It is hard to deny that modern man loves coffee. I personally have become a fan of coffee substitutes since I stopped drinking “regular” coffee, but I have keenly noticed the increase in popularity of the major corporate coffee chain: Starbucks. I’ve started thinking about the best choices available for those of us working day in and day out to live a plant smart lifestyle, yet for those of you who still want coffee from Starbucks to be an occasional hard-to-resist treat. As it turns out, Starbucks is an unexpected minefield for those wanting to only eat (and drink) vegan.
I’d be the first admit, it is not always easy to achieve this. With so many product options at a major coffeehouse like Starbucks, it is easy to understand why you could become overwhelmed by the choices, and not really know what ingredients may be incorporated into your drink!
The simplest choices are sometimes the easiest to acknowledge as being vegan Starbucks options. A black coffee or tea are always going to be safe options, but I think we would all agree, few people go to Starbucks just for a really simple drink like this. As a result, it can be most beneficial for you to be aware of the best vegan Starbucks options available to you before even stepping foot inside this place of business.
The Soy Alternative
Something you may not have realized is that while many drink options include the usage of milk (skim and 2%), which are decidedly not vegan, you can request your Starbucks barista to use soy milk, which is a plant based protein source and milk alternative, in your drink. As a result, the menu at Starbucks opens up significantly for those trying to be vegan conscious.
Caution: Not all drinks are made the same. Even words that help define what is in the latte do not always use the same ingredients. For example, while the Caramel Soy Latte is acceptable for vegans when it has the caramel syrup, if they are using the caramel sauce/drizzle, this becomes a non-vegan drink. This caramel sauce is sold separately and is known as Fontana Caramel Sauce. The reason why it is not vegan acceptable is because it uses butter. The same is also true, surprisingly, of the cinnamon topping, as is found in the Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte. The actual flavoring of the drink is natural and vegan friendly, but the topping itself is not for vegans at all!
The Best Vegan Starbucks – Lattes
Vanilla Soy Latte
Hazelnut Soy Latte
Toffee Nut Soy Latte
Caramel Soy Latte
Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte
Coconut Soy Latte
Peppermint Soy Latte
Classic Soy Latte
Raspberry Soy Latte
The Best Vegan Starbucks - Specialty Drinks
Soy Green Tea Latte
Soy Earl Grey Tea Latte
Soy Awake Tea Latte
Soy Hot Chocolate
Soy Vanilla Rooibos Tea Latte
The Best Vegan Starbucks – Frappuccino’s
The Frappuccino is the trademarked brand of Starbuck’s frozen coffee beverages. The term has become relatively common to describe cold coffee drinks (and in some instances cold caffeinated drinks) when talking amongst family and friends. In a way, these drinks are a coffee based alternative to a milkshake or smoothie. As a result, most are not vegan friendly, but a few are fine when you request soy milk and no whipped cream.
Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
Cafe Vanilla Frappuccino
Green Tea Frappuccino
Coconut Cream Frappuccino
Mocha Coconut Frappuccino
The Best Vegan Starbucks – Coffee to Brew at Home
Don’t feel like dealing with the stress and anxiety that might come from wanting to stick to a vegan choice at Starbucks without the hassle of remembering all of the details? You might want to consider picking up a bag of Starbucks coffee that you can make at home. These tend to taste great, just like drinking a freshly made drink from Starbucks, but with the added convenience of being able to make yourself at home. Most importantly, these bags only include coffee beans, so you know they are certifiably vegan friendly.
While you can certainly pick up a bag of Starbucks coffee at Starbucks (and a number of other grocery store retailers), we have provided links below to Starbucks coffee products through Amazon as this enables you to support Plant Smart Living as we earn a small commission of each sale. Additionally, Amazon tends to provide more options that are available in brick-and-mortar retail locations both in terms of bag size and flavor selection because they are not limited to physical shelf space.
Starbucks Veranda Blend
Starbucks House Blend
Starbucks Breakfast Blend
Starbucks Espresso Roast Coffee
Starbucks French Roast Whole Bean Coffee
Starbucks Dark Italian Roast Ground Coffee
Starbucks Christmas Blend
Starbucks Dark Decaf Verona Blend
Starbucks Pike Place Blend
As you can see, the options are virtually limitless.
Starbucks can be a great treat every once in a while that can complement a plant smart diet if you so choose. At its core, coffee is a naturally occurring plant that has been grown for a long time to meet our needs for something tasty in the morning. I have personally come to take preference in a coffee substitute I can brew at home, but there is nothing wrong at all with enjoying the unique offerings Starbucks can have. Hopefully my list of vegan friendly Starbucks options will serve you well so you can make more informed decisions before visiting, and continue to keep on the straight and narrow of the plant based lifestyle!
Is there another vegan Starbucks drink or treat you enjoy that isn't on our list? We'd love to hear from you!
If your thinking about switching over to drinking coffee substitutes, be sure to check out our article "Kick Your Caffeine Addiction with 4 Coffee Substitutes."