10 Vegan Starbucks Lattes Perfect For The Winter Season

winter+starbucks+vegan+lattes+dairy+freeArticle by Erin Janus|  Since becoming vegan several years ago, I gave up the idea of ever enjoying delicious frothy Starbucks drinks and lattes.. and well, that was stupid.  I had no idea how many awesome vegan options Starbucks had— and while they are not listed upfront on the menu boards, they are definitely available.  Just ask!  In no particular order, here are a few vegan Starbucks lattes, perfect to enjoy this winter season:


(Good news: Starbucks soy milk is organic and non-GMO!)

1.  Soy Mocha Latte

This was the first vegan latte I tried at Starbucks, and I instantly fell in love.  It’s like coffee mixed with creamy, comforting hot chocolate!  And yes, Starbuck’s mocha sauce is vegan!  Just make sure you ask for no whip on top— for all lattes, as Starbuck’s whip is not vegan (yet).


2.  Coconut Mocha Latte

This drink is identical to the Soy Mocha Latte, except it’s made with coconut milk instead of soy milk.  Coconut-y, chocolatey goodness.


3.  Soy Hazelnut Latte


This latte is soothing, comforting, light and hazelnutty.  The taste is festive and may remind you of sitting in front of a big fireplace at Christmas-time; dysfuntional family or not.  You can even add cinnamon to it at the sugar bar for added warmth and spice!


4.  Soy Mocha-Hazelnut Latte

If you like chocolate-hazelnut anything, you’ll love this.  Simply ask for the standard mocha formula, with an added 1-2 pumps of hazelnut syrup.  Want it really chocolatey with just a hint of hazelnut?  Ask for a couple extra pumps of mocha!  You can order your drinks to have whatever ratio of mocha-to-hazelnut you fancy!


5.  Vanilla Soy (Or Coconut) Latte

A classic. As with all the other hot drinks, just as for ‘no whip.’  Or, if you fancy coconut instead of soy, you can order a vanilla coconut-milk latte— vanilla-y, coconut-y goodness.


6.  Peppermint Soy Latte

A classic! Perfect for those who enjoy a warm, cozy peppermint flavor and soothing of the soul.


7.  Peppermint-Mocha Soy Latte


Like peppermint-chocolate?  Then you’re gonna love this.  Depending on how much chocolatey-ness you want, and how much peppermint you want, you can order it however you like!  For a medium or ‘grande’ size, I recommend asking for ‘4 pumps mocha, 2 pumps peppermint.’


8.  Tazo Green Tea Latte with Soy Milk

Just ask for soy milk instead of cows milk.  And just as with all Starbucks drinks, ask for no whip and viola: this green tea latte is vegan!  


9.  ‘Classic’ Hot Chocolate w/ Soy or Coconut Milk 

Who doesn’t like a hot chocolate in the winter?  As with all the other hot drinks, just ask for ‘no whip’.


10.  Soy Cafe Misto

This cafe misto will warm you up in no time!  Ask for soy milk instead of cows milk!


Just soy you know…

And any of the drinks listed, and their formulas.. can be mixed and modified just by asking!  That means there is technically an infinite number of ways to enjoy Starbucks’ drinks and lattes and keep it totally vegan!  Below are some helpful reminders:

SYRUPS that are totally vegan:

 Coffee Frappucino Syrup
✓  Crème Frappuccino Flavored Syrup
 Dark chocolate curls are also vegan

Stuff that is totally NOT vegan:

X  Java chips (contains milk)
X  Whipped cream (contains milk)
X  Pumpkin spice sauce and syrup (contains milk)
X  Caramel drizzle (caramel syrup, however, is vegan)
X  Splenda (tested on animals; used in sugar-free syrups)


But why should I order my Starbucks drinks vegan?

Quite frankly, I won’t sugar-coat it: there is no reason we need to exploit animals for our personal pleasures, (especially via Starbucks lattes).  The standard operations within the dairy industry are nothing short of a nightmare for animals.  And even on organic, pasture-raised, ‘humane’ farms, female cows are forcefully impregnated throughout their entire lives to produce milk, and their baby calves are routinely separated from them (which causes much distress and grief).  Male calves are generally sold for veal, and female calves raised and routinely impregnated to produce milk like their mothers, starting at just 12 months of age.

Dairy cows in the industry are over-milked almost daily via machines which causes inflammation and infection, also known as mastitis.  Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue, and is a major endemic disease among dairy cattle. [1]  Furthermore, all dairy cows are eventually slaughtered at a fraction of their natural lifespan.  To choose dairy when there are plant-based alternatives is simply unethical.

Environmentally, it is far better to choose vegan options, whether it be food or drink.  To grow and harvest soy and coconut for milk is far more environmentally-friendly than raising cows for their milk.  A dairy cow will eat about 50 pounds of dried feed (in the form grain or pellets) per day, or 110-120 pounds of wet feed a day [2], as well as drink between 30-50 gallons of water every single day! [3]  Furthermore, all the water used to grow the crops that are fed to dairy cows is a massive waste of water as well!


Fecal runoff at a ‘free-range’ dairy farm

And, lastly, raising animals for their bi-products and flesh creates a whole lot of toxic waste (fecal waste, urine waste, blood, etc) which is one of today’s biggest environmental threats.[4]  Soy, coconut, and all other plants for that matter don’t poop, urinate, or fart.  In conclusion, replacing cows milk with soy or coconut is a huge victory ethically and environmentally.

My advice is to not be discouraged by what you can’t change, and take action with what you can.  You can choose non-dairy and vegan options, and so you should!  Every time you choose vegan options, you are making the most ethical decision/purchase possible.  Choosing vegan matters, and your choices do make a difference.  So enjoy your Starbucks drinks and lattes vegan this winter season (and every season!)  And share this article so others can discover and try the amazing options, too!


erin+janus+vegan+starbucks+lattesMy name is Erin Janus.  I’m a passionate vegan, journalist, video producer and aspiring musician. Thanks for reading this article and please feel free to share it on social media, with family and friends.  Hope you enjoy some heart-warming lattes this winter season— no cows harmed!  You can connect with me on facebook, twitter, instagram and join my mailing list here for more awesome vegan updates.

[1] Mastitis In Dairy Cows, Agriculture And Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Dairy
[2] Dave Fischer, Extension Dairy Educator, University of Illinois; Mike Hutjens, Extension Dairy Specialist, University of Illinois – Illini DairyNET
[3] Drinking water for dairy cattle: Part 1, Megan Pierce, Dairy Herd Management, May 23, 2011
[4] Cow Fecal Pollution Sources, Source Molecular Corporation 

And thanks to veganspired and tofusenshi for helping me discover some of these awesome options!

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