Today, we’re going to be answering the question: is Starbucks hot chocolate gluten-free? And looking at what drinks we can enjoy when visiting Starbucks. While there are many drinks at Starbucks, with Christmas just around the corner and winter almost here, is there anything better than hot chocolate? Snuggled up in a hat and scarf, holding a warm cup of hot chocolate is my idea of heaven. But is Starbucks hot chocolate safe to consume when following a gluten-free lifestyle? Let’s take a look.
Starbucks Allergen Statement
Before we look at any of Starbucks drinks today, it’s important to note that although Starbucks has ingredients for every drink and many of them do not contain gluten, they can not guarantee that any of their unpackaged products are gluten-free. This is because of the equipment they use to prepare, share and store them.
This is known as cross-contact. And cross-contact is a huge risk when shopping in small stores like Starbucks where the preparation areas may be small. Cross contact is when an otherwise non-gluten-containing product comes into contact with gluten due to preparation methods. This would mean the end product may not be gluten-free. And this is why Starbucks will make no gluten-free claims for any of their unpackaged products.
If you are super sensitive or are celiac, it may be best to avoid Starbucks altogether. However, if you tell your server that you have an allergy, they’re usually willing to accommodate and be more careful with your order.
But now that we’ve covered that, let’s take a look at Starbucks gluten-free drinks.
Is Starbucks Hot Chocolate Gluten-Free?
While we’ll be looking at many drinks today, hot chocolate is the first drink we’ll be looking at. Hot chocolate is a timeless classic and one of the drinks I was most worried about when I was diagnosed. I know how often additives are used in hot chocolate – but there’s no need for concern! The original Starbucks hot chocolate contains no gluten ingredients.
The ingredients you’ll find in Starbucks hot chocolate are:
- Cocoa Processed with Alkali
- Natural Flavor
- Cream (Mono and Diglycerides)
- Potassium Sorbate
- Citric Acid
Read more about Is Half and Half Gluten Free? (GF Brands)
As you can see from the ingredients, no gluten in sight. Milk, mocha sauce, whipped cream, and a chocolate drizzle – could you ask for anything more from a hot chocolate?
Starbucks does have other variations of hot chocolate, particularly season varieties. At the time of this article, the other hot chocolate drinks that are available that do not contain any gluten ingredients are:
- White Hot Chocolate
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
It’s important to note that the Toasted White Hot Chocolate contains oat flour and should be avoided. Any new hot chocolate flavors that may become available in the future can be found here with full nutritional information.
Gluten-free drinks at Starbucks are actually quite extensive! And it’s worth noting that most locations have almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk. This is great for a selection of dietary lifestyles; not just those that are gluten-free. Let’s take a look at some of the drinks you may like to try.
Tea (Hot Drinks)
- English Breakfast
- Earl Grey
- Jasmine Orange
- Spearmint Green
- Mint Blend
- Vanilla Rooibos
- Chamomile Blend
- Chai Tea Latte
Coffee (Hot Drinks)
- Café Latte
- Café Mocca
- White Mocha
- Café Americano
- Espresso Macchiato
- Hazelnut Macchiato
- Light Syrups
(Iced Coffee is also gluten-free).
Frappuccino (Cold Drinks)
- White Mocha
- White Chocolate
- Mango and Passionfruit
- Raspberry and Berries
The list of drinks is not exhaustive! And it doesn’t include bottled drinks – many of which are also gluten-free.
And I’m excited to announce that it doesn’t stop there! As more stores are beginning to cater to dietary lifestyles, there’s now some food available. What I love about the food at coffee stores like Starbucks is that everything comes packaged. This means that it’s as safe as possibly can be – and that there’s no risk of cross-contact!
While there’s not a huge selection of food available at Starbucks that’s gluten-free, there are a few options and that’s a great start!
Some of their gluten-free food options include:
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie (it will be clearly labeled as GF. Be sure to check as they do have a non-GF brownie available in some stores too)
- Marshmallow Dream Bar (these are absolutely delicious!)
- Yogurt (the choices will vary from store to store, so it may be best to check the ingredients label yourself before purchasing)
- Chips (again, be sure to check the label before purchasing, but there will often be a small selection of gluten-free chips to enjoy)
All of this information is correct at the time of posting. But it’s important to note that ingredients and products are subject to change at any time. So always be sure to check nutritional information before placing an order. It’s also worth mentioning that these products are available in the US and there may be different options available worldwide. If you have anything different in your local store – please let me know!
I hope this article has helped to answer the question: is Starbucks hot chocolate gluten-free? And opened your eyes to the world of choices we have when drinking (and even snacking!) at Starbucks. Please do tell your server when ordering if you have any concerns.
What’s your go-to order at Starbucks? Have you ever been glutened from drinking at Starbucks? If so, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below (positive or otherwise). Personally, I’ve always been okay with Starbucks and my go-to order is always the hot chocolate with an extra dollop of whipped cream. Whether it’s winter or not, hot chocolate is the superior drink to me!
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