I’m slowly transitioning into being a full-time black coffee drinker but even I can’t resist some of the sweet drinks Starbucks offers.
But I was curious, what’s the sweetest Starbucks drink?
Instead of dissolving my teeth and tasting every single one I thought I’d look up their website and gather the data of a venti sized coffee and rank them all by their sugar content.
The top sweetest drink at Starbucks is the Java Chip Frappuccino® Blended Beverage which has 80 grams of sugar which is 16 teaspoons!
Read on for the rest of the list…
Sweetest Drinks at Starbucks by Sugar Content
The sweetest ones were basically entirely Frappuccinos so to keep the balance I took some of their different beverages. Long story short the longer the name the sweeter it’s going to be!
|Starbucks drink name||sugar content in grams||Teaspoons of sugar||in ounces|
|Java Chip Frappuccino® Blended Beverage||80||16||2.8|
|Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino Blended Beverage||78||16||2.8|
|Caramel Apple Spice||71||14||2.5|
|White chocolate mocha hot chocolate||67||13||2.4|
|Chocolate Cookie Crumble Crème Frappuccino||61||12.5||2.2|
|Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème Frappuccino Blended Beverage||60||12||2.2|
|White Hot Chocolate||55||11||2|
|Smoked Butterscotch Crème||54||11||1.9|
|Iced Caramel Macchiato||53||10.5||1.9|
|White Chocolate Mocha coffee||53||10.5||1.9|
|Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte||52||10||1.9|
|Strawberry Frappuccino Blended Beverage||52||10||1.8|
|Starbucks Blonde Smoked Butterscotch Latte||46||9||1.6|
I always considered the Caramel Macchiato to be a supremely sweet coffee, it’s about as sweet as I can handle and to know it has almost half the sugar of the sweetest drink is crazy to me.
I think the other surprise was the Caramel apple spice, this is steamed apple juice though so it makes sense it would be high in sugar. It’s at least mostly apple juice sugars which are somewhat of a bonus but definitely aren’t a “healthy option”.
It’s also worth noting that the Frappuccinos come as a 24 oz drink in their Venti size, so although they have more sugar they’re also 20% bigger compared to the hot and iced coffees. Which if you take into consideration the sweetest drink is actually going to be the White chocolate mocha hot chocolate.
A tremendously sweet drink made all the sweeter tasting because there is no coffee involved. If you’re looking for a sweet taste then that is probably the way to go.
Meanwhile the sweetest iced coffee is the straight-up iced caramel macchiato with 10 and a half teaspoons of sugar in it.
Can you imagine making yourself a coffee and putting 10 teaspoons of sugar into it? Unreal…
Here’s a full description of each one:
1. Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Beverage
Packed full of chocolate chips, mocha sauce and a mocha drizzle on top this is a sugar lovers dream.
About as chocolatey as you can get in a drink without it being an actual bar of chocolate this Frappuccino will blow your socks off.
Plus it’s got about as much caffeine as an espresso so you’ll get the extra kick you need to wake you up and get you going.
2. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino Blended Beverage
I’ll be honest, this is just way too sweet for me, I can barely handle drinking any of it let alone a whole one. But if it sounds right up your street then enjoy it!
It’s a base of 6 pumps of caramel syrup, 4 pumps of their coffee syrup so it is caffeinated blended with milk and ice. Then it’s gt a layer of caramel sauce and whipped cream on top.
And for good measure it’s got a crunchy caramel sugar topping at the top.
Holy tooth decay batman!
It’s the sugar on top that pushes this to the top of the list in terms of sugar content, but I do like the crunch so I’m not even mad about it.
3. White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage
The White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino is in Starbucks on words “White chocolate Frappuccino® Roast coffee, milk, and ice get together for what might be the best thing that happens to you all day. Oh, and there’s whipped cream on top.”
I couldn’t describe it better myself, and as a white chocolate lover, this sounds immense, not just immensely sweet!
Only 4 pumps of sauce in this one but it’s almost as sweet as our top choice with its 6 pumps of caramel syrup.
This isn’t a huge surprise since white chocolate is so much sweeter than milk chocolate but it is mad if you think about it for too long. Which if you’re about to drink one of these I don’t recommend you do…
4. Caramel Apple Spice
This one is a little different because it tastes much more like a tea than it does a coffee, probably because there’s no coffee in it!
The Caramel Apple Spice is a steamed apple juice with 5 pumps of cinnamon dolce syrup in it, whipped cream on top, and a caramel drizzle.
Very warming and very sweet but incredibly delicious, this is much more up my street than the two above.
And for those wondering Dolce is Italian for sweet so it’s pumps of sweet cinnamon syrup that go into it.
5. White Hot Chocolate
What’s better than a hot chocolate on a cold day? A white hot chocolate on a cold day.
The white hot chocolate is exactly as it sounds, made with 5 pumps of the white chocolate mocha sauce combined with steamed milk and sweetened cream on top.
6. Chocolate Cookie Crumble Crème Frappuccino
It’s interesting that without the coffee element this doesn’t have as much sugar as the caramel ribbon crunch does. I can’t figure out why…
But what it does show is that their frappuccino coffee roast has a teaspoon of sugar per pump! No wonder Starbucks tastes so good, and compared to the original frappe it’s like night and day.
So if you want less sugar get yourself the creme versions of the frappuccinos but get yourself the coffee versions of the mochas. If there’s coffee in it you get slightly less room for milk and have about 1 gram less sugar in your cup.
Kinda cool to know right?
7. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème Frappuccino Blended Beverage
And again this is our top choice but without the coffee syrup, which we now know is basically coffee-soaked sugar for maximum feeling alive, briefly…
It’s still delicious and while I miss the caffeine I can’t deny how tasty Starbucks creme is on a hot day. My first ever Starbucks was at 15 years old and I ordered a strawberry creme with absolutely zero ideas what it was. But I liked it!
8. Smoked Butterscotch Crème
This is on their Autumn-Winter menu, which makes sense because smoked butterscotch has autumn vibes written all over it, so if you want the equivalent Spring-Summer to drink it’s the Pistachio Creme Frappuccino.
But the smoked butterscotch creme is worth waiting for, rich sweetness that’s not as cloying as caramel. Definitely not as smokey as a smokey whiskey but there is that little bit of smoke there to make you think of open fires and keeping your hands warm.
As I said you’ll have to wait for this to come back around but it’s really tasty so when it does I recommend getting one.
9. Iced Caramel Macchiato
This is our first iced drink on the list, pretty much all the iced and nitro coffees are lower in sugar because there isn’t as much milk and most aren’t sweetened to be flavored in the same way Fraps are.
But the Iced Caramel Macchiato is the exception, made with 5 pumps of vanilla syrup and 3 shots of espresso with the caramel drizzle on top.
Guaranteed to get you going and have you more awake than ever!
And I have to say I am partial to one of these, it’s often the summer choice of my wife when we go to Starbucks and I look reluctantly at my latte annoyed at my poor decision making. The iced macchiato just tastes way better.
10. Chai Latte
This is the first drink on this list I actively don’t enjoy, it’s the super sweetened 5 pumps of chai, they make it taste sweet and you lose so much of the tasty spices you get in a real chai latte.
I like my chai lattes made either from a powder or I had one in an Indian restaurant that was a pot of earl grey tea with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom pods floating inside. Then add some milk and sugar if you want it. That was truly delicious but probably not nearly as sweet which is what we’re here to talk about.
Again, really nice autumn treat with some carrot cake to go with it, cinnamon spicy goodness enveloped in sweet sugar syrup.
11. White Chocolate Mocha Coffee
The white Chocolate Mocha Coffee is the white chocolate hot chocolate with 2 espresso shots added. Steamed milk with 5 pumps of white chocolate mocha sauce and sweetened cream on top.
My gateway into coffee was through Starbucks mocha’s and white chocolate is my favorite chocolate so this was an absolute win for me.
If you’re feeling tired then this is what you need to perk you up and get you going again, at least until the sugar crash hits!
12. Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte
This is more similar to a chai latte but it uses the same flavoring you find in the Spiced Apple tea, now obviously it’s not going to taste appley but it is going to have a similar taste overall.
The Iced Cinnamon Dolce latte is steamed milk combined with 6 pumps of the Cinnamon Dolce syrup combined with espresso and a topping of whipped cream and cinnamon dolce sprinkles.
Another great autumn drink, which is what I always think whenever cinnamon is involved, and an awesome low sugar alternative to a frappuccino because you have a lot less sugar by excluding the frappucino roast syrup.
13. Strawberry Frappuccino Blended Beverage
Ah, the beverage of choice for my first Starbucks date as an awkward 15-year kid, who knew I’d end up marrying the girl I was sitting with!
The Strawberry Frap is a blend of ice, milk, and strawberry puree with strawberry puree on top and vanilla whipped cream for good measure.
This is possibly the only Starbucks drink that uses a puree rather than a sugar syrup, and it’s the first time I’ve come across vanilla whipped cream as a topping. Maybe they use this elsewhere and don’t say but it’s still surprisingly different from how the offer Fraps are made.
A refreshing choice on a hot summer’s day, lighter than a lot of the other flavors but still plenty sweet.
14. Starbucks Blonde Smoked Butterscotch Latte
This is another seasonal Starbucks only available in Autumn-Winter time. But it’s too damn good not to include. If you want an equivalent then you’re going to have to get the Blonde Vanilla latte instead.
Smokey butterscotch flavors amongst the steamed milk of a latte, 2 shots of espresso, and no whipped cream on top…
Do you have to ask if it’s even a Starbucks at that point? It almost resembles an actual coffee!
But that sick burn aside this is really tasty, when it comes back in or if you’re reading this in autumn then you’ve got to look out for it.
15. Caramel Macchiato
During my journey into coffee at the age of 18, I took a bold step, I ventured from mocha to a caramel macchiato, which at the time felt like a massive step forward to the grown-up world of coffee but in reality, it was a step sideways.
Starbucks Caramel Macchiatos are made with 4 pumps of vanilla syrup with a lattice of caramel sauce on the top of the steamed milk.
And I for one thought this was one of the sweetest drinks you could get but it’s actually at the bottom!
But as I said before it’s one of my favorites, it’s my wife’s go-to drink at Starbucks and I’ve never faulted her tastes before.
Can You Make a Starbucks sweeter?
You can indeed, you can ask for any syrup you want to be added to your drink, so have one on the list that you want sweeter? No problem! Just ask for some caramel or vanilla syrup to be added, the easiest way to get the extra sweetness into your cup.
Caramel and Vanilla are good middle-of-the-road flavors that aren’t going to seem too foreign even if you add it to another drink but ask your barista and they’ll keep you right.
You can also add in plain sugar if you’re looking to make it sweeter, but be mindful when you do. Having a super sweet Starbucks every day probably isn’t the best idea. Moderation is key after all but I’m not here to lecture, I’m here to measure sugar apparently.
Sweetest Hot Coffee At Starbucks
The caramel macchiato is the sweetest hot drink at starbucks, it has 44g of sugar in it because it has the vanilla syrup in it and it’s got the caramel sauce drizzled on top.
If you wanted to be more conservative with your sugar in a hot coffee ask for your regular coffee with vanilla or caramel, that way you can get the nice sweetness of the sugar syrup added without it being excessive. But you probably want it as sweet as it comes, right?
Sweetest Frappuccino at Starbucks
The Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino Blended Beverage is the sweetest frappuccino at Starbucks, it’s that little bit sweeter than the other frappuccinos but all of which are exceedingly sweet. Even the Strawberry flavor which has the least amount of sugar has 10 teaspoons of sugar in it.
But this is the testament to the rule that the longer the name the sweeter it’s going to be. Caramel, vanilla, gut-busting, teeth rotting, sugary frappuccino, coming this fall.
I used to enjoy a sweet Starbucks but I have to say this is putting me off…
Sweetest Hot Chocolate at Starbucks
Again you’ve got to look for the hot chocolate with the longest name White chocolate mocha hot chocolate has 12g more sugar than the white hot chocolate does. Because you know what chocolate needs? Sugar poured on top!
I’m losing my mind here…
How to have less sugar in a sweet starbucks
What’s crazy is that Starbucks has already worked hard to reduce the amounts of sugar in their drinks, the strawberry sauce has less sugar now, and apparently, in 2016, 63% of all of their beverages sold contained zero added sugar.
But even with that, the list above shows the sugar content is still massive in these drinks, even the strawberry flavor with its reduced sugar content.
So what can you do? Well switching to a regular coffee would be the best bet but I’m guessing you don’t want to do that, so ask for sugar free syrup when you order, you can get sugar free vanilla syrup, so go for one of those flavors and ask for it to be sugar free. Every little helps and this will go a long way to reducing the overall amount of sugar rush you’re getting.
Your other option is to go for a smaller size, if you want to enjoy the same drink but have less sugar then get yourself a tall or a short size, same great flavor but less overall sugar consumption. Win-win!
How Much Sugar in A Pump of Syrup at Starbucks
This kind of varies slightly on the flavor, but a pump is about a teaspoon and a half of liquid, and in that it’s mostly sugar, alongside water and whatever the flavor is so as a rule, you can equate a pump of syrup as a teaspoon of sugar.
And if you add caramel to a venti latte they pump in 5 pumps of syrup for you. 5 teaspoons of sugar going in and being swirled around, no wonder it tastes so good!
I hope rather than inspiring you as to what drink you’re going to have next this has opened your eyes as to the eye-watering amount of sugar that goes into some of these drinks, 16 teaspoons of sugar from a drink where no fruit is involved cannot be a good thing. So ease up or enjoy in proper moderation, once every few months as a treat rather than your daily coffee order when it’s hot out.