The ultimate guide to festive drinks 2017 – part 1

calories in starbucks christmas drinks

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It’s that time of year again – 2017’s festive drinks are on their way from your favourite big-name coffee shops. Alright, so it’s only the first week of November, but love it or hate it, it’s time to brace yourself as it’s almost time to get out the tinsel and shake your jingle bells as we head into the festive season.

The big three coffee shops have put away their Halloween tat for another year and are this week launching their Christmas menus, featuring all sorts of amazing-sounding drinks.

If you’re a coffee purist, sipping your small batch, single-origin, whole roasted americano, then this probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re like me and love the sound of the latest syrup-loaded, sugar-laden lattes then come with me as we take a look at the nutritional details of this year’s offerings from all the major coffee shop chains.

So you can make an informed choice about whether they’re worth splurging on or if they’re so not worth the calories, we’ve poured over the nutritional details so you don’t have to. Spoiler alert: there is a lot of sugar. A. Lot.

The ultimate guide to festive drinks 2017


Festive menu launches: 3rd November

Festive drinks 2017 - Starbucks

Toffee Nut Latte

Festive drinks 2017 - Toffee Nut Latte

(made with real hazelnut topping and semi-skimmed milk as standard)

Tall: 264 calories, 11.3g fat, 31g carbs, 28.5g sugar, 9.5g protein

Grande: 348 calories, 14.3g fat, 41.4g carbs, 38.7g sugar, 13.5g protein

Venti: 416 calories, 15.g fat, 51.4g carbs, 47.6g sugar, 17g protein

Cut the calories: Switch the semi-skimmed for almond milk and grab a tall drink for 203 calories.

Gingerbread Latte

Festive drinks 2017 - Starbucks Gingerbread Latte

(made with semi-skimmed milk as standard)

Tall: 258 calories, 10.6g fat, 31.6g carbs, 28.8g sugar, 9.2g protein

Grande: 343 calories, 13.5g fat, 42.1g carbs, 39.2g sugar, 13.1g protein

Venti: 412 calories, 15.1g fat, 52.3g carbs, 48.3g sugar, 16.5g protein

Cut the calories: Almond milk is now offered as a milk alternative at all Starbucks shops and it’s a great low-calorie option. However, we know the watery taste isn’t for everyone. Starbucks also offer coconut milk, which would bring the calories of a tall gingerbread latte down to 238.

Eggnog Latte

Festive drinks 2017 - Starbucks Eggnog Latte

Tall: 271 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

Venti: 450 calories, 15.8g fat, 61g carbs, 56.3g sugar, 15g protein

Cut the calories: Slashing calories is hard to do with an eggnog latte because you can’t switch out the milk or the syrup as it’s all pre-mixed, so 271 calories for a tall is the lowest you’re going to get unless you ask for a diddy Short drink (169 cals). 56g of sugar, by the way, is comparable to drinking just under two cans of Coke. Or eating 14 teaspoons of sugar. Yikes.

Fudge Hot Chocolate

Festive drinks 2017 - Starbucks Fudge Hot Chocolate

Tall: 257 calories, 11.7g fat, 36.6g carbs, 31.2g sugar, 0.1g protein

Grande: 315 calories, 13.8g fat, 46.1g carbs, 39.3g sugar, 0.1g protein

Venti: 414 calories, 16.6g fat, 63.8g carbs, 53.8g sugar, 0.1g protein

Cut the calories: Like the eggnog latte, it’s difficult to make any calorie swaps for the fudge hot chocolate, but you could always ask for a Short if you want to get a fudge hit but still keep it under 200 calories (198 calories, to be exact).

Festive Cold Brew

Festive drinks 2017 - Starbucks Festive Cold Brew

(cold brew coffee infused with a Christmassy spiced syrup and finished with cranberries and orange peel)

Tall: 25 calories, 0.1g fat, 5.5g carbs, 5.3g sugar, 0.3g protein

Grande: 33 calories, 0.1g fat, 7.5g carbs, 7.2g sugar, 0.3g protein

Venti: 41 calories, 0.1g fat, 9.5g carbs, 9.1g sugar, 0.4g protein

Cut the calories: You don’t need to get lower than 25 calories, surely?! This is one to have when you’re all sugared-out and can’t stand the thought of another festive latte.

Caffe Nero

Available now

Festive drinks 2017 - Caffe Nero

Clementine Latte

Regular: 129 calories, 3.3g fat, 19.2g carbs, 17.5g sugar, 5.7g protein

Grande: 204 calories, 5.2g fat, 29.7g carbs, 28g sugar, 9.6g protein

Cut the calories: Make the switch to soya milk and the regular size will be 127 calories, saving er…2 calories.

Festive drinks 2017 - Caffe Nero

Gingerbread Latte

Regular: 142 calories, 2.6g fat, 24.2g carbs, 22.5g sugar, 5.5g protein

Grande: 229 calories, 4.5g fat, 37.6g carbs, 35.9g sugar, 9.5g protein

Cut the calories: Caffe Nero only publish details of their drinks made with the standard semi-skimmed milk or soya milk, and if we’re honest for the sake of saving 5 calories by switching to soya milk we’d rather go for the semi-skimmed.

Festive drinks 2017 - Caffe Nero

Roasted hazelnut latte

Regular: 148 calories, 2.6g fat, 26g carbs, 23.6g sugar, 5.5g protein

Grande: 235 calories, 4.6g fat, 39.4g carbs, 37g sugar, 9.6g protein

Salted caramel latte

Regular: 153 calories, 2.7g fat, 27g carbs, 24.6g sugar, 5.6g protein

Grande: 238 calories, 4.6g fat, 40.1g carbs, 37.7g sugar, 9.6g protein


Festive drinks 2017 - Costa

Available from the 3rd November.

Festive drinks 2017 - Costa Billionaire's Latte and Hot Chocolate

Billionaire’s Hot Chocolate

Primo: 356 calories, 11.5g fat, 38.5g carbs, 31.7g sugar, 8.8g protein

Medio: 528 calories, 24.4g fat, 62.6g carbs, 51.6g sugar, 12.9g protein

Massimo: 789 calories, 22.1g fat, 97.1g carbs, 79.3g sugar, 19.3g protein

Cut the calories: Costa’s Billionaire’s hot chocolate has the dubious pleasure of being the drink with the highest calories and sugar on our list. If you have a Primo with skimmed milk you can bring the calories down to 294.

Billionaire’s Latte

One size (Medio): 416 calories, 21.3g fat, 46.g carbs, 41.7g sugar, 9.7g protein

Cut the calories: Ask for it with skimmed milk instead and you’ll bring it down to 341 calories.

Festive drinks 2017 - Costa Black Forest Hot Chocolate

Black Forest Hot Chocolate

Primo: 363 calories, 19.6g fat, 35.3g carbs, 29.8g sugar, 10.2g protein

Medio: 477 calories, 23.3g fat, 49.7g carbs, 41.7g sugar, 14.2g protein

Massimo: 673 calories, 31.7g fat, 73.8g carbs, 60.7g sugar, 20.4g protein

Cut the calories: Ask for a Primo made with soya milk to cut it down to 309 calories.

Festive drinks 2017 - Costa Gingerbread Latte

Gingerbread Latte

Primo: 227 calories, 10.2g fat, 13g carbs, 11g sugar, 6.9g protein

Medio: 312 calories, 22g fat, 18.1g carbs, 15.9g sugar, 10.5g protein

Massimo: 380 calories, 27.3g fat, 21.1g carbs, 18.7g sugar, 12.5g protein

Cut the calories: A Primo gingerbread latte made with soya milk clocks in at 183 calories

Festive drinks 2017 - Costa Honeycomb Latte

Honeycomb Latte

Primo: 303 calories, 17.3g fat, 30.2g carbs, 27.7g sugar, 6.6g protein

Medio: 384 calories, 21.4g fat, 39.2g carbs, 35.9g sugar, 8.9g protein

Massimo: 483 calories, 27.1g fat, 49.3g carbs, 45.1g sugar, 10.9g protein

Cut the calories: A Primo with skimmed milk is 248 calories.

Festive drinks 2017 - Costa Salted Caramel Cappuccino

Salted Caramel Cappuccino

Primo: 110 calories, 6g fat, 8.7g carbs, 8.3g sugar, 5.2g protein

Medio: 169 calories, 9.4g fat, 13g carbs, 12.4g sugar, 8.2g protein

Massimo: 212 calories, 11.8g fat, 16.2g carbs, 15.4g sugar, 10.4g protein

Cut the calories: The salted caramel cappuccino is a good option to go for as cappuccinos are lower in calories than lattes as they use less milk. If you ordered a Primo made with skimmed milk it’d set you back only 61 calories.

Festive drinks 2017 - Costa Mint Hot Chocolate

Mint Hot Chocolate

Primo: 373 calories, 19.2g fat, 39.3g carbs, 33.5g sugar, 10.2g protein

Medio: 499 calories, 23.4g fat, 56.9g carbs, 48.2g sugar, 14.2g protein

Massimo: 697 calories, 30.4g fat, 83.2g carbs, 69.2g sugar, 19.7g protein

Cut the calories: Get a Primo made with skimmed milk and slash it down to 297 calories

Festive drinks 2017 - Costa Lindt Hot Chocolate

Lindt Hot Chocolate

One size: 329 calories, 12.7g fat, 40.1 carbs, 32.1g sugar, 10.7g protein

We had this last year and tbh, it was pretty amazing. If you’re a chocoholic then it’s a total treat and it’s basically just like drinking melted Lindt chocolate. There are no modifications to be made with this so if you like the sound of it, make some room in your daily calorie budget and treat yourself.

Festive drinks 2017 - Costa Hot Spiced Apple

Hot Spiced Apple

Primo: 79 calories, 1.4g fat, 15.2g carbs, 13.1g sugar, 1.6g protein

Medio: 122 calories, 2.2g fat, 23.9g carbs, 20.9g sugar, 2.5g protein

Cut the calories: As this isn’t made with milk you can’t cut calories that way, so with this what you see is what you get.

Look out for Part 2 of our Ultimate Guide coming soon: with a round-up of other chains who (probably) feel like Christmas hype should only be allowed once Bonfire Night is over. Quite right, too. Bah humbug.

Will you be indulging in any of the festive drinks on offer? Are they worth the calories or will you save them for a treat? Let us know what you think over on the forum. Bonus points for the first person to say it’s too early to be thinking about Christmas!


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