As much as I hate paying upwards of $5 for a cup of coffee, Starbucks is an admittedly sinful experience, and one that I allow myself to indulge in occasionally. Nothing beats that blast of fragrant coffee beans that warms your nostrils as you walk into a cloud of mocha, caramel, cinnamon, and espresso. That frothy white and green mermaid lady can make any study session more bearable, or at least keep your eyes open for just an hour longer. During the winter, we grasp our iconic cups to warm our throats and guard us against the biting chill in our hands. In the summer, we suck icy heaven through green straws that at the same time cools our tanned skin but ignites our insides with the burn of caffeine. I can’t even begin to tell you have many stories I’ve shared and heard over a cup of Starbucks. All the four hour conversations with friends, the talks of heartbreak, love, success, failure, happiness, worry, future, and past. What is it about a cup of coffee warming our hands that loosens our tongues and allows us to speak freely and honestly? How many times have I bared my soul while sipping a Grande Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Soy?
Starbucks is always on my mind on Mondays, not only because Mondays leave me longing for the weekend and in desperate need of caffeine, but also because it has always been a tradition for my mom and me to hang out on Mondays. In high school, she would pick me up from school and we would run errands, cruise around the mall, grab something to eat, grab a cup of coffee, and talk. We continued this tradition even in college, when my schedule barely allowed time to breathe, but I always looked forward to those Mondays. Now, as I’m working full time and taking classes, our Monday tradition has morphed into grabbing lunch, a cup of Starbucks, and catching up as much as possible before I return to work. Little treats like this give me something to look forward to when my alarm sounds before 6 and shields me from a “case of the Mondays.”
But with options like Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino (480 calories in a grande) and White Chocolate Mocha (470 calories in a grande), how can you enjoy a cup of Starbucks without ruining your waistline? Today I will share with you my two favorite Starbucks drinks- one hot and one cold. Naturally, one is my pick during the winter and one during the summer. These drinks remain sinfully delicious without the calorie count of an entire meal (plus, they’re vegan!)
Grande Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Soy Milk
Ah yes, what a mouthful… not only in name, but also in deliciousness. This is my go to drink, and always has been. A delightful and fragrant medley of cinnamon and creamy espresso. This grande drink weighs in at only 120 calories for a grande with nonfat milk (Starbucks does not allow me to select soy milk, but I’m sure it’s pretty equivalent). Did I mention it’s delicious?
Grande Mocha Frappuccino Light with Soy Milk
Holy coffee smoothie Batman, I can rarely keep this drink in my hand for longer than 5 minutes because it’s so good. Creamy, chocolately, perfectly blended mocha coffee heaven. I can make pretty good replicas of this drink at home, but nothing ever tops Starbucks… but I guess it helps to have $500+ blenders. A grande frapp is only 130 calories (again, I am only able to calculate this with nonfat milk, but soy is equivalent).