Love your morning coffee fix from a friendly Starbucks barista but can't stomach soy? Are you looking for another alternative to dairy? We have great news for vegans and other non-dairy fans, alike! Coffee supergiant Starbucks Coffee has just announced that they will feature coconut milk as a milk option for all their beverages that can be customized. Now you can get foamy coconut milk in your morning macchiato or even in an afternoon Frappuccino on a hot day.
Many were pushing for a non-dairy milk option other than soy that they currently have. According to Starbucks, providing a non-dairy alternative to dairy and soy is the second most requested customer idea of all time from MyStarbucksIdea.com, generating more than 84,000 votes. Starbucks brand of coconut milk is made from single-origin coconuts from the tropical Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Why coconut milk? The company tested coconut milk in 600 stores last year to see how it would work in existing recipes on the Starbucks menu. Coconut milk has a rich creaminess that pairs well with bold espresso. Other potential non-dairy alternatives included rice milk or hemp milk, which were both rejected for lack of foaming ability or overly sweet taste, respectively.
Many voiced an interest in almond milk, but Starbucks released a statement that coconut milk has fewer "allergen challenges."
“There’s definitely been a coconut water craze in the last five years,” said barista Alex Bernson who writes for the coffee interest site, Sprudge, to Today. “You see coconut oil used in lots of things, in holistic health and cooking.”
While soy has been a popular milk alternative for many years, customers may be moving away from soy milk for several reasons. Dana James, a nutritionist based in New York City, pointed out that it has more calories than nut milks (such as coconut). There are also concerns about the soybeans used in soy milk being GMO.
Coconut milk will arrive on February 17 in stores and will cost 60 cents more than regular milk, just like soy milk.