If you've been keeping up with larger coffee shop news in the chain world, you'll have most likely found out that Starbucks has now released oat milk to their menu instore. Now for any of you who know me, you will know that although I'm no vegan, or lactose intolerant person, I will opt for oat milk whenever I can. However, I'll only do this when I know they're supplying 'oatly' oat milk.
But obviously I'm not just going to complain about this willy nilly. Starbucks has stated that their oat milk has been created as a formula only for the Starbucks shops, and therefore it may be amazing if we don't taste it. So I dragged myself over to Starbucks to try some for myself. And, well, it wasn't that bad. I mean it could have been helluva lot better (once again, looking at you my glorious Oatly), but it wasn't actually as bad as I thought it was going to be. Sorry about that, but I can't really fault it. I mean, it's nowhere as creamy as oatly's barista edition, but it's definitely not too shabby.
A brief look on the official Starbucks page shows that there has been a huge amount of mixed reviews on the introduction of oat milk, and the more I delve into it the more I believe Starbucks has done it for one huge marketing stunt. I mean, heck, they seem really lovely for supplying oat mik to their customers after huge demand. But you know what? I can't be that critical. You know why? Because I've been hoping a chain would hop on board with oat milk as soon as possible.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'll definitely be sticking with Oatly and specialty little independent places. They're much better, and there's not even much point debating quality between these guys and Starbucks. However, many areas I go to only have chains, and I basically end up not having any form of a hot drink because of me cutting down on dairy milk. Sure, I could have an americano, but there's nothing ickier for me than an americano from a chain. Sorry, personal preference.
The only problem with this is Starbucks does not have the procedures in place now to support coeliacs. Now, I'm not going to act as a doctor or someone who even knows a tiny bit about coeliacs, but I now know that the Bucks are lenient enough to no longer be able to support this community. Because obviously utensils, steam wands and pitchers are not sterilised between gluten and non gluten free products, those significantly sensitive will not be able to visit the chain anymore down to the possibility of falling ill.
But this raises a larger issue - how do you cater for an entire audience when supplying alternative drinks? The same could be said with nut milks. I can't go to coffee shops which serve hazelnut milk and do not sterilise the equipment they use - and to be quite honest, I wouldn't expect them to. Thankfully for me hazelnut milk isn't a hugely adopted alternative milk in the industry, but if it had the same fame as almond milk then I would be missing out on a lot of coffee shops out there. I mean heck, I love coffee, but I can't risk myself blowing up like a balloon and having to rush to hospital.
So there we have it - if you have any thoughts on the adoption of oat milk into Starbucks, do let me know. I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the matter. But until then, lovelies - have a good one.