Halloween is over and like clockwork, the festive drinks are here. Last week saw Christmas offerings launching in Starbucks and Costa so it’s official: the countdown to Christmas is on. Yes, they’re sickly sweet and full of sugar. Yes, they can be high in calories. But I’ll be damned if I’m not enticed by a salted caramel brownie hot chocolate. I’ve poured over the nutritional info so you don’t have to, meaning you can keep back a few hundred cals for a little festive treat if that’s your kind of thing.
This year Starbucks has a few newbies joining their tried and tested Christmas line-up. Strangely, they haven’t published any nutritional information for their venti-sized drinks, which makes us wonder if they’re scrapping the 20oz (568ml) size. We’ve asked them for clarification but haven’t heard anything back. But it would probably be a good thing, because no one needs half a litre of hot chocolate in one go, surely?
Christmas Brulee Latte
A new addition to the festive menu, this is a ‘festive take on traditional crème brulee’, featuring crème brulee sauce mixed with eggnog, poured over coffee and finished off with a ‘twinkle topping’. As it’s made with eggnog, options for customisation are limited and you can’t switch it for soy milk or skimmed milk.
Tall: 247 calories, 8.6g fat, 40.9g carbs, 37.8g sugar, 1.1g protein
Grande: 301 calories, 10.4g fat, 50.1g carbs, 46.7g sugar, 1.2g protein
Cinnamon spiced coffee
Available as a flat white or a latte, this is a ‘sophisticated’ twist on your usual coffee, giving it a subtle hint of cardamom, vanilla and cinnamon.
Cinnamon spiced flat white, made with whole milk as standard: 143 calories
Cut the cals: Ask for it with almond milk, which makes it 82 calories
Cinnamon spiced latte made with semi-skimmed milk as standard:
short: 120 calories
tall: 195 calories
grande: 259 calories
Cut the cals: A tall cinnamon spice latte with skimmed milk brings it down to 155 calories
Salted caramel brownie hot chocolate
Um, yes please. This hot chocolate has a rich salted caramel sauce, brownie flavoured whipped cream, brownie crumbles and salted caramel brittle. Brace yourselves, as this is not going to be a low-sugar option…
Made with semi-skimmed milk and whipped cream as standard:
short: 209 calories, 9.8g fat, 26.2g carbs, 24.5g sugar, 3.6g protein
tall:319 calories, 13.8g fat, 40.8g carbs, 38.3g sugar, 7.2g protein
grande:399 calories, 16.8g fat, 52.5g carbs, 49.3g sugar, 8.7g protein
Cut the cals: Asking for a short with almond milk will bring it down to 183 cals
Yule log frappucino
This is basically a cold hot chocolate, made with the signature hot chocolate base and whipped cream as standard. I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to have a different milk with this, but they don’t publish the nutritional information for the different choices.
mini: 280 calories, 16.5g fat, 31.7g carbs, 28g sugar, 0.8g protein
tall: 352 calories, 23.7g fat, 33.3g carbs, 29.6g sugar, 1.2g protein
grande:506 calories, 33.3g fat, 49.6g carbs, 44.2g sugar, 1.6g protein
An oldie but a goodie, a spiced coffee with gingerbread flavoured whipped cream.
Made with semi-skimmed milk and whipped cream as standard
Short: 184 calories, 21.4g carbs, 19.9g sugar, 6.1g protein
Tall:258 calories, 10.6.g fat, 31.4g carbs, 28.8g sugar, 9.1g protein
Grande:343 calories, 13.5g fat, 42g carbs, 39.3g sugar, 13.g protein
Cut the cals: Order a tall with soy milk to make it 236 cals
Toffee nut latte
Another Christmas classic, the toffee nut latte is a toffee latte with whipped cream and a crunchy, nutty topping.
Made with semi-skimmed milk and whipped cream as standard
Short: 187 calories, 8.6g fat, 21g carbs, 19.7g sugar, 6.4g protein
Tall: 260 calories, 11g fat, 30.7g carbs, 28.3g sugar, 9.5g protein
Grande: 345 calories, 14.1g fat, 41.1g carbs, 38.5g sugar, 13.5g protein
The underrated champion of Christmas drinks, the eggnog latte is made with a base that means you can’t swap for any different types of milk, so get a short if you want to keep it below 200 cals.
Short: 170 calories, 6g fat, 22.9g carbs, 21.3g sugar, 5.6g protein
Tall: 272 calories, 9.5g fat, 36.8g carbs, 33.8g sugar, 9.1g protein
Grande: 344 calories, 12.1g fat, 46.5g carbs, 43.1g sugar, 11.4g protein
Unlike Starbucks, Costa don’t publish nutritional information for their drinks made with alternative milks, and at the time of writing, they don’t offer the range Starbucks does. You can get coconut milk in any drink for 45p extra, but if you’re only after it for reducing calories it might not be worth it – 100ml of semi-skimmed is 47 cals, and 100ml of coconut milk is 20.
If you want to cut the cals on these drinks, go for the smaller size and ask for it without the whipped cream. Otherwise, at 500 calories for a latte you might just have to suck it up. One for a treat day, maybe?
Black Forest Hot Chocolate
Primo (drink in): 298 calories, 15.4g fat, 31.8g carbs, 26.2g sugar, 7.8g protein
Primo (takeaway): 319 calories, 16.2g fat, 33.9g carbs, 28.3g sugar, 9.4g protein
Medio (drink in): 428 calories, 21.7g fat, 46.2g carbs, 37.9g sugar, 11.6g protein
Medio (takeaway): 443 calories, 22.3g fat, 47.7g carbs, 39.4g sugar, 12.8g protein
Caramelised orange and cream latte and hot chocolate
A fan favourite from previous years, this year Costa assures us it’s new and improved. It’s a latte or a hot chocolate flavoured with caramelised orange syrup and topped with a swirl of whipped cream and crowned with a dried orange slice.
Latte with semi-skimmed milk
Primo (drink in): 213 calories, 13.2g fat, 17.7g carbs, 17.4g sugar, 7g protein
Primo (takeaway): 243 calories, 14.3g fat, 20.7g carbs, 20.5g sugar, 9.3g protein
Medio (drink in): 303 calories, 18.6g fat, 25.7g carbs, 25.2g sugar, 9.9g protein
Medio (takeaway): 340 calories, 19.9g fat, 29.4g carbs, 29g sugar, 12.7g protein
Hot chocolate with semi-skimmed milk
Primo (drink in): 294 calories, 14.4g fat, 33g carbs, 27.7g sugar, 7.8g protein
Primo (takeaway): 321 calories, 15.4g fat, 35.8g carbs, 30.5g sugar, 9.8g protein
Medio (drink in): 432calories, 20.6g fat, 49.5g carbs, 41.5g sugar, 11.6g protein
Medio (takeaway): 467 calories, 21.9g fat, 53g carbs, 45.1g sugar, 14.3g protein
Hazelnut praline and cream latte and hot chocolate
Available as a latte and a hot chocolate, this drink features hazelnut syrup, Belgian chocolate sauce, a swirl of cream and a crispy chocolate truffle crumb. The hazelnut praline and cream hot chocolate has the dubious honour of being the drink with the highest sugar content, with a whopping 52.9g of sugar in the medio takeaway option. That’s roughly 14 teaspoons of sugar. Gulp.
Latte, with semi-skimmed milk
Primo (drink in): 273 calories, 14.6g fat, 27.9g carbs, 25.8g sugar, 7.5g protein
Primo (takeaway): 303 calories, 15.7g fat, 30.9g carbs, 28.8g sugar, 9.8g protein
Medio (drink in): 361 calories, 19.9g fat, 35.3g carbs, 33.1g sugar, 10.4g protein
Medio (takeaway): 398 calories, 21.2g fat, 39.1g carbs, 36.8g sugar, 13.2g protein
Hot chocolate with semi-skimmed milk
Primo (drink in): 354 calories, 15.7g fat, 43.2g carbs, 36.1g sugar, 8.3g protein
Primo (takeaway): 381 calories, 16.7g fat, 46g carbs, 38.9g sugar, 10.4g protein
Medio (drink in): 490 calories, 21.9g fat, 59.1g carbs, 49.4g sugar, 12.1g protein
Medio (takeaway): 525 calories, 23.2g fat, 62.7g carbs, 52.9g sugar, 14.8g protein
The Luxury Caramel and the Luxury Chocolate
The luxury hot chocolate is a small and very rich shot of hot chocolate, and the luxury caramel is the same idea, but made with caramel instead of chocolate. There’s only one size available for these drinks and while they might seem small, they’re so rich that you won’t need any more.
The Luxury Hot Chocolate
Drink in: 113 calories, 1.7g fat, 18g carbs, 16.8g sugar, 4.7g protein
Takeaway: 150 calories, 2.2g fat, 24g carbs, 22.4g sugar, 6.2g protein
The Luxury Hot Caramel
Drink in: 121 calories, 2.1g fat, 21.9g carbs, 18.9g sugar, 3.1g protein
Takeaway: 159 calories, 2.9g fat, 28.7g carbs, 24.8g sugar, 4.2g protein
Gingerbread and cream latte and hot chocolate
The classic Costa Christmas offering, complete with a little gingerbread man just chilling in his whipped cream bath.
Latte made with semi-skimmed milk (takeaway and drink in)
Primo: 200 calories. 13.8g fat, 12.5g carbs, 10.4g sugar, 7.2g protein.
Medio: 293 calories, 21.1g fat, 16.6g carbs, 14.4g sugar, 10.2g protein
Hot chocolate made with semi-skimmed milk
Primo (drink in): 259 calories, 12.8g fat, 27.3g carbs, 20.3g sugar, 7.9g protein
Primo (takeaway): 278 calories, 12.9g fat, 29.9g carbs, 22.9g sugar, 9,9g protein
Medio (drink in): 389 calories, 19.9g fat, 39.6g carbs, 30g sugar, 11.7g protein
Medio (takeaway): 413 calories, 20.1g fat, 43g carbs, 33.3g sugar, 14.3g protein
Gingerbread milk whip
Primo (takeaway and drink in): 42 calories, 0.3g fat, 5.6g carbs, 5.6g sugar, 4.3g protein
Medio (takeaway and drink in): 98 calories, 0.6g fat, 13g carbs, 12.9g sugar, 9.9g protein
Hot Spiced Apple
Primo (takeaway and drink in): 71 calories, 1.4g fat, 14.4g carbs, 13g sugar, 0.3g protein
Medio (takeaway and drink in): 114 calories, 2.2g fat, 23g carbs, 20.8g sugar, 0.5g protein
We know they’re controversial and might not be your cup of tea (or mug of frothy milky coffee), but for those who love this kind of thing, we want to know if you’ll be indulging! Let us know over on the forum.
And if your favourite coffee shop isn’t the big C or S, you can find info for other popular coffee shop chains here.