Turns out it's hard out there for a Jew, especially when "out there" is a universe dominated by Iced Venti Caramel Macchiatos. Yesterday, the Times ran a story on Uri Ort, a 26-year-old LES resident and Orthodox Jew who runs a website that helps those who keep kosher determine which Starbucks drinks fall under Jewish dietary law.
Ort, an e-commerce manager, started the appropriately named kosherstarbucks.com with his brother in 2007, soon after discovering the pure, unadulterated joy that comes from sucking the foam off a $5 double-shot Americano. While Starbucks' specialty drinks are not generally pumped with floating bits of pig meat, they are occasionally stirred using the same utensils that make a totally traif-ey Bacon, Gouda Cheese & Egg Frittata, and the caramel drizzle that makes a frappacchino so tasty tends to include syrup and ingredients that aren't certified by rabbinical kashrut councils.
So in order to prevent kosher Jews from accidentally ingesting a lard-tainted morsel in their
overpriced coffee, Ort hooked up with baristas all over the country—"I’m friends with baristas in Texas, in Chicago, in Baltimore, and in the New York and New Jersey area," he told the Times, proving that he's the dude to befriend if you're looking for some free lattes— studied all the ingredients and utensils used in each drink and snack. He listed them comprehensively on the website and coded them green (kosher!) and red (very not kosher!) for easy consumer access (and just for the record, frappaccinos do NOT pass the anti-traif test).
You can peruse a kosher rundown of the whole menu here, and there's even a handy FAQ section on the site to answer any and all national kashrut crisis questions should they arise. Ort updates the site for every new drink Starbucks makes, too, so be sure to check back before trying out any Venti Iced Lobster Bravaccinos in the near future.