Starbucks Java Chip vs. coffee Nibs: which one is better?

Java in the coffee world simply implies the presence of coffee. I am addicted to the Starbucks java chip Frappuccino mainly due to the mocha taste that comes with Starbucks’ java chips. I recently bumped into an old friend and we went to Starbucks for a drink. We ordered a java chip Frappuccino and as we chatted away, she commented on the java chips and said that she preferred coffee nibs. Like many people, I did not get the difference between coffee nibs and java chips, and after some research, I came up with this post to demonstrate their difference. By the end, you will know which one is better, so keep reading.

What are the differences between Starbucks Java chips vs. Coffee Nibs?


Java Chip

Coffee Nibs


Confectionery sugar, cocoa, chocolate mass, cookie crumbs

Roasted and crushed coffee


Taste profile

Sweet, chocolaty

Bitter, earthy,chocolaty

Caffeine content/nutritional value

160 calories, 8g fat, 22g carbs, 14g sugar, and 2g proteins

O calories, o sugar, o fat, 6mg of caffeine per coffee bean

Availability/ Accessibility



Starbucks Java chip vs. Coffee nibs –How they compare

Starbucks Java Chip vs. coffee Nibs

What it’s made of (ingredients)

The Starbucks java chips are made of confectionary sugar, cocoa, cookie crumbs, and chocolate mass. Confectionary sugar contains vanilla, sugar, palm kernel, and milk. Cookie crumbs contain wheat, palm oils, and processed cocoa.

On the other hand, coffee nibs are crushed roasted coffee beans that form small pieces of dark-brown particles.

In this category, the java chips win as they are made with more ingredients for more flavor.

Taste profile

The java chips are chocolaty with an intense sweetness due to the cookie crumbs and sugar. They are low in acidity due to the cocoa ingredient that is processed with alkali. They melt into the tongue and leave a lingering chocolate flavor.

The coffee nibs are bitter and have an earthy taste. They are low in sugar as they only contain roasted and crushed coffee beans.

In this category, the java chips win due to their intense, sweet taste and their ability to melt into drinks to incorporate the sweet chocolate flavor.

Caffeine content/nutritional value

The java chips at Starbucks have a significantly low amount of caffeine as they have no coffee. The only source of caffeine is the cocoa in them. A Grande crème Frappuccino with java chips only contains 15mg of caffeine. A serving of 35mg gives you 160 calories, 8g of fat, 22g of carbs, 14g of sugar, and 2g of proteins.

Coffee nibs are pure coffee, and therefore have high caffeine. A single coffee bean has 6mg of caffeine. Coffee has no sugar, calories, fat, or carbs.

In this category, the coffee nibs win as they are much healthier than java chips and give you a great caffeine boost.


You cannot get the java chips or their own, but you can get a drink that has them at any time of the year at Starbucks. You can get a java chip Frappuccino at any time at any Starbucks store.

On the other hand, the coffee nibs are used for making drinks and snacks and are always available all year round. You can have them in your Frappe of choice for a caffeine boost.

In this category, we get a draw as these two items are available all year round and are easily accessible.

Starbucks Java chip vs. coffee nibs- A comparison overview

Starbucks java chips –overview

Starbucks Java Chip vs. coffee Nibs

Starbucks java chips do not contain coffee on their own. The name java means coffee, and its meaning in this context denotes the use of these chips in coffee drinks. We liked the chocolaty taste of these chips and how easily they melted in our drinks and on the tongue. They are mild in cocoa, so the chocolate taste is not overbearing. However, they were too sugary and made the already sweet Frappe sweeter.

What we liked

  • The light cocoa notes
  • Low acidity
  • How easily they melted

What we didn’t like

  • Too sugary

Who it’s best suited for

  • These chips are great for those who love java chips drinks, and Frappes.

Starbucks coffee nibs-Overview

Starbucks Java Chip vs. coffee Nibs: which one is better?

Coffee nibs are great additions to drinks and are also used in baked goods like bread and muffins to give a sensational coffee flavor. We liked how they boosted the caffeine level of drinks and added a touch of caffeine to those drinks that did not come with coffee like smoothies. They were low in sugar and high in fiber. However, they were a little bitter when not completely dissolved in drinks.

What we liked

  • Low sugar
  • High caffeine
  • High fiber

What we didn’t like

  • A little bitter

Who it’s best suited for

  • These coffee nibs are great for those who love some extra caffeine boost without adding real coffee.

Final Verdict: So, which is better? – Starbucks java chips vs. coffee nibs

The java chips are better in taste, ingredients, and the flavor they add to any drink. Coffee nibs are also great, but they only taste like roasted coffee beans.


Are java chips more popular at Starbucks than coffee nibs?

Yes, they are more popular due to their demand for Frappuccino blends and other Starbucks drinks.

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