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HMRC internal manual

VAT Food

Excepted items: beverages: coffee and cocoa products

Item 5 of the items overriding the exceptions applies the zero rate to cocoa, coffee, chicory and other roasted coffee substitutes and preparations and extracts from them. Zero-rating therefore extends to coffee beans, instant coffee, drinking chocolate and cocoa, chicory, and dandelion root (coffee substitutes).

The fact that preparations and extracts of coffee and cocoa are specifically zero-rated under this provision means that some products whose status would otherwise be doubtful can qualify for zero-rating if they are made from coffee or cocoa, for instance powders for flavouring milk-shakes, and coffee or cocoa based beverages, including those made from soya milk or having too low a proportion of dairy milk to be regarded as zero-rated preparations of milk.