What is a Starbucks non-dairy beverage?

Starbucks offers a variety of non-dairy milk alternatives for customers who prefer to avoid dairy or are lactose intolerant. Non-dairy options at Starbucks include soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and oat milk. These plant-based milks can be substituted in any Starbucks drink, including lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and more.

Some quick answers to common questions about Starbucks non-dairy beverages:

What non-dairy milks does Starbucks offer?

Starbucks offers soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and oat milk as non-dairy alternatives to cow’s milk. Starbucks has offered soy milk for many years and more recently added the other options to meet growing demand for plant-based beverages.

Does Starbucks charge extra for non-dairy milk?

Yes, Starbucks charges an extra $.80 cents for drinks made with non-dairy milks, including soy, almond, coconut, and oat milk. This upcharge helps cover the additional costs of these specialty milks.

Can you order a dairy-free Frappuccino?

Yes, any Frappuccino can be made dairy-free by requesting it with a non-dairy milk and no whipped cream. Soy, almond, coconut, or oat milk can substitute for the milk in blended Frappuccinos.

Does Starbucks have vegan food options?

Starbucks offers some vegan food items, including the Veggie & Brown Rice Protein Bowl, Roasted Tomato & Hummus Protein Box, and Iced Golden Ginger Drink. However, many menu items contain dairy, eggs or honey so vegan options are limited.

Popular Non-Dairy Drinks at Starbucks

Here are some of the most popular non-dairy beverage options at Starbucks:

Soy Latte

A latte made with steamed soy milk instead of cow’s milk. Starbucks soy milk has a creamy texture that makes a delicious lactose-free latte. Customize with your choice of espresso roast and syrup flavors.

Almond Milk Mocha

A mocha made with almond milk, featuring chocolate sauce and espresso. Almond milk provides a nutty complement to the chocolate and coffee flavors. Order it hot or iced.

Coconut Milk Cappuccino

Frothy, steamed coconut milk gives this cappuccino a rich, creamy texture without the dairy. The subtle coconut flavor pairs nicely with the bold espresso.

Oat Milk Vanilla Latte

Steamed oat milk lends a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and slightly sweet flavor to this latte. Add vanilla syrup for extra flavor. Oat milk foam is silky when steamed.

Dairy-Free Chai Tea Latte

For a caffeine-free option, order an Oprah Chai Tea Latte prepared with steamed non-dairy milk of your choice. The spices pair nicely with plant-based milks.

Non-Dairy Pink Drink

This light and refreshing beverage features Starbucks Strawberry Acai refresher blended with coconut milk and a touch of pineapple. A coconut milk foam tops it off.

Nutrition Info for Starbucks Non-Dairy Milks

Many customers opt for non-dairy milk to reduce calories, fat, cholesterol and sugar compared to cow’s milk. Here is a nutrition comparison of the different milks Starbucks offers:

Milk Type Calories per 8 oz Fat Protein Sugar
2% Cow’s Milk 120 5g 8g 12g
Nonfat Cow’s Milk 80 0g 8g 12g
Soy Milk 80 4g 7g 9g
Almond Milk 60 2.5g 1g 7g
Coconut Milk 50 5g 0g 0g
Oat Milk 120 2.5g 3g 19g

As shown, almond and coconut milk are the lowest calorie options. Coconut milk has no sugar while oat milk is highest. For protein, soy milk has the most. In terms of fat and calories, nonfat cow’s milk and almond milk are lowest.

Benefits of Starbucks Non-Dairy Milks

There are several reasons customers may prefer non-dairy milks at Starbucks:

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerant individuals lack the enzyme lactase needed to properly digest the lactose in cow’s milk. Plant-based milks do not contain lactose so they don’t cause adverse reactions.

Dairy Allergies

Some people have an allergy to casein and whey, proteins found in cow’s milk. Non-dairy milks provide a safe alternative without these allergens.

Vegan Diet

Vegans avoid animal products, including dairy. Starbucks non-dairy options allow vegans to enjoy lattes, Frappuccinos and other milk-based drinks.

Nutritional Preferences

Some customers simply prefer the nutritional profile or flavor of non-dairy milks over regular dairy milk. Starbucks caters to various preferences by offering soy, almond, coconut and oat milks.

Environmental Concerns

Dairy production has a significant environmental impact due to greenhouse gas emissions from cows. Some opt for plant-based milks to reduce their carbon footprint.

How to Order a Non-Dairy Drink at Starbucks

Ordering a non-dairy beverage at Starbucks is easy:

1. Choose your drink style (latte, cappuccino, Frappuccino, etc.)

2. Select your milk: soy, almond, coconut or oat milk

3. Specify size: tall, grande or venti

4. Customize with flavors like mocha, vanilla, or pumpkin spice

5. Order it hot or iced

6. Request no whipped cream if you want it completely dairy-free

7. Pay an upcharge of $.80 for the non-dairy milk

Some baristas may ask clarifying questions if it’s your first time ordering a non-dairy drink. But you can confidently request any beverage made with your choice of plant-based milk instead of cow’s milk.

It’s best to specify the non-dairy milk first so the barista prepares it correctly. For example, say “almond milk latte” rather than simply requesting a “latte with almond milk.” This helps ensure your drink comes out just the way you want it.

Tips for Customizing Your Starbucks Non-Dairy Beverage

While it’s easy to substitute any dairy milk with a non-dairy variety, you can also get creative with your Starbucks order. Here are tips for customizing your drink:

Try Different Flavors

The various non-dairy milks pair well with Starbucks syrup flavors like vanilla, caramel, mocha, and pumpkin spice. Try different combinations to find your favorite.

Request an Extra Shot

Want your drink stronger? Ask for an additional espresso shot in any latte, cappuccino or mocha. The extra caffeine boost complements non-dairy milk nicely.

Top with Cinnamon or Cocoa Powder

For extra flair, you can ask your barista to sprinkle cinnamon or cocoa powder on top of your foamy non-dairy drink. This adds visual appeal and flavor.

Substitute Brewed Coffee

Instead of espresso, ask for your drink made with freshly brewed coffee. The subtle difference in flavor pairs uniquely with non-dairy milk.

Try a Frappuccino

For a cold, blended option, order any Frappuccino with your choice of non-dairy milk and no whipped cream. The texture is thick and frothy.

Request Coconut Milk Foam

The creamy foam created by steamed coconut milk is delicious on hot or iced drinks. Ask your barista to add it on top.

The options are truly endless when you substitute dairy for non-dairy milk. Don’t be afraid to give suggestions to your barista to customize your drink.

Are Starbucks Non-Dairy Milks Gluten-Free?

For customers avoiding gluten, Starbucks confirms that its non-dairy milks are all certified gluten-free:

– Soy milk: gluten-free

– Almond milk: gluten-free

– Coconut milk: gluten-free

– Oat milk: gluten-free

The gluten-free certification verifies that these plant-based milks are produced in facilities that eliminate any risk of gluten cross-contamination.

However, some Starbucks drinks contain ingredients that are not gluten-free, like certain syrups and toppings. So be sure to check ingredients carefully if you need to avoid gluten entirely. But the non-dairy milks themselves are all gluten-free friendly.

Are Starbucks Non-Dairy Milks Vegan?

Starbucks non-dairy milks are all vegan friendly, meaning they do not contain any animal products:

– Soy milk: vegan

– Almond milk: vegan

– Coconut milk: vegan

– Oat milk: vegan

While the non-dairy milks are vegan, some Starbucks menu items contain other ingredients that are not vegan, like whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and certain syrups. So vegans need to customize their orders carefully to avoid any hidden animal products. But if you opt for only non-dairy milk with vegan-friendly flavors, you can easily order vegan Starbucks drinks.

Low Waste Non-Dairy Options at Starbucks

For customers looking to reduce waste, Starbucks now allows you to bring your own reusable cup. This avoids disposable cup waste. Some other low-waste, eco-friendly options for ordering non-dairy drinks include:

Request No Straw

Decline the standard plastic straw to reduce plastic consumption. Many drinks don’t require a straw at all.

Order a Starbucks Ceramic Mug

For in-store drinking, order your non-dairy beverage in a reusable Starbucks mug. Then enjoy your drink and return the mug after.

Use Starbucks Reusable Cold Cups

Instead of a plastic cold cup, opt for a reusable plastic or stainless steel cup. Ask for your iced non-dairy drink to be made in your personal cup.

Order a For-Here Mug

Rather than a to-go paper cup, you can also request a reusable mug when drinking in-store. Simply return it before leaving.

Bring Your Own Thermos

For to-go drinks, a small thermos avoids disposable cups. Have your hot or iced non-dairy drink made directly in your thermos.

With some simple adjustments, you can feel good about enjoying dairy-free Starbucks drinks in an eco-friendly way. Speak up to do your part in reducing waste!

Non-Dairy Options at Other Coffee Chains

Beyond Starbucks, many top coffee chains now offer non-dairy alternatives. Here is how other popular cafes compare:

Peet’s Coffee

Offers almond, oat, soy, coconut, and Super Plant Milks for a $.60 upcharge. Has extensive non-dairy baked goods.

Caribou Coffee

Provides soy, almond and coconut milk. Has dairy-free bagels, oatmeal and lunch bowls.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Includes almond and oat milk for $.50 extra. Coconut milk available seasonally. Dairy-free donuts and breakfast sandwiches available.

Panera Bread

Charges $.40 extra for almond, soy or coconut milk in drinks. Stocks dairy-free bagels, smoothies, and soups.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Offers a wide selection of non-dairy milks, including flax, hemp, and soy milk. Vegan food options available.

Most cafes are now very accommodating to non-dairy preferences. But Starbucks still dominates in terms of its vast range of customized plant-based drinks.

Creating Your Own Non-Dairy Drinks at Home

While it’s convenient to order at coffee shops, you can also easily make your own non-dairy lattes, cappuccinos and other specialty drinks at home. Here’s how:

Choose Your Non-Dairy Milk

Stock up on unsweetened varieties like soy, almond, oat, coconut, or even hemp or pea milk. Read labels and choose a milk with a creamy consistency that steams and foams well.

Brew Your Espresso

Use an espresso machine, stovetop moka pot, or aeropress to brew high-quality espresso as the base of your drink. Measure out 2 shots for each drink.

Froth Your Milk

Use a milk frother or steamer to make your non-dairy milk light and foamy. For cold drinks, shake vigorously in a jar instead.

Combine and Customize

Add frothed milk to espresso in your cup. Then sprinkle on cocoa powder, cinnamon, or chocolate shavings. Sweeten to taste with sugar, agave, or syrups.

Practice Latte Art

With non-dairy milk, you can still pour and swirl beautiful latte art designs on your homemade drinks. Add your personal creative touch!

With a few inexpensive gadgets, any home barista can whip up café-quality non-dairy espresso drinks. Spend a fraction of the cost while controlling the ingredients.


Starbucks has led the way in accommodating non-dairy preferences by offering plant-based milk options like soy, almond, coconut and oat milk. Customers appreciate the ability to customize their favorite espresso drinks without the dairy.

Beyond lactose intolerance, many people avoid dairy for nutritional, ethical or environmental reasons. With its extensive non-dairy selections, Starbucks caters to diverse dietary needs and preferences. Those seeking vegan, gluten-free, or low-waste options can all find approved items on the Starbucks menu.

While specialty non-dairy milks do come with an upcharge, many customers find value in the ability to enjoy a customized soy latte, almond milk cappuccino, or other high-quality dairy-free beverage from Starbucks. It provides an affordable treat and a sense of inclusiveness for those with alternative diets.

So next time you are looking for an energizing lift, head to Starbucks and order your favorite drink prepared just the way you like it with your choice of non-dairy milk.

Leave a Comment