I love coffee.
Like any other sleep deprived college student out there, I need something to keep me going. With all the time taken for meetings, work and classes, a cup of coffee is the closest thing I get to “me” time.
But the big question for us who can’t have gluten: Is coffee gluten free? Essentially, yes. There is nothing in coffee that supposedly contains gluten. On the other hand, flavored coffee may be a problem if you are really sensitive to trace gluten. Having a cup of Joe shouldn’t be a problem.
But what if you are one of those college students that like Starbucks, Java City or anything few and far between that involves a barista and a need for a specialty drink? I’ve done some research and this is what I’ve pulled:
Starbucks: The only thing Starbucks can guarantee to be gluten free (or under the 20 ppm rule) is their already-bottled beverages they sell. This is a bummer for those of us that like the whole Starbucks experience.
However, that does not mean that everything at Starbucks contains gluten. The real threat with the coffees would be cross-contamination when the baristas are making it. I’ve gone to Starbucks numerous times and have not had a problem with their coffee.
Below are some resources on what is and is not gluten free at Starbucks. Make sure to always use your best judgement when buying a coffee. And unless it’s a completely clean blender, blended drinks are usually off limits:
Also, make sure to watch out for changing ingredients. In the comments on one of these pages, it was discussed that the soy milk they used changed and now contains gluten, which raises the chances of cross-contamination.
A lot of people don’t completely utilize the Java City here on campus. Like anyone, I usually prefer Starbucks. But while Starbucks has very blurred lines in what is in their ingredients, Java City has more of an outright stance on what contains gluten here.
However, it is always important to note that the Java City cafes on campus do sell food items directly from Campus Dining. It is important to note that this food information is not disclosed on the Java City website. As always, use your best judgement and when in doubt, check the ingredient label. Personally, I might be getting more Java City from now on.
Regardless of what is gluten free and what isn’t, make sure you take it easy on the coffee drinking if you have a weak stomach. Coffee is acidic, and it is best to not drink too much of it regardless. If your stomach starts to get upset, it’s time to put the coffee down and find another alternative to jumpstart your mornings. Tea is always a great alternative.
Even if you really like to drink coffee, don’t do it if it makes you sick. We all have to give up our favorite gluten-filled foods, so this should be no different. It’s the cold hard truth, but even I had to hear it: I’m definitely cutting back on coffee from now on, and if I drink it I will stick to brewed coffee. My stomach will thank me for it later.