Starbucks’ new lavender drink is made with oat milk, but it’s dairy-free

Spring is in the air and that means it’s time for some new offerings on the Starbucks menu. This year, the coffee giant is finally getting in on the lavender latte trend with two new offerings, the Lavender Ice Cream Oat Milk Matcha and the Lavender Iced Oat Milk Latte.


These new drinks, both made with oat milk, are infused with the delicate floral flavors of lavender and aim to capture the essence of spring’s rejuvenation and renewal.

“Lavender is the perfect flavor to transition from the winter season to spring,” Patrick Penny, beverage developer at Starbucks, said in a statement. “Its gentle sweetness, light floral notes and beautiful color elicit feelings of rejuvenation and awakening associated with the changing seasons.”

Despite the refreshing concept, there is one important detail for consumers expecting an entirely plant-based experience: the presence of dairy in what might otherwise be perceived as a vegan drink.

Is the new Starbucks Oatmilk Lavender Matcha dairy free?

While matcha oat milk and lavender ice cream and its companion latte may seem like a vegan’s spring dream come true, there’s a catch. Using oat milk suggests a dairy-free base, which fits with a growing demand for plant-based alternatives. The Lavender Oatmilk Latte is indeed dairy-free and contains Blonde Espresso combined with oat milk, ice and a subtle note of lavender.

However, when it comes to matcha with oat milk and lavender cream, the introduction of cold lavender cream mousse, made with sweetened vanilla cream, creates a paradox for those who adhere to a vegan diet, as this filling contains dairy products.


“When creating the new Oat Milk Matcha and Lavender Ice Cream, we wanted to capture the invigorating energy of spring in a cup,” said Penny. “Bright green matcha topped with a cool, lavender-hued foam delivers a delightfully colorful and surprisingly delicious flavor combination.”

This approach, blending the green glow of matcha with the floral notes of lavender, suggests a celebration of the spring palette. Yet the decision to include dairy in an otherwise plant-based beverage highlights a gap in the full adoption of vegan-friendly innovations.

Customers took to social media to celebrate the new drinks and express their confusion. “I’m confused by the (including dairy),” one commenter posted on Instagram, adding, “If I order oat milk I expect it to be dairy free.”

Another customer expressed a similar concern. “Why put dairy foam on a non-dairy drink? » » posted the commenter. ” That does not make sense. Please bring non-dairy cold foam to the menu.

Starbucks launched an almond milk cold foam in 2020, but the item is no longer on the menu.

“Starbucks does not currently offer non-dairy cold foams,” a Starbucks spokesperson told VegNews. “For customers who are dairy-free, we recommend the Iced Lavender Oat Milk Latte or adding lavender powder to all your favorite non-dairy drinks, like an Iced Oat Milk Espresso shaken.”

Both drinks are available for a limited time at Starbucks stores nationwide.

Starbucks launches dairy-free lattes

The shift towards non-dairy alternatives is increasingly prevalent in the coffee industry, with major players such as Starbucks recognizing the environmental benefits of plant-based milk over traditional dairy, which accounts for 21% of the carbon footprint chain.

In 2021, Starbucks expanded its vegan milk offerings by adding oat milk to its menu, featuring it in the popular Iced Brown Sugar Shake Oat Milk Espresso.



Exploring the versatility of oat milk, Starbucks has since introduced a variety of drinks using this dairy alternative. A notable innovation was the Oleato Gingerbread Oatmilk Latte, part of the Oleato series, which uniquely combines Arabica coffee with Partanna cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil for a vegan twist.

As part of its dairy-free milk beverage platform, Starbucks has explored a variety of options, including Iced Espresso with Oat Milk and Hazelnut (a permanent addition); the espresso shaken with oat milk and seasonal apples; and Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, which launched as the brand’s first vegan holiday drink in 2021.

Starbucks misses the mark with pork latte

Starbucks’ all-new Lavender Iced Oat Milk Latte joins the coffee giant’s dairy-free offerings. Yet the launch of Lavender Cream Oatmilk Matcha represents another example of Starbucks not fully aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals this year.

The global chain aims to halve its waste, water consumption and carbon emissions by 2030.

“At Starbucks, we promise to give more to the planet than we take,” reads a statement on the Starbucks Stories page. “Our comprehensive approach is based on our commitment to building a more sustainable, equitable and resilient future for coffee, farmers, communities and our planet. »

In a bold move last month, Starbucks China introduced the “Abundant Year Tasty Latte,” created for the Lunar New Year, featuring an unconventional ingredient: a piece of pork. This drink combines espresso with Dongpo pork sauce, braised pork slice and steamed milk, offering oat and almond milk as alternatives to traditional dairy.


This creation aims to integrate traditional Lunar New Year customs into the café experience, promoting meat consumption as a symbol of prosperity for the year to come. Despite this intention, the inclusion of pork in a latte sparked a mix of curiosity and criticism among customers, reflecting the diversity of cultural practices and dietary preferences in China.

The chain’s choice to feature pork in a drink, however, raises questions about compatibility with Starbucks’ environmental commitments, given the significant impact of animal agriculture on global greenhouse gas emissions.

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