Here’s Why It’s Tricky To Classify Starbucks’ First Non-Dairy Holiday Latte As Vegan

It’s a little complicated.

by Daffany Chan
Originally Published: 
Courtesy of Starbucks

Get ready for red cup season, because Starbucks’ holiday menu is officially making a comeback on Nov. 4. The coffee chain’s iconic sips — such as the Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brulée Latte — are returning, but there’s also a new non-dairy offering you can enjoy this year. If you’re wondering if the dairy-free Starbucks’ Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte is also vegan, there’s a catch.

When Starbucks’ holiday beverages come back on Thursday, Nov. 4 in U.S. stores, you can reacquaint yourself with classics like the Irish Cream Cold Brew and Chestnut Praline Latte. For a new holiday sip, though, you can check out Starbucks’ Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte.

It pays tribute to the classic holiday baked good it’s named after. The new chilly pick-me-up is made with Sugar Cookie-flavored syrup, Starbucks Blonde Espresso, ice, and almond milk — and it’s topped with red and green cookie sprinkles. The Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte is the first-ever non-dairy holiday drink at Starbucks, but its vegan status is a little complicated.

While the Iced Sugar Cookie Latte doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients and is made with non-dairy milk, it isn’t officially classified as vegan. According to a Starbucks spokesperson, the chain doesn't certify any of its beverages as vegan due to the way in which the company operates its stores.

Courtesy of Starbucks

If you don’t require a vegan certification for your drink, however, there are plenty of ways to get your make your coffee run festive AF. In addition to the new Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, returning faves include Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte, Toasted White Mocha, and Irish Cream Cold Brew.

For an extra festive touch, all of the holiday sips will be served in Starbucks’ new holiday cups. There are four gift-inspired designs in red, green, and white designs that look like wrapping paper, ribbon, candy cane, and holiday lights. It’s the perfect do-it-for-the-‘Gram moment.

Before heading to Starbucks to ring in the holidays with the Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte and other festive beverages, remember to check the CDC guidelines for the most updated health rules.

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