Product review: Starbucks’ Coconut Milk Latte

It’s finally here. The much-hyped coconut milk latte has crossed the Atlantic and is now available at Starbucks stores across the UK. But does it taste any good? I gave it a whirl…

The coconut milk latte has been available at Starbucks in the US for a while. As of January 2016 it’s now on sale at UK branches, too. The coffee chain added coconut to the menu after 84,000 customers suggested it as a future product. That’s great news for everyone who’s dairy free- we can make our voice heard by big companies (if you’re reading this Cadbury, how’s that Dairy-Free Milk coming along?).

What’s the coconut-milk latte actually like, though? I’m going to declare a Starbucks ambivalence here. I love coffee (so much I used to blog about it) and favour my local indie cafe over the tired-looking ‘bucks nearby. Almond-milk flat white made with Monmouth beans vs Starbucks? No contest. On the other hand, I’m not one of those bean-fiends who thinks crossing a coffee-chain threshold is an outrage. Sometimes convenience wins out.

My last ‘bucks was a grim soy latte about two years ago (like drinking a pint of hot soya milk with some coffee syrup in it), but I’m determined to approach the coconut milk latte with an open mind…

…it’s pretty good. So, so much better than the soy latte. I was hard pressed to tell it apart from a regular latte made with full-fat milk, except for a slight sweetness. You can’t really detect the coconut. It’s creamy with a milky froth on top. I’d recommend an extra shot if you want more of a coffee hit, like a regular latte it’s pretty mild.

It’s great to see big brands catering for the dairy-free, and the ubiquity of Starbucks means we’re now never far away from a coffee that doesn’t hurt our tummies. If you hate soya milk, give it a try.

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