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Debunking the Starbucks Post (Nooooo!)



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As someone who used to work at Starbucks from 2017-2020, the post floating around from 2014 is making me cringe just a bit. Because a lot of people on there have been drinking things under the assumption that it’s low in sugar or Decaf. And unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

-The chai pumps are caffeinated and HIGH in sugar because it’s a concentrate and not actual tea. I’d say the best way to get it to avoid the sugar is to ask for only 1 pump, tell them to add Water, and get it with non-fat or 1% milk. I believe there used to be a reduced sugar version of the chai, but I believe it was phased out. You could also just buy your own chai tea bags and heat up some milk. It might not be as good, but it’s less sugary.

-DO NOT GET THE SOY FROM STARBUCKS. You might think it’s like regular soy, but it is not. It’s sweetened and therefore high in sugar. If you have to get a milk alternative, go for the coconut milk. But do not get the almond, oat, or soy.

-The Earl Grey at Starbucks is not and never has been decaf. It’s actually one of the more highly caffeinated teas there. If I remember correctly, the peach tranquility was the least caffeinated hot tea there.

-Speaking of Earl Grey, one of my fave drinks is a London Fog. I know some people who had it with coconut milk and sugar free vanilla, but I prefer nonfat or 1%. You can also get it iced, though they’ll very likely use the iced black tea instead of earl grey.

-This wasn’t included in the post, but it is a common misconception: The caramel macchiato doesn’t have caramel Syrup in it. It only has caramel sauce on top. The syrup at the bottom is vanilla. So if you miss your caramel macchiato, you can get one with sugar free vanilla, non-fat or coconut milk, and a super light drizzle of caramel. Or you could get no caramel at all and just get a sugar free vanilla macchiato (or upside down latte.)

-All of the refreshers (Mango Dragonfruit, strawberry, Kiwi) have caffeine in it and are high in sugar because they’re juice concentrates. You could get a tall with water and a little bit of lemonade if you REALLY want one. But my go-to is the Passion Tea with 2 stevia and 1 pump of raspberry. It’s refreshing, low in sugar, and is really tasty. You can also ask them to throw in some dried fruit if you want to.

-The only drinks that don’t have caffeine in them are the cream Frappuccinos, the milk creams (your choice of steamed or iced milk with your fave syrup), and like…lemonade or apple juice. There used to be a reduced sugar version of the Frappuccino syrup for blending, but I don’t know if the stores still have them. Also, unfortunately, asking for less pumps of the sugary frap syrup does change the consistency of the frap. The syrup makes it smooth. I suppose you could get less pumps and eat it with a spoon, but that almost defeats the purpose.

Anyone who still works there, please feel free to correct me or add anything if I’m wrong about something. I’d just hate to see people go in with the wrong info and get sick.

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What is a London Fog? I usually get Earl Grey tea with 2% milk and Splenda, but it's always more bitter than when I get Earl Grey tea other places (I have to get the Blonde roast at Starbucks because their regular blend is super bitter too!).

I love caffeine, so I don't mind that everything is caffeinated. I also am fortunate to be able to drink dairy milk, but it's good to know that the fake milks have sugar in them.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for this info!

The only thing I ever get from Starbucks these days is an Earl Grey with half & half and sugar free vanilla. I refuse to ask for a London fog because there’s an up charge.

Tazo makes the closest sugar free chai concentration that I could find.

61367B39-BF34-4457-AD96-EE832293B9FF.jpeg

Edited by GreenTealael

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6 minutes ago, GreenTealael said:

Thanks for this info!

The only thing I ever get from Starbucks these days is an Earl Grey with half & half and sugar free vanilla. I refuse to ask for a London fog because there’s an up charge.

Tazo makes the closest sugar free chai concentration that I could find.

61367B39-BF34-4457-AD96-EE832293B9FF.jpeg

I bought a sugar free chai concentrate and it was WAYYYY too sweet. It was undrinkable, and I normally put 7 Splendas in my coffee, so I like things sweet. I might have to try this one.

I might also try the sugar free vanilla Syrup in my Earl Grey sometime. I'm trying to only buy Starbucks when work is paying or when I've been away and don't have any coffee. It's not as much the cost as the plastic waste, since I don't always remember to bring my reusable cup.

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Just looked up the London Fog... 180 calories and 29 g of sugar for a medium!!! Holy cow! I guess it's not as bad as some of the drinks which are basically milkshakes lol

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40 minutes ago, lizonaplane said:

What is a London Fog? I usually get Earl Grey tea with 2% milk and Splenda, but it's always more bitter than when I get Earl Grey tea other places (I have to get the Blonde roast at Starbucks because their regular blend is super bitter too!).

I love caffeine, so I don't mind that everything is caffeinated. I also am fortunate to be able to drink dairy milk, but it's good to know that the fake milks have sugar in them.

The London Fog is like a tea latte. So they steam about half the cup size amount of milk and pour It over the hot tea. And there’s vanilla Syrup at the bottom.
I don’t really like Splenda, so I’d rather just get sugar free vanilla.

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1 minute ago, lizonaplane said:

Just looked up the London Fog... 180 calories and 29 g of sugar for a medium!!! Holy cow! I guess it's not as bad as some of the drinks which are basically milkshakes lol

Yeahhhhh you have to do a lot of substituting to bring that sugar count down.

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Posted (edited)

13 minutes ago, lizonaplane said:

I'm trying to only buy Starbucks when work is paying or when I've been away and don't have any coffee

I totally agree! Starbucks used to be a workspace for me, but since the pandemic happened and most dine in options were closed, I just make my own drinks and have really adjusted to not paying $6 for a cup of tea.

Edited by GreenTealael

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2 hours ago, GreenTealael said:

I totally agree! Starbucks used to be a workspace for me, but since the pandemic happened and most dine in options were closed, I just make my own drinks and have really adjusted to not paying $6 for a cup of tea.

It was only after I stopped working there—and getting things for free—that I realized how pricey it is. And so now I look at our regulars who came in multiple times a day like they were CRAZY.

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Just now, Strivingfor5K said:

It was only after I stopped working there—and getting things for free—that I realized how pricey it is. And so now I look at our regulars who came in multiple times a day like they were CRAZY.

I will go twice a day if I'm traveling for work and work is paying. I get a large iced coffee, large hot tea, and a cheese box. That's Breakfast and lunch

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Posted (edited)

Milk with earl grey tea. 😱 Sacrilege! Lemon & only lemon to enhance the bergamot. (And zero calories.)

Captain Picard would be horrified.

34197733-0B19-4090-88BF-57C6CE341424.jpeg.7563a501af83091ac28100abada92e93.jpeg

Edited by Arabesque

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9 hours ago, Arabesque said:

Milk with earl grey tea. 😱 Sacrilege! Lemon & only lemon to enhance the bergamot. (And zero calories.)

Captain Picard would be horrified.

34197733-0B19-4090-88BF-57C6CE341424.jpeg.7563a501af83091ac28100abada92e93.jpeg

I hate lemon. I like the milk, and I don't care what other people think. But I like his coffee cup, even though it would be way too small for the amount of coffee and tea I drink.

image.jpeg.711fa5642cba042d30ec7d89a233102f.jpeg

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9 hours ago, Arabesque said:

Milk with earl grey tea. 😱 Sacrilege! Lemon & only lemon to enhance the bergamot. (And zero calories.)

Captain Picard would be horrified.

34197733-0B19-4090-88BF-57C6CE341424.jpeg.7563a501af83091ac28100abada92e93.jpeg

Im with u on this one lol

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23 hours ago, Strivingfor5K said:

It was only after I stopped working there—and getting things for free—that I realized how pricey it is. And so now I look at our regulars who came in multiple times a day like they were CRAZY.

My son’s girlfriend worked at Starbucks so he developed a coffee addiction (really frappacinos).
When he had to pay for drinks and realized the price, he began to rethink his life choices. I could literally see the clockwork turning 😂

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12 hours ago, Arabesque said:

Milk with earl grey tea. 😱 Sacrilege! Lemon & only lemon to enhance the bergamot. (And zero calories.)

Captain Picard would be horrified.

34197733-0B19-4090-88BF-57C6CE341424.jpeg.7563a501af83091ac28100abada92e93.jpeg

As much as I love our dear Captain , I love milk in my tea more 😂

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