Archive for the ‘Panera’ category

Your Soy Pumpkin Spice Latte May Not Be Vegan

September 14th, 2011

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.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Syrup Ingredients

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.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte

October 29th, 2009

This time of year every coffee place has their version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Starbucks always starts serving theirs early October and Panera has come into the mix this year with their own.  Most independent coffee shops I have visited lately have one as well.  Some of these are vegan when ordered with soy milk (Panera’s is) and some are not (Starbucks).  I have always been partial to making coffee at home.  I always know I’ll be served a drinkable cup and it always costs less.  I do occasionally enjoy a cup of froo-froo coffee though I typically make a simple syrup with vanilla to falvor my coffee when I want.  I did, however, find a more seasonal approach to a fancy coffee at home.  I picked up a (few) bottles of Williams Sonoma’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup and have found it to give a perfect flavor, not overpowering and not too sweet like some of the commercial coffee shop’s versions.  It is vegan and doesn’t contain any unpronounceable ingredients.

In another month, maybe Williams Sonoma will have a peppermint version.

UPDATE: If you’re up for making your own Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup give this recipe I created a try.

Williams Sonoma Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

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