With a collection of flavored syrups and frappes complete with cookie straws, Starbucks is more synonymous with sugar-high than healthy treat. But it turns out that the everywhere chain has a whole underground menu of refreshing, good-for-you drinks. Sorry Starbucks, the secret is finally out: Your #purpledrink iced teas topped with fresh blackberries are just too pretty to not Instagram.
“There are over 170,000 ways baristas can customize beverages at Starbucks,” a spokesperson for the brand tells Well+Good. Now, obviously not all of those are healthy, but the rep implies (wink wink, nudge nudge) to us that you can pretty much order whatever cool combo you come up with using one of Starbucks’ 10 iced beverages that are less than 100 calories.
The company is still using sugar as opposed to healthier alternatives, but it turns out that not everything is overloaded with the sweet stuff. (Pro tip: Ask them to go light on the syrup.) And while almond milk isn’t offered yet, they do have coconut milk, so avoiding dairy while asking for an off-the-menu Thai iced tea is still an option. (For that, request an Iced Awake Tea Latte with coconut milk and a teeny bit of vanilla syrup.)
One hack that instantly adds antioxidants to your order: ask for fruit. It’s not on the menu, but baristas will top off your order with fresh blackberries or strawberries. The brand won’t specify whether they keep other fruits on hand, but hey, you might as well ask on your next trip and see what happens.
If you want to try the Instagram-famous Starbucks Purple Drink, here’s how to order it like a pro: Ask for the Teavana Shaken Iced Passion Tango Tea with soy milk, vanilla syrup (or skip it entirely, if you’re cutting back on sugar), and blackberries. And if you want to invent your own drink, do it—the baristas won’t get mad and intentionally spell your name wrong for subtle revenge. “Our customers are always trying out new ways to customize their favorite drinks—Purple Drink is a perfect example of that,” the spokesperson says. Talk about a better buzz.
Need more healthy beverage inspiration? Juice Generation’s latest menu items are a little bit of heaven (and hell). Or, you can start your morning off the Selena Gomez way.