Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by brewthatcoffee
Starbucks almond milk ticks all the boxes. It’s subtly nutty and sweet, has a creamy texture, and gets foamy when steamed. No wonder almond drinks are a popular order at the cultish coffee chain. What’s Starbucks’ secret? What brand of almond milk gives these impressive results?
Starbucks makes its own almond milk from a recipe of filtered water, almonds, sugar, thickening agents, salt, vitamins, and minerals. This ingredient mix creates a creamy almond milk that complements hot, cold, and frozen drinks without overpowering other flavors.
Let’s look at what’s in Starbucks almond milk, whether it’s good for you, and which Starbucks drinks make the most of this dairy-free option.
What Kind Of Almond Milk Does Starbucks Use?
Starbucks uses almond milk made from a recipe its Research & Development team devised.
The team experimented to create an almond milk that works wonders in hot and cold drinks – it foams when steamed and is creamy when chilled.
Getting the flavor and texture right was also on the team’s priority list. They developed a recipe to get a silky mouthfeel and subtle almond flavor.
Almond Milk Ingredients
Whereas dairy milk contains one ingredient (processed in different ways), several ingredients are needed to turn almonds into plant milk with the right taste and texture.
10 ingredients make up Starbucks almond milk. Here’s what goes in:
- Filtered water
- Calcium carbonate
- Sunflower lecithin
- Sea salt
- Xanthan gum
- Guar gum
- Vitamin A palmitate
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)
Is It Healthy?
Let’s look at each Starbucks almond milk ingredient to find out whether it’s a good-for-you drink.
|Is it Healthy?
|Yes! It’s the ultimate hydrator minus the nasty things that lurk in tap water.
|Yes! Almonds pack a nutritional punch.
|Nope. Although it’s fine to have this sweet stuff in moderation.
|Yes. This is a form of calcium, the mineral essential for healthy bones and teeth.
|Sunflower lecithin is considered safe as a food additive. It might even have health benefits.
|In small amounts. Sodium keeps our bodies working as they should – as long as we don’t have too much.
|Xanthan gum and guar gum
|Xanthan gum and guar gum are okay in small amounts.
|Vitamin A palmitate
|Yes. This is a form of vitamin A (for eye, skin, and immune system health) that our bodies can easily use.
|Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)
|Yes. This is a form of vitamin D, which is needed for strong bones and teeth.
The almonds, vitamins, and minerals make Starbucks almond milk a health-smart choice. The milk has added calcium and vitamins A and D, the top nutrients vegans lack. And sunflower lecithin is linked to potential health perks.
The sugar, salt, and gums aren’t exactly healthy, but they can be included in a healthy diet if limited.
Now let’s examine Starbucks almond milk’s nutrition.
|Starbucks Almondmilk (Small: 8 fl oz)
Almond milk is low in calories and has the lowest sugar content of all Starbucks dairy-free milks (it’s also got less sugar than cow’s milk). The American Heart Association gives women the okay to have up to 25g of sugar daily, and men can have up to 36g daily. So, the 3g in a cup of Starbucks almond milk shouldn’t push you over your limit.
The milk is low in sodium, with only 5% of your daily value in a cup.
It’s also low in protein. About a quarter of the protein that you get in cow’s milk.
Starbucks almond milk just misses being called low fat, as it has 4g of fat instead of 3g or less per serving.
Is Starbucks Almond Milk Healthy? – Takeaways
The characteristics that make Starbucks almond milk healthy are that it’s made from nutrient-rich almonds, fortified with vitamins and minerals vegans commonly lack, and is low in calories and sodium. The milk’s health downsides are that it contains added sugar and is low in protein. Of course, almond milk is a health risk for everyone allergic to tree nuts!
5 Best Starbucks Almond Milk Drinks, Ranked
You can swap regular milk for almond in any Starbucks drink. However, Starbucks has specially created a selection of drinks with almond milk as the star ingredient. Some are vegan, and others include dairy, but all have this nutty milk in the mix. These are 5 must-tastes:
1. Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso
Blonde espresso and chocolate malt are shaken to create a rich, frothy texture, then topped with chilled almond milk and ice.
|Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso (Grande: 16 fl oz)
2. Honey Almondmilk Flat White
Blonde espresso and honey bring out the best in steamed almond milk. The mellow espresso complements the milk’s nutty notes, and the honey enhances its sweetness.
|Honey Almondmilk Flat White (Grande: 16 fl oz)
3. Iced Honey Almondmilk Flat White
This take on the Honey Almondmilk Flat White is poured over ice for a refreshing sip.
|Iced Honey Almondmilk Flat White (Grande: 16 fl oz)
4. Horchata Almondmilk Frappuccino®
This dessert-in-a-cup is a dreamy blend of almond milk, cinnamon syrup, coffee, and ice, topped with a whipped cream cloud, caramel swirl, and cinnamon-sugar sprinkles.
It’s a seasonal treat, but you can make a copycat version by ordering a Grande Coffee Frappuccino® with almond milk, 2 pumps of cinnamon dolce syrup, whipped cream, caramel drizzle and cinnamon dolce sprinkles.
|Horchata Almondmilk Frappuccino® (Grande: 16 fl oz)
5. Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato
A caramelly delight with warming spice, this drink combines almond milk, espresso, cinnamon syrup, caramel drizzle, and sweet cinnamon sprinkles.
You can copy this seasonal favorite by ordering a Grande Caramel Macchiato with almond milk and swapping the vanilla syrup for cinnamon dolce syrup. Finish off by adding cinnamon dolce sprinkles to the caramel drizzle.
|Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato (Grande: 16 fl oz)
Tips For Ordering Almond Milk Drinks At Starbucks
Here are the top 3 tips for ordering Starbucks almond milk drinks:
- 1: Choose Blonde espresso. This mild roast’s nutty notes enhance the almond milk’s flavor.
- 2: Have an iced drink. Almond milk is especially delicious when chilled.
- 3: Add syrups and sauces. Try your almond milk drink with white chocolate mocha sauce and toffeenut syrup.
Starbucks Almond Milk FAQs
Here’s more must-know info about Starbucks almond milk.
Order a delicately nutty, creamy almond milk drink next time you pop in at Starbucks, whether you’re vegan or just craving something different. Experiment by adding this dairy-free milk to your usual order, or try one of Starbucks’ specially crafted almond milk drinks. You’ll get new flavors and a dose of almond goodness.