Starbucks: Coffee Shop or Sugar Shop

The Hidden Sweet Tooth of a Coffee Giant

Greg J Barber


Starbucks, a name synonymous with coffee, might have a less-known but equally significant identity — a sugar dealer! While the coffee chain is celebrated for its diverse range of coffee-based beverages, a deeper dive into their menu reveals an astounding inclination towards sugar.

A Sugar Rush in Every Sip

Let’s start with the sugary staples that have become synonymous with the Starbucks experience:

  • Java Chip Frappuccino: A grande packs a whopping 60 grams of sugar​​.
  • Syrup Splurge: Regular syrups add about 5 grams of sugar per pump; a grande beverage with four pumps swirls in 20 grams of sugar​​.
  • Frappuccino Frenzy: Drinks like the Mocha Cookie Crumble and Caramel Frappuccinos contain 55 and 54 grams of sugar, respectively​​.
  • Venti Ventures: The Venti White Chocolate Mocha with whipped cream boasts around 20 teaspoons of sugar​​.

Coffee Beans vs. Sugar Cubes: The Unseen Competition

In contrast to these sweet numbers, Starbucks’ annual coffee bean usage stands at about 500 million beans, translating to over 5 billion cups of coffee, or 1.8 billion grams (1,800 metric tons) of coffee per week​​. The stark…