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MKT Kashrus Alerts, Annoucements & Updates

Starbuck Advisory for the Cholov Yisroel Consumer

In response to the many inquiries about drinking coffee in Starbucks, the Mehadrin Kashrus of Texas advises the community that keeps strictly Cholov Yisroel as follows:

Based on extensive research conducted by the cRc (Chicago Rabbinical Council), it is clear that there are many issues in patronizing a Starbucks facility (especially for the Cholov Yisroel consumer). As indicated in their online advisory and audio, their lists and guidelines were not made for the strictly Cholov Yisroel consumer.

MKT has done independent extensive research to determine the status for the Cholov Yisroel community.

Full service Starbucks stores have evolved into establishments that are similar to non-kosher restaurants. All removable items are sanitized and washed with scalding water with real treif items. Stand alone kiosks do not have tarfus, but do wash all removable items together with non Cholov Yisroel items in scalding water.

Besides for the concerns about the direct Kashrus issues involved, one should consult with their Rav to determine whether it is appropriate to patronize a full service store at all.

For kashrus purposes, from any Starbucks* one may purchase:

  • Espresso made directly into a disposable cup.
  • Caffé Americano with the espresso and hot water poured directly into a disposable cup.
  • Iced Latte, using disposables and pareve soy milk. (Have espresso made in a disposable cup, instead of into the standard reusable shot glass).
  • Kosher hot tea made in a disposable cup.
  • Soy milk is usually UMK Kosher Pareve, but the consumer must verify the carton every time, as it is common that an alternative is used.

This advisory excludes all other products, including the regular brewed coffee that is not recommended.

In general, extreme care must be taken when considering buying even an unflavored black coffee from a vendor which is not kosher certified, as it is possible that parts of the brewing equipment might be used or washed with non-Kosher or non-Cholov Yisroel items. Today, Houston boasts three restaurants (Aroma Classique, Saba’s and Aroma Pizza) that prepare high quality coffee and we strongly encourage patronizing these stores to remove all doubt.

* Most coffee houses use a simpler espresso machine, that brews coffee in removable parts that can be washed with non-kosher items. This list is only for Starbucks locations.

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