Starbucks Debunked

What’s your poison?  Starbucks?  Peets?  Dunkin Donuts (for the coffee of course)? Tully’s?  Seattle’s Best?  Gloria Jeans?  

Heaven in a cup


I surmise we all have a little bit of an addiction to our favorite coffee roaster.  Me included.  I’m pretty darn loyal to Starbucks (Sbux from here on out), though there are a few Peets items that have usurped their Sbux counterparts.  

During a not-so-healthy period in my life (circa 2003), I pretty  much lived off a Sbux mocha, a veggie patty, and a glass or two of vino per day.  My weight dropped to 103lbs (I’m ~5’5″) and my skin turned a lovely shade of grey?  I didn’t even qualify as a Hot Mess ;-P   

Living on coffee alone = bad idea.  Incorporating coffee into your regular eating/drinking = A-OK!  In fact, there are several health benefits to drinking coffee including preventing migraines, boosting your workouts, and reducing blood pressure.  

Personally, I LOVE the smell of coffee.  I think it’s heavenly.  And I love having that warm hot mug in the morning.  My routine is to grind my coffee beans at night (right now I’m grinding Dunkin Donuts whole beans) and prep the water.  Though my coffee is ready by 630a and I am out the door shortly after, I actually delay my first sip of coffee until 730a.  Why, cuz I’m weird like that ;)  Delayed gratification, pure and simple! During the week, I always make my own coffee and bring it to work, but every now and then I’ll sneak out for a mid-day coffee run to put a pep in my step!  

The problem with these beverages is that they pack some cal-o-ries!  Yep, they do.  Many of you had plenty to say about a previous post on calorie counting and dare I say that the lattes, mochas, iced coffees, etc are amongst the not-so-hidden calorie group.  

In my quest to continue indulging, I’ve found some lower calorie work-arounds for some of my favorite drinks!  Here they are below:  

Iced Vanilla Latte  

Sbux flavored latte


Do you know that in a Grande, they put 4 pumps of syrup and in a Venti, the add 6!  Holy moly.  You can go the route of taking out those calories completely by opting for the sugar-free.  But if you’re like me, who pretty much abhors sugar free flavored items made to taste like sugar, you cut the pumps in half and save a couple dozen calories!   Oh and non-fat milk of course.  A Grande 2 pump vanilla, non-fat iced-latte comes in at about 160 calories!  

Peppermint Mocha  

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha


Am I the only one that is totally lured in by the festive red-colored cups?  Once I see those in late Fall, my Sbux drinking is ON!  A Grande version is right around 350 calories and that’s WITH SKIM MILK!  Yowsa.  Now I order my Peppermint Mochas with only 2 pumps Peppermint and 2 pumps Mocha (opposed to 4 of each).  AND no whipped cream.  It’s a travesty I know, but I’d rather have my whipped cream on my pumpkin pie ;)  Total calories = 220.  Much better!  

Another tip for the hot beverages, is to order it X-tra H-O-T.  For me, this makes my coffee last much longer ;)  

Mocha Light Frappuccino  

Sbux Mocha Lite Frappuccino


This little gem is only 140 calories for a Grande with non-fat milk and believe-you-me, it’s yum!  It’s actually a wee bit on the sweet side and makes a great substitute for a chocolate milkshake :)  

Find all of Sbux nutritional information here.  I’ll let you decide if you want to see how many calories are in that scone that may have been sitting out for 10+ hours ;)  For real though, do you know that when a bakery display case is more packed with food (versus just seeing a few items left), a person is drastically more likely to buy.  Yep.  Fact.  So beware what Sbux may be trying to trick you too :)  

Where do you get your caffeine fix?  Any good recommendations for me??? 

As for plans for tonight, I will be prepping all the food for yet another Women of Silicon Valley Unite!  It was so fab last time and this  go-round, I’m hosting!  Bring on the food and vino!  I’ll share all the delicious eats on Friday for sure!

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Filed under Reviews, Uncategorized

28 responses to “Starbucks Debunked

  1. I know I’m crazy, but I’ve never been a fan of Starbucks. Usually I tend to just get straight coffee, and their coffee is a bit too strong for my taste.

    When in college, I found out I could student charge the starbucks in my library. I loved white chocolate mocha lattes. But even the small one would end in horrible tummy aches later on. I was a glutton for punishment.

    Now, I’m more of a Panera kind of girl… probably helps that I also enjoy some of their food.

    • You’re not crazy Amy…Sbux coffee sort of does’s too strong and bitter, but you put it in a White Mocha and you have a WIN! I’m definitely a fan of their espresso beverages but hate their coffee.

      I miss Panera! They are far and few between in my area :(

  2. amy

    I can relate. i’ve been at a very unhealthy point where my weight got very low as well. I’m still trying to gain a few pounds Its like I’m stuck here. I’m 5″4″ and 105 pounds. I don’t drink coffee but I’m a very healthy 6 small meal a day eater.

    • I have a good friend who is also 5’4″ and hovers around 100lbs…but for her, that’s her right weight. It ends up being about health in the long run, right?

      If I could gain lbs for you, I would ;)

  3. amy

    Awe, ur too sweet. Gaining weight is scary but in my case its necessary.

  4. The first time I went on the Starbucks nutrition page was a very, very sad day. haha I saw what all my favorite lattes added up to and it shocked me. Now I only indulge for seasonal ones. Like, I cannot go an entier fall without having a Pumpkin Spice Latte. It is just too good! Peppermint Mocha, too! But I won’t have them too often. It keeps them special and keeps me fitting into my clothes :-D My usual drink is a Soy Misto. Only 100 calories for a grande and I think it tastes like a latte.

  5. i lurve sbux! i have tried many other places and keep coming back for old reliable. i always get a tall soy latte and don’t care about the calories because i count it as a serving of milk. i don’t drink milk ever on it’s own, so i can use the calcium! plus, the soy milk they use is vanilla flavored and already sweetened so it’s like having a not as sweet vanilla latte.

  6. I am a Starbucks WHORE! I am completely lured in by the red cups, LOVE the light frappucinos, once pumpkin arrives I’m obsessed, I LOVE vanilla lattes, and now I want to go get one of each.
    Thanks a lot, Shanna!! ;)

  7. HUGE fan of Dunkin Donuts coffee… something about the cup that it comes in even delights me. I usually order it black and add a little Truvia and Almond Milk to it… amazing. I don’t usually like all those fancy coffee drinks, although during the fall months, I’ll admit, the smell of those Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are like heaven.

  8. I get my daily fix with my french press! Lately, I make my coffee (i use the target “Archer Farms” barnd of breakfast blend…soooo good!) the night before, and refrigerate so i can put it on ice in the morning! SOOOO refreshing, especially after a run! I tend to use some sort of sweetner, whether it be sugar in the raw, or a creamer (they had a coconut flavor creamer on sale the other day…i HAD to have it!)

    every once in a while i’ll go with the girls from work to the bux, but since i’ve been trying to cut back on my spending, i try to limit that! These are all great tips, though, for my occasional splurge!

    • Janna, Archer Farms does make some pretty good coffee…and I love the flavored coffees as well…I know they are laden with the ‘bad stuff’, but in small doses, I say ‘eh’. ;) I’m drinking Italian Sweet Cream creamer right now..delish!

  9. oh the bucks. I used to work there and let me tell you, some people order crazy drinks with 16 packs of sugar added in – no joke.

    but you’ve got it right girl! less pumps and non fat milk is key!!

    honestly you do not need as many pumps as they put in. unless you are the iced venti six pump white chocolate, six pump mocha, white mocha guy. yeah – he exists .

  10. Although all their drinks look so tasty I am not a Starbucks fan. I am probably the only person in the world who can say that. I guess that I am not a coffee drinker in general, mostly because I feel SO dehydrated afterwards, but the delicious smell makes me keep trying to drink it!

  11. Yes – I LOVE the festive red Starbucks cups! The only problem is that I want it to be filled with a 385986-calorie pumpkin spice latte with extra whipped cream. hahaha, I kid. That one can be healthified too, actually ;)

    I’m also all about the skinny Cinnamon Dolce latte. It’s unbelievably good!!

  12. I’m definitely a Sbux devotee, like yourself. When fall hits and the seasonal flavors begin, I can barely handle it. I LIVE for the pumpkin spice latte! In summer, I love me some frappes and vanilla lattes…but I just ask for light or skinny.

  13. i used to be a coffee fan (i still like the taste of it) but i gave up caffeine about a year ago and don’t really want to be dependent upon it again. that said, i can always go for a tall, decaf, soy misto – what i used to drink 2x a day (the caffeinated version)

  14. It always amazes me how many calories are in those drinks. And I too would much rather have my whip cream with pumpkin pie. LOL

  15. Tina, I know! How do they concentrate so many calories in one little cup that can be gone in a few gulps.

    Save the calories for something yummy…like PIE, CAKE, COOKIES! Or even a big ol’ hunk of cheese ;)

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