April 11, 2008

Starbucks Coffee


Yes, I am going to review Starbucks. Can you believe it? I can't help it... This review is long overdue.

Coffee. Totally vegan. Little beans dried & roasted to yummy perfection. Ground up, pulverized, seeping into the water to make a drink fit for the gods. I admit that I love coffee and can't seem to live without a cup a day. Now, I only drink decaf, so it's not the caffeine hit that draws me to my French press every morning: it's the FLAVOR.
Starbucks is not my favorite coffee house to visit, I prefer to brew my own coffee at home & carry it in my spiffy pink thermal coffee mug, but it's always comforting when in a new town or traveling to see the green emblem. It only means one thing: coffee!! For my money, though, Starbucks coffee served in the cafe almost has a burnt taste to it, very different from the stuff you buy in the bags at your local grocery store. But, it's awfully nice to have someone make you a special cup of coffee - you know, something other than "coffeemaker-supreme-with-cream&sugar". Plus, I think holding a Starbucks cup makes you look hip.

Ok, maybe not so much.

Going Vegan at Starbucks is one of the easiest things to do. My usual drink is a decaf mocha latte, soy, no whip. During the holidays I go all out & add a shot of peppermint. During the summer months, I get the peppermint mocha variation iced. Mmm...

Today, I met some friends for coffee at 9am to sit in the cushy chairs & chat about life for a while. Not quite an image out of Friends considering there were 2 toddlers running amok throwing trail mix everywhere, but it was a relaxing way to start the morning. I wasn't in the mood for a fancy chocolate flavored coffee and I wasn't in the mood to spend a lot of money. I ordered a tall decaf w/soy. Yup, that's it. Thinking I have the $1.75 to pay for this, I reach into my wallet to discover that I still have money on my Starbucks gift card given to me by one of my music students. Woo hoo! Free coffee! I should have splurged...

Want to fancy up your plain old coffee? Head over to their little cream & sugar station & mix yourself a spiced coffee at a fraction of the price they charge you at the counter for the same drink mixed by a barista! In a ratio of 2:1 sprinkle some cinnamon & nutmeg into your coffee. Add a dash or two of chocolate, couple shakes of the vanilla, dump in 1-3 Sugar in the Raw packets, stir, taste, adjust and Voila!: Mocha Spiced Coffee!!

My favorite part about ordering at Starbucks is that no one gives you a funny look when you ask for Soy Milk. In fact, I appreciate that at the Starbucks closest to me they take special care to verbally announce to the barista to use Soy instead of just relying on the little "S" on the paper cup.

Unfortunately, Starbucks uses Silk soy milk, which if you don't know is part of White Wave Foods a subsidiary of Dean Foods. This is a topic for another day, or perhaps a trip & comment over at Compassionate Cooks will reward you with better information than I can provide!!

STARBUCKS earns itself: 


Veg*n Vegas said...

Starbucks was my first place I went after becoming veg. I knew I could pull it off there.

I like the iced vanilla latte, soy, no dairy...but it does pack a wollop of calories. Only for a treat every now and then.

Probably I like it most because there is one by UMC that always has parking and it's a great place to kill a couple of hours while my mom gets her tests.

H. E. Smalley said...

The mocha syrup is vegan? Nothing derived from milk in it? I was disheartened when I found out that the pumpkin spice syrup isn't vegan-friendly. :( I even e-mailed Starbucks and called them and they would not let me know the ingredients in the syrups or simply what's vegan-friendly and what's not. I'm so bummed.

Lisa said...

I can't be 100% certain the mocha syrup is vegan, BUT it's never made me sick.

Anonymous said...

If you ask the baristas, they will gladly show you the containers so that you can see whether or not something is vegan friendly. But sad to say, the vanilly syrup is not vegan, nor is the chocolate syrup or chai. The chai is a regional thing, as some regions have chai that contains honey. Also, if you are strictly a dietary vegan, then Starbucks is fine. But if you are a vegan because you don't support the immoral treatment of animals, then you should know that Starbucks openly supports rodeos. I just found this out, which bums me out, because I love my Starbucks. :(

Lisa F. said...

Thank you so much! That's incredibly sweet of you!!

I actually moved to Los Angeles & restarted the blog here called: The Valley Vegan

Come read over there!!