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Starbucks Strikes Again.

Walking along Thames Street in Newport, Chris and I were weeding through the nest of ideas in our heads.  The wind was whipping in off the ocean and danced around our goosebump-covered legs.  The sky became a little overcast, so we decided to duck into Starbucks to grab a coffee and let Chris sketch out his ideas on the margin of a newspaper.Non-fat super-sized double-wide mocha fine jell-o shot machiado supreme.  With fries.

Walking into the coffee shop in shorts and a t-shirt, I couldn't decide which drink I wanted to warm me up.  I knew that it as possible to make some of the drinks sugar-free, but I'm not a Starbucks rat.  I have no clue how to order there - it makes me feel sweaty just thinking about it.  I can't wrap my head around calling something that's a "medium" a "grande."  It's like a caffeinated Taco Bell.  Sometimes I just want to clutch the edge of the counter, lean in close, and whisper madly, through clenched teeth, "A coffee.  Just make me a damn coffee."

But I've digressed once again.

"Hi, what can I get for you?"  The young boy behind the counter had a nice smile and handled the long line of chilly Newport customers with grace.  Chris had already ordered and moved aside to let me in.

"Hi.  Can I get a chai tea?  Is that sugar-free?"

"No, but I can make one with skim milk?"

"Actually, can you do a chai tea with the teabags and steamed milk or something?"

"Sure!  And you can add a few honey packets and then we'll froth it up and it will be delicious."  He grinned. 

I grinned back.

"I can't really add the honey.  I'm diabetic, so I'm looking for something that's as sugar-free as you can make it."

He stopped and looked me dead in the eye.  "A teasto."  (Editor's note:  No clue how to spell that.)  "A non-fat sugar-free vanilla teasto.  No sugar."

"Really?  That sounds delicious.  And then I'll be good to go?"

"Yes.  My father is a diabetic."  He punched in my order on the cash register.  "And so is my little brother."  The girl to his right started making the drink, but he leaned in a grabbed the cup from her.  "Hey Gabby.  I'll make this one myself.  It's important that it comes out right."

A minute later, he placed two cups on the counter. 

"Double espresso for you?"  Chris took his cup.  "And then the sugar-free non-fat vanilla teasto.  For you."  The Starbucks boy leaned across the counter furtively.  "Add like half a packet of Splenda and it's awesome." 

Damn you, Starbucks.  Just when I've thought I'm beyond your caffeinated claws, you reach back out and gently bring me back in.


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Hey, that would get me too! :)

When I come by SBUX, I normally get a Tall Sugar-Free Vanilla Latte and punch in 18 gr of carbs. It's worked.

I used to be a Barista for Starbucks back in the day. I made up all kinds of great drinks. Now I just drink espresso from my wonderful espresso machine. I can bolus for the sugar (although I would rather just use Equal) its the $5 bucks every time you buy a drink that makes me work hard to stay away.


Great tale, you had me to the end.

I thank God that there's no Starbucks that's really close by to work or home for me, he hee.

That is sooooo sweet that he wanted to make it for you.

Once again, showing the bonds that diabetics (and parents/siblings of diabetics) have that can't be explained.

Oh god, you've just brought back memories of working at Oren's (in Grand Central) and having to ask people what they meant when they ordered a "tall." Because for Starbucks-ites, a tall is a small (you know, because that makes SO much sense...) And for the rest of the world a tall is, well, TALL--meaning large.

But I'm glad the Starbucks people did you right...

Try a sugar-free nonfat cinnamon dolce latte...20 g of carbs...they're delicious! Not all Starbucks still have them, though; they're seasonal. That's what pisses me off about Starbucks; they have all these seasonal drinks that are only available for a limited time. Ugh!

He did his mom proud!

That was sweet that he made that for you, but, dood, friends don't let friends drink Starbucks. Just say no.

And hey, your wee person up there - NICE juice helmet. :D I think you could definitely attach a veil to that. And you wouldn't have to pay extra to make it poofy - the juice boxes would do it for you. Look at me, saving you money. :D

And what was the outcome? Did you bolus? Did it raise your sugar?

Sugar-free nonfat cinnamon dolce latte - word on the street paints these as tasty drinks.

Adam - I bolused a unit and it tossed me up to 180 mg/dl, so I'm guessing it's housing about 18 grams of carbs, give or take.

And Julia, that "helmet" up there is all for you, my friend. No way I'll get low now. :)

Gah, Starbucks....
Not only does it cost a billion dollars, but it's so carb-y! When my friend took me there and got me started on coffee, I got so overwhelmed by the ordering process I tried this and that, costly and then using the roadmap of a nutrition sheet was crazy. One day I realized, I could simply get tea - good flavours, but no carbs and a fraction of the price.

I wish any of the morons in my local Starbucks would be this great. Just once. Sigh.

Mind you, most of the time I'm just too lazy to order skinny or sugar free. Interestingly I'm not to lazy to ask for double-shot. Caffeine addict, anyone?

Great story Kerri!

When Starbucks first came on the scene, their coffee was very good. This was due to the fact, that they were the first to introduce varietal beans for the first time and second, they replaced lousy/poor quality Columbian coffee with "something better."
However because they have expanded too quickly and too much in size, they have lost quality control over their roasting of coffee beans, which is now, not as good as before. In addition, for the price of a coffee that they charge(too much), a person could have a fairly decent meal in Chinatown.

Never been to Starbucks,but when I do-I'll know just what to order!
Sounds delicious...

The Caffenated Taco Bell thing had me dying. What freaks me out is that the smallest size you can order is a "tall?"


Good story, I must try one.

I only order one thing, one way (mocha latte with skim milk). And then I wonder if I should say "Grande" or "medium". I don't want to sound pretentious or anything ;)

I love how Starbucks Boy took special care of your teasta :)

Thank you! I've been trying to figure out what to order when my gf drags me into a S-Bucks or Dunkin Donuts since my diagnosis! I look at their drinks and just freeze b/c I have no clue how to bolus for it and have no desire to hae a hot drink in a Manhattan summer - I'll have to try this out tomorrow!

In the one time every six months that I go to Starbucks, my favourite is the sugar-free, non-fat vanilla latte... I put in a packet of Splenda and sprinkle some cinnamon on top (I guess that would be kind of like the cinnamon one you're talking about). Delicious. And there is only about 10g of carb in the biggest size... whatever it's called.

Also, here's a useful Starbucks link:


Gotta love Starbucks....Everywhere i look i see one... theres like almost 3 dozen around here....There everywhere!!! I glad you found your drink of the day.. talk to you soon..Love ya...Courtney

I work at a small coffeeshop (booo starbucks), and I've only ever had a couple people come in and ask what they should drink since they're diabetic. It's crazy how that bond is so quickly formed. I take care of all my betics with extra care, and I'm always thinking up drinks that we can offer in both sugared and sugar-free.

Coffee's a crazy world to live in, but man is it fun. :-) I'm proud that a fellow barista (eh... starbucks... sort of a barista) took good care of ya.

As parents of a very busy toddler, coffee is our dear friend. LOL

That is so awesome about the barista taking extra care of you.

At starbucks, I usually have grande iced latte, non fat and add with splenda and the numbers are good. Or like your honey, an espresso with splenda if need more fuel :^)

ohhh my friends went to Los Angeles this past spring for a vacation and they got me a great sized "ice blended" sugar free dutch chocolate powder mix from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. And you can make a mocha frap at home and numbers are great too. Can order it at coffeebean.com. I am not sure about the price but will order soon since running low. To me it is the best tasting sugar free chocolate drink out there and doesn't taste artificial.

I have a 10:30 interview at Starbucks in two days.

Despite the chance of pretentious cliental encounter, health coverage for part-time employees makes this college student/type 1 very happy...

Bring on the foo fooey whipped topping!

I have never been to starbucks either but hey it sounds great. And what I nice boy.

I'd still be freaked to drink it, even if it was made by a family member of a diabetic...and I'm sad to say I don't know if I would trust a Type 2 diabetic, either!* How did it turn out for you? :) I stick to the teabags when one of my pals/coworkers insists on visiting a Starbucks.

*Not the fault of the Type 2. Mostly because a few too many Type 2s I have met have received incredibly poor diabetes education, and don't know much about Type 1...or don't understand that sugar free doesn't mean carb free. I ask probing questions when I can, but a busy Starbucks is never the best place for Diabetes 101.


Sugar-free nonfat cinnamon dolce latte...It rocks my world.

Wonderful post!

Isn't it crazy when stuff works out like that? I was recently getting coffee and wearing scrubs and the guy started talking to me and I mentioned I was a transplant coordinator and he started telling me about his mom's transplant. You never know.

This post made me smile this morning...:-) Beautiful!

lol it's a tea misto
youre cute tho haha

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