Starbucks has quite a few low calorie tea drinks on the menu. Of course, they’re not as enticing as all the decadent drinks topped with whipped cream and drizzles.
But if you’re looking for a flavorful cup of tea, then Starbucks has some options that contain very few calories…or none.
By its very nature, tea has no calories. It’s all the add-ins like milk, sugar, sweet syrups, juices and toppings that make the calories creep up in our favorite Starbucks drinks.
So if you’re trying to see how to reduce calories in your favorite Starbucks tea without sacrificing flavor or want to see the low-calorie tea options already on the Starbucks menu, then this guide is for you.
1. Hot Brewed Teavana Tea
Want a simple cup of hot brewed tea without blowing the calorie bank? Well, you’re in luck.
Starbucks brews a variety of Teavana tea bags in hot filtered water. And each blend contains exactly zero calories.
As a matter of fact, the Teavana tea bags are actually tea sachets.
Each pyramid-shaped sachet is filled with loose tea with plenty of room to expand so all the good flavors are extracted.
Currently, the variety of hot brewed tea at Starbucks includes black, green and herbal teas. So, some contain caffeine and the herbal teas do not. But all are calorie-free.
My favorite hot tea to get at Starbucks without any additions is Teavana Peach Tranquility. This herbal tea blend has bits of pineapple in it so there’s lots of good fruity flavor on its own.
But you could add a pump of two of liquid cane sugar for around 10 calories per pump.
My Pick: Teavana Peach Tranquility; Calories: 0
2. Hot Brewed Tea with Milk Topper
Drinking a cup of plain hot tea is sort of akin to black coffee. You either like it, or you don’t.
Personally, I always add a splash of milk to my hot black tea. I usually add a little sweetener, too.
The thing is, additions like milk and sweeteners don’t have to turn your Starbucks tea drink into a calorie bomb.
In other words, not all hot brewed tea with milk has to be a full blown tea latte.
In this case, controlling the calories in your Starbucks tea drink is really a matter of controlling the quantity of the additions.
And at Starbucks adding a topper or splash of milk (about 1/4 cup or less) doesn’t cost extra. The barista will even offer to steam your milk, as well.
In general, the calorie range for a splash of milk is 20-35 calories depending on the type of milk.
And syrup clocks in around 10-15 calories per pump depending on the flavor. Of course, Starbucks has the usual variety of sweetener packets (Stevia, Splenda, Sugar in the Raw), as well.
Be sure and check out, A Barista’s Guide to Hot Tea at Starbucks to see all the ways you can customize a cup of hot brewed tea.
My Pick: Teavana Earl Grey with topper of steamed 2% milk and 1 Splenda; Calories: 34
3. Teavana Chai Latte
At first glance you might see Chai Latte on this list of low-calorie Starbucks tea drinks and think I must be mistaken.
After all a Grande size Starbucks Chai Latte is 240 calories and a Venti is 310!
But, if you’re watching calories and sugar intake, then it’s simple to order a healthier version of one of Starbucks most popular tea drinks.
All you have to do is order a Chai Latte and ask for it to be made using Teavana chai tea bags. Whereas, the regular chai latte recipe uses pre-sweetened, already brewed chai black tea concentrate and milk.
Overall, a chai latte made with tea bags has about half the calories compared to the one made with chai concentrate.
My Pick: Grande Teavana Chai with steamed 2% milk and 1 pump of cinnamon dolce syrup; Calories: 120
4. Brewed Iced Tea
Just like Starbucks hot brewed tea, it’s possible to get a zero or low calorie Starbucks iced tea. In fact, each plain iced tea made according to the recipe is only 45 calories.
There is a difference between ordering Starbucks hot and iced teas, though.
For instance, hot brewed tea does not contain any add-ins unless you request them.
On the other-hand, when you order a Teavana brewed iced tea the barista shakes it together with liquid cane sugar and ice.
If you don’t want sugar, the good news is all you have to do is ask the barista for no liquid cane sugar.
What this means for those counting calories, is that it’s possible to get a zero calorie Starbucks iced tea.
Additionally, while there are about ten blends of Teavana hot tea, there are only 3 blends of Teavana iced tea: black, green and herbal Passion Tango.
However, these teas can be combined with juices and add-ins. Just limit the quantity to control the calories.
Take a look at this post to see the numerous ways you can customize Starbucks iced tea drinks: Best Iced Tea at Starbucks: A Barista’s Guide.
My Pick: Iced Black Tea with 2 pumps liquid cane sugar; Calories: 20
5. Iced Tea Lemonade
Made by shaking together iced tea (black, green or Passion Tango), liquid cane sugar and lemonade, Starbucks line-up of iced tea lemonades are seriously refreshing.
When prepared according to the Starbucks recipe, a Grande size iced tea lemonade has 90 calories and a Tall contains 70.
However, if you want to make this into a super low-calorie Starbucks tea, all you have to do is adjust the amount of liquid cane sugar and/or lemonade.
Here’s what I mean.
A Grande has 4 pumps of sugar and a Tall has 3 pumps. For my taste buds, that’s just too sweet. For your reference, each pump is about 10 calories.
So I ask the barista to completely leave out the liquid cane sugar. Personally, I think the lemonade adds plenty of sweetness to the iced tea.
Additionally, if you want another way to cut calories just ask the barista for more tea and less lemonade.
My Pick: Grande Iced Passion Tango Tea Lemonade, no liquid cane sugar; Calories: 50