Craving your favorite coffee drink, but worried about whether or not your daily pleasure is free of animal products? Want something a little more exciting than a cup of coffee with soy milk? Or do you just want to make sure that what you’re drinking is vegan? Look no further! I’m taking up the challenge of figuring it out for you. I dug into two of the nations’ biggest coffee chains: Starbucks and Peet’s. Not a regular at either? Let me know where you get your coffee! Without further ado, here’s your go-to guide for enjoying vegan drinks at the coffee shop:
The Vegan Guide to Starbucks
So you love Starbucks? I’m not surprised. It’s the #1 coffee joint in the US – and it should be, since it’s delicious! Okay, maybe I’m a little biased, since I’m a barista there, but working there is very helpful in figuring out what products are dairy-free.
Starbucks offers soy milk that can be used in place of dairy milk in any drink. That means you can get your favorite latte or Frappuccino with soy milk. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will be free of animal products, though. Make sure to ask for your drinks with no whipped cream, and don’t use any of the drizzles – the caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla drizzle all have dairy in them. The same applies to white mocha, pumpkin spice, caramel brulee, and dark caramel (for the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccinos). Same goes for the chocolate chips used in the Java Chip and Double Chocolatey Chip Frappuccinos. Depending on how you feel about refined white sugar, you may want to avoid the flavored syrups and the Frappuccino bases (the light Frap base has dairy, but the regular and creme base don’t).
So what can you drink? Plenty! In the mood for a Mocha? Go for it – the mocha syrup is vegan. The mocha drizzle is perfectly fine too, as it’s the same stuff. Don’t want to miss out on the macchiatos? Try subbing the mocha drizzle instead of the caramel/hazelnut/vanilla! You can also go wild with the iced coffees and iced lattes (soy, of course). Not a coffee drinker? Try the teas! The Teavana teas – both hot and iced – are all vegan, including the Oprah Chai (watch out for the regular Tazo Chai tea concentrate if you don’t eat honey, though). The refreshers are also vegan – I’m partial to the Berry Hibiscus, but the Valencia Orange and Cool Lime are great, too. Want a smoothie? Both the Strawberry and the Orange Mango smoothies can be made vegan – just ask for soy milk and no protein powder. You can even get apple juice with cinnamon dolce syrup if you’re in the mood for some apple cider. See? I bet there are more options than you expected! What are you most surprised that you can still order? Please leave a comment.
The Vegan Guide to Peet’s
Peet’s is a little more vegan-friendly, as they offer both soy milk and almond milk! If you’re one of many who prefer almond milk, Peet’s is your best bet. In fact, ordering vegan from Peet’s is almost too easy! Since I’m not as knowledgeable about Peet’s, I contacted their customer service to make sure the information I’m providing is totally correct. I was shocked when they responded (very quickly, I might add!) and said the only things there that are not dairy-free are the White Chocolate sauce and the Caramel sauce. Provided that you ask for soy or almond milk and no whipped cream, you can get almost whatever you want.
Peet’s has some great options, too – try a Dark Chocolate Mocha Freddo (an iced blended drink) with almond milk, or a Chai Freddo! The Mayan Mocha is to die for as well – it’s a spicy, cinnamon-y mocha flavor. They also have Latte Macchiatos – it’s a latte done affogato style, which means the espresso shots are poured on top of the steamed (dairy-free) milk. If you’re not a coffee-drinker, Peet’s has plenty of tea too, including matcha (green tea) and chai lattes. They also have tea coolers (Jasmine Lime, Berry Pomegranate, and Hibiscus Breeze). With so many options, you’re bound to find something you like!
Good News for the Coffee Shop Vegan!
As you can see, there are always ways to enjoy your favorite coffees, teas, and smoothies on-the-go without dairy – and it’s not even that hard! If you prefer almond milk though, Peet’s is your go-to. Has this made you consider switching from Starbucks to Peet’s or vice versa? Let me know!
Armed with this knowledge, go out and enjoy your coffee without worry! What are you waiting for?