Whether we have a mountain of work to finish or just want to relax with some fragrant, roasty warmth, nothing gets the job done like a strong cup of joe. Luckily, there’s always a Starbucks (or three) in the vicinity, which means we’ve got a plethora of ways to stay well-caffeinated and alert for the day. That said, no coffee run is complete without a little something to nibble on, so next time you’re in the green coffeehouse, don’t sip your espresso solo because our resident Vegan Barista (and VegNews editor) compiled the perfect vegan bites to complement your daily java fix.
Select United States stores got a chance to get their hands on Rhythm Super Foods kale chips last summer, and they were such a hit that they’re being rolled out nationwide. Made with sunflower seeds, tahini, vegetables, and lemon juice, you can get your nutrient-dense crunch on in Zesty Nacho or Kool Ranch Flavors.
Drink pairing: Make it a Brassica blowout with an Evolution Fresh smoothie (cold-pressed premium juice blended with a banana and ice—be sure to substitute soy or coconut milk for the standard Greek yogurt) with an added boost of fresh baby kale.
Washington-based company Pretzel Perfection delivers on their brand name with artisanal, gluten-free pretzel sticks. Each bag delivers a wallop of flavor thanks to vegan Worcestershire sauce and provides serious crunch from being double-baked. Pick up a pack of Garlic Herb, Tomato Basil, or Chipotle BBQ and get snacking.
Drink pairing: A Teavana Shaken Iced Black Tea offers deep, oaky flavors in a refreshingly lip-smacking iced offering that stands up well to the rich, malty seasoning of the pretzels.
Peanut butter cups
Justin’s has long been making our nut butter dreams come true, and this has never been more the case than when we learned we could pick up dark chocolate peanut butter cups while in line for our lattes. Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance Certified, these creamy melt-away cups are much better for both you (and the environment) compared to those dairy-laden childhood versions you remember.
Drink pairing: Regardless of what your barista is brewing at the moment, you can pick whatever roast the store has available for an individual serving via a French Press or Clover machine. Single-origin medium roast Guatemala Antigua is a rich offering with cocoa and subtle spice flavors—perfect for enhancing the dark chocolate goodness of your peanut butter cups.
Those looking for something sweet can get their fill with the help of Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters—chunks of organic apple pieces rolled into puff-dried crunchy clusters. Made with only two ingredients—apples and apple juice—each bag contains five whole organic apples and provides a full serving of fruit without fat or preservatives.
Drink pairing: Starbucks’ line of Refresher beverages are unique in that they’re light and sweet like tea, but they’re made from green coffee beans, real fruit, and fruit juice—so you get your jolt of caffeine without the roast. Pop some Berry Apple Clusters between sips of a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher.
Black truffle almonds
Aromatic black summer truffles combined with sea salt and roasted California almonds taste like they should be eaten from of a fancy bowl, but you’ll gladly pop them by the handful.
Drink pairing: A few of these decadent nuts along with a double shot of dense, caramelly sweet ristretto-pulled espresso, enjoyed slowly, will transport you to an Italian coffeehouse.
Vegan barista tip: Snack offerings are always changing and vary by region, so ask your local barista for nutrition information if you get your hands on a new find!
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