Looking out for the (Star)Bucks


Siandhara Bonnet

Hot and cold morning drinks from Starbucks

by Siandhara Bonnet, Editor-in-Chief

The general Starbucks coffeehouse offers a calm, warm interior complete with cushioned chairs and low music. It allows relaxation and a quiet place to study, and some locations even offer an outdoor patio so people can enjoy the outdoors. The coffeehouse also offers an assortment of drinks, from tea to coffee to smoothies, so let’s take a closer look into┬áthe featured drinks this week.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte, is an Autumn favorite since it’s only available in the current season. The drink includes cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, milk, and, of course, pumpkin flavoring. What drinkers may not know is, according to Starbucks’s official website, that a grande (16 oz) sized drink with 2% milk and topped with whipped cream is 380 calories, 120 of them from fat. The total fat is equivalent to 13 g, cholesterol 50 mg, sodium 240 mg, carbohydrate 52 g which includes 49 g of sugar, and 14 g of protein. It also has an approximate 150 mg of caffeine.

There are two shots of espresso in each drink, unless asked for otherwise, and is topped with sulfites which, according to care2, has been known to trigger asthma for many years and have been banned from foods like salads.

The Salted Caramel Mocha is described as “espresso and steamed milk, blended with mocha sauce and toffee nut flavored syrup. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel drizzle and a mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt,” according to Starbucks’s website.

First of all, turbinado sugar is a sugar cane-based, minimally refined sugar that is slightly brown and is considered to be healthier than both white and brown sugars since it is generally less processed and refined, according to wiseGeek.

Secondly, even with this considerably healthier sugar, the mocha is not exactly the most nutritious drink on the menu. With the same details as the Pumpkin Spice Latte above, it has 430 calories, 140 of them from fat. There are 16 g of total fat, 50 mg of cholesterol, 360 mg of sodium, 67 g of total carbohydrate, and 12 g of protein. The caffeine count? 175 mg. If the aim is to stay awake, pick this drink over the pumpkin spice.

Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Latte, a “spice chai blend of cinnamon, black tea and rooibos, lightly sweetened and finished with steamed milk.” This tea, yes, tea, was created with Oprah Winfrey and Teavana teaologists and features cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos. As a grande with 2% milk, the calorie count reaches 200 with only 35 from fat. Total fat is 4 g, cholesterol is 15 mg, 100 mg of sodium, 33 g total carbohydrates with 31 g of sugar, and 7 g of protein. The caffeine isn’t too bad, just 50 mg.

One benefit of purchasing this drink is that with each sale of the tea, Starbucks makes a donation to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit youth education. For more information, visit the site.

This isn’t to say that these drinks aren’t a delicious creation that warms people’s souls, or maybe it does, but it’s just a reminder that the now common drinks have more to them than meets the taste.

For more information on other drinks, visit Starbucks’s official website.