What do I Order at Starbucks?


low-carb-starbucksYes, I am a total stereotype…I love Starbucks.

I am definitely in mourning this year over my loss of Pumpkin Spice Lattes because I am not allowing myself to cheat on my keto/ low carb regimen.

So what do I order so that I can stay keto compliant?

[tweetthis]Day 12 of #31Days How do I order keto/low carb at Starbucks? #ketokary #keto #lowcarb #lchf #onedollarcottage[/tweetthis]


First, let’s talk about the proper way to place your order at Starbucks.  The baristas prefer you to order your drink in the order that they check off the little boxes on the side of the Starbucks cup.

  • Hot or iced
  • Size
  • Decaf
  • Number of shots
  • Number of pumps of syrup
  • Type of milk
  • Any extras
  • Drink type



If you don’t say iced, you will get it hot.





Starbucks has cups available in five sizes:  Short, Tall, Grande, Venti and Trenta.




Short: The smallest size Starbucks offers, a short drink is 8 oz. Only hot drinks are available in this size cup. You’ll have to ask for this size specially, as it’s not even listed on the menu. Served in the same size cup that is used for shots of espresso, this is also the default size for kids’ drinks.
Tall: Tall drinks are 12 oz. You’ll get this size if you ask for a “small”.
Grande: Grande hot and iced drinks both contain 16 oz. This is the only size available for smoothies. This is the size you get if you order a “medium”.
Venti: Venti hot drinks are 20 oz. Venti iced drinks are 24 oz. This is the size you get if you order a “large”.
Trenta: The Trenta size is 30 oz. and is only available for iced teas, refreshers, and iced coffee.


Caffeine status: if you don’t say decaf it’s caffeinated


Shots: if different (more or less) from what’s normally included in the drink.  A shot is about 75mg of caffeine.

This is what you will automatically get if you don’t specify:


  • Short (8 oz):  One shot
  • Tall (12 oz): One shot
  • Grande (16 oz): Two shots
  • Venti hot (20 oz): Two shots
  • Venti iced(24 oz): Three shots



This is the point in our ordering where we need to be careful.  ALWAYS order sugar-free syrup.  Here is the amount of syrup you will get if you don’t specify:

  • Short (8 oz):  Two pumps
  • Tall (12 oz): Three pumps
  • Grande (16 oz): Four pumps
  • Venti hot (20 oz): Five pumps
  • Venti iced (24 oz): Six pumps
  • Trenta iced (32 oz.): Seven pumps


And here are the sugar-free flavors you can (usually) choose from.  Selection varies from store to store.

  • Vanilla
  • Caramel 
  • Cinnamon Dolce 
  • Hazelnut 
  • Peppermint
  • Mocha



This decision can influence the carb count of your drink even more than the syrup! The absolute lowest carb count is with heavy whipping cream, followed by half and half.

Starbucks offers:

  • nonfat/skim milk
  • 1% milk
  • 2% milk
  • whole milk
  • soy milk
  • half and half
  • heavy whipping cream
  • vanilla soy milk
  • eggnog (seasonal)

Most Starbucks drinks are made with 2% low-fat milk, unless you ask for something else. Exceptions are the frappuccinos, which are made with whole milk unless another choice is specified, the new Flat White, which is also made with whole milk, or a Cafe Breve, which is made with half and half.


Here are some of the things you can customize:

  • No Foam (for drinks with steamed milk -lattes, macchiatos)
  • No Whip / With Whip (Whipped Cream)
  • Double Cupped (2 cups)
  • Extra Hot
  • 140 Degrees (hot, but not too hot)
  • Light Ice / Extra Ice
  • Dry/Wet (Dry has more foam, Wet has less)
  • Caramel Sauce (drizzled on top)
  • Upside Down (usually for Carmel Macchiatos- if the drink is made with espresso first, then milk, then syrup; it will be made with first the syrup, milk, then espresso)
  • Double Blended (Your Frappuccino will be blended twice to make it smoother – small ice pieces)
  • With Room (room is left for cream/milk)

You can control exactly how hot your drink is, but if no special temperature is requested your barista will steam the milk to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit is possible.

Kids’ Drinks: Your barista will prepare the drink to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which is still warm but definitely immediately drinkable.
Extra Hot: This special request is 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is nice if you have a long way to take a drink.
Coffee and Hot Tea : These drinks are both made from water that is 200 degrees Fahrenheit.


Here is where you finally say what type of drink you want:  Latte, Mocha, White Mocha, Americano, Cappucino, Carmel Macchiato, Espresso, Espresso Con Panna…


This is VERY important!

Coffee starts out with no carbs.  If you love black coffee or plain espresso, you are LUCKY!

For the rest of us who like fancy coffee drinks, we have to remember to be very careful with syrup and milk choices.

If you notice in the above graphic, some drinks are more “milk forward” than others.  The more milk, the more carbs.  Keep this in mind when you are ordering!

I have been in an experimentation stage lately, and have been trying different drinks, all with sugar-free vanilla syrup and heavy whipping cream.

I try to always go with an Americano.  I like the stronger espresso taste.  What is Americano?  During WWII, the Americans in Italy didn’t like how little the cups of espresso were, so the Italians would put it in a bigger cup and add hot water, so it was more of what the Americans were used to.

I usually order either:

  • iced venti triple shot 8 pumps sugar-free vanilla splash heavy whipping cream Americano
  • grande triple shot 6 pumps sugar-free vanilla splash heavy whipping cream Americano

But my newest favorite is the:

  • grande triple shot 6 pumps sugar-free vanilla heavy whipping cream Flat White



What do you order at Starbucks?





  1. Thanks for all this great info! I’ve recently started appreciating coffee more since receiving an AeroPress for my birthday recently and Starbucks seems to appreciate good coffee also apparently (who knew? 😛 ). I’ve never been a Starbucks fangirl but I do like a good fresh cup of coffee.

  2. I ordered a grande flat white with sugar free hazelnut , heavy whipping cream and took the extra espresso shot.
    *insert curse word here* AMAZING!!!!!

  3. Hi, I ventured out of my normal routine and ordered a grande ice coffee with sugar free vanilla and HWC.
    Noticed on my cup it says “HC” which I think means heavy cream. So they didn’t use the HWC, I repeated myself twice to the guy behind the counter too. So how bad is my starbucks coffee? And what’s the best way to avoid this confusion next time I head into a starbucks?

  4. do you have any idea how much HWC they use for a tall flat white (or any size for that matter)? Just trying to approximate calories…not totally concerned, but if they use a cup of heavy whipping cream, I just need to know so that this is pretty much a bulk of my calories for the day! thoughts?

  5. Grande cappuccino with 3 shots, 6 pumps sugar free vanilla and heavy whipping cream. Amazing!

  6. I tried your latest fave drink and it is AMAZING!!! I tried to log it into my fitness pal and it says it has 1410 calories….is that right??? : (

  7. I just ordered the flat white with heavy cream as I was looking for a new drink. Do you know that drink was well over 1,000 calories? Like almost 2,000. I tried looking for the nutritional value and found it half way through my drink. I would never order this again.

  8. I hope this is an ok drink. venti iced coffee, no classic, sf mocha, heavy cream, i use 2-3 of my own stevia packets and an extra shot of espresso. not sure even if i am ordering it right. Can anyone tell me if this is ok?

  9. This is a fantastic collection of information. I’m going to try to order my drink in the correct sequence next time. It’s good to know that I can ask for heavy cream and an upside down macchiato sounds great!

  10. I order an Iced chai made with HWC and sugar free vanilla syrup. Keto heaven. Try it for dessert!!

  11. I cured my Pumpkins Spice with the GNC Total Lean shakes. There’s a limited edition Pumpkin Spice. I put it in a big cup of ice with a shot or two of instant espresso. It’s heaven!

  12. This is incorrect. I am a Starbucks employee and I am currently on a Ketosis diet. The only sugar free things are vanilla and cinnamon dolce. During the holidays we will get sugar free peppermint but that won’t happen till November. The mocha is not sugar free. It is skinny. There is a difference. I recommend you look up the nutritional facts. Also, we now have coconut milk and almond milk. Thank you. 😁

    • Sorry, at the time that I wrote this post there were more sugar free syrups available at my local Starbucks, and coconut milk and almond milk were not available. As I am just a simple blogger and not a business, it is hard to keep things totally up to date, so thanks for giving me current information!