Updated January 2023! The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is an international coffeehouse chain that started over 50 years ago in Southern California. If you’re a fan of black coffee or love your tea straight up, then this could be your perfect caffeine stop. But if you like flavored beverages, make sure you heed the dairy-free warnings below.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Dairy-Free Menu Guide for
They offer an interesting nutrition and allergen guide, which looks very unfriendly to dairy-free guests. In fact, it’s one degree shy of useless since it lists all the size options rather than ingredient options. So we did some sleuthing to uncover the dairy-free options at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Dairy-Free & Vegan Beverages on the Menu
- Coffee (Hot, Cold Brew, and Iced)
- Americano (Hot or Iced)
- Espresso Shot (Single or Double)
- Tea (Hot, Iced, and Sweet)
- Cold Brew Tea (Mango, Peach Jasmine, Lemonade, Raspberry, Blood Orange)
- Bottled Water
- Bottled Juice
Sub the Milk to Make These Drinks Dairy-Free
- Cold Brew Coffee (Regular / Nitro)
- Cold Brew Vanilla Bean Latte (Regular / Nitro; sub vanilla bean sauce/syrup)
- Cold Brew Pumpkin Latte (Regular / Nitro; sub vanilla bean sauce/syrup; seasonal)
- Cappuccino (Hot / Iced)
- Latte (Hot / Iced)
- Café Au Lait
- Flat White
- Café Vanilla (sub vanilla bean sauce/syrup)
- Vanilla Americano (Hot / Iced; sub vanilla bean sauce/syrup)
- Pumpkin Latte (sub vanilla bean sauce/syrup) (seasonal)
- Vanilla Iced Coffee (sub vanilla bean sauce/syrup)
- Vanilla Latte (Hot / Iced; sub vanilla bean sauce/syrup)
Dairy-Free Milk Beverages: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf now offers almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and soy milk. Not all varieties are at every location, and they do have an additional charge for the dairy-free substitution. Also, make sure a dairy-free milk is used for any foam, or hold the foam.
Heads Up! The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf uses their own flavored powders for their drinks, which all have a milk base (including their vanilla and matcha powders). Most of their syrups also contain milk ingredients (including the caramel and chocolate syrups). But you can substitute the Vanilla Bean Sauce/ Syrup, which is dairy-free, but contains honey, so it isn’t strictly vegan. Just make sure no whip is added to your flavored order!
Vanilla Bean Syrup Note: The vegan informational page on The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf website makes it sound like the vanilla bean syrup contains milk. But we’ve verified with them on several occasions that honey is the non-vegan culprit with that syrup, not milk. They’ve just never updated their website. But as always, double check before ordering! They can show you the ingredients.
Dairy-Free & Vegan Food at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
- Plain Bagel
- Everything Bagel
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (select locations)
- Vegan Chocolate Brownie (select locations)
- Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich (seasonal; not vegan)
- Apples & Peanut Butter Picnic Box
- Fruit Cup
- Beanfield’s Chips
- Kettle Chips (select flavors, see labels)
- Oat Cups (Modern Oats or Umpqua Oats)
- Lenny & Larry’s The Complete Cookies
- Sabra Hummus Snack Packs with Pretzels
Heads Up! The food menu can vary quite a bit between Coffee Bean locations. The information above covers what you might find at their corporate owned shops. You might find an additional option or two at your location. The Impossible Sandwich is not made to order, so you can’t order it dairy-free. The food items at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are premade.
This Post is for Informational Purposes Only
Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, food sourcing, and restaurant protocols are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure they can accommodate your situation. This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice.
There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.
Each location of a chain restaurant has different management and staff, and some might have different owners. This means differences in processes, ingredients used, menu options, and food sourcing can occur. Always verify the safety of your order for your needs at your current location.
Where to Find The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was founded over 50 years ago, so they’ve amassed quite a few locations. They have over 1000 shops throughout the U.S. and in 31 other countries. See the website below to find a store.
They lack transparency and have few dairy-free options
I used to love The Coffee Bean, and I do give them props for having multiple vegan milks available and (in some locations) vegan brownies and banana nut bread. I have three problems though:
1. The huge surcharge on non-dairy milks. It’s just not fair or reasonable to charge so much.
2. Lack of options. If you look at the website as of 05/16/21, there are ZERO completely dairy free flavored drinks.
3. Lack of transparency. It’s frankly ridiculous to have three different vanilla products, one of which always has milk (vanilla powder), one which at some point did not have dairy but did have honey and was therefore not vegan (vanilla sauce), and one which was at some point vegan (vanilla *bean* sauce/syrup). I check ingredients of things I’ve had before just because I know things change, but I still think The Coffee Bean should have made it clearer to customers when they changed their sauces/syrups to all have dairy in them.
Peet’s, Philz, Starbucks, etc. all came out with actually clearly labeled and vegan products this year, so Coffee Bean has totally lost my business until they stop being so pro-dairy. 🙁
Response from Go Dairy Free
We agree, it’s chaotic! Yes, as noted above the only dairy-free drinks “on the menu” are the ones we have listed, which are basic options. Custom orders are needed for anything “fancy.”