***Article has been updated 2/01/2019 for accuracy.
Everyone loves their morning coffee or an afternoon latte, but are these things safe during pregnancy? If so, how much caffeine can you have? And what size should you order when you’re out? Don’t you wish you had a secret Starbucks formula to let you know which drinks contained an appropriate amount of caffeine? Well, ladies, there is. And I’m going to share the secret Starbucks code to knowing exactly how much caffeine is in your favorite iced or hot espresso-based beverage.
Caffeine in Starbucks hot lattes
Let’s start with the hot lattes. If you’re ordering a vanilla or any other syrup flavored latte, the Starbucks secret is 1, 2.
1 Shot of espresso in a Tall latte (75mg)
2 Shots of espresso in a Grande latte (150mg)
2 Shots of espresso in a Venti latte (150mg)
So, what does this mean for caffeine? Well, each shot of espresso has 75mg of caffeine. Most experts recommend that pregnant women limit their consumption of caffeine to less than 200mg. This means, at Starbucks, 2 or under is fair game, leaving you with an extra 50mg of caffeine to spare (for, oh, IDK, chocolate?!).
Caffeine in hot Starbucks Americano
It’s not as easy as 1, 2, for some hot beverages. The Americano follows 2, 3, 4:
2 Shots of espresso in a Tall Americano
3 Shots of espresso in a Grande Americano
4 Shots of espresso in a Venti Americano
So, if you’re going to order a Grande Americano, you should ask the barista to hold a shot (meaning give you only 2 shots in your Americano, otherwise you’ll be over your daily limit by 25mg) or order a half-calf.
Caffeine in Starbucks iced lattes
Starbucks iced lattes follow the 1-2-3 rule.
- Tall = 1 shot of espresso (75mg)
- Grande = 2 shots of espresso (150mg)
- Venti = 3 shots of espresso (225mg)
The Starbucks venti iced latte will put you over the recommended 200mg daily caffeine limit.
Caffeine in Starbucks Frappuccinos
Great news for Frappuccino lovers: get a Venti in any coffee or espresso based Frappuccino and you’ll be in the clear at just under 200mg of caffeine (most have around 130mg for a Venti, but the espresso Frappuccino rings in at a still safe 185mg).
The Complete Guide to Starbucks Caffeine provides an excellent cheat sheet. But you can also use the Starbucks app to find the exact caffeine calculation for each beverage.
Using the Starbucks app, go to Order. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged for looking on the menu or even adding items to your bag. You’ll only be charged if you actually order.
When you select or search for any item, it will come up with size, add-ins, and other details for you to adjust before ordering. But if you scroll down, you can expand nutrition information to show the amount of caffeine in your beverage of choice.
The information in this blog post is based on the Starbucks app’s nutrition / drink contents information.
Caffeine in Starbucks mocha drinks
Another important thing to note is that Starbucks mocha drinks contain slightly more caffeine than other flavors because chocolate contains caffeine. How much? In the example above, from the mobile app, it looks to be about 20mg more of caffeine in a tall iced mocha. However, White Mocha beverages do no have this same issue (but WMs are very high in sugar).
To stay in line with pregnancy guidelines, the best beverages to stick with are of the Tall variety. Avoid adding extra shots to beverages and, remember, Starbucks can make any espresso based beverage decaffeinated. So, if you’re really worried about caffeine, order a decaf! Always watch the sugar content in Starbucks beverages, but avoid using Sugar Free syrups, which contain artificial sweeteners. Most Starbucks teas, even those without caffeine, should be treated with caution because some of the herbal ingredients are not safe for pregnancy. Also, Starbucks refreshers should be avoided due to hibiscus and other ingredients that may not be suitable for pregnant women. In fact, hibiscus and most other herbal tea ingredients should be completely avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy.