Coffee is the greatest drink. No doubt. Thankfully, being vegan has led me to discover more (and better) coffee drinks. Seriously, have you ever had an oat milk latte? There’s something about oat milk that makes it superior to other kinds of milk in coffee. Oatly is one of my favorite oat milk brands and they have barista creamer. In terms of almond milk and other milk alternative creamers, I love Silk and Nut Pods.
I recently started drinking coffee every day because coffee makes my mornings. When I get up, the first thing that crosses my mind is how I cannot wait to make myself a delicious latte. Most days I use two ingredients: coffee and almond milk when I want something a little sweeter I’ll add vegan flavored syrup. Making coffee at home eases my mind because I don’t have to worry about syrups being vegan and it is significantly cheaper. Now my daily cup of coffee is less than $2 a cup, whereas at Starbucks my orders are over $6 and Dunkin’ over $3.
My top two methods for brewing coffee at home are my Nespresso and cold-brew. Nespresso coffee tastes amazing and the pods are 100% aluminum, meaning they can be infinitely recycled. Nespresso sends you free (plastic) bags to ship your pods to them or you can drop them off yourself at specific locations. Sustainability is a paramount concern and my coffee is one area I’m always looking for ways to improve in. Another important reason I chose Nespresso is that their pods are inexpensive, I ordered a 100 for about a $100. I have the Vertuo Nespresso machine and the cool thing is I can make espresso and regular coffee. The machine uses a centrifuge system to heat the coffee up and the coffee actually steams making a Nespresso a fantastic option if you prefer hot coffee. Mine came with a milk frother, but since the machine already makes foam on top of the coffee, I don't get as much use out of the frother. I recently got a french press making cold brewing coffee simple and effortless. After about three uses, my roommate and one of my closest friends broke it, with my cold brew in it. There’s still coffee grounds in our drawer, but like it’s fine; because she got me a new one. French presses are great for brewing hot coffee, but I prefer cold or iced coffee. There are a variety of french presses to choose from, a woman in Marshall's recommended I get a stainless steel one. If I had listened, I guess my original would have never been broken. Then I chose again to get a glass one because we're college students on a budget, and I still have a french press so that has to count for something. French presses are definitely the way to go if you want the cheapest way to make coffee. Basic ground coffee has the lowest per cup cost of any other coffee brewing method. If you're looking for a quality (but still cheap) cup, go for the Nespresso!! I purchased my machine off Amazon and it was a little over $100 at the time. Lastly, instant coffee is vegan, so definitely try the whipped coffee with some iced almond (or oat milk).
Now I know some of you still want your daily starbs, so we’ll go into some great vegan options that you can get at Starbucks! They recently released two new great vegan drinks: Coconut Milk Latte and Almondmilk Honey Flat White (if you consider honey to be vegan). All the drinks I’m going to discuss, please know you have to ask for almond, soy, or coconut milk unless it is in the title. Caffe Mochas and Peppermint Mochas are two of my favorite options. Caramel Macchiatos used to be my go-to Starbucks order, but now they confuse me and I avoid them. The caramel syrup is vegan, but apparently the drizzle is not. I think there’s also a sauce that may not be vegan. After searching the web and scouring the Starbucks allergen sheet I have come to the conclusion that if you order a caramel macchiato, it will not be vegan, you would have to request they make it with the syrup. If you are also a caramel macchiato lover, I suggest asking them when you go! Peta’s site states “Caramel Macchiatos (with soy, almond, or coconut milk and without the caramel drizzle)” are vegan. Check out Peta’s guide for additional drinks and ingredients to avoid. If you love hot chocolate be sure to get Starbucks classic hot chocolate. Their infamous pink drink is vegan, however, it is not one of my favorites. Lastly, the matcha lemonade is vegan, meaning the next time I’m willing to splurge I’ll be trying it!
Fortunately, if you like Dunkin’ you’ll have an easier experience ordering there than Starbucks. At Dunkin’ stick to mocha or peppermint mocha with almond milk and you’ll be good. I know for a fact their caramel syrup is not vegan and generally, only their chocolate syrup-based flavors are vegan.