Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Latte ViaIf you have read any of my other posts about Starbucks you know that we have one of those dysfunctional relationships where I know everything can work if they just change except that quite honestly they have no intention of changing and what I am asking for is completely unreasonable anyway.

So to paraphrase their own website, if you have food allergies you need to be careful at Starbucks.

The lattes and other combination drinks at Starbucks are likely to be cross-contaminated. They are very clear about that. Starbucks is a place that sells mostly gluten and dairy containing products and while the place is admirably clean, most Starbucks are not going to reach perfect celiac level gluten-free status.

I drink the coffee, black, no sugar. I have never had an issue with that. Oh, but how I missed my lattes.

Which is why Via is such good news.

Technically, a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha does not contain gluten and can be made without dairy. Realistically, the product is made inside of an actual Starbucks and that steamer just steamed some dairy milk one minute ago. So if you want a really vegan experience…get the Via.

Now the Peppermint Mocha meets all of my happy “real food” criteria. It only has 4 ingredients. It contains coffee beans, cane sugar, cocoa powder and yes the dreaded mystery “natural flavors”. Natural flavors made me put the caramel latte back but with this one, I think the “natural flavors” are going to be peppermint and not some wheat based flavor. Since I react to wine that had a host in in that someone else consumed, I make and excellent test subject. And I am willing to make the huge sacrifice of drinking one or eight of these for your benefit.

Why are you laughing?

Interestingly, the people at the Starbucks all agreed that the Via Peppermint Mocha tastes better than one that they make in the store. Go figure. You can make it yourself the way that I do by microwaving an unsweetened version of your favorite vegan milk and then mixing the powder in to the hot milk. I never liked the foam anyway. If you want the whole experience try adding soy whip and some chocolate shavings off of an Enjoy Life bar.

Here is another blogger’s review of the product

Oddly enough you cannot buy the product off their website. You have to go into the store to get it. Amazon has some vendors selling it online at an increased price if you live in a place where there are no Starbucks.

However, if you are like me and just love the special holiday drinks, pop into your local Starbucks and get yourself a nice gluten and dairy free holiday treat.

Then go home and microwave it yourself.