by Charmaine Dymond
The season of everything pumpkin is upon us, but before you start sipping that pumpkin spice latte, make sure it’s gluten free. Flavoured coffees have, well, flavour added to the beans, and it’s possible that these natural or artificial flavours can contain gluten.
Here’s the scoop on gluten in flavoured coffees.
The Starbucks website says the company does not guarantee that any of its drinks are free from allergens, because of the risk of cross-contamination in the store. As for packaged coffees, the customer service department was not able to answer our questions about which products are gluten free. We were by email that “if a product is gluten free it will be noted on the item.”
Folgers also sells flavoured coffee, and according to the company’s website, there is a risk of gluten contamination during the coffee’s harvesting for any of its roasted or ground coffee products. The company says flavoured coffee has an added risk: the ingredients added to flavour the product might contain gluten. Check the label, and if you have any concerns, contact Folgers directly.
Maxwell House is a Kraft brand and, like other Kraft brands, the company does not guarantee that its products are gluten free. The website says that any gluten-containing ingredients will be listed on the label, except when it comes to flavouring, colour or spice ingredients: “You should know that we do not guarantee that our products are gluten-free because we sometimes purchase flavouring, color or spice ingredients from suppliers who do not list every possible source of gluten beyond what is required by law.”
A customer service rep at President’s Choice was unable to specify which of the company’s coffees might be gluten free. He told us he would need the barcode of a specific product in order to check.
Zavida is a Toronto-based company that also sells its coffees online. A customer service rep confirmed that the company’s coffees do not contain any gluten ingredients, but could not confirm whether the coffee is tested for gluten levels. The company’s website states that all of their coffees are gluten free and that any flavourings they use do not contain any allergens.
Java Works is an online Canadian coffee store. A customer service rep told us that all of the company’s coffees, including flavoured coffees, are gluten free. The rep checked with the flavouring supplier and confirmed that “as far as we can determine” the flavourings are gluten free; also, the coffee is processed in a gluten free environment. However, the company does not test its coffee for gluten levels.
So it’s not all bad news as far as flavoured coffees go – and yes, both Zavida and Java Workds offer a pumpkin coffee flavour!
Keep in mind that there is always a chance that these companies’ flavouring suppliers will change; be sure to contact the company for the most recent information.