Fall is on the way and that means the addition of seasonal coffee concoctions to coffeeshop menus. The one everyone looks forward to is Pumpkin Spice Lattes. The most popular seller of this drink is Starbucks but if you’re vegan that’s not going to work for you. Many vegans have only recently discovered that their candy coffee craving for a Pumpkin Spice Latte has been met with the realization that the syrup used contains milk.
Many Starbucks locations will give you the cold shoulder if you ask for ingredients and it seems corporate isn’t very forthcoming on what makes the drink unvegan. We sent in convert operatives to bring this dark information to light. It was not a easy task and a very risky one. The image you see above is the result. (Many Bothans died to bring us this information.) The fact is it contains the syrupy sweet dairy of condensed milk. Not only is condensed milk listed once in the ingredients, it’s listed TWICE. Notice the lack of what should be a main ingredient in that list: Pumpkin. It’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte, where’s the pumpkin OR the spices for that matter? No, natural and especially artificial flavors doesn’t cut it. More proof that Starbucks is the McDonald’s of coffee.
Still, if you find yourself roaming around and need a sweet coffee fix head over to a Panera Bread as they also have a Pumpkin Spice Latte that can be made with soy and will indeed be vegan. Be sure to tell them to leave off the caramel syrup topping as more condensed milk can be found in that stuff. Curious about the ingredients of the Panera Bread Pumpkin Spice Syrup? Be curious no more:
sugar, water, pumpkin, corn syrup, molasses, glycerin, natural flavors, spices, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate as preservatives, citric acid, colored with annatto/turmeric extract
Yes, there’s some chemical-ish preservative in there but that stuff does have to sit around until late-December. An inquiry to Panera Bread corporate did give me the answer that the syrup is indeed vegan if reading the ingredients wasn’t enough to convince you.
I’ve been questioned as to whether the glycerin in Panera’s syrup is vegan. Upon a second thorough questioning they have stated that there are no animal sourced ingredients in their pumpkin spice syrup.
For those of you who would like to eschew the expensive coffeehouse prices, as well as the preservatives, and make your own at home provided you have an espresso machine, hop on over here and give this recipe a shot. It is delicious if I do say so myself.