This week, coffeehouse giant Starbucks unveiled its newest menu item—the Horchata Almondmilk Frappuccino. The latest drink is made with coffee, cinnamon dolce syrup, ice, and uses almond milk as a base—the first Starbucks Frappuccino to use the plant-based milk as the default milk ingredient. While the base beverage is vegan, toppings include whipped cream, caramel, cinnamon, and sugar sprinkles—which customers can omit by telling the barista to hold the toppings. While the new Horchata Almondmilk Frappuccino is easy to veganize at most stores, a Starbucks spokesperson tells VegNews that the company is testing a base that contains dairy that would make all Frappuccinos not vegan at 170 select stores in Sacramento, CA and Providence, RI, meaning that customers in those areas should ask baristas if their store is part of the test market. Starbucks added almond milk to its menu in 2016 to fulfill customer demand and has since experimented with plant-based milks to concoct various beverages, including this summer’s Cups of Kindness—a line of four vegan drinks (made primarily with coconut milk) made in collaboration with musician Lady Gaga to benefit her anti-bullying organization the Born This Way Foundation.
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