Is Coffee Vegan? Which Drinks Are And Aren’t?

Whether you’re planning to start a vegan diet to live a healthier lifestyle and have a positive impact on the environment, or you simply want to learn more about veganism, you may be wondering if being vegan will align with your coffee habits.

Many people start their day off with a fresh cup of coffee to help them get going in the morning.

But you may be wondering, is coffee vegan?

Which coffee beverages can vegans drink?

Is Coffee Vegan?

The good news for vegans is that you don’t have to give up your daily caffeine fix. Yes, black coffee is vegan.

Coffee beans are seeds that come from a coffee plant, making them perfectly vegan-friendly.

Coffee is vegan until any non-vegan ingredients are added into the coffee like milk, creamer, or certain sweeteners.

When ordering vegan coffee, it’s important to know what’s being added to your coffee.

Is coffee vegan

What Types Of Coffee Can Vegans Drink?

Fortunately for vegans, many coffee shops are introducing more and more dairy substitutes to their menus.

Since black coffee is completely vegan, Espresso and Americano are both vegan drinks.

An Espresso is a small, strong shot of black coffee while an Americano is a diluted version of an Espresso.

If you want to jazz up your black coffee or want something a little less strong, you can order a latte and substitute the milk with a vegan alternative like oat, almond, soy, or coconut milk.

Cashew, macadamia, and hemp milk are also great dairy-free alternatives. You can do this with many coffee drinks including cappuccinos, iced coffees, caramel macchiatos, and ombre iced coffees.

When ordering a vegan coffee, make sure to let the barista know that it’s vegan, as many syrups, sauces, and sweeteners are not vegan-friendly.

What Types Of Coffee Are Not Vegan-Friendly?

Any coffee that has dairy in it such as milk, creamer, or whipped cream is not vegan.

Lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, bulletproof coffees, and iced coffees with dairy additives are not vegan-friendly.

Most of these drinks can be easily made vegan by switching to milk substitutes like almond, cashew, oat, coconut, macadamia, or soy milk.

If you’re ordering a bulletproof coffee, you’ll have to substitute the butter with a non-dairy option like coconut butter.

In some cases, a drink can’t be made vegan because it’s made with milk, honey, or other non-dairy ingredients. 

When ordering a vegan coffee, stay away from drinks that have anything with caramel brûlée, white mocha, or cinnamon dolce sprinkles.

Many additional sauces are also not vegan, so make sure to double-check with the barista that there are no dairy ingredients before ordering your coffee.

Is Instant Coffee Vegan?

If you prefer to make a cup of coffee from the comfort of your home, you may be wondering if instant coffee is considered vegan.

Instant coffees that are free from any additives are completely vegan. Much like black coffee, instant coffees that are plain with no dairy ingredients are perfectly safe for vegans to drink.

Once an instant coffee has non-vegan additives such as dairy, it is no longer vegan. This includes instant cappuccinos which include skim-milk powder.

Stick to plain, black instant coffee to make sure that your coffee is vegan-friendly.

Can Vegans Drink Coffee Creamer?

When it comes to vegan coffee creamer, it can be tricky to know whether a coffee creamer is vegan or not.

Even if creamer is non-lactose, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s vegan-friendly, as some creamers include milk-derived protein.

Fortunately, there are a variety of vegan coffee creamers available.

Creamers that are non-dairy and made with milk substitutes like soy, coconut, almond or flax are great vegan-friendly options.

If you’re buying a vegan creamer, make sure to read the label and ingredients of the creamer to check for any animal by-products.

Final thoughts on what coffee drinks are vegan-friendly

Now that more and more people are adopting a vegan lifestyle, there are plenty of delicious vegan-friendly coffee options to choose from.

By using dairy-free alternatives such as coconut, soy, cashew, almond, or oat milk and double-checking labels, sweeteners, and syrups, you can continue to enjoy your coffee while staying on a vegan diet.

Or, you can just go for a good old straightforward Espresso or Americano.

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