What Coconut Milk Does Starbucks Use?

In February 2015, Starbucks introduced coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative to their beverages. Coconut milk is a delicious plant-based milk alternative that offers the full-fat flavor of whole milk unlike most plant-based options. Starbucks has since expanded its use of coconut milk to include delicious coconut milk-based drink options such as the Pink Drink.

Starbucks uses Single Origin Sumatra Coconut Milk as its preferred brand in all its locations. This brand is creamy and delicious but may be different from the healthy option you think it is. With its many additives and high added sugar content, you may want to consider a different brand if you are whipping up your own Starbucks copycat drinks at home.

The Pros and Cons of Starbucks Coconut Milk

The Single Origin Sumatra Coconut Milk is certified vegan and contains a satisfying body with a thick and creamy consistency, adding a delicious level of sweetness to your beverage. The full fat of the coconut milk mimics the full fat of whole milk, providing the richness of flavor you expect from your Starbucks drinks.

There are some common complaints with this brand, though. This brand of coconut milk contains a laundry list of additives and 10 grams of added sugar in a 12 oz tall beverage. For those who are more health conscious, this may not be the best option.

Single Origin Sumatra Coconut milk has the following ingredients: coconut cream, water, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, natural flavoring, coconut water concentrate, sea salt, xanthan gum, carrageenan, corn dextrin, guar gum, vitamin A palmitate, and vitamin D2.

This ingredient list compares to most high-quality coconut milk brands, which contain only coconut milk and water. However, natural coconut milk brands like this tend to separate and have small chunks of coconut. Neither of these elements is considered appealing to most consumers, which inclines Starbucks to choose a brand with emulsifiers.

Comparing Nutritional Values of plant-based milk at Starbucks

Compared to other plant-based milk options, coconut milk is surprisingly low in calories but has one of the higher levels of added sugar. This nutritional information is based on a 12 oz tall beverage

Milk TypeCaloriesSugar
Soy Milk13013g
Almond Milk605g
Oat Milk1407g
Coconut Milk8010g

Coconut Milk Drinks at Starbucks

Starbucks has fully embraced the deliciousness of coconut milk at this point and most locations sell at least a few different drinks that are coconut milk based. These drinks are sweet and refreshing, often with a slightly tropical taste.

Here are some of the best coconut milk drinks you can order at Starbucks:

  • Pink Drink: A berry drink made with strawberry acai and coconut milk
  • Iced Guava Passion Fruit Coconut Milk Drink: With guava and passion fruit, this drink is sweet and smooth with a tropical finish.
  • Iced Golden Ginger Coconut Milk Drink: Ginger and turmeric spices with pineapple and coconut milk
  • Dragon Drink: This drink is bright and colorful with mango and coconut milk
  • Star Drink: Another tropical beverage containing mostly kiwi and coconut milk with hints of other tropical flavors
  • Iced Pineapple Matcha Coconut Milk Drink: Matcha and pineapple ginger syrup combined with coconut milk.

Best Brands of Coconut Milk

If you’re looking to recreate your favorite Starbucks drink at home, the Single Origin Sumatra Coconut Milk might not be your best option. Starbucks has more to consider than just flavor and health. They have to purchase their selected brand in bulk for a good price. They also need to consider the shelf life of the product and how well the product maintains the integrity of the drink.

In your kitchen, you can prioritize quality. Ideally, you want a brand that contains no additives or emulsifiers. Here are some that come with the highest recommendations:

  • Native Forest Coconut Milk
  • Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk
  • Chaokoh Coconut Milk
  • Natural Value Coconut Milk
  • 365 Organic Coconut Milk

Another reason Starbucks chooses a coconut milk brand with emulsifiers is that, although less healthy, emulsifiers keep the coconut milk from separating and usually have undergone enough processing to avoid any graininess. Keep in mind with these other brands that you will have to remix the coconut milk before adding it to your beverage and some may contain a little graininess from the remnant coconut.

Making Coconut Milk Drinks at Home

Most coconut milk drinks that Starbucks makes are a combination of coconut milk, flavored syrups, tea or water, and fresh fruit. These drinks are usually incredibly easy to put together if you have all the ingredients and can save you a ton of money instead of going to the Starbucks drive through every day.

Here’s how to make the highly popular Starbucks Pink Drink at home.

  1. Fill a 16 oz cup with ice and set aside
  2. Fill a 16 oz measuring cup with cold water
  3. Mix in Tazo iced passion tea concentrate into the water
  4. Pour tea mixture into cup with ice until halfway fill
  5. Add sliced strawberries
  6. Fill to the top with coconut milk

If you would like your drink sweeter, you can add sugar or white grape juice to the drink.


If you choose to get coconut milk in your Starbucks drink, you’ll be getting the Single Origin Sumatra Coconut Milk brand. This drink is certified vegan and contains a thick, creamy consistency with a delicious sweetness to complement all your drink choices.

As tasty as this option is, keep an eye out for the additives if you are health conscious. This coconut milk contains over a dozen ingredients that act as preservatives and emulsifiers unlike traditional coconut milk, which contains only coconuts and water. It also contains 10 grams of added sugar in a 12 oz cup.

Making Starbucks drinks at home can be a fun and easy way to save a little money. For your own coconut milk experiments, try brands like Thai Kitchen or Native Forest instead.