Low Carb Starbucks Drink Guide for Beginners

in Fast Food Guides

Low Carb Starbucks Drinks Guide for Keto Dieters

Learn how to order low carb Starbucks drinks that fit your keto diet.

See real-life photos of my low carb Starbucks drink orders.

Re-create low carb versions of your favorite Starbucks drinks.

In a hurry? Get my printable list of 15 low carb Starbucks drink ideas for free.

What To Order

I’ve loosely organized my recommendations around the drink categories listed on the Starbucks drive-thru menu. The pictures below are my own and should give you a rough idea of what your drink will look like.

LOW CARB HOT DRINKS

1. Low Carb Flat White

A Flat White typically comes with a highly concentrated shot of espresso and steamed whole milk to create a creamy coffee with a strong buzz. Steamed milk has 8g of sugar so replace it with a mixture of half heavy whipping cream and half water to get the same creaminess without the carbs.

Low Carb Starbucks Drinks - Flat White

Mrs. SkinnyPants holds my low carb Flat White.

  • Order it low carb: “Short Flat White. Replace the steamed milk with half heavy whipping cream & water steamed.”
  • Macros: 55 calories, 1g net carbs, 1g protein, 5g fat.

2. Low Carb Mocha

A typical Caffe Mocha has 20g of net carbs and comes with milk, brewed espresso, mocha sauce, and whipped cream. To cut the carbs, replace the milk with half heavy whipping cream & half water and replace the mocha sauce with skinny mocha sauce.

Low Carb Starbucks Drinks - Low Carb Mocha

My low carb Starbucks Mocha casts a large shadow.

  • Order it low carb: “Short Mocha with skinny sugar-free mocha sauce. Replace the milk with half heavy whipping cream and half water.”
  • Macros: 55 calories, 1g net carbs, 1g protein, 5g fat.

3. Low Carb Latte

A Caffe Latte typically comes with espresso, steamed milk, and a light layer of foam.  To recreate a low carb version, you’ll start from from scratch and order an Americano with a splash of heavy whipping cream. Ask them to add foam if the presentation under the lid is important to you (I forgot).

Starbucks Low Carb Latte

My Starbucks Low Carb Latte.

  • Order it low carb: “Short Americano, filled with 3/4 water and the rest with heavy cream. Add foam on top please.”
  • Macros: 216 calories, 4g net carbs, 3g protein, 22g fat.

4. Low Carb Fresh Brewed Coffee

Most of the fresh brewed hot coffees Starbucks are naturally keto friendly. I ordered a cup of their most popular brew: the Pike Place roast.

Low Carb Starbucks Drinks - Pike Place Roast

My Starbucks Pike Place Roast. Naturally low carb.

  • Order it low carb: “short Pike Place Roast.”
  • Macros: 5 calories, 0g net carbs, 0g protein, 0g fat

Starbucks List of Fresh Brewed Coffees:

  • Blonde Roast – 5 calories and 0g net carbs
  • Clover Brewed Coffee – 10 calories and 0g net carbs
  • Decaf Pike Place – 5 calories and 0g net carbs
  • Featured Dark Roast – 5 calories and 0g net carbs
  • Pike Place Roast – 5 calories and 0g net carbs

5. Low Carb Americano

Comes with espresso shots topped with hot water to produce a layer of crema (that dissipates quickly as you can’t really see it in my photo). It’s naturally low carb.

Low Carb Starbucks Americano

My Starbucks Americano. Naturally low carb.

  • Order it low carb: “Short Americano.”
  • Macros: 5 calories, 1g net carbs, 0g protein, 0g fat.

6. Low Carb Misto

Comes standard with a one-to-one mix of fresh brewed coffee and steamed milk. If you order it “short,” it only has 5g net carbs. If you want a larger size then replace the steamed milk with steamed half and half to cut the carbs.

Low Carb Starbucks Misto

My low carb Starbucks Misto.

  • Order it low carb: “Short Misto.”
  • Macros: 50 calories, 5g net carbs, 4g protein, 2g fat.

7. Low Carb Chai Tea Latte

The typical Chai Tea Latte is a foam-topped hot drink made from milk, water, and chai tea concentrate which has added sugar and honey. The added milk, sugar, and honey give the short-sized Chai Tea Latte a whopping 22 net carbs.

To get a low carb Chai Tea Latte, ask your barista to reconstruct the drink using their brewed chai tea bags (no concentrate), heavy whipping cream, and sugar free cinnamon dolce syrup. It’s delicious. This is one of my favorites.

Low Carb Starbucks Drinks - Chai Tea Latte

The low carb Chai Tea Latte I ordered for my mom. I also tried it and it’s very good.

  • Order it low carb: “Short Chai Tea Latte using 2 Chai brewed tea bags — not the concentrate — with 2 shots of heavy whipping cream, and 2 pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce.”
  • Macros: 206 calories, 4g net carbs, 1g protein, 22g fat.

8. Low Carb Caramel Macchiato

A typical Caramel Macchiato comes with milk, brewed espresso, vanilla syrup, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. To create a moderately low carb version, you’ll start from scratch and order an Americano with heavy whipping cream, sugar-free vanilla syrup, and an extra light drizzle of caramel.

Low Carb Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

My low carb Starbucks Caramel Macchiato.

  • Order it low carb: “Short Americano, filled with 3/4 water and 1/4 heavy whipping cream with 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup, shots on top, and extra-light caramel drizzle.”
  • Macros: 123 calories, 7g net carbs, 3g protein, and 11g fat.

Get it “with whip” if you want that pretty whip cream topping under the lid so that the caramel drizzle shows on top. Adds 2-3g of net carbs.

9. Low Carb White Chocolate Mocha

A typical White Chocolate Mocha comes with milk, white chocolate mocha sauce, espresso, and whipped cream. A short cup of White Chocolate Mocha has 28g net carbs. Yikes. Starbucks doesn’t carry a sugar-free substitute for the white chocolate mocha sauce, so you’ll have to ask them to go easy on it and settle for a moderately low carb substitute with diluted flavor.

Low Carb Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha

My moderately low carb Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha with whip.

  • Order it moderately low carb: “Short White Chocolate Mocha with whip. Single pump of white chocolate mocha sauce (instead of the normal 2 pumps). Replace the milk with 3/4 water and 1/4 heavy whipping cream.”
  • Macros: 183 calories, 12g net carbs, 1g protein, and 16g fat.

I ordered this drink and drank less than half so that I only consumed about 5g net carbs.

10. Low Carb Vanilla Latte

A typical Vanilla Latte has espresso blended with steamed 2% milk and vanilla syrup. It has 18g net of carbs.

A Skinny Vanilla Latte uses steamed non-fat milk and sugar-free vanilla syrup. The sugar free vanilla syrup helps but the non-fat milk still has 9g net carbs.

To get a truly low carb Vanilla Latte, you’ll need to replace the milk with heavy whipping cream & water and replace the regular vanilla syrup with sugar-free vanilla syrup.

Low Carb Starbucks Latte

My wife’s low carb Vanilla Latte.

  • Order it low carb: “Short Vanilla Latte, replace the milk with 3/4 water and the rest with heavy cream. Add 2 pumps sugar-free vanilla syrup.”
  • Macros: 216 calories, 6g net carbs, 3g protein, 22g fat.

11. Hot Tea

The following Starbucks brewed teas have 0 calories and 0g net carbs and are perfect for keto dieters.

  • Emperors Cloud and Mist Green Tea
  • Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea
  • Mint Majesty Herbal Tea
  • Passion Tango Herbal Tea
  • Peach Tranquility Herbal Tea
  • Royal English Breakfast Tea
  • Teavana Earl Grey Brewed Tea
  • Teavana Joy (Seasonal)
  • Teavana Organic Chai Tea
  • Youthberry White Tea

You can add flavor and texture to your tea by using heavy whipping cream or sugar-free syrups. For example, I recently ordered a low carb London Fog hot tea and it was delicious.

Low Carb Starbucks London Fog Tea

My low carb Starbucks London Fog Hot Tea. One of my favorites.

  • Order it low carb: “Short Earl Grey tea made with 2 tea bags, 2 shots of steamed heavy whipping cream, and 1 pump of sugar free vanilla syrup.”
  • Macros: 206 calories, 3g net carbs, 1g protein, 22g fat.

LOW CARB ICED DRINKS

1. Low Carb Frappuccino

A typical Starbucks Frappuccino is a blend of coffee, milk, and ice, flavored with sugary syrups or sauces, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with decorative sweet toppings. The average “tall” Frappuccino has at least 40g net carbs.

To make a low carb Frappucino, start with a tall iced coffee, and ask them to blend it frappuccino-style with heavy whipping cream, sugar free syrup, and then optionally top it with whip cream and a low carb spice like nutmeg or cinnamon.

The possibilities are endless.

Here is an example of a Keto Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino without whip cream that I ordered for my mom. 

Sugar Free Cinnamon Dulce Light Frappucino

The Keto Frappucino I ordered for my mom.

  • Order it low carb: “Tall unsweetened iced coffee with extra ice, 2 pumps of sugar free cinnamon dolce syrup, and 2 shots of heavy whipping cream, blended frappuccino-style but with no frappuccino base & no frap syrups.”
  • Macros: 211 calories, 4g net carbs, 1g protein, 22g fat.

2. Low Carb Iced Tea

The iced teas at Starbucks are sweetened and have at least 8g of sugar in a tall-sized beverage. To create your own low carb Iced Tea, order one of these brewed teas on ice:

  • Emperors Cloud and Mist Green Tea
  • Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea
  • Mint Majesty Herbal Tea
  • Passion Tango Herbal Tea
  • Peach Tranquility Herbal Tea
  • Royal English Breakfast Tea
  • Teavana Earl Grey Brewed Tea
  • Teavana Joy (Seasonal)
  • Teavana Organic Chai Tea
  • Youthberry White Tea

Then you can use Starbucks’ in-store Stevia for sweetener or leave it unsweetened. Here’s an unsweetened Passion Tango Herbal Tea on ice that my wife ordered for my son.

Low Carb Starbucks Passion Tango Herbal Tea on Ice

My son’s low carb Starbucks Passion Tango Herbal Tea on Ice

  • Order it low carb: “Tall Passion Tango Herbal Tea on Ice, unsweetened.”
  • Macros: 0 calories, 0g net carbs, 0g protein, 0g fat.

3. Low Carb Refreshers

The typical Starbucks Refreshers come with a high carb fruit juice base mixed with water and served over ice. Some also have milk added for flavor. To recreate a low carb Refresher beverage, order a brewed tea on ice then add flavor, color, & texture via 2 shots of heavy whipping cream and/or two shots of one of these sugar-free syrups:

  • Vanilla (Maltodextrin) – 1g net carbs per pump
  • Cinnamon Dolce (Sucralose) – 1g net carbs per pump
  • Mocha Sauce (Sucralose) – 1g net carbs per pump

Perhaps the most famous Refresher beverage is the Starbucks Pink Drink which has about 20g net carbs.

To create a low carb Pink Drink, you’ll be using unsweetened Passion Tango Herbal Tea, heavy whipping cream, and sugar-free vanilla syrup.

Low Carb Starbucks Pink Drink

My low carb Starbucks Pink Drink. Loved this.

  • Order it low carb: “Tall Passion Tango Herbal Tea on ice, no classic syrup, 2 shots heavy whipping cream, 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup.”
  • Macros: 206 calories, 4g net carbs, 1g protein, 22g fat.

4. Low Carb Iced Caramel Macchiato

This one is featured prominently on the menu so I figured lots of people order it. A typical Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato has 26g net carbs and comes with milk, espresso, and vanilla syrup served over ice then topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle. Making it strict low carb is difficult. Here is a moderately low carb version:

Low Carb Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato

My moderately low carb Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato

  • Order it low carb: “Tall Americano on ice, add 2 shots of heavy whipping cream, 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup (shots on top). Add whipped cream on top with an extra-light drizzle of caramel.”
  • Macros: 274 calories, 9g net carbs, 3g protein, and 28g fat.

You can save 2 net carbs if you forego the whipped cream on top or just don’t eat it all.

5. Low Carb Iced Coffee

You can get any of the Starbucks coffees served over ice and it’ll be low carb if you tell your barista to leave it unsweetened. For my research, I tried the Narino 70 Cold Brew on ice because it’s featured prominently on the menu so I figured Starbucks was proud of it.

Low Carb Starbucks Narina 70 Cold Brew on Ice

My low carb Starbucks Narina 70 Cold Brew on Ice. Naturally low carb.

  • Order it low carb: “Tall Narina 70 Cold Brew on ice, unsweetened.”
  • Macros: 0 calories, 0g net carbs, 0g protein, 0g fat.

How To Improvise

Here’s a few tips to help you create your own low carb Starbucks drinks.

  1. Write your drink order on a piece of scrap paper. Often times, the barista will reference it to make sure they get your drink right.
  2. Order the smallest size possible. Moderation means lower carb. For hot drinks, the smallest size is “short” (8 ounces) and for iced drinks the smallest size is “tall” (12 ounces). If you forget, just ask the barista for “smallest size possible.”
  3. Replace milk with a mix of 3/4 water & 1/4 heavy whipping cream. This will save you about 5 net carbs per drink.
  4. Request sugar-free syrup. 2 pumps, max. Here are your options:
    1. vanilla
    2. caramel
    3. cinnamon dolce
    4. hazelnut
    5. mocha
    6. peppermint (seasonal)
  5. Replace sugar-y toppings with decorative low carb spices:
    1. Nutmeg
    2. Cinnamon
    3. Sea Salt
    4. Pumpkin Spice

The Research

Thank you to Shannon at Keto Connect for her insider’s guide to Keto Starbucks. I leaned heavily on her post for drink ideas.

I also referenced the Peace Love and Low Carb Starbucks guide many times.

Most nutrition stats and macros were taken directly from the Starbucks website. I used Google ingredient searches to fill in gaps. I also sent an as-of-yet unanswered email to Starbucks HQ to try and confirm that all my macro estimates are accurate.

What’s Next

My next low carb fast food guide should be out soon. I’m visiting all the top 30 fast food chains and doing reviews of all their low carb options. Subscribe here to get it for free:

Follow My Low Carb Fast Food Challenge

Get my specific recommendations on what to order every time you're in a Top 30 fast food chain like McDonald's, Subway, or Chick Fil A, etc.

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I’ll report back with final results for how this fast food experiment affects my health, well-being, and bank account. And you’ll get some simple low carb recipes and other tips from me for all the times you’re not eating in a fast food joint :).

Cheers,
Ryan
aka “Mr. SkinnyPants”

 

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27 Comments

  1. This is great! Thanks for all your research! As far as the iced teas go, my husband and I order the trente black tea iced tea, no classic syrup, 3 Splenda, light water. (We like our tea STRONG!)

  2. I love this but I was disappointed you didn’t have a low carb version of the green team frappucin. I don’t drink coffee and I always get the pink drink. However I prefer the green tea frappucino. So can you please do that one one day?

  3. This is awesome! I’ve been going to Starbucks a lot lately to work and am getting tired of my usual coffee with HWC. So happy to have more options! Thank you!

  4. This is the best real-world examples for ordering keto-friendly Starbucks drinks! It sucks you’re ordering the short size as I’m already going from a grande to the tall, but I was frustrated about the carbs, hence me discovering this article. I run into the same carb issue with my medium size (16oz) Peets unsweetened almond milk matcha green tea latte. This is my one challenge since transitioning to the keto diet. Ugh! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. This is truly amazing if we only had a phone app with all these keto or sugar free low carb choices on it lol going to try and write them all down in my notes on my phone for back up

  6. Thanks so much for this! I really appreciate all these articles, they’ve been helping me a lot! Quick question – how do you calculate nutrition facts for these drinks? I was just wondering because I added the Low carb mocha you spoke about (size tall) and I got way more calories than I expected (12 oz, half HWC half water, so about 4-5 oz HWC). With that math the short size would end up being around 3oz HWC, so around 300 calories as opposed to the 55 you have. Just curious, thank you!

    • Hi Kelsey,

      it’s a mix of using information on their website, Googling for ingredients, and emailing w/ Starbucks HQ. It’s certainly possible I may be off slightly off vs actual. I think you’re misinterpreting how much HWC is in the drink. Half the drink isn’t HWC. You’re replacing the portion of the drink that’s milk with half HWC and half water.

  7. Hey quick question!! I plan on taking a trip to Chicago and I will unfortunately eat terrible just because I want to experience all of the Chicago foods. Which are probably gonna be high carb foods, in weeks up to the trip, should I eat kinda bad so my body gets used to at least some carbs in me? I had a carb day rencently and felt terrible for two days. I don’t want that to happen while on vacation.

  8. Excellent article! It’s great to be able to have Keto SBUX. I just wish the app would allow us to order it the way we want it. The app is limited to how you can ask for things (no options to make it with 3/4 water:1/4 HWC, or “shots” of HWC, etc.) I love the app for mobile ordering for a fast pickup but special orders usually have to go inside to show them the recipe. Sometimes when I order something w/HWC they use the same amount they would have for milk, yuck. They should learn to consider HWC like a “milk super concentrate” and just mix water & HWC to make the same amount if it was milk. Or, just use a drop. (I keep hoping they’ll make a sugar-free PSL)

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this break down. I taught my local Starbucks about a low carb Mocha this morning. Now I really don’t feel like I’m giving up much at all on my LCHF/KETO journey.

  10. Is the Cafe Mocha recipe accurately? Say, I order Mocha Latte instead- same skinny syrup, same replace the milk with half water and heavy whipping cream, and if I change the size, I can proportionately change nutrition? Heavy whipping cream is showing to be exponentially higher in calories. What am I missing?

    THank you for the help!

    • Unfortunately not because the Starbucks Matcha tea blend has sugar added and sugar is the most prevalent ingredients. A close substitute might be Emperor’s Cloud and Mist® Green Tea with heavy whipping cream and a pump of sugar-free vanilla syrup on ice

  11. I have tried 2 Diff Starbucks for the chai tea bags and neither of them have them anymore. The chai tea latte is my fav drink! So disappointed 😭

    • That’s an off menu item right? It seems to have lemonade in it, and honey, you might try replacing those w/ sugar free cinnamon dolce and some stevia…unfortunately starbucks doesn’t have fresh squeezed lemon.