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Starbucks Is Bringing Back Pistachio Lattes—Here’s What Dietitians Think of the Drink

Prevention logo Prevention 1/5/2022 Korin Miller
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  • Starbucks brings back the Pistachio Latte nationwide for the second year as part of the winter 2022 menu.
  • The drink features “cozy flavors of sweet pistachio and rich brown butter paired with espresso and steamed milk.”
  • Dietitians weigh in on the Pistachio Latte’s nutrition information, including ingredients, calories, and sugar content.

Starbucks already has fans buzzing about their new Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte released in November and Apple Crisp Macchiato from early fall, but now they’re starting off the year with a new winter menu. And there’s one drink, in particular, they’re bringing back that’s getting some early attention–the pistachio latte.

The Pistachio Latte was created at Starbucks’ Chicago Roastery back in 2019 and launched with the winter 2021 menu. The coffee giant announced the fan-favorite will return this year for pistachio-lovers to sip on during the chilly winter months in 2022. (The idea for the drink came from the love customers have for the Starbucks Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte, per a press release.)

People are already sharing photos, reviews, and pictures of the winter menu, and particularly the return of the pistachio latte—which can be served hot or iced—on social media. The overall consensus: It’s delicious. But what’s inside? We asked dietitians to break down the latte’s nutritional info.

What’s in the Starbucks Pistachio Latte?

The Pistachio Latte features “cozy flavors of sweet pistachio and rich brown butter paired with espresso and steamed milk,” according to Starbucks. Per a press release, the latte features a sauce “made with real pistachios and flavors of salted brown buttery topping.”

The drink is specifically made up of the following:

milk, pistachio sauce [invert sugar, condensed nonfat milk, pistachio butter (ground pistachios), natural flavors, cocoa butter, salt, preservative potassium sorbate, santhan gum, tocopherols, monoglycerides], brewed espresso, salted brown butter cookie flavored topping [sugars (sugar, powdered sugar), corn starch, sea salt, fruit and vegetable color (pumpkin, sugar beets, apple, carrot, hibiscus), natural flavors, salt].

Is the Starbucks Pistachio Latte Vegan?


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Nope. While you could substitute almond or coconut milk for cow’s milk, the pistachio latte’s sauce contains condensed milk, which is not vegan.

Starbucks Pistachio Latte nutrition

Here’s what you’re looking at in the nutrition department when you have a grande Starbucks Pistachio Latte with 2% milk:

  • Calories: 320
  • Fat: 9 g (5 g sat fat)
  • Carbohydrates: 48 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Sugars: 45 g
  • Sodium: 310 mg
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Caffeine: 150 mg

Is the Pistachio Latte healthy?

For what it’s worth, Starbucks never claimed its Pistachio Latte is healthy—and it’s not. “This latte is way more of a dessert than a coffee beverage,” says Keri Gans, M.S., R.D., a New York-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet.

Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers calls it a “sugary coffee drink” that’s “best enjoyed in small portions and in moderation.”

Overall, the amount of fat and sugar are particularly problematic, says Gina Keatley, a certified dietitian-nutritionist practicing in New York City. “There are a lot of calories, not to mention the 45 grams of sugar,” she says. “Keep in mind added sugar recommendations are around 25 to 38 grams per day.”

How to make the Pistachio Latte better for you

If you want to try to make the drink a little healthier, Cording recommends asking for just one pump of the syrup to give you the flavor while cutting back on a little sugar and fat. You can also skip the salted brown butter topping “since the pistachio sauce will give a ton of flavor,” Keatley says.

But if you want to have a pistachio latte here and there, go for it—experts say the occasional treat is unlikely to torpedo your healthy eating goals. Remember, moderation is key.

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