Starbucks oat milk drinks are about to get a lot easier to order!
The coffee giant announced its Spring 2021 menu on Monday. The lineup includes two new vegan drinks—the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and the Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso. Both will be available beginning March 2 as a part of the chain’s permanent menu.
The coffee chain also revealed that Oatly oat milk will be available at all Starbucks locations across the U.S. starting tomorrow. This follows up on an announcement the Seattle-based company made in December 2020, stating that the dairy-free milk would be available at all Starbucks outposts in America by the spring.
Another noteworthy Spring 2021 addition to Starbucks’ ever-growing vegan menu is the new plant-based Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box.
What’s In Starbucks’ New Oat Milk Drinks?
Both of Starbucks’ new oat milk-based beverages are part of a new line of cold espresso drinks that the chain has added to its permanent menu called Iced Shaken Espresso.
To make the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, Starbucks baristas shake Starbucks Blonde espresso, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. It’s then topped off with oat milk and ice.
“The delicate sweetness and the depth from the brown sugar pairs really well with the cinnamon and the Starbucks Blonde Espresso,” Alicia Binion, a senior product developer on Starbucks beverage development team, said in a press release shared with LIVEKINDLY. “All these warm and comforting flavors are also delicious cold.”
The Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso, on the other hand, is a combination of Starbucks Blonde espresso and cocoa, as well as notes of malt. Everything is then shaken together and topped with almond milk and ice to create an “invigorating treat” with full-bodied texture.
“This beverage has some complexity to it with notes of a chocolate malt that complement the nuttiness of the almond milk,” Binion added. “It’s fun with a little bit of familiarity at the same time.”
The process of shaking espresso drinks by hand is something that was first introduced to Starbucks customers in 2003. This is when the caffeinated beverage mecca launched its first hand-shaken iced coffees and teas.
The technique, which is modeled after similar mixology methods, cools beverages quickly. It allows the ingredients to mix perfectly in order to bring out each of their flavors.
A third drink, the Honey Oatmilk Latte, is now also available at Starbucks locations nationwide after being tested regionally. However, given the inclusion of honey, this beverage is not vegan.
Starbucks Adds Oatly Oat Milk to All U.S. Locations
In addition to the aforementioned oat milk drinks, Starbucks is also following through on its promise to add oat milk to all of its U.S. stores in 2021.
This means customers can now order any beverage made with Oatly oat milk, instead of dairy milk. Oat milk will be offered as part of Starbucks’ core U.S. menu and is available year-round starting Tuesday.
“We’re pleased to bring Oatly oat milk to Starbucks stores nationwide in the U.S., something our customers have asked for as they increasingly seek a variety of plant-based choices,” Luigi Bonini, senior vice president, Global Product Innovation at Starbucks, said in a statement.
He added: “Oatly’s oat milk has a smooth and velvety texture, foams beautifully, and pairs perfectly in our light and dark roast coffees, opening up new possibilities for beverage innovation at Starbucks.”
Oat milk is the fourth non-dairy milk available for U.S. Starbucks customers, following soy milk, coconut milk, and almond milk.
Starbucks first offered plant milk at its stores in the U.S. in 1997 with the addition of soy milk. Coconut milk was added in 2015 and almond milk debuted the following year.
“We know from experience that we’re in the midst of a plant-based revolution,” Toni Petersson, Oatly CEO, explained. He added that the launch fits into “Starbucks’ ongoing commitment to sustainability.”
Starbucks’ Vegan Food Menu Is Growing Too
Beverages aside, Starbucks is also adding a new vegan food item to its permanent menu: the Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box.
This fully plant-based meal contains a whopping 15 grams of protein. The box includes chickpea bites, snap peas, mini carrots, a dried cranberry and nut mix, and avocado spread.
This protein-packed box joins an array of other vegan foods that Starbucks has steadily added to its menu over the years.
Other plant-based options available in the U.S. include the Lentils & Vegetable Protein Bowl with Brown Rice and the Vegan Superberry Açaí Bowl. Starbucks also offers the Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwich, which is made with an Impossible sausage patty but includes animal-based eggs and cheese.
Starbucks has been expanding its vegan offerings internationally as well. In April 2020, the chain partnered with Beyond Meat, OmniPork and Oatly to create a plant-based menu in China. And in September of last year, Starbucks added plant-based items to its menus in Asia. These included products made with Impossible Foods.
Similarly, Starbucks UK introduced vegan whipped cream and four vegan sandwiches (some made with Beyond Meat) in December 2020.