How to Order Gluten-Free Coffee Drinks

You might not realize it, but you might be getting exposed to gluten by simply ordering your daily favorite cup of coffee. 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 People with Celiac (and NCGS?)

First things first, is coffee safe for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten-sensitivity? It’s important to keep in mind that caffeine is a well-known digestive system irritant. If you get a stomach ache 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.

With those things in mind, coffee is 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!

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

1.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. If these gluten-containing drinks were made in the same blender as your drink, your drink is now at risk for cross-contact. Not to mention blenders aren’t always cleaned thoroughly in between making drinks. This leaves even more room for cross-contact and rinsing doesn’t do much for your safety.

FYI: Most Starbucks drinks are not celiac safe. In fact, Starbucks says that none of their drinks can be considered gluten-free due to the risk of cross-contact. That being said, I feel fairly safe ordering a black coffee with a little cream and sugar. That’s just because all it involves is the ingredients being poured straight into my cup. Meaning there is no blending, frothing, steaming, or mixing in outside containers involed.

2. Avoid Caramel Syrup

In general, I try to avoid any flavored syrup unless I can read the ingredient label. Caramel syrup is one of the worst offenders so be extra weary of it. If you don’t feel like making an effort to read the ingredient label to check it’s safety, then avoid syrups.

3. Be Careful of Drinks with Steamed Milk

Many coffee shops use the same steaming wand to steam all drinks. If there is a flavored drink being steamed that isn’t gluten-free, it leaves your drink at risk for cross-contact.


Additional Tips on How to Order Gluten-Free Coffee Drinks at Coffee Shops:

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)


Do you have any tips on how to order gluten-free coffee drinks at coffee shops? Let me know in the comments and like this post if it was helpful!




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