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 Post subject: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:27 pm 
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I don't drink hot chocolate out very often but some of my friends do. If I'm buying them a drink I want to get a vegan one. What are the options for hot chocolate in the chain coffee shops like Costa and Cafe Nero? Is the 'classic' in Starbucks still vegan but the 'signature' one not?

And what about seasonal drinks? I know in the summer the Starbucks mocha cookie crumble frap could be vegan but what about the winter drinks? I would have thought any syrup was likely to be vegan but for instance I've heard the Starbucks pumpkin latte isn't.

I prefer to avoid Starbucks these days but don't really know what I can have elsewhere apart from just a plain latte.

(One thing I find strange is that coffee strength varies depending on the size of your drink. In Nero for example a small latte has one shot of coffee, a medium has two shots but so does a large - so the large is weaker because there is more milk diluting the two shots. Weird.)


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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:39 am 
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None of the chain shops get the ratio of coffee to milk right, mainly due to the super sizing phenomenon (at the correct ratio it would be six and a half shots for a large drink at Starbucks).

I have nothing else to add, other than Starbucks has apparently stopped charging extra for soy milk!

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:58 am 
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MessyVeggie wrote:
I have nothing else to add, other than Starbucks has apparently stopped charging extra for soy milk!

About effing time too! That always used to really peas me off.

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:26 am 
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That's interesting. I drink decaf and Cafe Nero charge for soya milk AND decaf. I prefer Costa anyway but (as I'm sure that preference gives away, it must be the weakest of the three brands mentioned) I'm not a proper coffee connoisseur! They add no extra charges.

I'm hoping someone knows about the hot chocolate, syrups, Christmas drinks etc (esp at Costa) as there's always a queue in these shops which makes checking the ingredients with the baristas a hassle.

I'd also love it if anyone knew where to get a vegan chai latte in a chain shop as I haven't found one yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:33 am 
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Www.costanutrition.co.uk you can put in your drink and it tells you if it's vegan or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:47 am 
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Thanks vixki. Using that site I've at least found out that gingerbread syrup is vegan.

The hot chocolate comes up as not vegan but I wonder whether that is because anything which says 'may contain traces of milk' is automatically deemed unsuitable by them, or because they consider a topping like whipped cream or shaved chocolate as part of the drink even though it can be left off.


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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:18 am 
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My understanding is that Costa hot chocolate is not vegan. I think it's due to the syrup they use, because iirc, their mochas aren't vegan either.

Starbucks and Caffe Nero hot chocolates are vegan (made with soy, obvs).

It's hard to say about the syrups. They should all be vegan, but it seems like some of them aren't. Most of the flavours are (including caramel), but stuff like eggnog, toffee, and, as you mention, the pumpkin spice seem not to be. I think a lot of the seasonal drinks are OK with the syrups but not the toppings (so Costa toffee nut is OK without the toffee topping).

The hot apple drink at Costa is vegan, I've heard.

I hope that helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:40 am 
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Last winter I emailed Starbucks about their hot chocolates and they pretty much told me that they couldn't tell me if there was milk in their hot chocolate bases or not. Cos, ya know, who needs to know about allergy information?


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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:50 am 
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Does Starbucks still use Monin brand syrups? If so, they are vegan (but not all of their other products, like the sauces, are).

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:33 am 
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rachell37 wrote:
My understanding is that Costa hot chocolate is not vegan. I think it's due to the syrup they use, because iirc, their mochas aren't vegan either.

Starbucks and Caffe Nero hot chocolates are vegan (made with soy, obvs).

It's hard to say about the syrups. They should all be vegan, but it seems like some of them aren't. Most of the flavours are (including caramel), but stuff like eggnog, toffee, and, as you mention, the pumpkin spice seem not to be. I think a lot of the seasonal drinks are OK with the syrups but not the toppings (so Costa toffee nut is OK without the toffee topping).

The hot apple drink at Costa is vegan, I've heard.

I hope that helps!


Yeah their mochas aren't vegan. I got annoyed with this because they used to always tell me they were OK, but then my MIL went vegan and they told her they weren't. So I looked it up and nope, not vegan. And there is literally nothing to eat there (but I think that's the same in Starbucks too).

Their hot apple drink is really nice though. And they put a little cinnamon stick and star anise in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:02 am 
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The Cafe Nero hot chocolate is vegan if you get soy and leave off the whipped cream and the chocolate sprinkles, you can have cocoa powder instead of the sprinkles. Their mince pie was vegan last year too.

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:25 am 
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Apparently the mince pies in Nero are still vegan, someone posted it on the UK facebook group.

vixki, starbucks has a vegan salad but that's about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Yes Nero mince pies are labelled vegan again this year. The Costa mince tart looked similar but no, according to the website it contains milk and eggs.


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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:33 am 
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Is anything in costa been vegan?


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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:29 am 
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I worked in Starbucks up until April, so I can give you the lowdown, but I've not set foot in one since then so my information may be six months out of date...

I believe the syrups were all vegan....

Toffee Nut only wasn't vegan as the sprinkle topping contained milk. So a soya toffee nut latte, minus cream & sprinkles, should be vegan.
A soya gingerbread latte would also be vegan.. the topping on that one was just nutmeg. And a soya peppermint mocha.. but the cream etc are all included in the (high) price, so on the seasonal beverages you'd be kind of being ripped off a bit if ordering them without cream/sprinkles etc etc.

Pumpkin Spice isn't a 'syrup', as such, it comes in a carton which we pumped out, and contained milk.

Chai was also in a carton, which contained honey. We did chai teabags though, so you could get a chai tea with steamed soya milk for a kinda makeshift chai latte.

Eggnog isn't vegan


The mocha base (which we used for classic hot chocolate and mocha) was vegan; it came as a powder (dairy free) which we mixed with hot water.

Signature Hot Chocolate powder contained milk, and we made the base by mixing it with yet more milk.

Mocha Cookie Crumble wasn't vegan when I worked there - pretty sure the chocolate chips contained dairy. A normal soya mocha frappuccino would be ok though. Most other frappuccinos should be veganizabl, as there's no dairy in the bases anymore, they're just a kind of thickening agent...
but the caramel sauce (as drizzled on caramel macchiatos, caramel frappuccinos etc) contained milk.

Food-wise... crisps, fruit salad... and there was a soya porridge. That's it, though!

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:49 am 
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herbivorous_bex wrote:
Mocha Cookie Crumble wasn't vegan when I worked there - pretty sure the chocolate chips contained dairy. A normal soya mocha frappuccino would be ok though. Most other frappuccinos should be veganizabl, as there's no dairy in the bases anymore, they're just a kind of thickening agent...



Whaaaat, someone on here told me it was vegan if you had it with soy and no cream :(

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:28 am 
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I read that somewhere too (maybe here). I had it a few times, it was the only reason I went to Starbux at all in the summer.


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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:35 am 
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Yeah, that was probably me as that's what I was told at Starbucks. I'm gonna be super pissed if that was the case, because they read the ingredients to me and there was no dairy in anything. I don't even know how many of those things I drank this summer.

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:30 am 
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The eggnog latte stuff at Bux comes in a carton like uht milk, it's not syrup. Dairy-tastic. I was in there last night for the first time in a year and when I asked for a toffee nut latte with soy, the barista said "no sprinkles or cream?". It's the little things that make me happy :)

Chai syrup is available in some coffee shops, as opposed to powdered chai with milk and honey in it. The syrup is usually vegan.
http://www.nextdaycoffee.co.uk/store/mo ... ntrate-971

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:28 pm 
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herbivorous_bex wrote:
the cream etc are all included in the (high) price, so on the seasonal beverages you'd be kind of being ripped off a bit if ordering them without cream/sprinkles etc etc.


I make a point of asking for a soya latte with <flavour> syrup, rather than an <flavour> soya latte. Not only cheaper but the same price as a standard latte with loyalty card.

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 Post subject: Re: Chain coffee shop hot chocolate & seasonal drinks
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:21 pm 
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One of the big 3 chains (I'm afraid I can't recall which one) refused to do that last year. A few weeks after the seasonal drinks began it became harder and harder to just get the syrup added without being charged for the whole speciality drink and eventually it was pretty consistently refused, I was told the ruling had come from head office.


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