(Typical Iced Cappuccino made by me at home)
The Chicago Rabbinical Council recently posted a very informative article by Rabbi Sholem Fishbane discussing the kashrus issues involving lattes and your local coffee chain or coffee house. To see the article, click the cRc link and then click the photo of a latte. He states that the cRc policy currently is “not to recommend the consumption of the ever popular latte purchase from a non-certified coffee house.” He’s currently working on a follow up article dealing with other drinks at Starbucks. I, as a consumer, found this article very well researched and insightful.
Ah, I recall with joy the days when you could go into a Starbucks and watch them actually make your Frappuccino as they poured iced coffee, sugar, and ice into a blender that was only used for that product. Times changed, people wanted their drinks faster and a “hand made” Frap got replaced by a concentrated boxed liquid without hashgacha. Mocha syrup became an issue that needed t to be discussed with a Rabbi, and then new flavor syrups for both espresso drinks and Frappuccinos started popping up. A cup of anything besides coffee or straight espresso got problematic, as most kashrus agencies would say.
The truth is that I hope this article lights a fire for some entrepreneur to open a small coffee bar or even full service coffee house under cRc supervision in the greater Chicagoland area. If someone reading this is interested, I’d be happy to be a consultant. For additional info on what one might be able to drink at, for example, Starbucks, I suggest the following links, in addition to reading R Fishbane’s article.
Rabbi Fishbane’s article “The Kashrus Status of the Popular Latté“
Dallas Kosher’s guide to Starbucks drinks
Star-K’s article Knowing your beans: The Kashrus of Coffee