Sacrifices must be made if you plan to do the keto diet and one of them should not be removing coffee from your diet. Luckily, good people have done the hard work of figuring out low carb, keto-friendly Starbucks drinks that you can have while staying in ketosis.
We actually tried the keto diet last year, during Covid. I mean, didn’t we all try something during Covid? For us, it became the year of hopeful weight loss and keto seemed like the perfect choice to start with.
But, we had absolutely no idea how hard it was actually going to be to stay within those low carb limits. The first thing that had to go was our fluffy coffee drinks (and if you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you know we love our fluffy drinks!). Under no conditions was this going to mean that coffee was off the menu, though, so we were going to have to figure something out.
That’s when we discovered the sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce Syrup which tasted unbelievably good compared to other sugar-free syrups. We even wrote an entire post on how we had found the best tasting Starbucks keto drink ever.
It was a sad, sad day when Starbucks decided to stop making the sugar-free version of that syrup and we struggled to find a replacement that was equally as good. That’s when we turned to the good people on social media who share all of their keto, sugar-free and low carb Starbucks creations. We’ve ordered, tasted and rated many of them to compile this list of Keto Starbucks drinks for you.
We hope these drink ideas at Starbucks will give you a reason to hit that drive through with a smile on your face.
6 Tips for Ordering Low Carb & Keto at Starbucks:
Here’s the thing; we’re just going to say it: keto drinks are going to taste different if you’re used to sweetened drinks like the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew and Caramel Frappuccinos. Adjusting your taste buds is going to be one of the biggest challenges to adopting the keto diet.
But, there are things you can do to soften the blow. If you’re not a person who drinks your coffee black, then here are some tips for how to stay keto at Starbucks.
- Switch to sugar-free syrups. Starbucks only has one option now: sugar-free vanilla, so this is what you’re working with there. At other coffeehouses, know that not all sugar-free syrups are created equal. Some are sugar-free, but still high carb. Read our post on which sugar-free syrups are NOT keto here.
- Switch to heavy cream. Yup, instead of half ‘n half or sugary creamers, switch to just heavy cream. You may be surprised by how good black coffee is with a splash of heavy cream.
- Ditch toppings. Say goodbye to drizzles, toppings and other sweet additions. They add up quick.
- Choose milk wisely. Opt for low carb milk alternatives, such as unsweetened soy milk or almond milk. In fact, non-fat milk is much higher carb than you might think with 12g of carbs in one cup!
- Ditch the whip. Sad, we know, but it’s not carb-free (or sugar-free). However, there are some keto drinks that use a dollop of whip to add just enough cream and sweetness with relatively low carbs comparatively. This can make it a great transition idea while you’re adjusting to less sugar.
- Avoid pre-mixed drinks. Refreshers, Frappuccinos, Chai Lattes, Matcha drinks and other pre-mixed drinks use concentrates or syrups that cannot be removed to make the drink keto. If these are your favorite drinks, you’re probably better off learning how to make a keto version at home.
I know for me, I was shocked when I started measuring how much sugar or creamer I was putting in my coffees. I thought I was using maybe 2 tablespoons, but it was much more. Measuring it out was eye-opening. So, if you’re thinking that what you’re drinking isn’t that bad, start measuring it and see what you’re really putting in your body.
Best Keto Drinks at Starbucks:
Alright, let’s get to the good stuff. We know what you came here for! These drinks are organized from lowest carb to highest carb options for staying on your keto diet at Starbucks.
1. Unsweetened Iced Coffee with Cream:
The easiest option is to order an iced coffee with a splash of heavy cream. The cream gives the drink a creamy texture, similar to a latte, but without any added sweeteners or syrups. Starbucks baristas will sometimes sweeten an iced coffee with simple syrup if you don’t ask for it to be unsweetened, so make sure to request it.
2. Keto Iced Vanilla Latte
Love your vanilla lattes? It’s difficult to give up, for sure. The keto option is not going to taste exactly the same, but will give you a similar texture and flavor. To order, ask for a grande iced latte with 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup and almond milk. There is a little sugar in almond milk, but it’s lower in calories than heavy cream.
3. Keto Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte
Step up the caffeine in your favorite latte by requesting the blonde roast. All you have to do is ask for an Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte with heavy cream (or almond milk), and 3 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup.
4. Keto Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew
Is your favorite drink the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew? Unfortunately, the sweet cream is not going to be keto, but you can get a similar drink with some substitutes.
To order, ask for a grande Nitro Cold Brew with 2 pumps sugar-free vanilla and heavy cream. The sugar-free vanilla does have a little bit of an aftertaste that takes getting used to, but just remember your goals and why you started keto in the first place and power through!
5. Keto Flat White
Replace the usual steamed milk of a flat white with half heavy cream and half hot water, and you’ve got a lower-carb version of this delicious Starbucks classic. Because of the milk, this one will have 10g of carbs, though.
6. Low-Sugar, Low-Carb Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso:
This is one of my favorite drinks at Starbucks and having a low-sugar, low-carb hack is a great alternative. Start by ordering the Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, but ask for just one pump of the brown sugar syrup and add 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup.
This one does have some sugar, due to the brown sugar syrup, so it’s not an option for individuals that need to reduce sugar for medical reasons. But, if you are trying to reduce your sugar and struggling with it, this can help you adjust to less sugar.
7. Black Coffee:
Yup, we know, we’re not super excited about it, either, but black coffee is going to have 0 carbs and 0 sugar. Try out different roasts to find one that you like. If you can’t handle black coffee (we feel your pain), then consider some other options that will still keep you in ketosis.
8. Cold Brew:
Iced cold brew has a smoother flavor than traditionally brewed black coffee, so it is easier to drink black. It still has 0 everything – 0 carbs, 0 sugar, and 0 grams of fat – and it tastes better. Read more about Starbucks Cold Brew here.
Keto Starbucks Refresher Drinks:
Love your Pink Drinks, Purple Drinks, and Refresher drinks? With some keto swaps, you’ll get a similar drink and stay in your carb limits.
9. Keto White Drink
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You won’t find this secret menu drink on a Starbucks menu, but it reportedly tastes like peach cobbler. To order this low carb refreshing drink, ask for unsweetened Peach Citrus White Tea with a splash of heavy cream, two to four pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup, no water, and light ice.
10. Keto Pink Drink
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We love the Pink Drink, too, and we’ve been ordering it since it was just a secret menu drink that you had to explain to the barista (yup, we’re that old). To make a keto copycat, ask for a grande Iced Passion Tango Tea with 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla, light heavy cream instead of coconutmilk, and 2 scoops of strawberry inclusions.
You’ll get a pinkish colored drink reminiscent of the Pink Drink, but it does have a slightly different taste.
11. Keto Purple Drink:
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Love your Purple Drink? This one has been making the rounds on social media for being a good substitute for it, while keeping you in ketosis. To order, ask for a venti passion tango iced tea with no water, 4 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup, almond milk, one scoop of blackberries, and optional addition of 2 packs of Stevia. Big thanks to @blackgirlsketo for this great creation.
Keto Starbucks Tea Drink Substitutes:
Can’t give up your chai tea lattes or London fog tea lattes? You can get a similar taste with a lot less carbs, sugar and calories. But, they need to be made with a tea base instead of the concentrates that are typically used.
Know that these substitutes will take more time, since the tea will need to be steeped and then iced, which takes around 5 minutes.
12. Keto London Fog Tea Latte
We love the London Fog Tea Latte here. If you’re a fan of the creamy, sweet tea latte drink, too, you don’t have to give it up entirely. To get a keto version, order a grande Earl Grey Tea with 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup and light heavy cream.
13. Keto Chai Latte
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We love our chai lattes and dirty chais here and they are a regular order, especially in the afternoons when we’ve already had our daily coffee. While you want to steer clear of the chai concentrates used in the Chai Tea Lattes, because of the sugar content that cannot be removed, you can get some of those flavors you love in this keto hack. To order, ask for a grande Chai Tea with 2 pumps sugar-free vanilla syrup and light heavy cream. Ensure they are using Chai Tea bags, which will need to be steeped for about 5 minutes, instead of the Chai concentrate.
14. Keto Tea:
For a simple drink with flavor and little to no carbs, sugar, or fat, order any of the Starbucks teas. They can brew them and then ice them if you’d like them cold or sip it hot. It took me awhile to learn to drink tea without adding at least honey and some cream, but teas like Chamomile and Chai are tasty all on their own.
Keto Starbucks Frappuccino Alternative:
It can be difficult to give up those delicious blended Starbucks drinks! If that’s you – good news – you can create your own version of the Frappuccino. However, it’s really important to know that it won’t have the same consistency as the Frappuccino. Starbucks uses a special Frappuccino base syrup that binds the ingredients together into that luscious, milkshake like texture. Without it, the ingredients will be a bit more separated and icey, but it’s still really good. I’ve had this keto frappuccino and it’s not bad!
15. Keto Frappuccino
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If you’re ordering this keto frappuccino, ask for a tall or grande unsweetened iced coffee with extra ice, heavy whipping cream and two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup, blended. By the time I ordered this, most baristas had made a couple of these custom frappuccinos and knew what I was asking for, so you shouldn’t have too hard of a time getting this one right.
You’ll get that creamy, blended frappuccino style drink without the carbs and sugar.
Reducing sugar and carbs in coffee was the hardest part of the keto diet for me. If you’re feeling the same way, I can tell you that it almost derailed the entire experience for me. What I ended up doing was slowly reducing the sugar and additions in my coffee until I could drink it at a healthier level. This took a few weeks of slowly decreasing it every day. I make my coffee at home most days, so this was something I was able to do and when I ordered a drink while out, I would slightly reduce the pumps of syrups each time.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re struggling to adjust to drinking coffee this way. Slow and steady wins the race!
More Starbucks Drinks To Try:
Looking for more ideas? Here are some more posts with delicious Starbucks drinks to try – although many of these will not be qualified as keto, so read at your own risk 😉
- 18 Starbucks drinks for kids they’ll love
- 6 best Caramel Frappuccinos you’ll love
- 17 TikTok Inspired Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks
- 14 best Starbucks Iced Coffee drinks
- 12 healthier Starbucks drinks under 200 calories
- 14 best Starbucks iced coffee drinks
I hope you found a new drink you’re excited to try.