Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Starbucks: Ok or not?

I've had some contradictory answers when trying to get to the bottom about what drinks at Starbucks are ok for someone maintaining a gluten-free diet. I actually had an interesting experience at a Starbucks. I asked the barista if there were any drinks that would be considered gluten-free. He asked what gluten was and I told him products of wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Then he confidently said, that everything should be fine because its coffee, why would they add flour to coffee. I explained to him that there might be something in some of the syrups though, so he got another coworker who suggested that I not get a specialty beverage because she wasn't so sure that any would be gluten free. I've done a bit of research on this topic. Of course, Starbucks does not publish an allergy information sheet. Just searching random websites will offer you mixed results about whether things are safe or not. Let's just clear things up. Here's the response I received from Starbucks to my gluten free question:

Hello Deirdre,
Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.
I sincerely appreciate your question regarding gluten in our beverages. unfortunately, due to cross-contamination, we cannot guarantee that any of our products are gluten-free except for some of our brewed teas. All of our teas are gluten-free except for the following:

Green Ginger filterbags
Tazo Honeybush filterbags
Lemon Ginger juiced tea
Tea Lemonade juiced tea

Additional facts about Tazo and our teas are revealed on our website at

So the official answer is, sorry friends, unless you want to overpay for a cup of tea that you could buy at a grocery store.... Starbucks is out for us Celiacs. Simply click on the "What is Tazo" link and open the FAQ/IAQ section. Each tea and herbal infusion also has its own page listed under the "Explore Our Teas" link.

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