This dairy free Starbucks post was updated in 2018 with food and beverage changes and their new allergen notice! Before you listen to the rumors, read this.
Oh how Starbucks has evolved over the years. When I first posted about this mega coffee house chain, it was to share the dairy free versions of their “new” Vivanno Nourishing blends. Those have since vanished from the menu. And sadly, their wonderful Tazo tea menu has also been replaced by an overly sweet, floral Teavana line-up. However, for dairy free Starbucks coffee drinkers or a quick vegan nosh on the go, the options have actually expanded.
What’s New? The Latest Dairy-Free Additions
August 14, 2018 – Starbucks has added plant-based Protein Blended Cold Brews to their menus nationwide. These smoothie-like drinks are made with slow-steeped Starbucks Cold Brew, alternative milk beverage and plant-based proteins. The new beverages are offered in Almond and Cacao and are available at participating Starbucks stores across the U.S and on Mobile Order & Pay while supplies last.
Starbucks Almond Protein Blended Cold Brew
Starbucks baristas craft this beverage by blending Starbucks Cold Brew with Almondmilk, plant-based protein, almond butter, Banana Date Fruit Blend, and ice. It is 12 grams of plant-based protein.
Ingredients – ice, almondmilk (filtered water, almonds, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, xanthan gum, guar gum, vitamin a palmitate, vitamin d2 (ergocalciferol)), brewed coffee, banana date fruit blend (coconut sugar, banana puree, water, apple juice concentrate, date juice concentrate, natural flavors, spice), plant-based protein blend (pea protein, banana powder, brown rice protein, xanthan gum, medium chain triglycerides (from palm oil), corn starch, natural flavor), almond butter (blanched almonds, sunflower oil).
Starbucks Cacao Protein Blended Cold Brew
Starbucks baristas craft this beverage by blending Starbucks Cold Brew with Coconutmilk, plant-based protein, cacao powder, Banana Date Fruit Blend, and ice. It has 10 grams of plant-based protein.
Ingredients – ice, coconut milk (water, coconut cream, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, coconut water concentrate, natural flavors, sea salt, carrageenan, gellan gum, corn dextrin, xanthan gum, guar gum, vitamin a palmitate, vitamin d2 (ergocalciferol)), brewed coffee, banana date fruit blend (coconut sugar, banana puree, water, apple juice concentrate, date juice concentrate, natural flavors, spice), plant-based protein blend (pea protein, banana powder, brown rice protein, xanthan gum, medium chain triglycerides (from palm oil), corn starch, natural flavor), cacao blend (chocolate liquor, high fat cocoa powder, coconut sugar).
- Make the flavor yours: Request a whole banana in place of Banana Date Fruit Blend and adjust the amount of almond butter or cacao powder (or even add a little bit of both!).
- Pump up the protein: Add an extra packet of plant-based protein to double the amount in your cup.
- More coffee flavor: Add an extra shot or two of Starbucks Espresso Roast.
- Enjoy it decaf: Add a shot or two of decaf Starbucks Espresso Roast in place of Starbucks Cold Brew.
Dairy Free Starbucks Drinks
We have all the details on the dairy free Starbucks beverages, including hot, cold, and pre-packaged. I have also added their new allergen information, which was sent out via an alert in July 2018. It doesn’t change much, but was intended for transparency and awareness.
Dairy-Free Milk, Always
All Starbucks locations now have coconut milk beverage and soymilk on hand for whipping up dairy-free lattes, mochas, and more. Most locations also have non-dairy almond milk available. The downside: you do have to pay extra for this “upgrade”.
But use caution with the add-ons. Syrup might seem like a dairy-free no-brainer, but a few Starbucks flavors contain milk. Not to mention the whipped cream toppers and powdered blenders. See this great post for specific tips on how to order vegan and dairy free Starbucks coffee drinks.
But Are They Allergy-Friendly?
Recently, I’ve heard many rumors about Starbucks changing their policies for handling allergens. As it turns out, they haven’t changed their processes, but they are trying to be more transparent. As before, pitchers should be rinsed and fresh pitchers can be requested, but the presence of milk is still abundant at each shop. Those with a severe milk allergy should use caution when ordering drinks and food, and might want to stick to safe pre-packaged and pre-bottled options. Many people, including myself, go basic with simple coffee or tea.
Here is their new allergen alert:
Starbucks reviews its practices on an ongoing basis to look for better ways to work and provide transparency to our customers and partners (employees). Starting July 10 , Starbucks removed dairy labels from steaming and blending pitchers. Because our beverages are made using shared equipment (steaming wands, blender pitcher, rinsers) the removal of the sticker is more transparent and realistic of how the pitchers are used. As a beverage standard, our baristas use a rinsed pitcher for each handcrafted beverage. If you have questions or concerns, please ask your barista to remake the drink using a fresh pitcher and please remember that this does not guarantee that the beverage will be allergen-free.
In addition to hot beverages, there are many cool choices for dairy free Starbucks customers. For starters, several years ago, Starbucks reformulated their frappuccino formula to make it suitable for dairy-free and vegan visitors. But be sure to have your frappuccino prepared with dairy-free milk beverage and syrups. See this post for specifics.
Starbucks also offers “handcrafted” sodas and Refreshers. At last check, they were all dairy free, including some Pink Drinks made with coconutmilk. But double check before ordering, because the ingredients can change at any time. And of course, they always offer various iced teas for Teavana fans.
For pre-packaged options, Evolution Fresh juices and smoothies are available. But be warned that most of the smoothies from this brand now contains milk. Stick to their bottled juices (not protein drinks) and verify the ingredients. They’ve also started selling bottled Frappuccino Chilled Coffee Drinks with Almondmilk, in Vanilla and Mocha. The DoubleShot Smoothies with Almond Milk are also dairy-free, but these are being sold at grocers. We’ve been told they aren’t selling in Starbucks shops. Please check the packaging before purchasing to ensure that these products are safe for your needs.
Sip These Signature Beverages
You can request them to make many of their beverages without dairy, but they do have a few specialties that are specifically made dairy free. At last check, they were the Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte, Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte (these two contain no syrups), Hazelnut Mocha Coconutmilk Macchiato and Matcha Green Tea Soymilk Latte. Use caution with some of the other specialty drinks containing “almondmilk” or “coconutmilk” as they might have dairy added.
Dairy Free Starbucks Eats
On their website (below), Starbucks now includes allergen information for all of their standard food items. These can change often, but at last check (July 2018) they listed the following items as not containing milk:
- Pumpkin Bread
- 8-Grain Roll (also vegan)
- Plain Bagel (also vegan)
- Sprouted Grain Vegan Bagel (also vegan)
- Cinnamon Raisin Bagel (also vegan)
- Macadamia Oat Cookie (also vegan)
- Classic Oatmeal (also vegan)
- Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal (also vegan)
- Seared Steak, Egg & Tomatillo Wrap
- Lentils & Vegetable Protein Bowl with Brown Rice (also vegan)
- Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich
- Egg Salad Sandwich
Again, see their menu to confirm and for ingredient information.
Depending on the location, you might find vegan Hippeas packs, Kind bars, and Justin’s dark chocolate peanut and almond butter cups. And they have Justin’s Classic Almond Butter and Chocolate Hazelnut Butter single-serve packets for topping their bagels. Starbucks also released 3D Dream Pops made with non-dairy ice cream (pictured above). But they were initially launched in just five Los Angeles area locations. Hopefully the distribution expands!
Starbucks regularly changes their menu, and we do our best to update this post. But please KINDLY comment if you see any changes or updates that need to be made. As always, verify that the ingredients and production are safe for your needs. Ingredients are subject to change at any time. And there is a lot of milk flying about in Starbucks, which can pose risks for people with a milk allergy.
Where to Find Starbucks
They have locations around the globe. To find addresses and hours, visit the website below.