Autumn is the season for cozy sweaters, boots and a warm beverage. As furnaces kick on and wood stoves begin to crackle while warming the fall air, a stop at Starbucks can warm you from the inside out. In addition to the standard coffee fare, the company has a variety of vegan options to bring to the mix. While plain coffee itself is a vegan option, those trademark blends often include dairy, so delve into plant-based options instead and enjoy a host of new flavors as a bonus.
Take it straight
Coffee is naturally plant-based and vegan. It’s gluten-free too. The easiest way to enjoy your shot of caffeine without the fillers is to take it straight. There’s regular black coffee (who even knows how to order that?), or an Americano with a shot of espresso that gives it a frothy top without additional calories or dairy. For a real morning jolt, you can go with straight espresso too.
Make it creamy or flavored
Of course, there are vegan milks to bring in the creamy flavor without relying on animals. Add some almond, coconut, soy or oat milk to turn the basic black coffee into a smooth treat.
Starbucks also offers an array of flavors, but not all of them are vegan. Some are seasonal, such as gingerbread and pumpkin. Others are staples on the menu in most locations. Look for almond, hazelnut, macadamia, mocha, vanilla, Irish cream, and peach. If caramel is your favorite flavor, skip the drizzle, which is not vegan, and request a shot of the syrup instead. Watch for the thicker options like white mocha, pistachio and pumpkin spice that are not vegan.
The mixologists at Starbucks know the addition of cream to coffee is popular, so they’ve put the blend on the menu as a Flat White, which is a combination of espresso and steamed milk. Make your order vegan by swapping in almond, coconut or soy milk.
They even have a vegan-ready option in the Almond Milk Honey Flat White, which is made from ristretto shots of blonde espresso and steamed almond milk and finished with a hint of honey.
Enjoy tea time
For tea, you can select from a range of traditional flavors such as black, green, chai and herbal with notable blends like Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Honey Citrus Mint, Jade Citrus Mint, Mint Majesty and Peach Tranquility.
Have your pumpkin spice latte and drink it too
The traditional pumpkin spice latte (PSL) is a fall treat that instills cravings at the drop of the first leaf. However, a standard PSL is made using whole or 2% milk and milk foam. Then it’s adorned with pumpkin spice topping and whipped cream. Basically, it would never fit into the definition of vegan.
But don’t give up on catering to that fall craving for a PSL so quickly. The pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove in the pumpkin spice are the central component of the flavor, and it’s plant-based with no animal products. That’s good news because you can mix it in a way that suits the vegan profile by simply ordering a plain or vanilla latte with pumpkin spice topping. Skip the pumpkin spice sauce since it also contains milk.
Honey Oat Milk Latte
This already-veganized latte option is available to order in many locations. It’s a combination of oat milk and espresso, with a hint of honey and a toasted honey topping that brings a flavor they describe as “a savory tribute to all things sweet and salty.”
Apple Crisp Macchiato
Pumpkin spice garners a lot of attention in the fall months, but remember it’s also apple season. The signature recipe at Starbucks to celebrate the flavor is the Apple Crisp Macchiato, which the company describes saying, “Layered flavors of apple and brown sugar meld like the filling of a gooey apple pie in harmony with espresso, steamed milk and a caramelized-spiced apple drizzle—a nostalgic autumn pick-me-up.” Obviously not vegan approved. However, with a quick swap to a plant-based milk, it will be.
Steamed Apple Juice
Sticking with the crisp fall apple theme, an easy order with no substitutions is the Steamed Apple Juice. It’s exactly what the name implies — a steamy cup of warm apple juice with a single ingredient straight from the fruity source.
Go with the hot cocoa
Starbucks knows hot cocoa is a ubiquitous fall tradition, and the restaurant responded with a flavor vegans can enjoy. Swap out the standard dairy milk with your favorite nut milk option, hold the whipped cream and warm up with the mocha-based delight.
Grab a snack
Starbucks has also expanded its food menu to offer vegan options. Try out the plain, cinnamon raisin and sprouted bagels with an avocado spread instead of cream cheese, or dive into a healthy blueberry oatmeal for breakfast. Later in the day, get a Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box, which is completely plant-based and packed with calories, protein and fiber to keep you going.
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