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Gluten Free Christmas at Costa, Starbucks and Caffe Nero

So many drinks are gluten free in the popular high street coffee chains, not all the festive drinks are gluten free though so we have the lowdown on which ones are gluten free and which ones you are best to avoid at the top high street coffee shops.

Added 9th December 2016

Updated 10th November 2020

Gluten Free Christmas at Costa, Starbucks and Caffe Nero
Christmas time, the time when shops take out slow selling lines (which usually includes our gluten free stuff!) and replaces them with glutenised party food. However the high street coffee shops add in all kinds of lines, and this year we were pleasantly surprised by drinks and even some food items that were on sale in popular high street coffee chains.

Costa have a good range in this year for Christmas with a wide range of Christmas drinks, and for once all but two are gluten free. For the last few years the hot chocolate has been a cross contamination warning when you looked at it on their allergen list, but this year it is marked as gluten free, this goes for all the Christmas hot chocolates as well as the regular (which we presume much have changed production line or procedures as this was a cross contamination warning a while back when we last checked!).

Costas allergen list states these do not contain, wheat, barley, rye or oats:-
Salted Caramel Cappuccino
Amaretto Latte
Black Forest Hot Chocolate
Spiced Apple
Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate
Mint Hot Chocolate
Orange Hot Chocolate
Lindt Hot Chocolate

Gingerbread Latte is NOT safe, we presume it contains actual gingerbread pieces and Honeycomb Latte is marked as a cross contamination risk for all 4 gluten containing cereals.

Costa also have in a Christmas Turkey and Cranberry wrap which is gluten free and a Gluten Free Christmas Cake slice and Pecan Pies this year, so at least there is a food option to have too.

Starbucks have a fair selection of Christmas drinks like Costa, and like always the signature hot chocolate is gluten free all the time too. The following drinks from their Christmas specials are marked as NOT containing cereals containing gluten:-

Toffee Nut Latte
Egg Nog Latte
Hot Chocolate Fudge
White Christmas Hot Chocolate
Toffee Nut Frappachino
Chocolate Fudge Frappachino

The chocolate sprinkles, toffee nut sprinkles, snow shimmer and gold chocolate curls toppers are all gluten free too

For some reason Starbucks have taken their wrap off so we don't actually get a gluten free option for lunch anymore from them. However the chocolate brownie (yes it is still available but they can no longer list as gluten free in the chiller with it being unwrapped, due to being a cross contamination risk) is STILL gluten free, BUT remember to ask for one wrapped otherwise it is NOT gluten free. Some stores have got a little fussy and won't sell them wrapped anymore but if you find one that will sell wrapped, you can at least get a brownie.

Caffe Nero
All of Caffe Nero's special Christmas drinks neither state they are gluten free or not, some drinks such as Latte state gluten free online whereas others don't state either way. Nothing on them says they aren't gluten free but they don't have a specific allergy list online and they aren't answering our messages to find out for sure.

Since it doesn't state there is a cross contamination risk and does so well at pointing out other allergens (one drink points out the chocolate powder top contains dextrose derived from wheat but is gluten free, so we'd assume they'd point out if a drink contained gluten like they point out containing nuts or milk on majority of the other drinks), we would assume the Christmas drinks are all gluten free, so this means you can have any of the 5 specials:-

Spiced Orange
Salted Caramel

All five flavours can be made as latte or hot chocolate according to the website. We would double check that they are gluten free in branch though with the info not being too clear online.

They also have a Christmas bap for lunch, Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry roll, unfortunately like Costa, no good if you are vegan or vegetarian though. It doesn't appear they have a gluten free sweet option that is Christmas specific, only the items they have on their regular menu.

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