How to Order Gluten-Free Coffee Drinks

I wrote this post on how to order gluten-free coffee drinks at coffee shops for two reasons.

One, because I had someone request it and two, I want you to have safe coffee experiences. Not to mention my blood is practically coffee so it just seemed like a great topic to discuss.

Is Coffee Safe for Celiac & NCGS?

Gluten wise, most coffee is safe for celiac and gluten sensitive people.

It’s important to keep in mind that caffeine is a well-known digestive system irritant. If you get a stomachache or if coffee just doesn’t sit well with you, it could be because it’s upsetting your stomach.

It’s also important to know that caffeine sensitivity is a thing. Some people are just very sensitive to it and need to avoid it. (If you’re caffeine sensitive, you might consider a half calf coffee, or my favorite Teeccino’s dandelion coffee (affiliate link). It’s seriously the best coffee alternative I’ve tried, just be mindful that not all Teeccino products are gluten-free).

With those things in mind, again, coffee is generally safe for people living a gluten-free lifestyle. Meaning yes, coffee is celiac safe (assuming it’s not processed on the same equipment as gluten (which is rare) and that it doesn’t have gluten-containing additives).

Some people suggest that coffee is cross-reactive with gluten, if you want to learn more about that please read this post!

How to Order Gluten-Free Coffee Drinks at Coffee Shops:

Avoid Frappes and other Blended Drinks

I hate to break it to you but a lot of these drinks are not safe. Even if the frappe or blended drink doesn’t have gluten, that doesn’t mean that your drink is safe.

Other blended drinks or frappes could contain gluten and blenders aren’t always cleaned thoroughly in between making drinks leaving you at risk for cross-contact. You might ask that they thoroughly wash the blender before making your drink to avoid this cross-contact.

Be Cautious of Flavored Syrups

In general, I try to avoid any flavored syrup unless I can read the ingredient label. Caramel syrup is one of the worst offenders when it comes to not always being gluten-free.

If you don’t feel like making an effort to read the ingredient label to check it’s safety, then avoid flavored syrups.

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Be Careful of Drinks with Steamed Milk

Many coffee shops use the same steaming wand to steam all drinks, often only rinsing them in between use.

If there is a flavored drink being steamed that isn’t gluten-free, it leaves your drink at risk for cross-contact.

Additional GF Coffee Ordering Tips:

  • If you’re attending a fairly popular chain, chances are they have allergen info posted. Try doing a simple google search for the chain and their allergen menu.

  • Call ahead and ask to see if the barista or manager knows if anything is gluten-free or can be made safely.

  • Try going to places that only serve gluten-free drinks! (You can call ahead to find out)

A Dietitians Gluten-Free Coffee Order

My favorite celiac-friendly coffee order? An iced coffee with cream and simple syrup.

Your order might look difference, but I generally keep things simple when I order. I also don’t shy away from cream and sugar because they help me feel more satisfied by my coffee experience.

Want More Guidance on Ordering Food?

Need more guidance on ordering gluten-free food and drinks? I developed the cross-contact guide to help you do just that! Click below to check it out!