No place loves fall quite as much as Starbucks, and to celebrate the beginning of the autumn season, the beloved coffee chain introduced a new BFF to hang out with the pumpkin spice latte this year — the toasted graham latte (also affectionately known as the TGL). A beautiful blend of graham and sweet cream flavors, the TGL is the first new fall espresso drink to come from Starbucks in four years — but does the toasted graham latte have caffeine? Coffee addicts, rejoice! The answer is a resounding yes.
Honestly, I have always been a little wary of coffee drinks that don't have caffeine. Like, I see you, percolating pot of decaf, but I don't get you. Starbucks' latest seasonal beverage clearly understands this — while its toasted graham syrup makes this creamy latte taste fondly like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it's the shot of espresso that really makes this drink shine. This limited time novelty drink isn't too heavy, or too sweet, and it feels like you're drinking a legitimate cup of coffee — its flavor profile is great, but it's the rich espresso that stays with you.
And of course, as we know from science, espresso contains caffeine. Wondering how this drink stacks up to some of your other pick-me-ups? Let's break it down:
How much caffeine is in the toasted graham latte?
Starbucks has always been transparent when it comes to revealing the inner makeup and ingredients of its signature espresso drinks. According to the TGL's nutritional page on Starbucks' website, a grande toasted graham latte contains 150 mg of caffeine. (For reference, a grande cup of Starbucks' freshly brewed blonde roast contains 360 mg of caffeine.) Translation? A toasted graham latte may not exactly give you the jolt of energy you need to stick it out through an all-nighter, but it does provide the perfect kick to get you through that monster otherwise known as the 3 p.m. slump.
How does it compare to the pumpkin spice latte?
If you are trying to choose between the PSL and the TGL, don't let caffeine be a factor — both seasonal drinks have equal amounts of caffeine (150 mgs). The difference is truly in the experience. If you want a classic drink that feels like autumn just wrapped you up in a bear hug with its big ol' pumpkin spice arms, then the pumpkin spice latte is your beverage. But if you're looking for a more subtle coffee drink that still feels seasonal, then I would pick the toasted graham latte. It's really just so good, you guys.
Can you get the toasted graham latte without caffeine?
This is Starbucks we're talking about — go ahead and order whatever the heck you want. Just like you can order a cinnamon dolce latte without espresso, you can ask to have this Starbucks drink whipped up without espresso, too. Alternatively, if you want even more of a boost, ask for an extra shot of espresso. Truly, it's whatever floats your toasted graham-loving boat. Do you.
No matter how you order your toasted graham latte, know that you are in for a treat. The drink became available in Starbucks stores nationwide on Sept. 23, and is here for your sipping pleasure through the winter. And then? Well then it's red cup season, y'all.
Want to take your coffee-drinking experience up a notch? Check out our deep-fried pumpkin spice latte, and visit Bustle on YouTube.