Good news for dairy-averse Starbucks fans: The coffee chain just announced that “Starbucks Single Origin Sumatra Coconut Milk” will soon be available to the masses. Starbucks, which already offers soy milk and a variety of cow milks, is skipping over almond milk — a milk alternative beloved by vegans and paleo dieters alike — and jumping directly to coconut milk, a move that mirrors a recent obsession with all things coconut. The company will roll out the milk, which it calls “a creamy, delicious alternative to dairy and soy for handcrafted beverages,” in all locations on Feb. 17.
The milk is certified vegan and, unlike almond milk, free from tree nuts. “Through careful research anddevelopment including numerous recipes and taste tests, Starbucks productinnovators found that the rich, creaminess of Coconut Milk is the best complement to Starbucks hot, iced and Frappuccino® beverages without the same allergen challenges present in almond milk,” Starbucks announced on Wednesday.
As for how the milk stacks up nutritionally, a grande-sized latte made with coconut milk has 110 calories, 60 of which come from fat. The coconut milk does contain sugar — 10 grams in a grande-sized latte — and has 6 grams of saturated fat. Fans of coconut milk say it can stabilize blood sugar and increase good cholesterol levels (HDL) which reducing bad cholesterol (LDL). Plus, recent research has shown that coconut products might help torch abdominal fat.
“Coconut milk is vegan and is also cholesterol free. And while it does contain some saturated fat, the type of saturated fat is mostly lauric acid, a medium chain triglyceride (MCT), which is processed differently by the body than animal sources of saturated fat,” Frances Largerman-Roth, RDN, best-selling author and nutrition expert, tells Yahoo Health. “Cow’s milk is also a healthy option, but many people avoid it because they’re lactose intolerant or because it doesn’t fit with the diet plan they’re following. And many people now avoid soy due to allergies and issues digesting it. I personally love the flavor of coconut milk and I’m excited to try it in an espresso drink.” The bottom line: if you like the flavor and you’re looking to switch up your drink, giving coconut milk a try can be a healthy choice.
What do you think? Will you try Starbucks’ new coconut milk?