Monday, March 7, 2011

Big Problem Starbucks Kashrus - Better Not to Drink in the Stores (Updated)

Please see this one page summary of kashrus issues at Starbucks put out by the CRC, the Chicago Rabbinical Counsel, an excellent and not unnecessarily strict kashrus agency, the Av Beis Din of which I have had contact with in the past. HT to Chana at The Curious Jew for bringing this to my attention in her post "Starbucks Isn't Really So Kosher."

As someone in the business world, this is a very relevant sha'ala. This notice could not have come too soon. I have not had any Starbucks coffee since the holy Mrs. Yid elevated our family by encouraging us to start keeping cholov Yisroel, but I was just thinking this morning that I was going to invite a friend at work to coffee at Starbucks soon and just use a Gefen non-dairy creamer packet. Yikes!

It looks like even the plain brewed coffee in the regular Starbucks stores is only kosher b'dieved because the "[b]rew basket may have been washed with non-kosher items. Although the brew basket is only used as a kli sheni, the cRc recommends purchasing items which are free of all shailos." This problem does not exist with the kiosks, so it's okay to order plain coffee there. Check out the one page summary from the CRC for a short table (click on the image on the below to enlarge that part of the one page sheet) showing which products can be bought at which types of Starbucks stores. The chart is only good till 7/31/2011 according to the CRC.

(UPDATE 3/8/11: Apparantly the OU holds differently. See Chaviva's post here for their much more lenient approach.)

Incidently, a cute dialog in our house yesterday between me, Mrs. Yid, and our 6th grade Dixie Daughter related to recently starting to keep cholov Yisroel:
Dixie Daughter: I'm not sure what to tell people when they ask why we started keeping cholov Yisroel. What can I tell them?

Tell them it's because we are trying to become closer to Hashem.

Dixie Daughter: I know, but...(not looking convinced)

I think she wants to know something that's just easy to say, that won't start a whole discussion.

Okay, how about saying that we're trying to become more "chassidish..."

Dixie Daughter: WHAT??!! (unexpected news apparantly)

What if you just tell them we're trying to take on the minhagim of our Rav, Rabbi Weinberger, and that's the reason.

Dixie Daughter: Okay.
Picture courtesy of gizmofuzion. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.


Tzvi Haber said...

worth noting - Americano's which are similar to coffee (not in process but in taste) but a little stronger are lechatchila fine according to the CRC

Anonymous said...


I have been having Cafe Americano's w/ cold soy milk at Starbuck's ever since I came across the below article (around July 2010; the article may be much older).

It contains much the same information as that recently published by the cRc.

For some reason, I cannot copy and paste the link. Simply Google "starbucks kosher community". You should easily find the article, written by Victoria Dweck and published by Community Magazine.