Starbucks recently announced that oat milk will (finally!) be offered as part of its permanent menu in stores nationwide beginning March 2. Starbucks is using Oatly oat milk, a creamy, plant-based, and nondairy milk alternative that pairs perfectly in your favorite Starbucks beverage. Yep, that means you can now enjoy one of its new Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espressos or a delicious Honey Oatmilk Latte without risking a stomachache or sacrificing creaminess.
The good news for dairy-free coffee-lovers comes after a successful regional trial run, as detailed in a blog post about the brand's sustainability efforts and growing interest in plant-based foods.
Disappointingly, there's still an additional charge to make a beverage dairy-free (I just tried to place an order for a latte with Oatly oat milk and was charged an additional 80 cents compared to a latte with dairy), but this might change in the future. After many Starbucks customers expressed their frustrations with the dairy-free milk tax and animal-rights organization PETA spoke up about removing the upcharge, Starbucks responded that it expects the cost to come down because more and more people are now using dairy-free options, although there's been no set timeline for when this will occur. It previously justified the additional cost because the dairy-free options weren't used as frequently.
Many coffee shops have embraced the popular milk substitute; Dunkin', for example, has carried it nationwide since August 2020. Starbucks also offers three additional dairy-free milk substitutes — soy, almond, and coconut milk.
Oat milk is an ideal companion for coffee and other beverages, with a creamy texture that more closely resembles cow's milk than other substitutes do. It also froths well — perfect for that foamy latte texture we know and love.