We all love ducking into Starbucks for a quick frappuccino or coffee. If you are trying to go dairy-free, it is one of the best coffee shops for offering dairy alternatives without sacrificing taste. Regular readers will know we’ve got plenty of copycat Starbucks recipes. Still, you might want yours to be 100% authentic and need to know what almond milk does Starbucks use. Well, today you are going to find out.
What Kind of Almond Milk Does Starbucks Use?
We’ve done a bit of digging, as well as asking in our local Starbucks. You might be surprised to learn that as Starbucks is actually a franchise, they use several different milk brands, based on who is the most local supplier. Here are some brands that are definitely used in Starbucks
- Lucerne milk brand
- Borden milk
- Good and Gather milk
It all depends on your area and what is available at the time.
Is There Sugar in Starbucks Almond Milk?
One great feature of Starbucks drinks, whether they use almond milk or not, is their sweetness. However, this doesn’t really come as a result of the almond milk they use.
Starbucks almond milk, is in fact, unsweetened.
But that doesn’t mean it contains zero sugar. Almond milk is refined from, well, almonds! Most nuts and organic foods have a small element of plant sugars. This makes its way into the drink.
Want the good news?
We’ve been to the Starbucks website and checked the nutrition information provided about their almond milk. Per 240ml serving, there are only 3 grams of sugar.
That is absolutely minuscule and enough to be completely ignored! To make it easier to understand how little that is. It is 25% of what you’d find in skimmed milk, with a sugar content of 12-14 grams per 240ml!
So why does my Starbucks almond milk caramel macchiato taste so sweet?
Additional sugar. Starbucks is a huge fan of flavoring its drinks with an extensive range of syrups, all of which are created by boiling flavorings alongside a mixture of sugar and water!
Why do they use unsweetened milk?
Imagine how many coffees Starbucks sells every day worldwide? Do you think out of those millions of coffees, everyone wants a sweet drink. Here’s the thing about drinks that are made sweet. Once the sugar is in there, it is practically impossible to get it out!
By using unsweetened almond milk, Starbucks gives themselves (and their customers) the flexibility to add sugar if they need to or leave it out if it is preferred.
Can I Buy Starbucks Almond Milk?
The real answer?
You might be able to. But you are going to need to be polite.
Our top tip if you want to buy Starbucks almond milk is to ask your barista nicely. They might just show you the carton that they have used.
However, prepare to be disappointed. Starbucks, due to its sheer size, has what is known as a centralized buying policy. That means that they will often find a brand they like and offer a manufacturer a financial incentive to only supply them and nobody else.
Think about it.
It is a specific ingredient used in very successful and profitable recipes. While most almond milk tastes very similar, little differences make all the difference. Imagine if you could go to any high street store and buy McDonald’s burgers, or apple pie pastry, or their milkshake flavoring. Do you think that they’d encourage that? It’s unlikely.
The best way to buy Starbucks almond milk is to pop into one of their coffee shops and order a drink that contains it. If you wanted to bring some home, you probably could. But almond milk only stays good for around 4 days after opening, so selecting a readily available alternative from a local store might be the better option.
What is the Best Almond Milk for Coffee?
There are plenty of reputable brands out there that make good almond milk for coffee.
Some are not so good too. One of the main complaints people have about almond milk bought in a store is that it is hard to get it to foam up like they do in Starbucks (hence the reason why they want to know what almond milk does Starbucks use).
There is a great solution, however.
A quick online search will reveal almond milk from major companies that are especially formulated to be great for coffees. Many big companies like Alpro and Almond Breeze have released dedicated “barista” versions of almond milk. These are slightly thicker and more viscous than the usual nut-based kinds of milk you’ll see in the store. As a result, they tend to foam up a lot better and taste closer to the real thing.
Does it Cost More to Get Almond Milk at Starbucks?
It used to, Starbucks used to charge between 60 and 80 cents extra for almond milk in its coffee shops. However, as of March 2020, they changed their path and decided to offer it for the same price as they do with coffees made with regular milk.
The exact reason remains unclear, but it is thought that this was because the extra charge was discriminatory against those who were vegan and others who simply can’t drink regular cow’s milk for health reasons!
Recipes You Can Use Add Almond Milk
We have a wide range of drinks and copycat recipes you can add almond milk into including the following.
What almond milk does Starbucks Use? The truth is the brand varies from country to country and state to state. Suppose you are looking for a suitable Starbucks almond milk alternative. In that case, your best bet is to shop around and see if you can source a bottle or carton of “barista” almond milk. That was you can make a creamy drink with plenty of foam and none of the dairy. Have you managed to snag a carton of Starbucks almond milk? What was the brand? Let us know in the comments.