If you’re looking for a cup of coffee from Starbucks but want to keep your caffeine intake low, you’re not alone.
Starbucks offers numerous options for those who are caffeine-sensitive or simply wish to enjoy their coffee without feeling too buzzed afterwards.
Whether it’s due to health reasons or a personal choice, knowing which Starbucks drinks have less caffeine can help make your coffee experience more enjoyable.
Why You Choose Low-Caffeine Options At Starbucks?
For many, selecting low-caffeine coffee options is more of a necessity than a preference. Whether you’re pregnant, sensitive to caffeine, or suffering from certain health conditions like anxiety or heart problems, low-caffeine drinks are the way to go.
Moreover, enjoying a cup of coffee later in the day without risking your good night’s sleep could be another compelling reason to opt for less caffeinated options.
Starbucks acknowledges that every customer is unique and has provided options catering to every individual’s needs, including those on the lookout for milder caffeine experiences.
What Caffeine Level Is Considered Low In Starbucks Drinks And Why?
When it comes to caffeine, what is considered ‘low’ typically depends on individual sensitivity and daily recommended intake levels.
Generally, any Starbucks drink containing 100 milligrams of caffeine or less can be categorized as low caffeine, particularly when compared to their standard coffees which can go significantly higher.
A ‘tall’ brewed coffee, for instance, has roughly 260 milligrams of caffeine, so when we aim for a ‘low-caffeine’ alternative, something in the range of 45-55 milligrams is substantially less and a good benchmark for those seeking milder options.
It’s important to consider why low-caffeine drinks are popular. Some people may opt for them to avoid jitters, while others might be trying to manage certain health issues or are simply looking to reduce their overall caffeine consumption for a more balanced lifestyle.
Starbucks Lighter Side Options
Embracing the lighter side of Starbucks is not just about cutting down on caffeine consumption, it’s about exploring a diverse range of flavors and experiences.
At Starbucks, lighter doesn’t mean less remarkable or less satisfying—it means thoughtfully tailored beverages for those conscious about their caffeine intake, without compromising the quintessential Starbucks experience.
Caffeine Content: 15-30 mg for a ‘tall’ size
Decaf doesn’t mean devoid of caffeine, but it’s significantly lower than its regular counterpart. Starbucks’ decaffeination process ensures that you can enjoy the rich and bold flavors you love without the high caffeine content.
Caffeine Content: Varies widely
Options like the Iced Decaf Americano put you in control by blending decaf espresso with water and ice. This can give you a cool, refreshing taste that’s perfect for savoring slowly during warmer temperatures.
Caffeine Content: Approximately 35-45 mg for a ‘tall’ size
Refreshers are a fruity and rejuvenating beverage line that is lightly caffeinated with green coffee extract, offering a subtle boost. The Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refresher and the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher are popular picks, filled with vibrant fruit flavors and just a touch of caffeine from a natural source.
Caffeine Content: Varies, generally between 15-70 mg for a ‘tall’ size
Starbucks Teavana teas present a spectrum of caffeine levels, from the caffeine-free herbal blends to the more robust black and green teas. For instance, their Comfort Wellness Brewed Tea is completely caffeine-free while the Emperor’s Cloud and Mist Green Tea has a milder caffeine content.
Starbucks Drinks With Low Caffeine (45-55 Mg For A Tall)
Starbucks offers some great alternatives if you’re aiming for low-caffeine content. These drinks provide the flavor and warmth of coffee yet stay within the 45-55 milligrams range for a tall size, which is ideal for those who want the coffee flavor without the heavy caffeine hit.
Here we list the common 8 types of Starbucks drinks with low caffeine.
1. Decaf Pike Place Roast
Start your quest for low-caffeine content with the Decaf Pike Place Roast, a year-round offering that caters to coffee lovers who appreciate a smooth, well-rounded blend without the kick of caffeine.
Starbucks decaffeinates its coffee using the Swiss Water Process, which maintains the bean’s distinctive taste. The tall size of this comforting classic contains far less than the 45-55 mg caffeine bracket, making it a safe haven for those monitoring their intake.
2. Single Espresso Shot
Need a quick sip with minimal buzz? A single shot of Starbucks espresso might do the trick. Normally a key player in more robust beverages, when enjoyed alone or with a splash of milk, a single shot is an excellent low-caffeine contender.
A single espresso shot generally contains about 45 mg of caffeine, making it a perfect match for your caffeine limits. You can savor the rich taste of coffee in one small yet satisfying dose.
3. Hot Chocolate
Yes, it’s not coffee, but Starbucks’ Hot Chocolate deserves a mention for those times when you crave a hot beverage minus the coffee itself.
Technically, hot chocolate contains some caffeine due to the presence of cocoa, but a tall Hot Chocolate typically falls within the lower caffeine spectrum we’re exploring.
4. Iced Passion Tango Tea
For a completely caffeine-free alternative while still keeping within the bounds of Starbucks’ menu, the Iced Passion Tango Tea is a vibrant choice.
It’s an herbal tea blend which has the added benefit of being free from any coffee or tea leaves, traditionally the sources of caffeine.
With its infusion of hibiscus, lemongrass, and apple flavors, it’s a refreshing drink that dances on the tongue and is perfect for those with caffeine sensitivities or for those who simply want to avoid it entirely.
5. Decaf Caffè Americano
If you’re longing for the feel of a traditional coffee but need to stay low on caffeine, the Decaf Caffè Americano strikes an excellent balance.
Made by adding hot water to a shot of decaffeinated espresso, this drink has the richness you crave with minimal caffeine content.
A tall Decaf Caffè Americano will contain slightly more caffeine than the purely decaffeinated options, but it still falls well within the 45-55 mg range, offering a robust flavor profile without an overwhelming caffeine kick.
6. Starbucks Reserve Decaf Espresso
For those who love the taste of high-quality, artisanal coffee, the Starbucks Reserve® Decaf Espresso offers complexity and depth of flavor in a low-caffeine package.
Each Reserve roast is selected for its uniqueness and crafted with care. A tall espresso made from this decaf blend will give you the rich, indulgent coffee experience with only a minimal amount of caffeine.
Typically, a single shot from the Reserve decaf will have slightly more caffeine than the standard decaf espresso, but it still comfortably nestles within our target range.
7. Short Brewed Coffee
If you simply can’t forego the taste of a traditional brewed coffee, opt for a short (8 oz) size in any regular blend, and ask for it to be half-caff.
While not a fixed menu item, a short cup of Starbucks’ signature brew with half regular and half decaffeinated grounds can give you that familiar coffee taste while staying at the lower end of the caffeine spectrum.
By mixing half decaf with half regular beans, you are likely to get a caffeine content that is under 55 mg, catering perfectly to your needs.
8. Chai Tea Latte
Surprisingly, a Chai Tea Latte can be a low-caffeine alternative worth considering. Although Chai contains black tea, which naturally has caffeine, the concentration is significantly less than in a coffee.
By customizing your Chai Tea Latte with a “light” or “half” chai option, you reduce the amount of Chai concentrate, consequently lowering your caffeine intake.
A tall Chai Tea Latte modified this way should deliver a caffeine content closer to our 45-55 mg target, while still providing the warming and spicy flavors characteristic of this beloved beverage.
When visiting Starbucks next time, the barista is your guide to a perfectly tailored beverage.
If you’re unfamiliar with the caffeine content of various drinks, don’t hesitate to ask the barista for recommendations on low-caffeine choices. They can guide you to drinks that naturally have less caffeine or help you modify a beverage to suit your needs.
If your favorite drink isn’t listed here, consider these tips to reduce its caffeine content:
- Ask for fewer shots of espresso in drinks like lattes or Americanos to lower the caffeine content.
- Choose a smaller size to naturally decrease the amount of caffeine.
- Ask for a blend of half decaf and half regular espresso in any espresso-based drink.
- Opt for a lighter roast, as they sometimes have slightly less caffeine than darker roasts.
- Try a steamer, which is simply steamed milk with a flavor shot of your choice, eliminating caffeine altogether.