I just got back from Starbucks and I had one of the most revealing and shocking conversations with the Barista.
When I go to Starbucks I get a grande coffee misto with 1-pump of flavor shot.
The flavor shot is approx 70 calories, and there is about 40-50 calories worth of milk, so overall my coffee is about 120 calories. That’s not bad and it’s a very satisfying morning creature comfort that I simply will no give up for any reason.
The interesting thing is that I have to specifically ask for 1-pump of flavor…the standard amount of flavor shots in a grande is 4-pumps…that means a grande with the ‘normal’ amount of flavor is approximately 300 calories (the venti usually has 5 shots for a total of 350 calories)
But that’s not the shocking part. I asked the Barista “what is the most flavor shot pumps you have put in a drink for someone?”…she told me that they have a regular customer who gets 10-pumps!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!
That is 700 calories in one drink!
They also have other drinks that come with a standard 7-pumps of flavor, that’s approx 500 calories standard without asking for extra shots.
The flavor shot pumps we’re taking about deliver approximately 18 grams of sugar per pump.
Obviously the 10-pump drink person is an outlier, but the Barista told me it’s pretty normal for people to get the regular 4 or 5 pump drinks with whip cream and some chocolate or caramel topping, and they’ve got regulars who ask for their drinks ‘extra sweet’ which means an extra pump or two.
If you went to starbucks and got one of these drinks with a slice of banana bread or some other food item on the side you could easily be consuming 800-900 calories (and that is just a morning stop for a coffee and a treat!)
For most people that is almost half of their daily BMR right there, and I guarantee most starbuck goers don’t even consider their morning coffee stop as a ‘meal’.
I’m amazed that people can handle that much sweetness. I think my 1-pump is plenty sweet enough, I couldn’t imagine 4 (let alone 10!…10-pumps!…that’s approx 180grams of sugar in one drink…seriously WTF?!)
It seems that places like Startbucks are simply ice cream parlors masquerading as coffee shops.
They are essentially the socially acceptable place to mass consume cups of sugar, caramel, whip cream, and chocolate without feeling like you’re doing anything ‘wrong’.
Think about it, how many times per week does the average person stop at Dairy Queen for a milkshake or blizzard. If you did this every morning you’d be labeled unhealthy, a junk food/fast food addict etc…it just wouldn’t feel right.
BUT it’s perfectly normal to stop into a coffee shop every morning for a cup of sugar and fat that is essentially no different than a milkshake from DQ.
(the Barista even told me that they have a regular who comes in at 5am for a venti frappuccino…for anyone unfamiliar, a frappucino is essentially a milkshake with a shot of coffee added…about 550 calories)
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all ripping on Starbucks, in fact I love the coffee and choices they have. They’re not forcing anyone to order or drink anything they serve…that is purely a free choice of each customer…they’re just serving what people want, and apparently people want milkshakes (but without the social stigma of ordering a milkshake every day).
What I am doing is trying to show you how easy the calories can add up when it comes to drinks like coffee.
On one extreme you can get a plain black coffee which has zero calories. On the other end you’ve got these multi-flavored cappucino and latte offerings with multi-pump flavor shots, whip cream and syrup toppings etc.
The Social Perception of “Coffee”
Socially a plain black coffee and a frappucino or latte or cappucino are all considered ‘coffee’ to some degree, but when you break them down to their parts one of them has zero calories and the other can have as many calories as big mac from McDonalds!
So can you lose weight while drinking coffee?
Well that depends on what your definition of coffee is. If you’re the frappuccino/cappuccino quadruple pump whip cream drinker I’d guess that you’re going to have trouble losing weight.
On the other hand if you pay attention to the amount of calories you’re adding to your coffee then you can easily add these tasty drinks to an effective weight loss program.
The disturbing point is that a 4-pump 350 calorie drink is ‘normal’ and my 1-pump 100 calorie drink is the exception to the rule.