Vegan at Starbucks

I worked at one of the busiest Starbucks in the state when I first moved to Florida. It was a lot to learn, and it is a very underappreciated job. Wage is low, hours are horrible, and tips … well who tips a barista? I had to keep a smile on my face while being burned, yelled at, and doing continual physical labor.  I almost always had the opening shift (4:30 am) and was put in the drive through window to be scolded for taking too long. Here is what I learned:

Coffee Beans! Soy, Coconut, or Almond Milk! All clear syrup flavors! MOCHA!

Frappuccinos: Blended iced beverage with condensed coffee and simple syrup for texture

  • Any flavor combo of syrups
  • There is an espresso version as well
  • Make a vegan milk choice and ask for no whip or caramel drizzle!
  • They also have a green tea matcha version!

Coffee: roasted beans and water

  • Any coffee is vegan! iced coffee too!
  • Filtration: soft brew, french press, drip, cold brew, etc. (my fave is soft brew!)
  • Have them add vegan milks and syrups- they have a variety of sugars as well

Latte: foamed milk and espresso

  • I prefer ristretto shots, they are sweeter and smoother than regularly pulled shots
  • Green tea lattes are made with matcha powder!
  • Hot or Iced
  • Again, any clear syrup (and regular mocha sauce) are all vegan!
  • ‘Specialty advertised lattes’ usually come with whip or sprinkle like toppings
  • Some of the sprinkles aren’t vegan and the caramel sauce definitely is not
  • I like topping with cinnamon/hazelnut off the bar myself
  • Yes, the milk is steamed on the same wand as the regular milk
    • but separate pitchers are used and they steam the wands between drinks!

Tea: tea bag and hot water

  • I never pay that much for tea- but yes, it’s vegan!
  • The iced versions too!
  • Refreshers are great! That “Pink drink” that was famous last summer was coconut milk and strawberry refresher- very vegan friendly!

Bagels: carbo-load

  • White or multi-grain
  • Ask for sriracha or agave to put on it, if you like
  • Toasted foods ALL get touched with the same tongs!

Oatmeal: hot and hearty

  • not all flavor add-ins are vegan
  • go for blueberries, nuts, dried fruits, agave or brown sugar
  • Yum!


“Grande Soy Green Tea Latte” (simple, warm, and yum)

“Venti Coconut Milk Mocha Hazelnut Frapp, no Whip” (tastes like coco cereal)

“Iced Grande Soy Cascara Latte” (leave those yummy sprinkles on! subtle & smokey)


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