Taste Test: Our First Reactions to Coconut Milk at Starbucks

And whether or not we'll be ordering it again.



Remember a few weeks ago, when we told you guys that coconut milk would be coming to Philly Starbucks locations this month? Well, yesterday morning, moments after putting in my Starbucks order, I realized: It was the day to modify my order to include coconut milk! But it was too late. I face-palmed and went on with my life, my usual soy chai in hand. But this morning I was more with it, I ordered a coconut milk chai latte.

Before I’d tasted the coconut milk chai, I ran into a coworker on the elevator on my way up to the office. Turned out, she — being a lover of all things coconut — had also made a pit-stop at Starbucks solely to get her hands on a coconut-milk latte. We decided to reconvene and discuss after we’d both taken a few sips. A couple of minutes later, another coworker told me she was drinking a Starbucks’ coconut-milk latte, too, so of course I asked her what she thought. Below, a collection of all three of our first reactions. 

First off, we all agreed, Starbucks’ coconut milk — a blend of coconut milk, coconut water, sugar and emulsifiers — isn’t all that coconutty. This is a plus for dairy-averse folks who aren’t into soy milk, but also don’t want their morning coffee to taste like a straight-up tropical cocktail. On the other hand, lovers of all things coconut, like my coworker, shouldn’t get too excited.

It’s slightly sweet, but not nearly as sweet as Starbucks’ soy milk. In fact, a grande Starbucks latte with coconut milk has nearly a third less sugar than a grande soy latte, according to the company’s website. The dip in sugar was a nice change in the chai latte, but left the regular latte tasting a bit bitter. Although, one of the latte drinkers said she actually liked that the coconut milk latte wasn’t as sweet as a soy latte — she hoped it would help her avoid a mid-morning sugar crash.

The consistency of the milk was pretty perfect. Not too thin (in other words, not at all like a drink made with skim milk) and not too thick. So you save 30 calories by opting for coconut milk over soy milk in a grande latte or chai latte without ending up with a drink that tastes watered down.

In the end, one of my coworkers said she would be ordering a coconut-milk latte again, one said she’d try it again, but only iced, and this gal right here will be sticking to soy milk — because I’m a creature of habit and the baristas at the Starbucks across from work finally have my order memorized. And also because I prefer the taste of Starbucks’ soy milk over the new coconut concoction. What about you? Have you tried Starbucks coconut milk? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments section below.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: