed milk, but the milk is steamed to have microfoam, which gives it a velvety consistency. Espresso is carb-free, but the dairy definitely isn’t. So, swap in almond milk, which is lower in carbs than dairy milk at about 1 net carb per cup (at least at Starbucks—almond milks with added sugar aren’t low in carbs).
11. Tall Low-Carb Mocha (~10-12g Net Carbs)
You may notice the term “skinny” on some Starbucks menus 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 turn it into a keto Starbucks drink: Order 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.
12. Grande Keto Pink Drink (2-4g Net Carbs)
This crafty recipe has made the rounds in online keto circles for a reason, the main one being that it's pretty darn delicious. To order a low-carb Pink Drink, ask for an iced Passion Tango tea with up to three pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup and a splash or two of heavy cream. (We're betting you can do the same with the green tea if you're craving caffeine, perhaps with a scoop of the dried pineapple that goes in the Paradise Drink?)
13. Tall Blonde Vanilla Latte (2.5g Net Carbs)
A tall Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte clocks in at 23 grams of carbohydrates and 22 grams of sugar. Swap the milk for cream or plant-based milk to nix about 12 grams of sugar and carbs, and opt for sugar-free vanilla syrup instead. Your new grand carb total? About 2.5 grams, if you go with almond milk. How's that for a keto Starbucks drink?
15. Tall Keto Frappuccino (3g Net Carbs)
Love Frappuccinos? Well, have your cake and eat it too, friend. This secret menu hack starts with the Espresso Frappuccino and makes the following tweaks: Ask for a tall, then request no Frappuccino base or the usual syrups. Instead, substitute two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup and two shot glasses of heavy cream. Ask them to blend it Frappuccino-style and voilà. (For a script of exactly what to say when you order this keto Starbucks drink, check out this guide from Hip2Keto.)
16. Keto Hot Chai (~2-4g Net Carbs)
This keto Starbucks drink is actually pretty ingenious. Instead of ordering your usual chai latte, which comes sweetened and is made of mostly milk, ask for a hot chai tea with a few fingers of heavy cream. If you prefer it sweet, add a couple pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup too. You'll get the creamy, warm-spiced bev you crave with a fraction of the sugar and calories.