Veganism is an ethical lifestyle that extends beyond the limit of their food intake. Therefore, the vegan community is often observant of what they consume- this does not change when it comes to their daily cup of coffee.
In fact, not all coffee can be vegan, while most coffee generally is. This is mainly because some types of coffee do not align with the philosophy of vegans due to their process and how it comes into the market. So, with this featured article, we hope to answer all your questions about whether coffee is vegan-friendly and meets your ethics as vegans.
Is Coffee Vegan?
This question may sound really funny to some people at first. But, when examined in-depth, we can understand that there is something to consider regarding the entire process of some types of coffee till it reaches us in a cup. Actually, the well-known fact is that coffee is roasted beans obtained from the coffee plant. At a glance, we see that there is no animal or animal by-product involved here. But, uncertainties and problems arise when we contemplate the entire process from the moment the coffee plant is planted, its growth, extraction of coffee beans, and how it is packed to be sent to the market. While most coffee is vegan, we say this because not all coffee can be vegan-friendly by its process. And we will bring you facts to prove this later in this article. So, in a nutshell, not all coffee can be vegan.
Which Coffee Is Not Vegan?
Since we stated that not all coffee is vegan, there are reasons why some types of coffee are not vegan-friendly. The doubt is obviously not on its origin but on the process. Due to the methods used in processing coffee, it can turn out not to be vegan. The factors can include:
- The method of cultivation ( also applies to industrial coffee farmers)
- Use of fertilizers.
- Process of coffee bean derivation.
- Packaging used to be sent to the market.
Coffee cultivation is basically done in two methods. The conventional mode of coffee cultivation is called the ”shade-grown” method. In this method, coffee trees are allowed to grow in a more natural procedure, under a forest sunshade. The other is the ”sun-grown” method, where coffee trees are opened up to grow under full sun. Sun grown method was introduced to the farmers expecting to get higher yields and higher profits. However, the data shows that this method does more damage to the ecosystem, involving acres of deforestation. This has attracted the attention of many vegans who think that it is against their vegan ethics.
Another possibility of some coffee not being vegan-friendly is the pesticides they use when they cultivate the trees. Moreover, conventional coffee farmers use animal by-products like feces, bone meal, or blood meal as fertilizers. In addition to these, the packaging of some types of coffee may also have animal by-products like animal-based gelatine used in adhesives. So, vegans avoid drinking conventional coffee, which indirectly includes animal by-products and is not animal-friendly.
Kopi Luwak Coffee
Kopi Luwak, which is also identified as Civet Coffee, is the most expensive coffee in the world. This type of coffee has created a controversy among worldwide coffee fans, including vegans. And, this type of coffee is definitely not for vegans. Kopi luwak coffee process is what makes it not vegan-friendly. The processing of this coffee directly involves an animal known as the Civet Cat. Manufacturers who engage in Kopi Luwak production feed these Civet Cats the coffee cherries and wait until they are digested. Bean derivation happens once these civets defecate the consumed coffee cherries. The people who are involved in this process collect the coffee beans passed out with other fecal matter of these civets.
On top of everything, Kopi Luwak production, which initially started as a conventional method by which they randomly collected these beans from these animals’ fecal matter, has recently converted into intensive farming, which goes against animal protection.
The social data we collected clearly shows that these innocent animals are locked up inside battery cages and are forcefully fed with coffee cherries. Once they are brutally caught and traded to these manufacturers, civets are imprisoned and grievously stripped away from their natural habitat and family. Furthermore, these data show that wild civets are captured and shockingly kept inside these unhygienic cages to spend most of their lives. This paves the way to deteriorate their health condition, making them vulnerable to infectious diseases, which has the potential to welcome new extremely harmful diseases which can also affect human beings.
Thus, in terms of this entire process, we unquestionably witness that it extremely goes against the philosophy of the vegan community. And, we see that many vegan organizations fight against the animal cruelty generated by the manufacturers of coffee processes like Kopi Luwak.
What Is Vegan Coffee?
Once you analyze all the information we have presented in the sections above, your next question may be how to choose vegan coffee? When it comes to the phrase vegan, it is evident that a particular product that vegans consume should be one hundred percent free from animals or animal by-products. Consequently, coffee that can be consumed by vegans should not undergo any of the processes we mentioned on top. The coffee they drink should be grown organically. This means that coffee should not be cultivated using animal by-products, and fertilizers and pesticides should not be used in them. Plus, coffee trees should be grown under the shade-grown method and should come to the store in one hundred percent vegan packaging.
And, also, it should be coffee made from vegan coffee beans that are not involved in processes like Kopi Luwak. If any type of coffee has the ability to meet these standards, vegans can be sure that it is vegan coffee by the process.
However, coffee cannot be vegan just because they agree on vegan measures in terms of the process. The creamers, milk, or other additives used in coffee can sometimes contain animal-based products. Therefore, vegans should be concerned when drinking coffee from shops.
Can I Drink Coffee On A Vegan Diet?
According to the details we provided above, you can see that coffee can be a part of the vegan diet when met with vegan-friendly standards. Once you assure the coffee bean itself is vegan, there are plenty of dairy-free or plant-based creamers or milk to choose from if you are not much of a black coffee lover. However, vegans should be thoughtful when using certain non-dairy creamers since not all non-dairy creamers are vegan. But, vegans are on the safer side to using plant-based milk. Here is a list of plant-based, non-dairy kinds of milk that you could use to flavor your vegan coffee.
- Oat milk- This has a creamy taste and a smooth texture, which can blend easily.
- Coconut milk- You can go coco-nutty with coconut milk in your coffee! Its rich flavor and high-fat content make a perfect cup of vegan coffee.
- Soy milk- This has a creamy and smooth texture which is also readily available and much more neutral in taste. Some soy milk tends to curdle, so the best solution is to use it warm.
- Hemp milk- Vegans can use this milk alternative if you like a slight vegetal or nutty flavor in your coffee. It has a thin texture and dissolves easily.
- Cashew milk- Cashew milk has a slightly sweet taste which will add a perfect flavor to your coffee.
- Rice milk- This has a more watery texture and fails to foam your coffee due to the less protein content. Rice milk has a neutral taste and is not creamy in texture.
- Almond milk- This milk creates silky foams in your cup of coffee and has a nutty flavor. Almond milk too has the potential to curdle so, do not use cold milk on hot coffee.
- Pea milk- Pea milk is smooth in texture and tastes neutral, and does not taste like peas after all.
How To Order Vegan Coffee At Any Coffee Shop?
In recent times, we see that many coffee shops offer vegan coffee, which includes plant-based milk and vegan creamers. However, if you are doubtful or could not get to a place that does not have dairy-free coffee, the next best option is to order yourself a black coffee after confirming it is made of vegan coffee beans.
Also, be watchful of the sweeteners they add to your coffee since most of them may contain honey. So, carry your own vegan creamer or a sweetener if it is possible when you go out. Still, the best thing is to inquire with the barista and check what ingredients are being used in your coffee.
Check with these highest-reviewed vegan coffee creamers to flavor your daily cup of coffee into a heavenly taste.
Oat Milk, Unsweetened Barista Blend, 32 Oz (Pack of 6), Non-Dairy Milk, Creamer, Vegan, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO
Barista Oat Milk Non Dairy Coffee Creamer – Plant Based, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, Shelf Stable – 32oz
(4-Pack), Original, French Vanilla, Hazelnut and Caramel, Unsweetened Dairy-Free Creamer, Made from Almonds and Coconuts, Whole30, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Kosher
Coconut Cream, 32 Oz (Pack of 6), Dairy Free, Soy Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Non-GMO, Shelf Stable, Gluten Free
Especially if you are comfortable with one or two flavors of milk, it would be best to check what they use. If you carry milk with you, take the ones that will not curdle with hot coffee. In addition, as good news, industrial coffee producers and well-reputed brands have started to introduce vegan coffee pods. You can try them at home just like you are enjoying a cup of dairy-free coffee at the shop.
Here are some best-rated vegan coffee pods that you would love to try.
Super Organics Cardio Support Coffee Brew Cups With Superfoods & Probiotics | Keurig K-Cup Compatible | Cardiovascular Health | Medium Roast, USDA Certified Organic, Vegan & Fair Trade Coffee, 12ct
Super Organics Focus Support Coffee Brew Cups With Superfoods & Probiotics | Keurig K-Cup Compatible | Focus and Adaptogens | Medium Roast, USDA Certified, Vegan, Non-GMO & Fair Trade Coffee, 12ct
Is Starbucks Coffee Vegan?
Practically, all plain-brewed coffees at Starbucks are vegan. And, you can still order a lot of other coffees as vegan-friendly. Starbucks is apparently the first name that pops in our heads when we hear that we are going to have coffee outside. And, well, it is the most reputed and the largest coffeehouse chain scattered among the world initiated from America. However, most vegans are interested to know if Starbucks offers vegan coffee. In fact, you have the chance to request coffee with three main types of vegan-friendly milk and vegan syrups.
Tips To Order Vegan Coffee At Starbucks
You already know how to order from a restaurant, hotel, or coffee shop when you are vegan. But, Starbucks is a special place, and you probably need to know a few things before ordering as a vegan. So, here are some tips that will help and guide you once you are at Starbucks.
- Request the barista to replace cow’s milk with plant-based milk. (You can choose from soy, almond, oat, or coconut milk)
- Tell your barista to hold the non-vegan ingredients like pumpkin spice sauce, whipped cream, Java Chips, protein powder, caramel drizzle, and cinnamon dolce)
- Some drinks cannot be prepared vegan. Therefore you will have to avoid them. ( Drinks with white mocha, Caramel Brulee)
Vegan Starbucks Frappuccino
The range of vegan Frappuccino at Starbucks is a successful reach among the vegan community. So, here is the list of vegan Frappuccinos that you could purchase and try from Starbucks.
- Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino Blended Coffee ( request this with dairy-free milk and no whipped cream)
- Caramel Frappuccino Blended Coffee ( get this Frappuccino with dairy-free milk and no whipped cream or caramel drizzle)
- Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino Blended Coffee (Order this with dairy-free milk without topping or whipped cream)
- Green Tea Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème ( You can request this drink without whipped cream and be converted into vegan by dairy-free milk)
- Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino ( Get this with no topping or whipped cream but with soy milk)
- Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee ( Order this with dairy-free milk and no whipped cream)
- Oprah Cinnamon Chai Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème ( This Oprah Winfrey featured Frappuccino can be ordered vegan with almond, soy, or coconut milk, and no whipped cream)
- Salted Caramel Mocha Crème Frappuccino ( order this with caramel sauce, dairy-free milk, and with no whipped cream)
- Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage ( It sounds like the Salted Caramel Mocha Crème Frappuccino. But, the blended beverage variant has coffee in it, and the crème one doesn’t. Still, they can both be prepared vegan the same way- by exchanging the caramel sauce with caramel syrup and requesting for dairy-free milk and no whipped cream)
- Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème ( This Frappuccino tastes wonderful when it is ordered vegan with coconut milk and don’t forget to say no to whipped cream)
Other Vegan Drinks At Starbucks
When you visit Starbucks next time, here are some more vegan drinks that you could order over the counter.
- Plain brewed coffees and teas
- Nitro Cold Brew
- Caffe Americano
- Flat White ( Order with dairy-free milk)
- Iced London Fog Tea Latte ( replace with vegan milk)
- Pink Drink
- Blended Strawberry Lemonade
- Caramel Macchiato (order with dairy-free milk)
- Coconut Milk Latte
- Golden Ginger Drink
- Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte ( ask with vegan milk replacement)
- Iced Pineapple Matcha
- Mango Dragonfruit Refresher
- Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher
- Violet Drink
Our Final Cup Of Coffee…
On the contrary to most information available on the internet, you see that most types of coffee are vegan, while some are not. Therefore, if you are vegan and also a coffee lover, henceforth, you will need to be picky when choosing coffee that should be in your cup. In fact, coffee types like Kopi Luwak can genuinely go against the ethical means of vegans as it has the direct involvement of an animal. Moreover, conventional coffee, which is not organic, and coffee that is not grown under the terms of vegan agriculture will not meet the standards of vegans.
We hope that this post quenched your thirst to learn the truth about whether coffee is vegan and guided you to pick vegan coffee to your own cup and when you are at the coffee shop.