I’m a Former Starbucks Barista, and Here Are the 21 Best Sugar-Free Drinks at Starbucks

From cold brew to iced tea

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: starbucks cup with a sleeve outdoors
Zhang Peng/Contributor/Getty Images

Whether you’re on keto, cutting calories or simply trying to curb your sugar intake, you may find that tweaking your daily coffee order is an easy way to shave off a few grams. (Ever heard someone say, “don’t drink your calories?”) If you start your day with a trip to Starbucks, you may be wondering what low-sugar options are on the menu. (As a former Starbucks barista, I can tell you that your go-to venti caramel macchiato with extra drizzle unfortunately isn’t.) Still trying to figure out what to order? Read on for 21 ideas, plus advice from Dr. Felicia Stoler, DCN, a registered dietitian, regarding zero-calorie sweeteners.

(Note: The nutrition information below is for grande-size drinks made with 2 percent milk, unless otherwise noted, as that is the only nutritional information Starbucks makes available on its website. It does not account for suggested modifications.)

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Meet the Expert

Dr. Felicia Stoler, DCN, is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist. She’s the author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great and the former host of TLC’s Honey, We’re Killing the Kids.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: starbucks storefront

Are There Any Sugar-Free Drinks at Starbucks?

Yes. Unsweetened coffee, tea and espresso are all naturally sugar free. If you don’t take them black, you can always supplement the flavor with a zero-calorie sweetener (such as Splenda) to make it more your taste without increasing the sugar content. But Stoler cautions against doing this regularly.

“[Sugar-free sweeteners] are the only thing I don’t recommend or advocate the use of because while they’re lower in calories, their repeated use alters our body’s taste perception,” she explains.

They’re considered safe for consumption, but she has concerns. “There are no studies that have proven that using these products has had any improvement in human health; they may impact the gut microbiome negatively, and I would argue that since their introduction into the food supply in the 1990s…we see more incidence of type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer,” she argues. “While there are not necessarily any studies to show causation per se, it would be irresponsible to give these sweeteners a complete pass and dismiss the hypothesis that they may cause harm [to] humans.”

Rather than satiating our sweet tooth with sugar substitutes, Stoler says we should try decreasing our drive for sweet drinks in general and drink unsweetened coffee or teas instead…or just treat yourself to real sugar mindfully. “I used to tell a friend that her ‘regular coffee’ [with] cream and sugar…had as many calories and [as much] fat as a donut...and that she may find chewing the donut more satisfying.”

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: starbucks barista holding a latte in a white mug

Does Starbucks Have Sugar-Free Lattes?

The chain offers some sugar-free flavor syrups that contain no sugar, but all of its milks contain some. So, you can totally get a low-sugar latte at Starbucks, but it’d be impossible to get one that’s totally sugar free. In terms of dairy milk, whole, 2 percent and skim each contain about 12 grams of naturally occurring sugar per 8-ounce serving, although they differ in calories and fat. (Keep in mind that a Starbucks tall is 12 ounces—you’d have to order a short for eight ounces.) As for non-dairy alternatives, Starbucks has four options, all of which contain added sugar. Nevertheless, they contain less sugar per cup than dairy milk—almond with 3 grams, oat with 7 grams, coconut with about 8 grams and soy with about 10 grams.

Nevertheless, Stoler stresses that regular dairy milk has a more complete nutrient profile than non-dairy milk (hi, protein), and you don’t always know exactly what’s in the alternative milk you’re ordering at a café. “Most are laden with additives that I personally would prefer not to consume,” she says. “I’m a huge advocate for consuming foods closer to the way they’re found in nature.”

So, keep this in mind before you place your order, and feel free to ask the barista to show you the ingredients and nutrition facts for the non-dairy milk in your drink. At the end of the day, moderation is key, whether we’re talking zero-calorie substitutes or plain old sugar. “Sugar has been demonized more so than anything else,” says Stoler. “Humans have consumed sugar for thousands of years. Our bodies can process it.”

Read on for 21 low-sugar and sugar-free drinks at Starbucks.

21 Low-Sugar and Sugar-Free Drinks at Starbucks

Hot Drinks

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: hot coffee

1. Hot Coffee

  • Nutrition Information: 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

If you can get down with a bitter, roasty drip coffee that doesn’t contain any added milk or sugar, this is the best sugar-free option. If black coffee is too intense for you, add a splash of milk or a dash of zero-calorie sweetener. You can also ask the barista for a pump or two of sugar-free flavor syrup.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: espresso shots

2. Espresso Shots

  • Nutrition Information: 10 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Order a doppio for a quick bev you can shoot back in a flash. (A nuanced two-ounce espresso might be easier to swallow than eight ounces of black coffee.)

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: espresso macchiato

3. Espresso Macchiato

  • Nutrition Information: 15 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 1g protein

It’s a far cry from the sugar-laden Caramel Macchiato (which is really an upside-down vanilla latte with caramel drizzle…but I digress), but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. The Espresso Macchiato is a Euro-style drink that calls for shot of espresso topped with just a dollop of steamed milk and foam.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: espresso con panna

4. Espresso Con Panna

  • Nutrition Information: 35 calories, 2.5g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 1g protein

If you need more to make the shots palatable, go for the espresso con panna. It’s crowned with whipped cream, which contains sugary vanilla syrup, but it’s such a small amount that the sugar remains at zero grams.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: americano

5. Caffè Americano

  • Nutrition Information: 15 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

A hot Americano is a simple mix of espresso shots and water, so it’s naturally sugar-free. If you treat it like a drip coffee and finish it with a dash or two of milk, the sugar content will be minimal.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: hot tea

6. Hot Tea

  • Nutrition Information: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Whether you’re on team Royal English Breakfast or Peach Tranquility, any hot tea from Starbucks is free of sugar, as long as you don’t order a latte. (In case you’re wondering, the beloved chai tea latte packs a whopping 42 grams of sugar per 16-ounce serving.)

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: caffe misto

7. Caffè Misto

  • Nutrition Information: 110 calories, 4g fat, 10g carbs, 10g sugar, 7g protein

Think of this bev—a 50/50 split of drip coffee and steamed milk—as a less expensive cheater’s latte. If you order a grande with 2 percent milk, the drink contains 10 grams of sugar. But you can make it less sweet by opting for a smaller size or non-dairy milk (although you’ll lose the protein along with the sugar).

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: flat white

8. Flat White

  • Nutrition Information: 150 calories, 8g fat, 13g carbs, 11g sugar, 0g protein

A flat white is nothing but milk and ristretto shots, which are short shots of espresso that have a more concentrated, sweeter flavor than full-length espresso shots. Order a short size and substitute almond milk to get the sugar as low as possible.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: cappuccino

9. Cappuccino

  • Nutrition Information: 140 calories, 5g fat, 14g carbs, 12g sugar, 0g protein

The milk in a cappuccino is steamed longer than it is for a latte, because the drink requires a thicker layer of foam. As a result, less milk is required to fill the same size cup, meaning it contains less sugar.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: caffe latte

10. Caffè Latte

  • Nutrition Information: 190 calories, 7g fat, 19g carbs, 18g sugar, 0g protein

A regular grande latte with no added sugar will still put you back 18 grams, but you can lower that number by getting a smaller size or opting for non-dairy milk. (A note on hot tea lattes: Grande Matcha, London Fog and Royal English Breakfast lattes all contain 21 grams or more of sugar, since their default recipes are made with flavor syrups or sweetened tea blends.)

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: oleato caffe latte

11. Oleato Caffé Latte with Oatmilk

  • Nutrition Information: 330 calories, 23g fat, 30g carbs, 6g sugar, 3g protein

Starbucks launched a line of olive oil coffee drinks last year. This one is Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast coffee infused with extra-virgin olive oil and steamed with creamy oat milk. You may be able to bring the sugar content even lower by subbing almond milk, but without modifications, a grande only contains 6 grams.

Cold Drinks

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: iced coffee

12. Iced Coffee

  • Nutrition Information: 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Drip coffee’s cold alternative is also sugar free. The Starbucks menu defaults to adding Classic syrup (aka simple syrup) to their iced coffee, so be sure to remove it before you order on the app or to ask for it unsweetened if you order in person.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: cold brew

13. Cold Brew

  • Nutrition Information: 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Like iced coffee, cold brew contains no calories or sugar. The main differences are that it’s higher in caffeine and smoother in flavor. So, save this one for a morning when you’re feeling particularly groggy.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: iced americano

14. Iced Caffè Americano

  • Nutrition Information: 15 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Give the hot Americano's cool cousin the same treatment (a dash or two of milk and zero-calorie sweetener, if you feel so inclined) and you’re good to go. If you really want it sweet, try a single pump of regular or sugar-free syrup before asking for the usual amount—you might not need as much as you think.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: iced black tea

15. Iced Black Tea

  • Nutrition Information: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

If you ensure that your tea is unsweetened (meaning there’s no Classic syrup in it), this bev is totally calorie- and sugar-free. The iced black tea also contains 25 milligrams of caffeine in a 16-ounce serving.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: iced green tea

16. Iced Green Tea

  • Nutrition Information: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Resist the urge to add Peach or Classic syrup to this refreshing sipper and you’re in the clear. Instead, add a spritz of fresh lemon (you'll need to supply your own) or ask the barista for a modest splash of lemonade.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: passion tea

17. Iced Passion Tea

  • Nutrition Information: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Say it ain’t so: Lemonade, albeit a delicious addition to this herbal hibiscus number, adds 11 grams of sugar to your grande Passion Tea. Nix it, ask for a fraction of the amount or substitute fresh lemon juice to bring down the sugar. Or, try the tea plain—it’s naturally tart and floral.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: iced almondmilk honey flat white

18. Iced Honey Almondmilk Flat White

  • Nutrition Information (tall): 100 calories, 2.5g fat, 20g carbs, 17g sugar, 1g protein

Thanks to the ice taking up precious cup space, a plain Iced Flat White (a blend of smooth ristretto espresso shots and whole milk) has 2 fewer grams of sugar than a hot flat white. But if you want to indulge, the Iced Honey Almondmilk Flat White is also fair game. Just be sure to order a tall, and feel free to reduce the honey blend pumps to bring the sugar content even lower.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: iced latte

19. Iced Caffè Latte

  • Nutrition Information: 130 calories, 4.5g fat, 13g carbs, 11g sugar, 0g protein

Once again, ice cubes save the day—as well as 7 grams of sugar. If you don’t want to use nondairy milk and insist on a grande, simply order it cold instead of hot to bring the number down.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: london fog tea latte

20. Iced London Fog Tea Latte

  • Nutrition Information: 140 calories, 2.5g fat, 25g carbs, 25g sugar, 4g protein

Most of this drink is milk and Earl Grey tea, which is an infusion of black tea, bergamot essence and lavender flowers. The vanilla syrup is where most of its sugar content comes from. But if you substitute sugar-free vanilla syrup (or reduce the number of pumps of regular vanilla syrup) and opt for unsweetened non-dairy milk, the sugar content will plummet.

sugar-free drinks at starbucks: latte with sugar-free syrup

21. Sugar-Free Flavor Latte (Hot or Iced)

  • Nutrition Information: 130 to 190 calories, 4.5 to 7g fat, 13 to 19g carbs, 11 to 18g sugar, 0g protein

If you order a grande with 2 percent milk, your sugar-free latte will contain 11 to 18 grams of naturally occurring sugar. Spiking it with sugar-free syrup will add flavor but no calories, and you can lower the sugar content even further by choosing a smaller size or non-dairy milk.

Naturally Occurring Sugar vs. Added Sugar

Natural sugar is sugar that naturally occurs in certain foods, like fruit and dairy. Refined sugar, although it comes from a natural source, has been processed. When refined sugar (which can be white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and the like) is incorporated into a food or drink, this is added sugar. Added sugar is considered more sinister for your health than natural sugar. (So, cutting flavor syrups from your coffee is arguably more important than nixing milk.)


If you keep refined sugar out of your drinks, opt for smaller cup sizes and choose unsweetened, non-dairy milks (or better yet, drinks that don't take milk at all or only a small amount), it's easy to order low-sugar and sugar-free drinks at Starbucks.

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taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...