What Almond Milk Does Starbucks Use? Why it's Almondmilk?

Updated on: August 3, 2023
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What Almond Milk Does Starbucks Use

Find out what almond milk does Starbucks use, why the coffee chain calls it "almondmilk" and much more! Plus don't forget to check our DYI recipe!

Over the past few years, coffee drinkers have taken to almond milk as a popular cow milk alternative. Unsurprisingly, Starbucks has led the charge and popularized this type of milk by using them in its coffee recipes.

“Amondmilk” has become synonymous with Starbucks, so many people are wondering what almond milk Starbucks uses - it must be special with such a name after all!

In this article, we are going to answer that and much more. We’ll talk about why almond milk goes well with coffee, its health benefits, and nutritional information, and we’ll throw in an easy DIY almond milk recipe.

Let’s get nutty!

What Almond Milk Does Starbucks Use?

Starbucks primarily uses Unsweetened Califia Farms Barista Blend almond milk.

However, based on our research, not all stores use the same almond milk brand - there are over 15,000 Starbucks locations around the world after all! Other Starbucks almond milk brands include Almond Breeze by Blue Diamond and Silk Almond Milk.

But the real question is; why do they use these particular brands of almond milk? Keep reading to learn why...

Starbucks Almond Milk

Regardless of the brand, Starbucks only offers unsweetened almond milk that is unflavored.

They are high-quality almond milk made from almonds, water, and various other natural ingredients. The Califia Farms Barista Blend almond milk contains the following ingredients (from their website):

Almond Milk (Water and Almonds), Calcium Carbonate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Guar Gum, Gellan Gum, and Potassium Citrate.

Almond milk drinkers rejoice! Starbucks almond milk does not contain carrageenan. Carrageenan is sometimes used to thicken and emulsify non-dairy milk, but it can cause inflammation issues for people. It’s a controversial ingredient (1) that has been omitted from Starbucks almond milk.

Instead, it uses guar gum and gellan gum as thickening agents, which are considered to have neutral effects on the body.

Pssstt...are you wondering about Starbucks' Oat milk? Then check our Starbucks oat milk article here!

Why Buy Starbucks Almond Milk?

Almond milk is gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan-friendly, making it a suitable choice for customers with dietary restrictions. Starbucks also offers other non-dairy alternatives, such as soy milk, oat milk, and coconut milk, for those who prefer different plant-based options.

Starbucks stores' use of quality almond milk brands reflects the company's commitment to providing a wide range of beverage choices to meet the diverse needs and preferences of its customers.

When Did Starbucks Introduce Almond Milk?

The coffeehouse icon Starbucks first introduced almond milk as a dairy alternative in 2016, in response to growing demand from customers who are lactose intolerant or prefer plant-based options.

Nowadays, almond milk is a popular choice in a large array of hot or cold beverages such as cappuccinos, lattes, and iced coffees

Why is Almond Milk So Special?

If you aren’t familiar with almond milk, then you might think that plant-based milk is simply a trend that will eventually pass.

However, almond milk is so much more than a fad.

Why is almond milk so special

The simplicity and purity of almond milk is one thing that stands out and appeals to people. Almond milk is made from ground almonds and water. It has also gained popularity in recent years as a dairy-free alternative to regular cow's milk and is often chosen by people with lactose intolerance or those following a vegan diet.

Multiple Uses

Another reason why almond milk is so special is its versatility. It has a mild flavor that isn’t overpowering which makes it a great substitute for cow's milk in many recipes, such as smoothies, coffee, and even baked goods.


Coffee drinkers like almond milk because it complements the bold flavor of the brew without taking anything away or covering up the subtle undertones that true coffee connoisseurs love.

More Eco-Friendly Than Regular Milk

There are also eco-friendly reasons to pick almond milk because it’s a more sustainable alternative to cow's milk. Almond trees require less water and produce less greenhouse gas emissions than raising cows, making almond milk a more environmentally friendly choice.

Is Starbucks Almond Milk Healthy?

Almond Milk Health Benefits

It’s important to note that not all almond milk products are created equal, and some brands may contain added sugars or other additives. If you want a premium brand, we suggest using Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, Silk Almond Milk, or Califia Farms Barista Blend Almond Milk.

This is what Starbucks uses after all! Now check out the different health benefits of almond milk!

The Benefits of Unsweetened Starbucks Almond Milk

Unsweetened and unflavored almond milk has several potential health benefits compared to regular milk, including:

  1. Lactose-free: Almond milk is lactose-free, which makes it a desirable alternative for people with lactose intolerance or milk allergies.

  2. Unsweetened: Starbucks almond milk does not have added sugars or cane sugar; it only contains about 3 grams of sugar per cup which comes from the almonds.

  3. Low in calories: Almond milk is low in calories, making it a good choice for those who want to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.

  4. Hypoglycemic Action: a study has shown that almonds have "lowered post-prandial glycaemic, insulinemia and oxidative stress effects" (2).

  5. Good source of vitamin E: Almond milk is a good source of vitamin E (3), which is an antioxidant that helps protect the body's cells from the so-called “free radicals” (4).

  6. May Help with Amnesia: another study on rats has shown that almonds play a key role in enhancing memory and play an important role in managing Alzheimer’s disease (5).

  7. May promote heart health:  Studies have shown that almond milk has healthy fats and is naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease. (6)

  8. Support strong bones: Most brands of almond milk are fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which are essential nutrients for bone health (7) (8).

  9. Helps manage blood sugar levels: Starbucks’s almond milk is unsweetened. As such, it has a low carbohydrate and sugar content compared to dairy milk. This may help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. (9).

  10. Prebiotic Potential: a study has shown that almonds have prebiotic properties that stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the guts (10).

  11. Vegan and plant-based: Almond milk is a popular choice for people who follow a vegan or plant-based diet and need a dairy-free alternative to milk drinks.

  12. Gluten-Free: Gluten-intolerant people will definitely want to check out this nutty milk option.

The Cons of Almond Milk

It’s important to note that almond milk provides significantly less protein than dairy milk. So it's important to ensure you're getting enough protein from other sources in your diet if you decide to switch to almond milk from dairy milk.

Some brands of almond milk may contain added sugars or other additives, so always take the time to read the label and choose a product with minimal ingredients.

Why does Starbucks spell almond milk as “Almondmilk”?

Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about brand identity and Starbucks is a leader in creating a living/breathing brand that truly appeals to customers. Their term ‘almondmilk’ is just one of the building blocks in the persona. You may have also heard of Starbucks’ ‘coconutmilk’ or their uniquely named cup sizes.

Starbucks and other companies often use compound words like "almondmilk" to create a brand-specific name for a product that is distinct from the generic term.

By using a proprietary term like "almondmilk," Starbucks can distinguish their product from other brands of almond milk and make it easier for customers to identify. It also helps to reinforce the Starbucks brand and make its products more recognizable and distinctive.

Why is Almond Milk So Good with Coffee Beverages?

The creamy texture and nutritional benefits of almond milk make it a great choice to pair with coffee.

Almond milk is a popular non-dairy milk alternative that has gained popularity in recent years due to its mild nutty flavor, creamy texture, and nutritional benefits. When combined with coffee or espresso, almond milk provides a smooth, slightly sweet taste that complements the bitter notes of coffee.

Almond milk also has a lower acidity level than dairy milk - it is actually slightly alkaline as per the American College of Health Sciences. This can help to balance the acidity of coffee, resulting in a smoother taste.

How Does Almond Milk Compare With Other Plant-Based Milk?

Starbucks offers several plant-based milk options, and the nutritional values per 8 oz cup vary depending on the type of milk. Here are the approximate nutritional values for some of the most common plant-based milk options at Starbucks:

  • Almond Milk: 60 calories, 4.5g fat, 5g carbohydrates, 1g protein

  • Coconut Milk: 90 calories, 9g fat, 1g carbohydrates, 0g protein

  • Soy Milk: 80 calories, 4g fat, 8g carbohydrates, 6g protein

  • Oat Milk: 120 calories, 5g fat, 16g carbohydrates, 3g protein

***Please note that these values are approximate and may vary depending on the specific brand of milk used.

DIY Creamy Almond Milk Recipe

Yes, you can enjoy homemade almond milk in all your home recipes, including hot or iced drinks. You can even use almond milk in copycat Starbucks beverages such as the indulgent Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino or a refreshing Iced Chai Tea Latte.

If you are looking for inspiration make sure you check our recommended Starbucks almond milk drinks.

Almond milk is wonderfully easy to make. All you’ll need to make the milk is a blender and a strainer and you can be enjoying a glass of iced mocha with almond milk or create your own cinnamon almond milk macchiato in no time.

Here is a general recipe for making almond milk at home:

How to make almond milk


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 4 cups water
  • Sweeteners (optional), such as honey, maple syrup, vanilla, or dates


  1. Soak the almonds in water for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

  2. Drain and rinse the almonds and place them in a blender with 4 cups of fresh water.

  3. Blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until the almonds are finely ground and the mixture is smooth.

  4. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or fine mesh sieve to remove any solids.

  5. If desired, add a sweetener of your choice to the almond milk, and blend again briefly to incorporate.

  6. Store the almond milk in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

When making almond milk, nothing is wasted. You can use the leftover pulp to make baked goods or as an almond meal.

Almond milk can be great served hot or cold and compliments well even in the fanciest Starbucks drinks.

Related Reads

Frequently Asked Questions 

When did Starbucks start using almond milk?

The company started to offer almond milk as a non-dairy milk alternative in September 2016 in response to the growing demand for plant-based milk options among customers.

Is almond milk safe for people with nut allergies?

People with nut allergies should avoid almond milk, as it is made from ground almonds. There are other plant-based milk alternatives available for those with nut allergies, such as soy milk or rice milk. Always consult your doctor if you have nut allergies before consuming almond milk.

How long does almond milk last?

Freshly made almond milk can last up to five days in the refrigerator after making. As for store-bought almond milk, it is important to check the expiration date on the package and to keep the milk refrigerated to prevent spoilage.

Is almond milk more environmentally friendly than cow's milk?

Almond milk has a lower carbon footprint than cow's milk, as it requires less water and resources to produce. However, there are concerns about the impact of almond farming on the environment, such as water usage and pesticide use.

Is almond milk fortified with vitamins and minerals?

Many brands of almond milk are fortified with vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. It is important to check the label to ensure that the almond milk you are purchasing contains the nutrients you need.

Does it Cost More to Get Almond Milk at Starbucks?

No, it doesn’t. In the past, depending on the drink, Starbucks used to charge $0.60 to $0.80 to swap dairy milk with almond milk.

Which  Almond Milk Does Starbucks Use

Bottom Line

The next time you order a cold or hot drink at Starbucks, why not request one of the many Starbucks almond milk choices?

And now that you know what almond milk Starbucks uses, you should try all three brands: Silk, Blue Diamond, and Califia Farms almond milk. Then tell us which one you prefer!

Felipe is a tea expert with an engineering background! He loves to drink and learn all about tea and coffee. His love for tea was discovered while living in Japan and his favorites are Sencha & Pu'er!
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