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Starbucks Pumpkin Latte Update

As suggested in my Pumpkin Spice Latte Fans Beware post, I emailed Starbucks to get the ingredient list from the pumpkin spice syrups. This is the response that I received:

Hello Kim,

Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

Our Pumpkin Spice Syrup that is used in the ‘regular’ and ‘skinny’ drinks contains the following:

 

Sugar, Condensed Nonfat Milk, Sweetened Condensed Nonfat Milk, Annatto (E160b, Colour), Natural and Artificial Flavours, Caramel Colour (E150D), Salt, Potassium Sorbate (E202, a preservative).

 

A little additional information that may be helpful or neat is that one pump of syrup contains approximately 20 calories.

 

I hope that I have been able to provide you with some useful information.

 

If you have any further questions or concerns that I was unable to address, please feel free to let me know.

Warm Regards,

D.
Customer Relations
Starbucks Coffee Company
800 23-LATTE (235-2883)
Monday through Friday, 5AM to 8PM (PST)

All in all, the only ingredient that I see that could contain gluten would be the “Natural & Artificial Flavors”. While wheat is required to be called out on labels by law, rye, barley & oats are not. It is not likely that the flavoring contains rye or oats, but it certainly could contain barley malt flavoring. My opinion is that it is not likely that the ingredients have changed and this product has been gluten-free in the past. Does that mean I am going to drink one or say that I think it is safe for others on the gluten-free diet to drink one? No.

On my last post Jenn suggested a way to make these at home.

Well, you can always make your own Probably healthier that way too! I don’t think they are very complicated to make, as long as you can make a homemade latte. I think all you have to add in to a standard latte is some pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice etc.), and then sweetener of your choice – you should be able to do a pretty decent copy cat at home where you can make sure of its gluten-free ness

I am lazy when it comes to this stuff, but I guess it will all depend on how bad I want a PSL! Another option would be the pumpkin spice creamers made by International Delight and Coffee-Mate. New England flavored coffees are gluten-free and have a pumpkin spice version, in addition to a couple of other great fall flavors. Caribou Coffee has a pumpkin latte on their menu right now. I have an email out to them to verify the gluten-free status. I will make sure to update with that information when I get it. I have a feeling that it is gluten-free, but want to make sure before I try it out.

23 comments to Starbucks Pumpkin Latte Update

  • charlene hobot

    Apparently Whole Foods has a pumpkin spice latte version also.

  • Kim

    Thanks for the info, Charlene! I was heading there today to get some things, I may just have to have one! :)

    Kim

  • I'm pretty sure the pumpkin latte is NOT gluten free. I had them in past years and was fine, but this year I got so sick after drinking one. Actually two. First time I wasn't sure what it was and considering I had the SB pumpkin latte's in the past, I thought nothing of it. A week later I had another and again was sick. That's when the connection was made that it must have been the latte. They must have changed their ingedients…bummer.

    • Ginny

      Betsy- i never read message boards but googled this bc the EXACT thing happened to me! Had one last week (small) and it wasn’t very potent… Had a venti (very pumpkin-y) tonight and couldn’t drink but half of it and I’m miserable! Haven’t felt this way (stomach issues) I’n 2 years!

  • Also….Dunkin Donuts has pumpkin coffee and lattes. I have had both with no problems. :)

  • Thanks for following up, Kim! I'm not a coffee drinker myself, but as I said, Son is and, of course, I like to pass on info to my support group. This is one of those times when I wish the at-home gluten tests were much cheaper. I think testing about six things costs one about $70 … which is not feasible for most (including me). But, won't it be great when a super simple version of that testing (just touch ingredients to a test strip and wait for it to change color) is available, and economical? It's gotta happen eventually!

    Shirley

  • Jen

    Hi Kim. I want to thank you and point something out about

    creamers. I am not GF but my son and husband are. You steered

    me over to the vanilla almond milk awhile back and I love it.

    I save SO MANY calories doing this. If you're not careful, it

    is VERY easy to add almost (or more than!) 100 calories into

    your coffee(s) and not even realize it. That's close to the

    amount in a regular soda. I wouldn't even consider drinking

    that! Remember, a soda a day (or equivalent) can add 10

    pounds a year if something else isn't cut out or additional

    exercise added. Point being, be careful of those so yummy creamers. So, thanks again for the great suggestion!

  • Hey Kim, really appreciate following up with Starbucks directly. I prefer tea but have coffee as my drink of choice at meetings, and quite a few of those happen to be at Starbucks…

    Agree with you that it's much better to be safe than sorry. I've seen a couple of companies change recipes (rye and barley are relatively cheap ingredients) to contain gluten before so be cautious. Unfortunately not all big corporates are as aware of "us" as General Mills.

  • sea

    The initial post and this one seem merely to point out that Starbucks has become recently shy of defining gluten-free products due to changing regulations. I have had the pumpkin spice latte many times without incident and have heard from multiple sources that they directly asked Starbucks and found that the drink was in fact gluten-free in the past. *shrug* I don't personally think the flavorings are much of a risk, and I wouldn't hesitate to drink one.

    -Sea

  • I did find these EZ Gluten test strips Shirley, this is what you were referring to?
    http://ezgluten.com/products.php
    They are pricey for sure, over $10 per strip. I guess it depends how much you love your Starbucks.. ;)

    I'm out though! I'm an at home coffee gal with a splash of coconut milk or heavy raw cream and a kiss of stevia ;)

    Or a big ass Americano iced at a local coffeehouse. Time and place for everything.

  • Yes, Erin, those are the test strips. EZ Gluten test strips are made by Elisa. I didn't state that before because I wasn't sure I remembered correctly, but I just got a chance to look at the site again. Some companies are even using these strips to test their products and say they are gluten free. In that case, they'd have to go for a negative reading per my understanding as I don't see a ppm reading from these strips, just negative, positive, and high positive.

    I'm not a Starbucks or coffee (other than in recipes) fan, so I'm not worried about it for myself, but always interested in the discussion. BTW, love your expression–"kiss of stevia."

    Shirley

  • Thanks for keeping us up to date Kim! I am bummed that Starbucks doesn't give out a "contains gluten" list and then tells me what is safe. They must have undergone some changes, as they used to in the past. Great opportunity to go local and buy coffee from the shops around me. But It is such an easy place to find when you are traveling… wish they could be more helpful. Such is life. I have been making iced coffee at home with coconut creamer, yum! Now have to master a warm drink for fall.

    Cheers!

  • Julie

    This is very upsetting that starbucks doesn't make PS lattes gluten free, I have been having it for the last 10 years and now I can't anymore. I did just find a great warm weather drink that's healthy its Detox Tea I got mine from http://www.holistic.myarbonne.com (click shop online) it comes w/20 teabags for the $14 pricetag but its all natural and the company does have other great products that are gluten free. Overall a great site! I just wish starbucks would make a gluten free list since its so convenient!

  • Michelle

    Kim – fyi: We've confirmed (with the corporate office) that the pumpkin pie lattes at Stauf's and Cup 'o Joe are gluten free. I'll be trying one soon — possibly even this week. I'll let you know how it is!

  • Eat Right for Your Type. Interesting because it is based on the person's blood type. recommends plenty of mest for people with the blood type O. Diet plans for some blood types are nutritionally imbalanced and too low in calories. And for the record, there is even no proof that blood type affects dietary needs.

  • Kim

    Michelle – That is great news!! Let me know how it is!

  • Cynthia

    I'd like to propose that the stomach upset you are experiencing may not be due to gluten but by something else – namely monosodium glutamate (MSG) or another type of preservative or flavor enhancer. I'm saying that because I have been drinking flavored dunkin donuts coffee for years, including ones with the presweetened pumpkin flavoring with no problems. This morning though, I had a large DD coffee with pumpkin flavor added but it was different this time – it was not pre-sweetened. I added my usual mix of diet and regular sugars, and within an hour after drinking it, my stomach became very upset and kept me in the bathroom for a while. I have experienced something similar after drinking flavored coffee at a major supermarket several times, and years ago when I used to eat Chinese food or from salad bars that contained MSG. Since MSG is used as either a flavor enhancer or a preservative, I think it's reasonable to believe it may be used in a flavoring. It is known to cause Iritable bowel syndrome symptoms. It's a shame that food manufacturer's are still using this ingredient since the risks outweigh the benefit, but for whatever reason they still do. Just some food for thought.

  • felicitysglutenfreehandbook

    Getting into daily exercise helped but it was not enough. Finally I found a gluten free life and have not looked back. My life is totally changed! Thanks for the help with your website.

  • [...] it’s got those pesky “natural and artificial flavors,” which, by law, don’t really need to be spelled out. That means, for those with celiac or [...]

  • Leila

    Just had a PSL from Starbucks and ended up sick as a dog. I had one the other day because I was so excited they were back. I always order mine with soy bc I’m lactose intolerant. I didn’t realize until reading the ingredients here that the syrup contained milk. Go figure. I’ll have to try and make my PSL at home and safe a $ and my stomach!

  • [...] Or you could go to a popular franchise where they’ll give you this. [...]

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