Do you love coffee?

Contributed by Amanda S.

When I was younger I worked for one summer at Starbucks. I admit I did not want the job at the time, but it turned out to be a really fun place to work. One of the requirements of all Starbucks employees is that they sample and taste each and every item (food & beverage) that is sold there. Understandably, the reason for this is because the employee should be able to explain to patrons, what the item tastes like, as well as the notes of flavor etc etc.

Now, that one summer has long since come & gone and I do not work for Starbucks. However, oddly enough after ending my employment there I then and only then became a lover of coffee. Odd huh? Well it’s true.

Caffè LatteMy personal favorites are milk based drinks such as lattes. I also enjoy flavored coffees. I do not mean that the flavor comes from syrup, but instead I enjoy the flavor roasted coffees. While Starbucks does not carry the flavored coffees, I admit I often buy it when I am at work. My personal favorite is the Hazelnut Cream. I am not picky about brand.
When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease I, like most celiacs, met with a dietician to discuss and learn about different “hidden gluten” found in various foods that one would ordinarily think might be gluten free. For example, did you know that some flavored coffees can contain gluten products? I did not know that. I figured that coffee was coffee and therefore simply adding flavor to it during the roasting period would still just be coffee.

I was wrong! I was told that one should always be careful when reading labels (we know this already) and one should also contact manufactures annually to follow up and ensure that processing methods have not changed and that the product still remains gluten free.

In turn, this is part of why I still prefer milk based drinks. I know there’s always a chance of contamination, but I figure that the chances are decreased. I do however always insist that the person making the latte use a fresh clean spoon when mixing my drink, this is also why I steer clear of the drinks that require mixing.

We are each willing to take certain risks in our daily living and for me the cross contamination risk outweighs the desire to have drinks that require mixing not done by myself. Call me crazy if you will, but I call it safety!

If you want to check out the ingredients and/or other nutritional information for drinks check out the websites of your favorite coffee shop. For me, I will share the Starbucks link and just wait, the holiday drinks are coming out (maybe they've even been out a few days) mmmm

Starbucks (Callingwood Centre) on Urbanspoon

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta