How many calories in a starbucks macchiato?

A Starbucks macchiato contains between 150-250 calories depending on the size and flavor. The calories come from the espresso, steamed milk, and flavored syrup used to make the drink.

Calories in Starbucks Macchiato Sizes

The calories in a Starbucks macchiato vary based on the size of the drink ordered. Starbucks offers the macchiato in three sizes:

  • Short/Tall – 150 calories
  • Grande – 190 calories
  • Venti – 250 calories

The short/tall size has the fewest calories as it contains less milk and espresso than the larger sizes. The venti macchiato has the most calories since it contains the most milk and espresso.

Calories by Macchiato Flavor

Beyond the size, the flavoring also impacts the calorie count in a Starbucks macchiato. Here are the calories for some popular macchiato flavors:

Macchiato Flavor Calories (Grande)
Caramel 230
Vanilla 200
Hazelnut 210
Cinnamon 180
Sugar-Free Vanilla 140
Skinny Vanilla 140

Flavored macchiatos generally have more calories than plain macchiatos since they contain added syrups. Vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut are some of the most popular flavors which add 20-40 calories over a plain macchiato. Sugar-free syrups help reduce the calories while providing flavor.

Calorie Breakdown in a Macchiato

To understand where the calories come from in a Starbucks macchiato, we can break it down into its nutritional components:

  • Espresso – The espresso provides a small amount of calories, around 5-15 calories depending on the size.
  • Steamed milk – The steamed milk contributes the majority of calories coming in around 130-200 calories for a grande size.
  • Syrup – Flavored syrups add 20-50 calories depending on the type of syrup and size of the drink.

So the steamed milk provides the bulk of calories in a macchiato. The espresso itself is low calorie, while flavored syrups boost up the calories further.

Tips for a Lower Calorie Macchiato

If you are looking for ways to enjoy a macchiato while reducing the calorie count, here are some tips:

  • Order the short/tall size which has significantly fewer calories than the larger sizes.
  • Stick to plain macchiatos without any flavored syrups.
  • Request nonfat milk to eliminate the fat and reduce calories.
  • Ask for less pumps of syrup if ordering a flavored macchiato.
  • Substitute sugar-free syrups to cut down on added sugars.
  • Add cinnamon or cocoa powder for flavor instead of syrup.

With small adjustments like opting for skim milk or less syrup, you can shave off calories from your macchiato. Keep portion size in mind and customize your drink to keep it from becoming a calorie bomb.

Comparing Macchiato Calories to Other Drinks

How does a Starbucks macchiato compare calorie-wise to some of their other popular drinks? Here’s a comparison of a grande size of various Starbucks beverages:

Drink Calories (Grande)
Caffe Latte 190
Cappuccino 140
Caramel Macchiato 230
Pumpkin Spice Latte 380
Iced Coffee 120
Cold Brew Coffee 10

A macchiato generally has more calories than simpler espresso-based drinks like a cappuccino but less than the ultra sweet, flavored lattes. So in the Starbucks lineup, a plain macchiato is mid-range in calories while flavored macchiatos fare higher due to the added syrup.

Macchiato Calories Compared to Food

To put the calories of a Starbucks macchiato in perspective, here’s how it compares to the calories in some common foods:

  • A grande caramel macchiato (230 calories) has about the same calories as a plain bagel (245 calories)
  • A tall cinnamon macchiato (150 calories) has roughly the same calories as an apple (95 calories)
  • A venti vanilla macchiato (250 calories) contains the same calories as two slices of pizza (245 calories)
  • A grande skinny vanilla macchiato (140 calories) has slightly less calories than a small order of french fries (210 calories)

While the occasional macchiato won’t break the calorie bank, drinking one every day could contribute excess calories without providing much nutrition. For coffee lovers looking to limit calorie intake, black coffee or cold brew are the lowest calorie options.

Nutritional Benefits of Macchiatos

Despite their calorie content, macchiatos can provide some nutritional benefits when consumed in moderation. Some of the potential benefits include:

  • Antioxidants – Coffee contains antioxidant plant compounds that can help reduce inflammation and free radical damage.
  • Vitamin B2 – The milk provides a good amount of riboflavin (vitamin B2), which helps convert food into energy.
  • Calcium – The steamed milk also contributes calcium to strengthen bones and teeth.
  • Hydration – Though caffeinated, macchiatos still provide fluid to help meet daily hydration needs.

Additionally, some research suggests the caffeine in coffee may boost metabolism, enhance cognitive function, and reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s when consumed in moderation.

Potential Downsides of Macchiatos

Despite their nutritional perks, there are also some potential downsides of drinking macchiatos frequently, including:

  • High in calories and sugar – This can lead to weight gain and increased risk of chronic diseases.
  • Caffeine – Too much caffeine can cause jitters, insomnia, and anxiety in sensitive individuals.
  • Saturated fat – Whole milk and cream contain saturated fat that should be limited for heart health.
  • Carageenan – Starbucks uses this potentially inflammatory thickening agent to stabilize their milk.
  • Acidic – Coffee’s acids can cause heartburn issues and erode tooth enamel.

Those with digestive issues like reflux may want to avoid macchiatos as the combination of coffee, milk, and sugar can aggravate symptoms. People who are watching their weight should also limit intake.

Healthier Macchiato Options

For those that want to enjoy an occasional macchiato but still watch calories and sugar, here are some healthier ordering tips:

  • Request nonfat or soy milk.
  • Ask for less pumps of syrup or sugar-free syrup.
  • Opt for the “skinny” macchiato made with sugar-free vanilla and nonfat milk.
  • Size down to a short macchiato.
  • Order without whipped cream on top to remove extra fat and calories.

You can also make easy adjustments at home by making macchiatos with just espresso and frothed nonfat milk. Add cinnamon or extract for flavor instead of heavy syrups.

The Bottom Line

A Starbucks macchiato can contain anywhere from 150-250 calories depending on the size and whether it is flavored. A grande caramel macchiato comes in around 230 calories while a short plain macchiato is 150 calories. To lighten up your drink, go for nonfat milk, sugar-free syrups, and smaller sizes. While macchiatos do provide some nutrition, the calorie count can quickly add up if consuming them daily.

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