Can you get a sugar free caramel macchiato at Starbucks?

Starbucks offers a wide variety of coffee drinks that can be customized to meet different dietary needs and preferences. For customers looking to reduce their sugar intake, Starbucks does offer options to order reduced sugar or sugar-free versions of some of their popular drinks, including the caramel macchiato.

What is a caramel macchiato at Starbucks?

A caramel macchiato from Starbucks is one of their signature espresso drinks. It consists of steamed milk with vanilla-flavored syrup and espresso shots, marked with a crosshatch pattern of drizzled caramel sauce across the top.

The standard recipe for a Starbucks caramel macchiato contains:

  • Espresso shots
  • Steamed milk
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Caramel drizzle sauce

This combination of ingredients gives the drink both its rich, sweet caramel flavor and its velvety steamed milk texture.

Does Starbucks offer sugar-free syrups?

Yes, Starbucks does offer sugar-free syrup options. Instead of using their standard sugary vanilla or caramel syrups, customers can request sugar-free vanilla or caramel syrups to flavor their drinks.

Some of the sugar-free syrup choices at Starbucks include:

  • Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
  • Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
  • Sugar Free Caramel Syrup
  • Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup
  • Sugar Free Mocha Syrup

Using one of these sugar-free varieties allows customers to reduce the amount of sugar and calories in their Starbucks beverages. The sugar-free syrups are sweetened with sugar substitutes like sucralose and acesulfame potassium to provide sweetness without added sugar.

Can you order a sugar-free caramel macchiato?

Yes, Starbucks customers can order a caramel macchiato made with sugar-free syrup instead of the regular, sugar-sweetened vanilla and caramel syrups. However, it’s important to know that the drink won’t be completely sugar- or calorie-free.

To make a sugar-free caramel macchiato, customers can request the following modifications:

  • Sugar-free vanilla syrup instead of regular vanilla syrup
  • Sugar-free caramel syrup instead of regular caramel sauce

With these two substitutions, the primary sources of added sugar are removed. According to Starbucks, a regular tall caramel macchiato contains 50 grams of sugar. By using sugar-free syrups instead, you can avoid most of this added sugar.

However, the espresso shots and steamed milk will still contain small amounts of naturally occurring sugars. A tall sugar-free caramel macchiato will likely still have around 10 grams of sugar from the natural milk and espresso sugars. It also still provides around 120 calories from the other ingredients like milk and espresso.

Ordering tips

To order a sugar-free caramel macchiato at Starbucks, remember to clearly specify that you want sugar-free vanilla and sugar-free caramel syrups. Some baristas may not be accustomed to the sugar-free requests, so politely confirming your order will help ensure your drink is customized correctly.

You can order by saying: “I’d like a tall sugar-free caramel macchiato please, with sugar-free vanilla and sugar-free caramel syrups instead of the regular sweetened syrups.”

Benefits of ordering sugar-free

There are several potential benefits to ordering a sugar-free caramel macchiato from Starbucks:

  • Reduces overall sugar content – By avoiding the standard syrups, you significantly cut the added sugars.
  • Lowers calorie count – Eliminating the high-sugar syrups also reduces the drink’s overall calorie count.
  • May help manage blood sugar – For people with diabetes or hyperglycemia, minimizing added sugars is important for controlling blood glucose levels.
  • Accommodates low-sugar diets – Ordering sugar-free aligns with low-sugar eating plans like keto and low-glycemic diets.
  • Provides customized beverage – Allows customers to enjoy a favorite drink modified to meet their dietary needs.

While not completely sugar- or calorie-free, requesting sugar-free syrups allows Starbucks customers to enjoy a caramel macchiato as a reduced sugar and lower calorie option compared to the full-sugar version.

Potential downsides

There are a couple potential downsides associated with ordering a sugar-free caramel macchiato:

  • Higher cost – The sugar-free syrups cost extra, so ordering them adds between $.50-$.70 to the total drink cost.
  • Not completely sugar-free – Due to the natural milk and espresso sugars, the drink won’t be completely sugar-free, so it doesn’t fit strict no-sugar diets.
  • Taste differences – Some people feel the taste profile changes slightly with the sugar-free syrups compared to full sugar.
  • Unavailable ingredients – Occasionally low supplies or outages of sugar-free syrups can prevent preparing the drink as ordered.

While not huge drawbacks, these are some aspects to consider when deciding whether to order a sugar-free caramel macchiato.

Nutrition information

To see the difference ordering sugar-free makes, here is a comparison of the nutrition info for a regular tall caramel macchiato versus a tall sugar-free caramel macchiato at Starbucks:

Beverage Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Sugar (g) Protein (g)
Regular tall caramel macchiato 150 5 23 22 10
Sugar-free tall caramel macchiato 120 5 9 4 10

As you can see, just by omitting the sugary syrups and substituting sugar-free versions, you can significantly reduce the calorie, carb, and sugar content of a Starbucks caramel macchiato.

Other related Starbucks sugar-free drink options

While the caramel macchiato is one of the most popular espresso drinks to order sugar-free, there are other Starbucks beverages that can also be customized to be low sugar or sugar-free by requesting sugar-free syrups:

  • Coffee drinks – Sugar-free vanilla, mocha, or cinnamon dolce lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, etc.
  • Frappe drinks – Sugar-free caramel, mocha, or java chip frappuccinos.
  • Tea drinks – Sugar-free chai tea latte, vanilla bean creme tea, peach green tea.
  • Refreshers – Very berry hibiscus or strawberry acai refreshers unsweetened.

The possibilities are nearly endless for how to reduce sugar in your go-to Starbucks order. Be sure to clearly communicate the specific sugar-free syrups or unsweetened preparation you would like when placing your order.

Should you drink sugar-free drinks?

Sugar-free drink options can be appealing for limiting sugar and calories in your diet. But are they actually healthy, or do they come with any risks?

Here are some considerations around consuming sugar-free beverages:

  • Benefits – Sugar-free drinks help reduce calorie intake and added sugars in your diet. For some health conditions like diabetes, eliminating sugary drinks is beneficial.
  • Taste preference – Some people strongly prefer the taste of drinks made with non-nutritive sugar substitutes compared to full sugar versions.
  • Habit formation – Having tasty lower sugar options available helps break the habit of reaching for sugary sodas or beverages.
  • Artificial sweetener concerns – There are some health concerns around regular intake of certain artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes.
  • Lack of nutrients – Beverages with sugar substitutes provide little nutritional value beyond flavor.

Overall, incorporating some sugar-free drinks can be a healthier habit for many people trying to cut back on sugar. But moderation is key, and getting nutrition from whole foods and unsweetened beverages should be the priority.


Starbucks offers sugar-free syrup options that allow customers to order reduced sugar versions of popular coffee drinks like the caramel macchiato. While not completely sugar- or calorie-free, requesting sugar-free vanilla and sugar-free caramel syrup can significantly lower the amount of added sugars and total calories in a caramel macchiato.

Ordering a sugar-free caramel macchiato or other sugar-free Starbucks drinks provides an opportunity to enjoy your favorite Starbucks beverage while aligning with a low sugar diet. As with any diet change, it’s smart to consider your specific nutritional needs and consult a doctor or registered dietitian when making significant reductions in sugar intake.

Leave a Comment