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Tips for ordering lower-sugar lattes and other coffee drinks

How much sugar is in a pumpkin spice latte?
The “pumpkin” drink with more sugar than pumpkin on the menu at Starbucks, Dunkin donuts etc.. Yes, I have tried it before and it does taste good all things considered, we definitely can do better.

The Starbucks fan-favorite seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte first debuted in 2003. How sugary is it? Plenty.

A grande (16 oz.) hot Pumpkin Spice Latte made with 2 percent milk has 390 calories—more than a Starbucks Chocolate Croissant (340).

But only about half of the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s 390 calories come from the milk and espresso you’d get in a regular latte (190 calories). The rest comes from pumpkin spice syrup—with more sugar and condensed milk than actual pumpkin purée—and whipped cream.

All told, the PSL has 50 grams of sugar. Some of that sugar occurs naturally in the latte’s milk. But we estimate that roughly 7½ teaspoons (32 grams) are added sugar, from the PSL’s syrup and whipped cream. That’s more than half the 50-gram Daily Value.

For a taste of pumpkin spice in your coffee at home—with a fraction of the sugar—try a creamer without carrageen or artificial flavors, like Silk Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Almond Creamer or many other organic choices. A tablespoon adds 4 grams of sugar (1 teaspoon) and 25 calories to your cup. This way you know some more of how much sugar is added into your cafe drinks.

Tips for ordering lower-sugar lattes and other coffee drinks

Keep in mind that the best drinks mix coffee or espresso with milk, water, or ice, not sugary syrups, cream, or whipped cream:

Espresso, Americano, or coffee: Each has next to no calories. A packet of sugar adds 10 to 20.
Iced coffee: Go unsweetened to skip the syrup’s 5 teaspoons of sugar in a Starbucks grande.
Cappuccino, misto, or latte: A regular cappuccino (espresso plus foamed milk) or misto (coffee with steamed milk) has a nice dose of protein and calcium with no added sugar. Ditto for a regular latte (which has more milk, calcium, protein, and calories).

In search of some real pumpkin or spices to add to your recipe? Get cooking with fresh pumpkin or purée, cinnamon or spices for flavor for a healthier recipe. ☕


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