7 Hacks To Make Your Favorite Starbucks Drinks Vegan

And they'll keep you plenty caffeinated.

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Whether you’re eating plant-based for the first time or you’ve been vegan long before “being vegan” was a thing, Starbucks has more options than you’ll know what to do with. In addition to menu items that happen to be plant-based, there are lots of Starbucks vegan drink hacks that will keep you plenty caffeinated, as well as animal byproduct-free.

Starbucks is no stranger to vegan drinks. In 2018, the company offered a limited-time plant-based blended cold brew. The Starbucks Protein Blended Cold Brew came in two flavors, almond and mocha, and was made with non-dairy milk and a vegan protein. Unfortunately, the drink is no longer available, and it should be noted that Starbucks’ current protein drink powders are not vegan.

But fear not vegan friends, there are still plenty of options if you’re looking for dairy-free and plant-based Starbucks drinks. For starters, if you’re wondering whether a sauce or topping uses animal byproducts, try using the Starbucks customize feature online. You’ll be able to see details like whether a specialty drink sauce is made with dairy (e.g. mocha sauce is vegan-friendly while caramel sauce uses milk). If you need some more inspiration, here are seven vegan hacks for Starbucks you’ll want to try ASAP:


Try The New Dairy-Free Drinks (just make sure to avoid honey)


At the start of March, Starbucks introduced two new non-dairy drinks including the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso  and  Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso.

The Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso is made by combining the classic Blonde Espresso with brown sugar, cinnamon, and oat milk. The Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso again uses the Blonde Espresso but with cocoa, malt, and almond milk.


Sub Out Sauces For Syrups

Unlike their sauces, many of Starbucks’s syrups are vegan. If you’re craving something chocolatey, ask for a Coconutmilk Mocha Macchiato with a regular Mocha base, instead of the White Chocolate Mocha base, and caramel syrup instead of caramel sauce.


A Seasonal Drink With No Whip, Please

As PETA points out in a blog post about vegan Starbucks drinks, a handful of seasonal drinks are vegan including the Peppermint Mocha, Chestnut Praline Latte, and Toffee Almondmilk Hot Cocoa. Just make sure you ask for your non-dairy milk of choice and no whip. Unfortunately, the famed Pumpkin Spice Latte is not vegan as its sauce includes dairy. However, you can order a makeshift vegan PSL by asking for a Vanilla Latte with Soy milk, Almondmilk, or Coconutmilk topped with a few shakes of the Pumpkin Spice topping mix, which is vegan.


Want Something Frothy? Try The Nitro Cold Brew


While the Starbucks cold foams are dairy-based, you can still get your caffeine and "cream" fix with a Nitro Cold Brew. The texture is smoother than your standard cold brew or iced coffee, and the bubbles from the nitrogen add a foamy head to the drink. Add a pump of your favorite syrup to make it even sweeter.


Start With An Americano & Build From There

If you know you’re craving caffeine but aren’t sure what else, start with espresso and go from there. Add coconut milk and hazelnut syrup to an iced Americano for a nutty, cold drink. Ask for a pump of mocha syrup in your hot Americano for a subtler vegan mocha.


Order A Frappuccino But Avoid Java Chips

Like Starbucks Lattes, many of the Starbucks Frappuccinos can be made vegan with a few simple swaps. Ask for no whip, your non-dairy milk of choice, and make sure to sub out sauces for syrups. Also, Starbucks Java Chips are made with milk. You can still get a Java Chip Frapp, which starts with a mocha base that happens to be vegan. Just make sure you ask for no Java Chips.

You can also try vegan Frappuccinos like the Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino (ask for caramel syrup instead of the sauce) or the secret menu Nutella Frapp (a mocha frappucino with hazelnut syrup, non-dairy milk, and no whip).


Want Something Pretty? Get An Ombré Iced Coffee

Just because you can't partake in whipped cream and cold foam doesn't mean you can't get a pretty drink. Ask for an iced coffee with your non-dairy milk of choice on top and say you don't want the two mixed.

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