Friday, April 27, 2012


Tips for Health-Conscious Coffee Lovers

Executive summary about Tips For Health – Conscious Coffee Lovers by William Santoro

A recent Washington Post article discussing the effects of various foods on heart health identified the greatest health risk of coffee to be weight gain from blended coffee beverages packed with empty calories from sugar and dairy fat.

Along with introducing oatmeal to its menu, Starbucks published guides to "20 Drinks Under 200 Calories" as well as "Favorite Foods Under 350 calories" on its website.

Unfortunately, Starbucks plays down the healthiest beverages (full-leaf teas, brewed coffee, espresso, caffe Americano, etc.) which all have under 10 calories. According to Starbucks U.S.

website, a tall-size (12 fl oz/355 ml) whole milk contains 240 calories and 13g of fat. Its custom-blended soymilk contains more calories and saturated fat than skim milk (210 calories and 6g fat vs. 140 and 0g) and even slightly more calories than low-fat* milk (200). *Nutritional values may vary, as low-fat milk is created by the barista in each store mixing whole milk and non-fat milk.

Starbucks "Delicious Drinks" list contains 3 cold drinks and 5 hot drinks that are vegan-friendly:

  • Shaken Tazo Iced Passion Tea--0 calories
  • Shaken Tazo Iced Black Tea Lemonade--100 calories
  • Iced Coffee (with classic syrup)--60 calories
  • Brewed Coffee--5 calories
  • Brewed Tazo Tea--0 calories
  • Caffe Americano--10 calories
  • Steamed Apple Juice--170 calories
  • Soy Chai Tea Latte--170 calories

As long as you hold the whip cream, the soymilk-based mocha-, coffee- and espresso Frappuccinos come in under 200 calories, too. Some other vegan-friendly beverage offerings (in order of increasing calories) are:

  • Soy Cafe Misto (brewed coffee with steamed soy milk)--80 calories
  • "Dry Cappuccino" (reduced steamed milk, more foam)--below 90 calories
  • Full-Leaf Soy Tea Lattes--140 calories
  • Soy Latte--150 calories
  • Soy Caramel Macchiato--180 calories
  • Soy Caffe Mocha--200 calories (no whip)
  • Soy hot chocolate--200 calories (no whip)

To reduce calories further, ask the barista to reduce or eliminate syrups (20-25 calories per pump). Assuming you're serious about coffee and tea, why cover the taste with milk and sugar?

By the way--if you're watching calories--always be prepared to refuse samples of new food and drink items offered.




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