Starbucks's Fall Drinks: Which to Pick & Which to Skip

There are loads of things to love about the changing seasons. In my Autumn-loving, layer-happy, snuggle-adoring opinion, there isn’t a single aspect of our lives that isn’t enriched, somehow, by longer evenings and lower temperatures. Think about it—chillier weather means you end up spending more time indoors bundled up in a soft blanket, watching movies with friends and, perhaps, studying. You get to break out your sweaters, ankle boots, long scarves, and warm jacket. Best of all, cold weather is pretty much food’s fairy godmother. With an easy “bippity-boppity-boo,” strawberries become apples, grilled turkey burgers are replaced by roasted Thanksgiving turkey, and a tall glass of sweet tea from grandma magically morphs into a tall Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.
Starbucks’s ever-expanding menu of hot beverages is one of the franchise’s best attractions. Many of the chain’s most popular selections are offered all year, and a few of Starbucks’s seasonal drinks have already debuted, but several more options will appear from November 16 until January 3, 2011. As it is almost inevitable that you or someone you love will soon find herself heeding the siren call of Starbucks’s slightly creepy, smiling mascot, feel free to check out this guide to which cold beverages might be a sweet escape for you or a nightmare for a nutritionist.
Where to start?
If you’re a Starbucks newbie or are just looking for a new signature drink, you may feel overwhelmed by your options. Here’s a brief look at what you can expect to find in terms of calories and flavors:

  • Steamed Apple Juice: 110 calories
  • Cappuccino (Venti, whole milk): 180 calories
  • Caffe Latte (Venti, whole milk): 290 calories
  • Tazo Chai Tea Latte (Venti, whole milk): 320 calories
  • Gingerbread Latte (Venti, whole milk, whipped cream): 440 calories
  • Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (Venti, whole milk, whipped cream): 600 calories
  • Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha (Venti, whole milk, whipped cream): 700 calories

As you can see, Starbucks offers a wide range of drinks that come in all tastes and sizes. But let’s be honest—although fruit juice is yummy and good for you, not a lot of college women order a steaming cup of apple juice when they head to Starbucks. It’s also unlikely that many of us will be chugging 700-calorie Venti White Chocolate Mochas every day. To get a better idea of how your favorite drink compares to a few others, keep reading to check out what you should pick and what you should skip.


Judith is a senior at Washington University in St. Louis with a double major in English and Spanish and a minor in Creative Writing. She is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Spires, a literary magazine on the WashU campus, and a former features intern for Seventeen and Marie Claire. A proud nerd whose greatest joys include LexisNexis and, Judith can usually be found looking for new music or espousing the wonders of Twitter, Harry Potter, and late 16th century English Literature to anyone willing to listen. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Judith plans to explore as much of St. Louis as she can in her final year of college--even without a car (or a learner's permit...).

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