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How to order your Starbucks drink to accommodate your diet

Lower-calorie coffee options

For many intrigued by coffee, the beverage can actually be pretty intimidating. Mocha, cappuccino, latte and espresso are coffee-related terms that are practically a foreign language. Avoid the pressure and unsettling feeling when facing the baffling menu at Starbucks, especially when looking for drinks that won't offend your waistline. Read on for what you need to know and understand about coffee. Make ordering simple, and truly indulge in your caffeinated beverage without the guilt!

Woman in Line at Coffee Shop

Basic coffee 101: Coffee and espresso

Coffee is produced from roasted seeds or coffee beans grown from a coffee plant. It consists of various roasts and blends originating from exotic locations worldwide. Drip coffee is prepared after hot water drips through coarse grinds, filtering into a pot. Drip coffee is commonly the morning caffeinated staple in households and is also the cheapest beverage at Starbucks with the lowest amount of calories, besides water. Often consumers will add cream and sugar to sweeten the acidic drink, and too many pour in sugary creamers -- a crime to any authentic coffee connoisseur. Only coffee bought in bulk tin cans really deserve these kinds of additives.Acquire a taste for black coffee to avoid drinking too many calories, and if necessary, use calorie-free sweeteners or limited half and half.Espresso, on the other hand, has a shorter brew time than drip coffee and is the foundation for all coffee drinks. It's a combination of several different types of coffee bean, and is ground finely as opposed to the more coarse grind used for drip coffee. Espresso is produced in -- what else? -- an espresso machine as a shot after boiling hot water is passed through the grinds.

Americano

Drip coffee's closest sister is the Americano, which is espresso shots and hot water. An Americano is the second coffee beverage after drip coffee recommended for drinkers who want to stay trim. The Americano, unlike regular coffee, has the caramelly and nutty taste of espresso. Also compared to the other espresso-based drinks, the extra shot is an added caffeinated boost and benefit. This coffee beverage is less bitter than coffee and even tastier over ice for a chilling pick-me-up from work or while running errands during a warm afternoon.

Latte

Consider this beverage as providing your daily intake of calcium. Lattes consist of a number of espresso shots depending on the size and request, steamed milk , flavored syrup if desired and topped with foam. Without syrup, a latte has a similar coffee taste yet is thicker and creamier in consistency. For the calorie-conscious, order your latte with non-fat milk and sugar-free syrup, or even just ask for 1 pump to taste slight sweetness. For the weary dieter, opt out of flavor extracts completely.

Mocha

This coffee drink is an adult excuse for a hot chocolate craving. Made with espresso shots, pumps of mocha sauce and steamed milk, this drink can really pack on the extra calories -- especially when topped with whip or when additional festive peppermint syrup is requested during the holiday season. (Keep in mind during the winter months a grande size has 4 pumps of chocolate sauce and 4 pumps of peppermint syrup, which adds up to 180 calories for the syrup alone.) Like a latte, you can order fewer pumps of mocha, which cuts back on sweetness and any self-destructive guilt for cheating your diet.

Cappuccino

The cappuccino is similar to a latte but made with less steamed milk, which is replaced by extra foam. Consider using non-fat milk to keep it light. Adding syrup is definitely not recommended for cappuccinos. Therefore, to drink cappuccino as a true coffee connoisseur, there's really no need to even battle the syrup dilemma.

Vivanno Nourishing Blends vs the Frappuccino

As if the second half of the drink's name, "Nourishing Blends," isn't enough to make you want to zealously order, "I'll have the very healthy-good-for-you-nutritious-Vivanno Nourishing Blends," then maybe these facts will: The Banana Chocolate Blend is a sweet smoothie alternative to any Frappuccino, containing an entire banana, cocoa, whey protein and fiber powder. On the fruity side, the Orange Mango Banana Blend, made with Naked juice, is refreshingly satisfying. Try one for breakfast or to fulfill a craving for a delightful treat through a straw that's no more than 270 calories and 5g of fat.

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