Mar 7, 2011

No More Starbucks, It Seems.

Hi, my name is Chaviva, and I am freaking ... out. Freaking. Seriously. Y'all know I live for coffee, right? That my "office" is Starbucks, right?

Well, evidently Starbucks is not recommended anymore ... in most cases. Why? Things get washed together, that's why. Sigh. Just ... just read what the cRc says in their obnoxious chart.

EDIT: Food for thought on a few sites -- looks like this is an OU vs. cRc battle. Some links:

Looks like it's not so clear. I'll keep going ... until someone gives me a reason not to, it seems. 

EDIT TWO (03/08/2011): From my rabbi I received this, which makes me happy. I hold by the OU, so I feel RELIEF!

The kosher status of beverages at Starbucks is a constant topic of inquiry. The following list of approved beverages, compiled by the Orthodox Union (OU), provides the guidance that can avoid the confusion and answer most questions. 
All Plain Brewed Coffees 
Café Latte 
Café Misto 
Clover Brewed Coffee 
Decaf Pike Peak Roast 

FLAVORED LATTE (hot or iced) 

Irish Cream 
Caramel - regular and sugar free (not the topping) 
Cinnamon Dolce- regular and sugar free (not the topping) 
Cinnamon Syrup 
Classic/Simple Coconut 
Dark Cherry 
Hazel nut – regular and sugar free 
Natural Almond Peppermint - regular and sugar free 
Raspberry - regular and sugar free 
Toffee Nut 
Valencia Vanilla - regular and sugar free 

Whipped cream at every store needs to be checked by the consumer.

(H/T to Shades of Grey)


John said...

Question of curiosity... Wouldn't it make more sense according to your belief structure to NOT go until someone gives you a reason TO go? Not trying to instigate just trying to understand.

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

Well, I've been going for years without any problem, and I don't buy a lot of the reasoning behind the cRc's new system, and I've always gone by the OU's standards at any rate. I don't buy any of the fancy drinks, and coffee has always been the great equalizer -- a kosher Jew can go anywhere and have coffee!

Batya said...

It makes sense to me. Thanks so much for posting the Starbucks Kashrut Guide. It'll come in handy during my next visit to the states.

IMA2four7 said...

I am both grateful and not for your post.
Informative, check. Disappointing, check plus...
I am having tea.

Suburban Sweetheart said...

"Better to ask forgiveness than permission," my old boss used to say... ;)

Amanda said...

Luckily Americanos are totally delicious and way better than brewed coffee!

Ed said...

Just curious where the second list of what's ok came from.

micha berger said...

As I pointed out on too many blogs already to want to do in full again... Starbucks full stores are no different than many other places where holy Jews have been buying coffee for decades. If R' Ruderman can suggest to his students (Baltimore is low on dating alternatives) that coffee and ice cream at HoJo's is a recommended option, then clearly he didn't hold like the cRc does now. Similarly Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Hutner, etc...

This new ruling, in which things that are in green for kiosks are a problem elsewhere bucks a well established precedent. So, I would be unsurprised to learn the OU disagrees. So far, though, I have only gotten rumor, and not a quote from someone in authority there.

Also, BTW, they simply tell you not to have certain drinks because an ingredient is not kosher. For example: even by what they wrote, you can have a caramel macchiato at a kiosk. Simply ask them not to top it with caramel sauce. I therefore think there is a general tenor of trying to scare people away from Starbucks that I'm not sure I understand the motive for.


Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

@Ed The list is from the OU-NCSCY, via Rabbi Yitzchak Adler of the HKC in West Hartford, CT.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I don't know why you felt the need to refer to the crc chart as obnoxious. I am grateful to kashrus agencies like the crc for doing the research to provide such charts for those of us whose first aim it is to be careful.

Lily said...

Micha -- a caramel macchiato without caramel topping is a vanilla latte affagato ;) The recipe is vanilla syrup, steamed milk/foam, espresso shot over the top, and caramel sauce. What you want to ask for in this case is a caramel latte, which will be the most similar thing for the kosher keeping person to order. :)

I am really thankful I used to work at Starbucks, so I generally know the processes for certain things. It helps me make these informed decisions!

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