[this post reprinted from The Vegas Vegan April 11, 2008]
Yes, I am going to review Starbucks. Can you believe it? I can’t help it…
Coffee. Totally vegan. Little beans dried & roasted to yummy perfection. Ground up, pulverized, seeping into the water to make a drink fit for the gods. I admit that I love coffee and can’t seem to live without a cup a day. Now, I only drink decaf, so it’s not the caffeine hit that draws me to my French press every morning: it’s the FLAVOR.
Starbucks is not my favorite coffee house to visit, I prefer to brew my own coffee at home & carry it in my spiffy pink thermal coffee mug, but it’s always comforting when in a new town or traveling to see the green emblem. It only means one thing: coffee!! For my money, though, Starbucks coffee served in the cafe almost has a burnt taste to it, very different from the stuff you buy in the bags at your local grocery store. But, it’s awfully nice to have someone make you a special cup of coffee – you know, something other than “coffeemaker-supreme-with-cream&sugar”. Plus, I think holding a Starbucks cup makes you look hip.
Ok, maybe not so much.
Going Vegan at Starbucks is one of the easiest things to do. My usual drink is a decaf mocha latte, soy, no whip. During the holidays I go all out & add a shot of peppermint. During the summer months, I get the peppermint mocha variation iced. Mmm…
Today, I met some friends for coffee at 9am to sit in the cushy chairs & chat about life for a while. Not quite an image out of Friends considering there were 2 toddlers running amok throwing trail mix everywhere, but it was a relaxing way to start the morning. I wasn’t in the mood for a fancy chocolate flavored coffeeand I wasn’t in the mood to spend a lot of money. I ordered a tall decaf w/soy. Yup, that’s it. Thinking I have the $1.75 to pay for this, I reach into my wallet to discover that I still have money on my Starbucks gift card given to me by one of my music students. Woo hoo! Free coffee! I should have splurged…
Want to fancy up your plain old coffee? Head over to their little cream & sugar station & mix yourself a spiced coffee at a fraction of the price they charge you at the counter for the same drink mixed by a barista! In a ratio of 2:1 sprinkle some cinnamon & nutmeg into your coffee. Add a dash or two of chocolate, couple shakes of the vanilla, dump in 1-3 Sugar in the Raw packets, stir, taste, adjust and Voila!: Mocha Spiced Coffee!!
My favorite part about ordering at Starbucks is that no one gives you a funny look when you ask for Soy Milk. In fact, I appreciate that at the Starbucks closest to me they take special care to verbally announce to the barista to use Soy instead of just relying on the little “S” on the paper cup.
Unfortunately, Starbucks uses Silk soy milk, which if you don’t know is part of White Wave Foods a subsidiary of Dean Foods. This is a topic for another day, or perhaps a trip & comment over at Compassionate Cooks will reward you with better information than I can provide!!
STARBUCKS earns itself: