What Nutritionists Really Think About the New Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew

·3 min read
What Nutritionists Really Think About the New Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew


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Starbucks just released a new coffee drink that already has fans buzzing. It’s called the Chocolate Cream Cold Brew, and it’s in stores starting today.

The Chocolate Cream Cold Brew is “inspired by nostalgic summer months,” according to Starbucks. “When creating this beverage, we wanted to bring our customers a drink that would transport them back to their favorite summer memories with each sip,” Rosalyn Batingan from the Starbucks beverage development team said in a statement.“The classic combination of coffee and notes of chocolate, along with the malt flavor in the chocolate cream cold foam, are reminiscent of a chocolate malted milkshake or that last bit of melted chocolate ice cream on a warm summer day to recreate the sweet, creamy flavor of summers past.”

Reviews and photos of the new drink are already popping up on social media, and people swear it’s a keeper. But what’s in it, exactly? We had nutritionists break it all down.

What’s in the Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew?

The Chocolate Cream Cold Brew features Starbucks Cold Brew “sweetened with vanilla syrup and topped with a silky, chocolaty cream cold foam,” according to Starbucks.

The drink specifically includes the following ingredients:

Ice, brewed coffee, chocolate cream (vanilla sweet cream (cream (cream, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan), milk, vanilla syrup (sugar, water, natural flavors, potassium sorbate, citric acid)), chocolate malt powder (can sugar, cocoa powder processed with alkali, natural malt flavor (from barley), natural flavors, sunflower oil)), vanilla syrup (sugar, water, natural flavors, potassium sorbate, citric acid)

Is the Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew Vegan?

Nope. The Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew contains both cream and milk, which is not vegan.

Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew nutrition

Here’s what you’re looking at in the nutrition department when you have a grande Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew:

  • Calories: 250

  • Fat: 14 g (9 g sat fat)

  • Carbohydrates: 29 g

  • Protein: 2 g

  • Sugars: 28 g

  • Sodium: 35 mg

  • Fiber: 0 g

Is the Chocolate Cream Cold Brew healthy?

To be fair, Starbucks never claimed its Chocolate Cream Cold Brew was healthy—and dietitians say it’s definitely not. “It has more calories and sugar than a Snickers bar but is rarely consumed like a candy bar would be,” says Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet, agrees. “The Chocolate Cream Cold Brew may not be one of the healthiest choices, or even close,” she says. “A 250-calorie cup of coffee that contains 28 grams of sugar and 14 grams of fat is more of a dessert than a morning or afternoon pick-me-up.”

“It’s very high in sugar and provides minimal protein,” points out Jessica Cording, R.D., a dietitian and health coach, and author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. That, she explains, can give you a blood sugar spike and then crash afterwards, leaving you feeling wiped. “I would say to treat it as an occasional indulgence,” she adds.

If you want to make your Chocolate Cream Cold Brew healthier, Cording recommends going for the smallest size available (a “short”) and asking for less pumps of the vanilla syrup.

You can also ask your barista to swap out the regular vanilla syrup for a sugar-free version, Keatley says. Then, he points out, “you've reduced the calories by about 40 and decreased the added sugar by half.” He cautions about messing with too much else, though. “If you change anything else, it will unbalance the drink,” Keatley says.

But, if you want to enjoy the Chocolate Cream Cold Brew the way Starbucks designed it, experts say to go for it—just try to have it once in a while vs. every day.

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