Guest Author - Gayle E. Santana
Putting Starbucks and coffee-free in the same sentence is to create an oxymoron. In fact, if you looked up the word coffee, you wouldn’t bat an eyelash if the Starbucks’ logo were sitting right next to it. Considering that Starbucks is a global operation boasting 16,000 locations worldwide, and product distribution beyond those locations, I think everyone on earth would get it.
New Ice-Cream Flavors
Starbucks announced the rollout of some new ice cream flavors this week. They are Vanilla Bean Frappuccino®, Signature Hot Chocolate® and Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino®. Simply put, the new flavors are vanilla, chocolate and strawberry without a coffee bean in sight. This thought led me to ponder just how many Starbucks Menu items are really not coffee related. Using the online Starbucks menu, I took a look.
The Menu--Coffee vs. Coffee-Free
The menu contains seven sections:
-Fruit & Snack Plates
-Sandwiches, Panini & Wraps
In the Bakery section, there are 46 items total and not one, from what I can determine, contains coffee. The Fruit and Snack Plate section has two; the Hot Breakfast Section, 10; the Salad section, two; the Sandwich, Panini & Wraps section, eight; the Ice Cream section, five; and the Yogurt Parfaits section, three. So far, that makes 76 items on the Starbucks online menu that are coffee-free.
Believe it or not, the majority of Starbucks’ drinks are also coffee-free, and some are even caffeine-free, like the White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino® and the Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino® Blended Beverage. There are also 24 items on the tea menu that may not necessarily be caffeine free but they are indeed coffee-free. On the Kids drink menu, there are five items that are caffeine and coffee-free. Of the signature Starbucks Vivanno™ smoothies, the Mocha smoothie contains coffee and chocolate (both of which do contain caffeine but weighs in with only 15 milligrams of caffeine which is negligible compared to a cup of coffee. Coffee can have a range of anywhere between 104-192 milligrams). The Strawberry Vivanno™ Smoothie and the Orange Mango Vivanno™ Smoothie did not contain either. Of the two hot chocolates listed, the White Hot Chocolate contained neither coffee nor caffeine. White Chocolate does not contain caffeine.
This extensive, yet unscientific review has led me to conclude that Starbucks, while surely being synonymous with coffee, actually has far more coffee-free items on its menu than coffee items. I’ll have to let Starbucks weigh in on the validity of my claim, but it’s great to know that even if you are coffee-free, you can still enjoy the Starbucks experience. If you are not a coffee drinker, the next time someone invites you out for coffee don’t tell them you don’t drink coffee, just say, “Sure. Let’s go to Starbucks.”
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