Review: Starbucks’ new drink with a ‘latte’ problems


Courtesy of Starbucks' Instagram

Screenshot from Starbucks’ Instagram displaying their new sugar-filled vegan-friendly drink.

by Aaliyah Alexander, Opinion Editor

Us vegans are used to being the odd one out at parties, events and restaurants. So, we’ve perfected the art of bringing our own dishes to gatherings where being vegan is still unorthodox and we’ve mastered the skill of altering menu items to make them vegan-friendly. 

As a frequent Starbucks customer, it’s great to see new items such as the “Pink Drink” or Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso be vegan as is. This means not having to ask the barista to replace the milk with a non-dairy alternative or omit the whipped cream. (Not to mention being charged extra for these alternatives.)

However, being a coffee lover during the holiday season hasn’t been the best experience due to the limited selection of festive drinks at Starbucks. Luckily, this holiday season is going to be a bit different because the popular coffee chain recently released their new vegan-friendly drink: Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte. 

According the VegNews, this new holiday drink is inspired by “spritzen” cookies which are German holiday sugar cookies. The latte contains sugar cookie-flavored syrup combined with blonde espresso and almond milk, of course. 

Without any knowledge of the previous information, I went to my local Starbucks and ordered this much anticipated latte. 

I was initially disappointed because the flavor didn’t remind me of traditional sugar cookies that are popular in the U.S. However, that didn’t mean it didn’t taste good. 

The drink reminded me of praline flavored treats instead of regular sugar cookies, but after reading the inspiration behind the drink, I thought maybe “spritzen” cookies have pralines in them? That thought was dismissed after I found out “spritzen” cookies are basically just flour, eggs, butter and sugar.

The Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte can be ordered hot or iced and apparently comes with red and green sprinkles (which I didn’t get on mine for some reason) which is a nice touch for a holiday drink. 

The most important question that remains: does the new vegan-friendly latte get one into the holiday spirit? No. 

I wanted so badly to taste this new latte and feel the urge to play my Christmas music while wearing a big, comfy sweater as I watched a crappy Hallmark movie, but the feeling never came. 

If Starbucks finally had their non-dairy whipped cream in all locations and added it to the latte while going to town with their red and green sprinkles on the Iced Sugar Cookie Latte, then maybe my holiday spirit would have a different experience. 

Until then, I will stick with my year-round order of a caramel iced latte with almond milk.