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Is Starbucks Kosher? – Halachic Musings

Rabbi Yair Hoffman – Five Towns Jewish Times

Jews like coffee. The practice of Jews drinking coffee dates back well over a thousand years, since its exportation from the Arab city of Kefa. Its appearance in the responsa oeuvres of the Rishonim and Acharonim attests to the fact that it is a drink of Jews.1 The practice of coffee consumption continues until today with many Jews drinking coffee at that “cool” and “hip” number one coffee chain in America—Starbucks.

Enter the halachic component, however. Is every coffee in this store permitted? The stores are under no hashgachah. “But, it’s only coffee!” some protest. “What could be wrong with coffee?”

Starbucks, of course, is the king of marketing. Through the injection of a hefty dose of super-charged caffeine and some incredible marketing (over 87,000 possible combinations of ingredients, for example), this chain has managed to seemingly take over all of Manhattan, have a branch on Central Avenue, and now Rockaway Turnpike. It seems that it has become the mover and shaker of contemporary culture.

Starbucks logos have become ubiquitous. They have over 10,000 stores across the nation, and according to Kiplinger’s they are about to double in size this year. Starbucks has clearly taken over. More significantly, however, Starbucks has taken over the minds of people who would normally have never even entered a store lacking supervision.

In fact, there are numerous halachic problems. Flavored coffees require kashrus supervision, plain and simple. Why? Because these flavors are added artificially to the bean after it is roasted. These flavors—hazelnut, vanilla bean, or chocolate—are not pure pieces of the same, but come from flavorings that need supervision. Non-kosher ingredients are often placed in these flavorings and are not halachically considered batel—annulled—because they are avida l’timah—done for the purpose of flavoring. When this is done, even if there is less than 1/60th, the laws of bitul do not apply.

Can one order just a Tazo latte, or a buttery caramel macchiato? The short answer is no. The reason is that these coffees are mixed while they are piping hot in containers and machinery that are washed in a hot dishwasher with tarfus, non-kosher. When something is used only cold, there are few halachic complications that can arise. When something is used hot, however, we have to look at when and with what the item has been used before. If the item was used for hot non-kosher within the past 24 hours, then there is a problem. (If it was used over 24 hours previously, then b’dieved—ex post facto—one can assume that the non-kosher taste infusion has become putrid.) One can also assume that in commercial stores, vessels are used hot and certainly have been washed in the dishwasher within the past 24 hours.3

A major problem arises with dishwashers. Notwithstanding the presence of soaps that may make pagum (make distasteful) the taste of non-kosher food in a dishwasher, there are many times when non-kosher food is present when these dishes are there, without the soap. In other words, after the soap has been washed away, the non-kosher food is still there when these dishes are being cleaned.

Some may argue that the dishwasher is not considered a kli rishon (literally, a first vessel, which receives heat directly from a heat source). They would further argue that non-kosher taste infusions can only occur in an item that receives its heat directly from a heat source. It should be noted, however, that both of these assumptions are highly questionable.

We will start with the first assumption. Most dishwashers have an internal heating mechanism or booster where the water is directly heated. The water stream is still connected to the water heating source and thus renders the dishwasher into a kli rishon according to all opinions.4

The next assumption is argued among the Acharonim. Many Acharonim hold that with solid matters, taste can be infused when the items are piping hot—even if there is no direct heat source at play. This is the normative halachic view that is followed.

So what can be ordered at Starbucks? While there are no guarantees here, it has been told to this author that the regular coffee and the espresso (even the triple one) are generally washed separately and therefore would not present a problem of kashrus. It seems that the mixing vessels used for even the pumpkin spice specialty coffees, however, are washed in the general dishwashers.

Some people bring up the issue of maras ayin (the appearance of wrong-doing) in going into an establishment that serves non-kosher. Rav Heinemann is of the view that if the establishment is known to regularly serve items that are also kosher, there is no problem of maris ayin. Thus Rav Heinemann would forbid entering a regular McDonalds, but would permit entering a coffee house, based on this. In previous times, of course, travelers would always enter into such establishments, because there were no alternatives. We therefore do not find any responsa forbidding entering such an establishment based upon maras ayin grounds. Nowadays, the situation seems to have changed and maras ayin would exist when one enters a diner that is noted for serving non-kosher.

1. Shailos and Teshuvos range from if there is a problem of bishul akum. (The Arizal said yes, the Pri Chadash ruled that there is not on account of it mostly being water.) May one drink coffee before davening? Yes, but without sugar—until recent times when sugar consumption became universal. Is there a problem of moshav leitzim? Once, see Chochmas Odom 66:14, but not anymore for most coffee shops.

2. See article by Chana Gila Ovits in the current issue of the YU newspaper.

3. In other words, the assumptive heter of stam kailim of a gentile (see YD 122:6), that it may be assumed that they are more than 24 hours old, does not apply to commercial establishments, according to numerous poskim with which this author has consulted.

4. There is a responsum from Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l concerning dishwasher racks where he writes that dishwashers do not have internal heating mechanisms, and are therefore considered a kli sheini (secondary vessel) and not a kli rishon. However, this was based upon technical information provided to him by others that proved to be incorrect. Even though he later repeated this assumption in a letter to Rabbi Noach Yitzchok Oelbaum, now in Kew Gardens Hills, this author spoke to Rabbi Feinstein’s original source and determined that the ruling was based upon the information the source had provided him.

71 Comments

  • 1. NOT KOSHER wrote:

    My husband used to get coffee from Starbucks and he was once talking to the manager and it came out that whilst the coffee is technically Kosher, they wash the coffee pots in the same dishwasher as they wash the dishes that they use to make the ham sandwiches!

    So technically, it is NOT kosher. Many people don’t know this..

  • 2. stubucks lover wrote:

    all us sturbucks lovers really want a halachik ruling on whether or not the coffee is kosher….we need a yes or no.
    also starbuks does serve tea such as passion ice tea does anyone know if its 100% kosher or not?

  • 3. Not Kosher 2 wrote:

    Anyone have practical suggestions ??- I guess the issue is that we can’t get HOT water anymore for in any fast food place because they was the pot or kettle in a dishwasher used for non kosher kelim.

    I’m curious how many of anash actually were aware of this ?

  • 4. MORDECHAI wrote:

    IS THIS TRUE THAT STARBUCKS CLOSED IT’S SHOPS IN ISRAEL FEW YEARS AGO BECAUSE OF ARAB COUNTRIES MARKET?

  • 5. why the question wrote:

    if there is a doubt then why do people go there???? we are living in a time where kosher food, coffee, and cafes, restaraunts, coffee shops are plentiful. i dont understand what drives people to even have the desire, when there is perfectly 100% kosher alternatives available!

  • 6. Feivel Moishe wrote:

    Thank you for this informative information. Please continue to post halachic issues that the community should be aware of.

  • 7. elchonon wrote:

    I am a world famous starbucks lover! out of necesity (they closed starbucks in israel) I just get starbucks beans by the pound (sh’koyach to all my faithfull bean buyers and shlepers!) grind it every morning in a burr grinder and brew in a french press!

    Note, starbucks syrup’s can be purchased on ebay / amazon and do contain a OU hashgacha.

    If you put some effort in, you can make the same coffee at home chalav yisrael.

    As to coffee before davening, Rav mordechai eliyahu paskend that since coffee these days is drunk with milk its permisble..

    But the author here ignores the biggest issue, chalav akum..

  • 9. occasional drinker wrote:

    so btw for people who have’nt noticed esp. the author of this arcticle most of the flavored coffees are just syrup added to PLAIN coffee being that i’ve looked into it being an occasional coffee drinker the sirups are kosher i believe they have an ou to be precise hence that asumption abt the flavored coffees is wrong an occasional coffee drinker out of nessecity on long trips

  • 10. am haoretz wrote:

    There is a CLEAR halacha in the nosei keilim of Shulchan Aruch (I think its in hilchos pas Yisroel) I REMEMBER seeing it clearly (I’m to lazy to look it up) that one is FORBIDDEN to drink KOSHER COFFEE (OR BEER) in a non kosher establishment mitzad the gezeirah of CHSUNAH

  • 13. Wondering wrote:

    Oy! Ane what other similar type establishments exist we don’t think about regarding kashrus??

  • 14. Bottom Line. wrote:

    it seems as though a plain black coffee at Starbucks is perfectly fine. Am I correct?

  • 15. Spread the Word wrote:

    Thank you for making us aware. I assumed if you brought your own milk or soy milk its OK.

  • 16. please be more concise wrote:

    The article might be good but I don’t know because even if it is good, it’s good and long. Plese try to be a little more concise next time. This article is just too long for my short attention span. Thanks

  • 17. to bottom line... wrote:

    No! It is not perfectly fine if you bring your own milk, if the coffee is made in treife pots, it doesn’t matter what milk you use, the coffee is treif.

  • 18. Soy Milk? wrote:

    For those who are interested- the Soy Milk at Starbucks is Kosher DE, which stands for Dairy Equipment. Since we’re machmir regarding cholov akum, that would make the soy milk ossur as well.
    Solution- Bring your own milk.
    The Article clearly says that a plain black coffee is acceptable.

  • 19. Answer to Bottom Line wrote:

    No, it does not seem that the black coffee is perfectly fine either. First of all, we defineitly to not rely on Heinaman’s Heterim. He is known to be a big Maykel (not to mention misnaged) and is not someone a Lubavitcher should look towards for shaylos. Second, it is not clear that the cleaning is all fine and good even with the black cofee. There is not Hashgacha – so there is not guarantee. One comment was that they wash te black cofee witht he ham sandwich keilim as well.

    Those who still have questions after this article, ask a Lubavitcher Rabbi.

  • 20. kashrus wrote:

    I always told people and my own family for years, not to go into starbucks. They looked on me like some radical machmir. This item does not suprise me. its what i always suspected.

  • 21. soy milk wrote:

    The soy milk was changed a few yrs ago to OU-DE. It used to be OU, I dont know why they changed it b/c people who are allergic to milk and would want soy cant drink that soy milk either…

  • 22. Flavored Coffee wrote:

    Starbucks does NOT make flavored coffees, if you want french vanilla, they have to add that flavor to the plain coffee. Most of the times they are kosher, you can ask the server to show it to you.

  • 23. Arizal wrote:

    what about the Minhag of the Arizal that coffee needs to be Bishul Yisroel? (Kaf Hachayim)

  • 25. BOTTOM LINE wrote:

    NO The article is saying that HOT WATER is suspect @ Starbucks because it is held in a container or Kettle that could or is washed in a dishwasher where other containers are being washed which hold treifus!!!! – And being that we have no idea of knowing 100% about what was in the dishwasher with the coffee container THIS MEANS WE CAN’t DRINK HOT WATER from anywhere!!!

    AM I correct or did I miss something?

  • 27. BT, ex-starbucks manager wrote:

    MOST Syrups used at Starbucks are Kosher, Syrup pumps (or dispensers) are PLASTIC and are WASHED WITH TREIF UTENSILS.
    ICED COFFE is PREPARED in TREIF PITCHERS, it is not just hot coffee with ice!!!
    TO ORDER HOT TEA: ask for the tea bag on the side, check the hechsher, it is usually chof K for Tazo Teas.
    THEREFORE: PLAIN DARK COFFEE, COLD SOY MILK LATTE ( MILK AND ESPRESSO), HOT TEA (check the tea bag’s hechsher FIRST)are the only things that could be consumed at starbucks if you keep cholov yisroel.
    THE REGULAR SINKS ARE ALSO USED TO WASH THE DISHES ALONG W/DISHWASHER (IF THE DISHWASHER NEEDS CLEANING, ONCE/TWICE A WEEK DEPENDING ON THE STORE, AND DURING RUSH HOUR when there is this much stuff that could be washed in one machine)

  • 28. Just To Clarify A Few Points wrote:

    To Bottom Line; the black coffe with the a syrup if you so wish is kosher,
    TO THE PERSON WHO ASKED ABOUT THE SOY MILK – it is DE which means it is made with dairy equipment (Dont use it)and to the person who wrote about other kosher alternatives um hello Lubavitch has thousands of shluchim around the world who dont have the kosher options that the farmers in Crown Heights have so you whole kosher option thing is like i dont know and to the starbucks lover who wants to know about the passion iced tea As far as i know and i ask every once in a while they have a designated pitcher for the tea and wash it seperate from the milk products,

  • 29. passion 4 passion fruit iced tea wrote:

    lol e/o askin the same thing…
    passion fruit iced tea?

  • 31. The Bottom Line wrote:

    i think the best thing to do IS TO NOT GO TO ANY STARBUCKS

    if you cant hold back ask a LUBAVITCH RABBI

    and also maybe each starbucks washes there things diffrently

  • 32. ET wrote:

    ( http://www.kosherspirit.com… )

    Dear OK,
    Starbucks sells non-kosher pastries in addition to its coffee. Are there any Ma’aras Ayin issues with purchasing coffee there? Can you drink plain, unflavored coffee anywhere? What about flavored coffee? Does it matter if the coffee shop uses its own mugs?

    Answer:
    There is no Ma’aras Ayin issue with buying unflavored coffee at Starbucks. You can drink plain, unflavored coffee anywhere, provided it is made in a dedicated urn that is only used for unflavored coffee, which is usually the case. Flavored coffee requires a kosher symbol and must be made in a dedicated urn that is only used for that kosher flavor. Many flavors are made with non-kosher ingredients, and many are dairy, so one must be especially careful when purchasing flavored coffee. Finally, you may only use disposable cups at a non-kosher coffee shop.

    * Please note, many brands of soy milk are made on dairy equipment that is NOT cholov yisroel. Be sure to check the hechsher on soy milk before using.

    ( http://archive.newsmax.com/… )

  • 33. Prolification of boich sevoros wrote:

    Amazing – After all the talk it seems that the author’s analysis is nothing more than boich sevoros (flavored coffee’s are apparently under the OU hechsher etc.)

    It is great that the webmaster would post such an informative and reletive topic but wouldn’t it be bettter to have it written by a Rabbi that has done the proper research and can leave its readers with a definitive psak?!

  • 34. An article full of bulletholes wrote:

    I have one comment, it seems like the person who wrote this article, and all the ppl who replied are all guessing. The author writes about Starbucks flavored coffee – Since when does starbucks brew flavored coffee??? Starbucks adds a flavored syrup upon request (which every time I checked the bottle was kosher). You may mean Dunkin Donuts (which has a hechsher on every bulk bag of flavored coffee that I have checked.

    Secondly, if you are woried about the hot water/ coffee urn being washed with dishes that have left overs that are not kosher (If someone can tell me which starbuccks offers ham, Id be very thankful, as one relpyer mentions). you really have to speak to a rabbi. I do not want to get in to it as it would take many pages of responsa, and I dont think that you the reader has time for all that.

    Just think (not that two wrongs make a right) however the same issue exists when traveling on an airplane, and you never heard of a rav assering drinks on the plain. Not that this paragraph is a big raayeh

    Lastly, I have to tell the editor in chief on this great magazine, be more responsibl for letters that you allow on your web site. It is truly full of bullet holes.

  • 35. An article full of bulletholes wrote:

    I have one comment, it seems like the person who wrote this article, and all the ppl who replied are all guessing. The author writes about Starbucks flavored coffee – Since when does starbucks brew flavored coffee??? Starbucks adds a flavored syrup upon request (which every time I checked the bottle was kosher). You may mean Dunkin Donuts (which has a hechsher on every bulk bag of flavored coffee that I have checked.

    Secondly, if you are woried about the hot water/ coffee urn being washed with dishes that have left overs that are not kosher (If someone can tell me which starbuccks offers ham, Id be very thankful, as one relpyer mentions). you really have to speak to a rabbi. I do not want to get in to it as it would take many pages of responsa, and I dont think that you the reader has time for all that.

    Just think (not that two wrongs make a right) however the same issue exists when traveling on an airplane, and you never heard of a rav assering drinks on the plain. Not that this paragraph is a big raayeh

    Lastly, I have to tell the editor in chief on this great magazine, be more responsibl for letters that you allow on your web site. It is truly full of bullet holes.

  • 36. FORMER STARBUCKS BARISTA wrote:

    IN RESPONSE TO BOTTOM LINE:
    1)The coffee pot that starbucks uses to brew its coffee CAN’T be immersed in water. The machine would break if it was immersed in water.
    2)The only possible problem with the coffee machine is that it is cleansed with a soap that is star-k and washed through with hot water. If a starbucks employee uses another soap without a kosher symbol i suppose there could possibly be a problem…some say if a dog wouldn’t eat it than its not a problem…ask a rabbi about that.

    ABOUT THE PASSION ICED TEA
    1) There is absolutely NO distinction made between tea and frappucino pitchers. They are placed in a dishwasher with all the other dishes.
    2)When the teas and frappucinos are steeped and mixed they choose any pitcher from the clean rack and take the lid that labels it as either tea or frap. A frap pitcher one hour can be a tea pitcher the next.

  • 37. Yossi wrote:

    Thank you for posting this article for making people aware that it is not so simple.

    To all those teenagers. We are so carefull lets not give it up for a coffe.

  • 38. Re: to ex. Starbucks Manager. wrote:

    Bs"d
    In regard to the pumps being plastic and washed with treif etc…
    The flavors are all cold so there really is no prob with them having been washed with non kosher… (same as using a glass for water at a non-kosher hotel.

  • 39. think before you write. wrote:

    there are two types of people writing here. one type has no clue about what a starbucks is or how they work. and the other type hasn’t the slightest inkling in halacha.
    The next time something like this is posted, post the authors name so that he can be taken to task afterwards. I’ve spoken to mashgichim from the OK and the OU and both have said that the black coffee is OK. And almost all the flavors have an OU on them.

  • 40. old bubbie wrote:

    I find the article about Starbucks quite interesting. I have another question.
    How can anyone who is kosher have a coffee on an airplane? I have seen many people drinking coffee on an airplane. Do they understand that the pots to pour the coffee are also washed with treife items.

  • 41. Bottom Line. wrote:

    Lets not look to be too machmir. We’re talking about Halacha here, not peoples personal Chumras.

    From this article I understand that BLACK COFFEE is perfectly fine at starbucks, (it self-cleans itself and does not get washed with the other utensills).

    You may not want to use A starbucks which is in a treifa restaraunt but a regular Starbucks serves no treifas so there is nothing to worry about – going in.

  • 42. A chosid wrote:

    Fyi Starbucks also sells cold pre bottled drinks. So if you must there is your answer. answer #2byo Bring your own don’t be lazy. Buy a thermos & avoid the problem altogether!!!

  • 43. steve wrote:

    all strabucks products have hashgochas on them including the syrups and mixes. Starbucks has certain stores for example in monsey that have signs next to the cakes which are served on paper goods that they are kosher certified. the frapuccino mix is certifies kosher, the caramel is also certified kosher. bottom line is yes the pitchers may not be certified kosher or werent toivelled but whats going into them is kosher.question realy is about cholv akum. With regards to the espresso machine even though they put the pitcher onto the steamer the milk is not being pumped through the machine. the steamer pumps steam into the milk which heats it.

    Anybody who feels unsafe.
    Drink plain coffee
    plain espressos
    any Iced espresso drink (cholov stam obviously)

  • 44. Bottom Bottom Line wrote:

    Weby – Can you invite a RAV to issue a Psak on Starbucks for Lubavitchers. It seems that issuing a Psak on CH.info would get the widest audience and reach.

  • 45. CZ wrote:

    Here in MN they opened up a Dunn Brothers (local chain) with Cholov Yisroel, separate washing of Keilim, etc. CH can’t do that?

  • 46. rk wrote:

    i’m a starbucks addict too, my fav is caramel macchiato. To get the Kosher version of that, ask for caramel syrup as apposed to sauce(not as tastey), also make sure to ask for soy milk (has OU) and no whipped cream. Its funny the workers there know me already and they make the "usual" for me, yummm!

  • 47. JACKIE wrote:

    BEWARE – WITHIN THE LAST 1-2 MONTHS THE SOYMILK WENT FROM OU-DE O OU(D) – I HAD BEEN DRINKING COFFEE WITH SOY MILK THERE FOR YEARS AND REGULARLY CHECKING THE SOY MILK. IT WASNT STARBUCKS THAT CHANGED THE BRAND (WHIHC ESCAPES ME AT THE MOMENT) BUT THE BRAND ITSELF CHANGES HECHKERS.

  • 48. Confused wrote:

    to the ex-starbucks manager – you do not mention if the indeed the coffee pots/hot water pots are washed wih the other treife keilim. If this is true, then we cannot drink the coffee or tea, as you say. Also, we cannot drink the cold soy milk latte because as everyone clearly mentioned, it is DE.

  • 49. BT, ex-starbucks manager wrote:

    ALL ICED TEAS ( passion fruit..etc) are prepared early in the morning inside TREIF UTENSILS by making a big batch of extras strength BURNING hot tea that is mixed inside TREIF PITCHERS=> ICED TEA and ICED PLAIN BLACK COFFEE =>No,No.
    AGAIN, THE SYRUPS, they are dispensed through a PUMP THAT IS TREIF even though themselves are kosher, you can buy a bottle of syrup for use at home, but at the Starbucks they will pump it through the TREIF pumps.
    SOY: Oy! IT IS INDEED OU-DE!

  • 50. hoterl bars too? wrote:

    Well, If thats the case, then techincally, having a drink in a hotel bar or any other is not allowed, because surely they wash the glass cups in treife dishwashers, or sinks.

  • 51. KASHRUS wrote:

    TO BOTTOM LINE
    EVEN IN AIRPLANES
    THE URNS THAT ARE USED FOR HOT WATER
    ARE WASHED TOGETHER WITH ALL THE NON KOSHER UTENSILS IN HOT DISHWASHER WATER.
    SO IF U NEED HOT WATER ON A FLIGHT, TRY TO GET IT STRAIGHT FROM THE SPOUT IN THE GALLEY!!!

  • 52. STARBUCKS DOES SERVE TREIF! wrote:

    To those who say they don’t sell ham, the smaller starbucks don’t sell food, but most of them have a full lunch menu, including HAM.

  • 55. boruch ben tzvi A H Kohaine Hoffinger wrote:

    B"H
    Be strict and don’t go into Starbucks.
    You’ll raise your level of moser nefesh and kedusha.
    Just go to work and earn money:
    "Then you’ll look into the sky and see Star-bucks!"

  • 56. Am Haratzim wrote:

    The Author of this article clearly demonsttrates his Am Haratzes. He forgot to mention that "Stam kli shel goy ayno ben yomo" Which means we don’t have to be concerned about the vesseles (especially the ones that are meyuchad for coffe)
    The flavours: The concept of "avidu letaima" has been completly corupted by the auther. The taste of trief itself has to be what adds to the taste. Please enlighten me: hazelnut flavour, for example, what would taste worse than an artificial substitute to pure hazelnut essence. Smushed Bugs? Pork Fat? most of these flavours DONT NEED A HASGACHA!

    Also, the Arizal never conciderd water boiled by a goy as bishul Akum! He himself did not drink it. BUT IT IS NOT LEHALACHA! We don’t follow %95 percent of the minhagim of the arizal. I have never seen th 12 apples, the 12 loaves of bread, the laughing at borei pri hagafen at a Lubavitch Shabbat table!

    Before someone goes out and condems normative practice amongst Orthodox Jews to drink a coffe. GO AND LEARN The HALACHA!!!

  • 57. anonymous wrote:

    i worked in starbucks this summer and i know for a fact that nothing there is kosher besides the black coffee and very few other things. by working behind the counter i was able to see all the hechshers and see that nothing is really kosher! many times frum people would come in and order non-kosher drinks. they didn’t even know it wasn’t kosher. i am glad people are finally being told!

  • 58. Ovits? wrote:

    What does the article by Ovits have to do with Halacha? She attacks Starbucks from a social perspective.

  • 59. ?? wrote:

    where are the ovens to make the extra foods? ive been in plenty of starbucks and they dont have any ovens to make their pastries or ham (which i NEVER saw them sell- only pastries)

  • 60. Hello??? wrote:

    I have noticed many comments on this article. However nobody seemed to address this authors halachic arguments. I will attempt to do so.

    Firstly he states "A major problem arises with dishwashers. Notwithstanding the presence of soaps that may make pagum (make distasteful) the taste of non-kosher food in a dishwasher, there are many times when non-kosher food is present when these dishes are there, without the soap. In other words, after the soap has been washed away, the non-kosher food is still there when these dishes are being cleaned."

    So what that means to me is, maybe there is soap and maybe there isn’t. That is called a sufik, not a clear cut problem.

    Next he mentions "We will start with the first assumption. Most dishwashers have an internal heating mechanism or booster where the water is directly heated. The water stream is still connected to the water heating source and thus renders the dishwasher into a kli rishon according to all opinions."

    Sorry but I tend to disagree, even if it was connected to the heat source at the time of the water stream, it would not be klie rishon, it would be eerio m klie rishon, which is much more lenient.

    And thirdly he writes "The next assumption is argued among the Acharonim. Many Acharonim hold that with solid matters, taste can be infused when the items are piping hot—even if there is no direct heat source at play. This is the normative halachic view that is followed."

    Sorry but i fail to see he connection, all it says in shulcan aruch is that once a solid matter becomes hot (through kli rishon) then it is always considered kli rishon. However in this case it never got hot through kli rishon.

    Conclusion, nothing in judiasim, and halacha is simple or final. You will always have more then one opinion. And many times they will contradict each other.

    This author is of the opinion that it is not kosher. I tend to disagree.(I’m not saying it is kosher, but i am saying that it deserves more research.)

    Because it’s not that simple.

    In addition, I find it very disturbing that most of the previous posters did not even attempt to try to debate the author on his "logic" and they just "took his word". I feel that is wrong. There is a shulcan aurch. It is meant to be used. It is for everyone to use.

    Use it. See for yourself what the halach is.

    DON’T JUST TAKE PEOPLES WORD FOR FACE VALUE EVEN IF THEY SEEM SOPHISTICATED.

    Thats all, and have a great day.

    P.S. I think asking your local orthodox Rabbi would be a great solution, since he has been trained to resolve questions such as this one.

  • 61. The World is coming to an end??? wrote:

    hello, as if the whole world is crashing down, because you cant have coffee! u americans are so spoiled! get off ur lazy bums, and make urself a coffe @ home, why is such a fuss being made out of starbucks, there are plenty other stuff lubavitchers should start being Machmir about!

  • 62. starbucks is me-us wrote:

    starbuucks coffee is didgusting. real coffee drinkers won’t touch that rubbish. It’s all marketing.

  • 63. YL wrote:

    regarding chalav akum there is an even bigger problem with the keilim.
    According to the Alter Rebbe (who forbids any sort of heter
    concerning cholov akum) we must follow the shulchan aruch which states
    that chalov akum is treif and all keilim that come into contact with
    it must be kashered just like with all other non-kosher items. This
    makes the starbuks issue that much more of an issue do to the fact
    that according to the Alter Rebbe even if the ingredients are kosher
    and you are just buying a "black coffee" however if the keili had
    hot cholov akum recently then the keili needs to be kashured!

    Just some food for thought!

    It is interesting to wonder why people do feel compelled to enter the
    realm of uncertainty, however each to their own.

  • 64. Hum...... wrote:

    The new shiduch question will be, dose he/she drink Starbucks and if so what do they order? Is it a Pumpkin Spice soy Latte or is it just a Caffè Americano Espresso. Now that’s a definition of character and Yiras Shomaim!

  • 65. I WORKED AT STARBUCKS wrote:

    People, I’M GOING TO TELL YOU ALL YOU WANT TO KNOW!
    I worked at Starbucks for almost a year, so I can tell you exactly what’s what.

    1)Regular coffee beans
    The regular coffee beans that you buy at Starbucks are Kosher. However, ONLY SELECT ONES ARE KOSHER FOR PASSOVER. Therefore, even if you buy a Kosher for Passover bag of beans at Starbucks, don’t let them grind it for you in their grinder since that has Chometz beans ground in it.

    2)Espresso
    The Espresso machine is washed with a special cleansing tablet. I don’t know if it is Kosher or not, and I don’t know if it needs to be Kosher.
    Other then that, the Espresso is made straight from the coffee bean and so it’s kosher. The only issue with it that I can think of is that the milk from Lattes/Cappuccino etc might splash onto it.

    OTHER HOT DRINKS

    Before I get into Lattes etc, I want to say something about the utensils being used. Everything gets mixed together. The pitchers do have names on it (Soy, Whole etc.), but when the Barrista is busy, they mix them up. They just give them a quick little rinse, not necessarily even washing the pitcher out completely.
    To those who drink Chalav Stam, they might not consider this an issue. However, around Cristmas time Starbucks brings in the Eggnog drinks, and the Eggnog is NOT KOSHER. So when the hot Eggnog pitcher gets mixed with the others and quickly rinsed and used for everything else, there is certainly still Eggnog left in the pitcher, therefore there is certainly some Eggnog going into your drink.
    Also, The steam want gets extremely hot (sometimes up to 200 degrees)which is definitely going to transfer the Eggnog to the wand and into the next drink.
    The rest of the utensils are also mixed around (spoons, thermometer etc). These sit in a Traif spill sink until we wash them.

    After all that, we can cover the hot drinks….

    3) Cappuccino
    If after what I had to say right above this, then you’d consider the Cappuccino completely KOSHER. (A plain unflavored one).

  • 66. I WORKED AT STARBUCKS wrote:

    CONTINUED….(too long to post at once)
    4) Lattes
    Starbucks offers many different flavors of Lattes, and each season they introduce yet more. Once again, if you consider the pitcher, utensils and steam wand kosher, then you’ll consider the PLAIN LATTE kosher as well.
    However NOT ALL LATTE FLAVORS are kosher. Here are some of the ones that ARE:
    Vanilla
    Hazel Nut
    Caramel
    Toffee nut
    Ciniman Dolce
    Ciniman
    Orange
    Pepermint
    …And most of the syrups in the TALL round bottles.
    Be very careful, because there are some that come in other shaped bottles that are NOT KOSHER.
    THE PUMPKIN SPICE IS NOT KOSHER
    THE DOLCE DE LECE IS NOT KOSHER
    THE GINGERBREAD IS NOT KOSHER
    ETC ETC ETC.
    All kosher syrups will have an OU on the bottle.
    IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT CARAMEL…
    The Caramel syrup is Kosher, but the Caramel Drizzle (the thick Caramel that they put on top of Caramel Machiato for example) is NOT KOSHER, so be careful over there. (The same applies to the Orange Drizzle, it’s not kosher).

    5)CHOCOLATE IS NOT KOSHER. That includes White chocolate milks, moccas, white moccas… NOTHING WITH CHOCOLATE IS KOSHER!!! Don’t assume that since it’s just chocolate it’s kosher. I called up the head office myself and they told me it’s not!

    6) Chai Latte
    AS far as I can gather, the Chai Tea Latte IS KOSHER.

    7) Regular Coffee
    We wash the equipment that we brew the coffee in the same dishwasher as everything else. (So read the article and make your own conclusion). But if you are going to drink the coffee, then adding a flavor IS NOT A PROBLEM as long as it’s one of the kosher syrups. Unlike other places, Starbucks doesn’t put the flavor into the beans, they just add syrup to the drink.

    8)TEA
    Hot tea is actually the most kosher thing in Starbucks because the water goes straight from a clean tap onto the tea bag. THE TEA IS KOSHER, they all have a KSA

    9) ICED TEA
    ICED TEA IS NOT KOSHER!
    If you just want a regular iced tea, then you need to worried about the utensils that we make it in. Some consider it fine. BUT THE ICED TEA LEMONADES ARE NOT KOSHER AT ALL. The lemonade has no Hechsure and contains grape juice so it’s yayin nesech.

    10) Frappaccinos
    NO FRAPPICINOS ARE KOSHER!!! DONT’ DRINK THEM.
    The only exceptions are the prebottle drinks you can get in the fridge, but nothing that we can make will be Kosher.
    (A common mistake people make here is that the package for one of the Frapp mixes has a Hechsher, the problem is that no drinks that we can make out of it will be Kosher).
    CONCLUSION

    Before you easily dismiss all the halachik questions, just remember that it is not a Kosher place. It’s not just not Kosher, it’s really Traif. We sell Pork sandwiches, and we cut other things with the knife that we use to cut those sandwiches. Then it all gets washed together with the pitcher that will be making your drink…
    While it may be true that some things are not a big issue, chances are that you’re buying something that’s not kosher at all.

    I hope that this was informative and helpful, and not at all preachy. I really don’t care what you eat and where you eat it. I wrote this so that the folks who really do care can make an educated desicion. I did work there, and I did look into these matters because everyone was always asking me to and this is what I found out.
    So have fun everyone, I hope this did the trick…

  • 67. to worker wrote:

    to the one who worked at starbux-
    passion fruit iced tea counted as teas?
    THAT CANT BE THAT ALL OF US HAVE BEEN EATING NOT KOSHER FOR ALL OUR LIVES

  • 68. Learn for yourself! wrote:

    AS for the allegations of supporting Arabs…

    Starbucks actually supports Israel and many Arabs have boycotted it because of that.

    I have Muslim friends who will not go there because they support Israel.

    But in all honesty, whenever you hear these types of rumors, look them up on Google. Usually they are false. Snopes.com and urbanlegend.com are good resources for this.

    DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ! Even from rabbis. If the email or story was copied and pasted, it could have been embellished!

  • 70. israel israeli wrote:

    Starbucks closed in israel because there is much better coffee in many cafes and they were losing money…

  • 71. Richard Horowitz wrote:

    Starbuck sells bacon. Need I go on?
    Butt the coffee is Kosher right?
    The rag that wipes up after the sandwich is heated; probably not kosher. That rag wipes the hands of the Starbucks employees who hands you your Starbucks coffee. The rag wipes the spills and the machine.
    Dream on if you think that restaurant is kosher.
    I thought in order to be considered Kosher a Jew had to place it on the fire? In any case the restaurant serves treif so could you go into a non kosher kitchen and pluck out a kosher radish? I think not.

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