The summer of 2023 has arrived (in the eyes of Starbucks) and new drinks have been released. We have so many questions! Because as you know, Starbucks is good for a delicious and quenching Refresher, Iced or even vegan Frappuccino drink.
We had heard a rumbling of what the new menu items were going to be but weren’t too sure of how much stock to put into it since they didn’t seem very summer-friendly… in our opinion.
After searching thru the menu, I discovered the leaked information was true. I will list those and answer your vegan questions. Then give you additional vegan summer drink options and food choices.
To make this a complete summer guide, let’s first go thru your drink sizes and non-dairy milk options. If you’re like me, I feel like I’m scurrying to remember what the sizes are and what non-dairy milk I want to pick.
This way, you’ll have all of the information in front of you.
- Tall (12oz)
- Grande (16oz)
- Venti (24oz)
- Trenta (30oz)
Non-Dairy Milk Options
In the summer of 2023, non-dairy milk still costs extra at Starbucks… unless, you order one of the drinks that automatically has it included; aka, the ones that are vegan as-is.
Starbucks Vegan Summer Drinks Guide
Now I may have people who differ with me, and that is ok, but while these drinks are cold, they feel heavy. That was the first thing I questioned. Here’s my second… Are they vegan? Can they be made vegan? Let’s get into it.
Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino
The Chocolate Java Mint is similar to the Java Chip (NOT vegan) but has a white chocolate mint flavored sauce to go with the mocha sauce and whipped topping.
Is the Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino vegan?
Can the Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino be made vegan?
Here’s why… The Chocolate Java Mint Frap contains white chocolate mint flavored sauce and frappuccino chips that both contain dairy. The whipped cream does as well, obviously, but that could have been removed had the rest of the frappuccino been modified.
The ingredients for the White Chocolate Mint sauce are:
WHITE CHOCOLATE MINT FLAVORED SAUCE [SUGAR, CONDENSED SKIM MILK, COCONUT OIL, COCOA BUTTER, NATURAL FLAVORS, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE, SALT, MONOGLYCERIDES, ACETIC ACID ESTERS OF DISTILLED MONO-DIGLYCERIDES]
The ingredients for the Frappuccino Chips are:
[CONFECTIONERY COATING (SUGAR, PALM KERNEL AND PALM OILS, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA, MILK), COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, 9%), COOKIE CRUMBS (UNBLEACHED UNENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, PALM AND PALM KERNEL OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, CHOCOLATE MASS, SALT, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL FLAVOR), CHOCOLATE MASS (2%), AND SALT]
–> There is one thing you could use from this drink as a potential topping on another vegan-friendly drink and that is their accidentally vegan, Chocolate Cookie Mint Sprinkle. The ingredients are:
[SUGAR, CHOCOLATE CREME-FILLED COOKIES (SUGAR, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), PALM AND PALM KERNEL OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, SALT, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL FLAVOR), FRUIT AND VEGETABLE JUICE FOR COLOR (EXTRACTS OF SPIRULINA, PUMPKIN AND APPLE), NATURAL FLAVORS]
There is another version of this drink called a Chocolate Mint Creme Frappuccino. This is NOT vegan either for the same reasons.
White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew
The White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew is a cold brew sweetened with macadamia syrup then topped with a white macadamia cream cold foam that contains white chocolate mocha sauce.
Is the White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew vegan?
Can the White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew be made vegan?
Technically yes but it will not be the same drink.
Here’s why: The White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew contains a white chocolate mocha sauce mixed with macadamia syrup in the cold dairy foam. The white chocolate mocha sauce is NOT vegan. It contains dairy.
The cold foam is dairy-based as well but there can be vegan modifications for that.
WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCHA SAUCE (SUGAR, CONDENSED SKIM MILK, COCONUT OIL, COCOA BUTTER, NATURAL FLAVOR, SALT, POTASSIUM SORBATE, MONOGLYCERIDES)
If you would like to try the macadamia syrup on its own, that is vegan-friendly.
HOW YOU COULD ORDER IT VEGAN:
We have not tried this but it is a way you ‘could’ do it.
Order a Cold Brew with Macadamia Syrup. Top with a cold foam made from Oat Milk, Macadamia Syrup and Toasted Vanilla Syrup. Add Toasted Cookie Topping.
The Macadamia Syrup’s ingredients are:
[SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS (MACADAMIA NUTS), SALT, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID]
The Toasted Cookie Topping’s ingredients are:
[SUGAR, COOKIE CRUMBLES (WHITE RICE FLOUR, OAT FLOUR, SUGAR, PALM OIL, INVERT SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVOR, BAKING SODA), NATURAL FLAVORS, SALT, FRUIT AND VEGETABLE JUICE CONCENTRATE FOR COLOR (APPLE, CARROT), CORN PROTEIN GLAZE, TURMERIC (FOR COLOR)]
‘OUR SUGGESTIONS AND YOUR SUMMER FAVORITES!’
(You can find a complete list of everything vegan in our Starbucks Vegan Guide.)
I do have to start with last year’s drink first because it is bright, yummy and screams summer!
It’s a combo of pineapple, passionfruit and coconut milk with bits of pineapple. The coconut milk really balances out the sweetness of the pineapple and passionfruit. You can choose to order it as a Pineapple Passionfruit Starbucks Refresher where there is no coconut milk or as the Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade Refresher, where the coconut milk is replaced with lemonade. Put me on a beach!
I think the Pink Drink has become a classic staple of Starbucks. It is definitely a favorite by many and rightfully so.
The Pink Drink offers a blend of strawberry acai and passion fruit flavors with coconut milk. You also have the option to order this one without the coconut milk. The Strawberry Acai Refresher has no coconut milk while the Strawberry Acai Lemonade Refresher replaces the coconut milk with lemonade.
Since you’re probably bummed, like me, that the frappuccino option is not vegan-friendly, let’s see what you can order.
You have two options… a coffee-based frappuccino or a creme-based frappuccino.
To preface, there are NO vegan as-is frappuccinos on the Starbucks menu so we have do a bit of modifying. There are a few we have tried and suggest:
Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino with Soy Milk and NO whip.
Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino with Oat Milk, NO whip and NO frappuccino chips.
Strawberry Creme Frappuccino with your choice of non-dairy milk and NO whip. Choosing Coconut Milk would give this drink a more tropical taste. Soy or Oat Milk would keep the taste the same but add creaminess.
Matcha Creme Frappuccino with Soy or Oat Milk and NO whip.
Iced Shaken Espresso’s
We have tried all three of these and highly recommend any one of them. They are ALL vegan!
Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso
And if you have the Oleato Olive Oil available at your location, the Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso with Oatmilk and Toffeenut is also vegan as-is.
Iced Coffee or Latte
Iced Coffee or Latte seems pretty obvious but I want to give them a mention because it’s generally what we go with on a hot day. We’re also pretty basic when it comes to Starbucks drinks and rarely venture outside of what we like.
My order is typically an Iced Blonde Latte with Soy Milk and Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup.
Ryan’s is an Iced Coffee with Oatmilk and Mocha Sauce.
The syrups are optional but you do have a few vegan flavors you can choose from for the summer of 2023:
- Macadamia Syrup (new)
- Brown Sugar
- Cinnamon Caramel Syrup
- Cinnamon Dolce
- Toasted Vanilla
- Toffee Nut
- Sugar-Free Vanilla
- Mocha Sauce
Since we’re trying to stay a bit cooler in the summer, I’m only going to list the vegan food items that are not temperature hot at Starbucks. You do have a few decent options:
- Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box … comes with falafel-inspired chickpea bites (these are cold), snap peas, mini carrots, avocado spread and a mix of dried cranberries, almonds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and sunflower seeds.
- Bagels … Plain or Everything. Avocado is a spread option.
- Strawberry Overnight Grains … comes with steel-cut oats, quinoa, chia seeds, coconut milk, and fresh strawberries. Topped with shaved coconut and toasted almonds.
- Starbucks also offers various chips and snack bars. Check their ingredients.
There is a new 2023 summer food menu item, the Bumblebee Cake Pop. It is NOT vegan.
It is unfortunate that Starbucks did not bring a new vegan-friendly drink to the table but they do still have plenty you can choose from! From Refreshers to Iced Shaken Espressos or even the Iced Coffe or Latte you create, we’re hoping you have a beautiful and cool summer.
All ingredients listed are quoted from Starbucks’ Ingredients information on each individual drink.
*As with any restaurant that is not 100% vegan or does not offer a designated space for their vegan options, cross-contamination can occur. You can choose what your level of comfort is with these potential issues.