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. The good news is that there are more keto-friendly options on the menu than plain black coffee. Here are 10 keto Starbucks drinks to try, plus tips on how to order them.
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 1 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 a small amount of dairy milk, 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 (6g 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 so you know you’re limited to about 8 ounces of cream.
7. Short Caffè Breve or Caffè Misto with (7g net carbs)
The standard milk used in espresso drinks at Starbucks is 2 percent. Due to milk’s natural sugar, regular and skim are both too high in carbs to be keto-friendly (11g net carbs for 8 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 8-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 1 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 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. That reason being 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.