Steph Mork

Published on August 25th, 2016

Need that caffeine boost in the morning? Not sure what coffee drinks will fit into your diet? Ordering drinks at a chain coffee shop can be difficult for people looking to cut calories or sugar. If you know what to order, drinks from Caribou Coffee can still be a part of your diet as a daily morning stop or occasional afternoon splurge.

Keep in mind it is easy for hidden calories to make their way into a drink. A full flavor shot of vanilla is actually 4 pumps of vanilla in a small vanilla latte and adds about 100 calories to a drink. Some drinks even get into the 800 calorie range in one drink. Whew!

Use the following tips to limit the calories in your cup o’ joe:

Ask for half of a flavor shot next time or see what the drink tastes like with no flavor besides coffee. GASP.

Fresh brewed coffee or cold press is a whopping ZERO calories with no cream or sugar added. If you like black coffee, order away. Skip the flavor shots or extra chocolate and go for a splash of cream and raw sugar if you need a little sweetener.

If you need that espresso jolt in the morning without the calories, order an americano or a depth charge. A small americano has 2 shots of espresso mixed with hot water and tastes like a strong coffee. A small depth charge is brewed coffee with a shot of espresso. Feel the buzz!

Looking for a refreshing cold drink with a touch of caffeine? The sparkling teas and juices can be misleading as most of them are 200 or more calories. Choose a small Peach Black Sparkling Tea for only 90 calories or any of the hot or iced teas for zero calories.

For a unique twist on the iced coffee try a Small Crafted Press for 50 calories. Blended cold press coffee, raw sugar and sea salt and a splash of heavy cream poured over ice make for a creamy refreshing coffee drink. You can also ask for a version of this blended with ice which is not actually on the menu, but it should be. Simple ingredients and low cals for the win.

If you are really craving a cooler, go with a small Northern Lite Caramel Cooler for 130 calories. Caribou uses real caramel instead of sugary processed flavored syrup, and the Northern Lite drinks have about 40% less calories than the regular cooler.

Need something decaf that still gives you a little pick me up? Try the Rooibos iced tea for zero calories, or make it into a small Rooibos iced tea latte with skim or almond milk, and no vanilla for about 110 calories.

Iced drinks in general always have less calories than their hot counterpart. A small hot, skim, latte has 90 calories whereas a small iced, skim latte has 60. There is less room for liquids in a cold cup when you add ice; less milk and sweeteners means less calories. Many of the hot drinks also come with whip and chocolate toppings, which add extra fat and calories. If you need something hot, opt out of these toppings to keep the calories to a minimum.

So next time you hit up your local Caribou Coffee, give one of these low-cal drinks a try. Soon enough you’ll find your favorite go-to drink that gets you ready for the perfect summer’s day in a refreshing low-cal way.