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Starbucks' Vegan Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato Is an Ode to Fall

The Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato—the brand's first completely vegan fall beverage—is here to sweeten up the season.

Written by
Calin Van Paris

The holidays have come early—at least for the vegan set. This week, Starbucks introduced its first-ever vegan fall beverage: the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato. And though we love the company's pumpkin-flavored drinks—and patiently await the day when they, too, are dairy-free—this feels like a major step and a must-try.

Available in warm and iced iterations, the Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato is meant to evoke feelings of nostalgia, the sort that comes with the wafting scent of apple pie. The offering is a macchiato, or an espresso (more specifically, Starbucks Blonde Espresso) topped with a creamy oatmilk foam, finished with a spiced apple drizzle.

The seasonal bevvie comes on the heels of last year's similar launch, which featured the same ingredients and name, but with dairy milk. This oat milk-first variation marks a win for vegans and those who eschew dairy for environmental or dietary reasons, and is in keeping with the burgeoning trend of chains expanding menus to include options for the plant-based set (think McDonald's McPlant Burger and Burger King's collaborations with Impossible Foods).

Far from mere virtue signaling, incorporating vegan options into highly recognizable corporations increases both awareness and accessibility, serving our health and that of our planet. The dairy industry is responsible for 2% of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and 144 gallons of water are needed in the U.S. to produce a single gallon of milk.

Considering that Starbucks is working to halve emissions by 2030, and that data shows around 22% of Starbucks’ overall emissions come from dairy, putting alternative milk first seems like a great (and delicious) place to start.

3 Other Vegan Fall Starbucks Drinks to Try

While the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato is the first official vegan addition to Starbucks' fall menu, the brand offers a selection of drinks that can be doctored to suit your plant-based tastes. Here, three autumnal beverages to try without the dairy.

1. Caramel Apple Spice

A long-loved Starbucks classic, the Caramel can be recreated by opting for steamed apple juice with pumps of caramel and cinnamon dolce syrup.

2. London Fog Tea Latte

Available hot or iced, the London Fog's on-menu 2% milk is easily exchanged for an alternative option with no sacrifice in taste.

3. Cinnamon Dolce Latte

This spiced seasonal favorite is easily vegan-ified: Simply request your preferred alternative milk and trade out the whip and cinnamon dolce topping for a sprinkling of cinnamon.