Starbucks Just Launched a New Iced Pistachio Cream Cold Brew for Winter—But Is It Healthy?

Here’s what you need to know about the coffee chain’s newest addition.

a photo of the Starbucks Pistachio cream cold brew
Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks

You can always count on Starbucks for seasonal fare that evoke any mood, whether it's a cool and fruity refresher, a festive and cozy latte or a fun new drink to open the new year. This year, the coffee chain has unveiled a new twist on its nuttiest and creamiest drinks—the Pistachio Cream Cold Brew.

The drink will be a win for folks who already love chilly, creamy drinks like the simple Cold Brew with Cold Foam or the sweeter Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam—and it's a more refreshing way to enjoy the Pistachio Latte, which first arrived on the scene last winter. Each drink starts with cold brew sweetened with vanilla syrup and served over ice, then topped with pistachio cream cold foam and salted brown-butter cookie sprinkles. It's a sweet, nutty treat perfect for warmer winter days.

Here's how the nutritional information breaks down for a 12-ounce tall Pistachio Cream Cold Brew:

  • Calories: 210
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 35mg
  • Sodium: 85mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 25g
  • Total Sugars: 25g
  • Protein: 2g

That means a small Pistachio Cream Cold Brew is within our suggested calorie and sodium parameters for a drink or dessert, but folks who are eating a heart-healthy or diabetes-friendly diet may want to watch out for the saturated fat and sugar content. Saturated fat's reputation is a little complicated, but those with heart disease or who have a high risk of a cardiac event may want to play it safe and avoid high levels of saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends aiming for 13 grams of saturated fat or less each day, which means this drink would take you halfway to that daily goal.

Of course, to lower the saturated fat content, you could always ask for half the amount of cold foam on top of your drink. That change would lower the level of added sugar as well, but you could also knock off the vanilla syrup in the cold brew if you want to cut back on added sugar or are watching your blood sugar.

If the cold foam isn't a must-have for you—and you don't love the saturated fat content in this new drink—then you might want to opt for a simpler Iced Pistachio Latte. The latte contains 2.5 grams of saturated fat, which is still slightly above what we would recommend for a heart-healthy dessert, but also much lower than the 7 grams in the cold foam version. But since the iced latte has pistachio sauce and milk in the recipe, you'll also find higher levels of added sugar, sodium—200 mg as opposed to 85 mg—and five more grams of protein. With 7 grams of protein in a tall Iced Pistachio Latte, that drink would actually be a high-protein dessert option!

No matter what you end up ordering in the coffee line this winter, just remember to be kind to your barista—and maybe bake a copycat Starbs treat like our Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins to pair it with.

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