How To Drink Coffee On The Go With Food Allergies

I am a coffee drinker. I wasn’t always, but once it happened I realized how much I look forward to it each morning. Drinking coffee with food allergies though adds an extra challenge.

With nut allergies in particular, coffee drinking has become increasingly riskier. I realize for someone with a dairy allergy, this has always been complicated. However, for those of us allergic to nuts, soy, coconut, or rice, we have now joined the complicated coffee club. I love that there are now more milk friendly options for people, I just find that cross contact has now become an increasingly more difficult issue in the coffee world. For example, if you enjoy drinking lattes, the steaming wand goes in a variety of different milks to heat them up. The wand that heated up your skim milk may have also heated up almond milk. Occasionally coffee shops have one wand specifically used for other milks, but that isn’t common.

I was always skeptical of drip coffee in the States because of the use of nuts as coffee flavorings. My first coffee wasn’t until I lived in Italy. I didn’t have to worry about flavorings or any other types of milk. It made life a lot easier. I also learned to drink espresso from the beginning of my coffee drinking life- so that added to the ease.

As a traveler, it isn’t always simple to find safe coffee on the road. Here are some tips for my coffee drinking friends out there!

  • Pack some instant coffee packets. I like to use Starbucks but there are other choices.
  • For kids, they may enjoy hot chocolate or tea. Bring a safe hot cocoa packet or favorite tea. Finding hot water is much easier than finding safe hot chocolate.
  • Locate a coffee shop that will sell you (yes, you usually still have to pay) some hot water in a “to go” cup.
  • If the open stirrers worry you, use one of the paper-covered straws to mix in your coffee or hot cocoa.
  • If you really want to add milk to your coffee, I always ask the barista if she can take it straight from the carton. I also ask to see the carton to double check what is going in my coffee. I no longer use milk containers that are left out for customers to serve themselves.

Even though coffee has become a greater challenge with food allergies, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done safely. How do you find safe coffee on the go?


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