All Starbucks Milk Options Explained: Dairy & Plant-Based Alternatives

Starbucks milk options
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Many people have the drink menu at Starbucks memorized from top to bottom. After all, when you visit your favorite local Starbucks, it’s probably because you have something specific in mind.

However, for some people, the Starbucks menu can seem like a vast sea of choices. No one wants to feel overwhelmed when they are ordering at the counter.

Knowing what is available on the menu can be helpful and milk is an essential part of most Starbucks drinks. So it really makes sense to take a moment to study all the different types of milk available!

Below are the current Starbucks milk options to make your coffee ordering experience easier.

What Kind of Milk Options Does Starbucks Have?

Starbucks offers an array of options when it comes to milk.

There are many types of dairy milk options as well as plant-based milk substitutes.

Starbucks Dairy Milk Options

The typical dairy milk options available at Starbucks are whole milk, non-fat milk, and 2% milk.

There are also choices with higher fat content and creamier texture like heavy cream, half-and-half, and sweet cream, which are often added to beverages as opposed to being used as their primary base.

Types of Dairy Milk and Cream Available at Starbucks:

  • Whole Milk – Whole milk is the purest type of commercially available cow’s milk. Initially, this was the main type of milk used at Starbucks. It has a fat content of about 4%.
  • Nonfat Milk – Nonfat milk is a leaner alternative to whole milk. This milk is skimmed to remove the cream resulting in a thinner, lower-calorie, alternative to whole milk that contains no fat.
  • 2% Milk – Many are surprised to learn that this is the default milk used for Starbucks beverages (not whole milk). Unless you order a different type of milk, 2% milk goes into just about every Starbucks drink. Similar to nonfat milk, 2% milk is skimmed. However, it is skimmed less thoroughly than nonfat milk, meaning that it contains fewer calories than whole milk but more calories than nonfat milk.
  • Heavy Cream – Has a super creamy and rich texture and contains about 36% of fat.
  • Half and Half – Made by mixing half heavy cream and half milk this is the perfect option for some smaller espresso-based drinks like cortados and macchiatos.
  • Sweet Cream – A mix of heavy cream, milk, and vanilla syrup. It’s sweet, thick, and silky — great for creating layers on top of your coffee drink.

In addition, there is also heavy whipped cream that is used as a topping on different drinks for a visual effect and to enhance their flavors.

Starbucks Plant-Based Milk Options

For many people, dairy milk is not an option.

This applies to vegans and those who suffer from lactose intolerance or milk allergies. Alternatively, some people choose to avoid dairy for other reasons like stomach sensitivities.

If you are trying to avoid consuming dairy products, Starbucks offers many delicious plant-based milk alternatives that are both healthy and delicious.

Types of Plant-Based Milk Available at Starbucks:

  • Soy Milk – A popular plant-based milk that was the first non-dairy alternative available on the Starbucks menu. Made from soybeans, soy milk offers plenty of protein and amino acids.
  • Almond Milk – Almond milk is another popular non-dairy milk substitute. This is a great option if you are lactose intolerant, as it is derived from almonds.
  • Oat Milk – Oat milk is another fantastic non-dairy milk substitute available at Starbucks. Starbucks even offers a few lattes specifically made with oat milk to create an earthy and subtly nuanced flavor.
  • Coconut Milk – The most recent addition to the Starbucks milk menu, coconut milk is thick and creamy. Made from the meaty flesh of the coconut, this type of vegan milk is perfect for those with soy allergies. Despite its relatively high content of fat, coconut milk can be good for lowering cholesterol, hydrating, and weight loss.

Can You Choose Any Type of Milk for Any Drink?

For the most part, yes. There are many ways to customize your favorite drinks at Starbucks, and choosing from different types of milk is one of the most important ones.

All milk-based Starbucks beverages can be made with any milk option. Therefore, you can use any type of dairy or plant-based milk in essentially any type of Starbucks beverage.

However, I don’t recommend ordering a cafe latte made entirely with heavy cream. That kind of drink would have a huge amount of calories and it would probably be too thick and creamy.

What Is the Healthiest Starbucks Milk Option?

The healthiest Starbucks milk to choose will depend on your definition of healthy.

First, we need to take a look at the nutritional values of each type of milk.

Nutritional values of Starbucks dairy milk options (per one 8 oz cup):

Milk TypeCaloriesFatCarbsSugarsProtein
Whole Milk1608g12g12g8g
Nonfat Milk800g12g12g8g
2% Milk1204g12g12g8g
Heavy Cream80080g6g6g5g
Half and Half29024g9g9g6g

Nutritional values of plant-based Starbucks milk options (per one 8 oz cup):

Milk TypeCaloriesFatCarbsSugarsProtein
Soy Milk1304g16g13g7g
Almond Milk604g6g5g2g
Oat Milk1407g16g7g1g
Coconut Milk805g7g7g1g

Below are answers to some questions that will help you with deciding what is the best and healthiest Starbucks milk for you.

Which Starbucks milk option has the least amount of calories?

Many people think that almond milk is the healthiest milk option at Starbucks, overall. This is because Starbucks almond milk has just 60 calories and 5 grams of sugar per cup.

Nonfat milk and coconut milk are also great options since they both have only 80 calories per cup.

What Starbucks milk should I choose when on a keto diet?

If you are on a ketogenic diet, milk high in fat and low in sugar is the best option. So, heavy whipping cream, half and half, or whole milk are best.

What is the best plant-based milk alternative at Starbucks?

If you are vegan or have milk allergies, you have to choose from plant-based milk substitutes.

As mentioned before, almond milk has the least calories but in terms of protein, soy milk is the best option. Soy milk is also the only organic milk option available at Starbucks.

All in all, Starbucks offers a range of great ways to customize your favorite coffee drinks!

Whether you are looking for high-fat milk that has low sugar content or plant-based milk with plenty of protein, Starbucks has lots of options to choose from.

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