Coffee Facts

A Guide to Tea Drinks at Starbucks: Sip and Savor

Since its establishment in 1971, Starbucks Coffee has built a solid reputation as an international coffee retailer. But java drinks aren’t the only beverages you’ll find at Starbucks; the franchise boasts a list of teas. While the Chai latte is probably the most popular of Starbucks’ tea drinks, there are plenty of other options.


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Did you know that the average Starbucks customer visits the café about six times a month? Unless they’re a Starbucks Rewards member — those folks stop by about 16 times a month. Now for another fun fact: not all these frequent Starbucks-goers show up for the coffee!

Despite coffee being its bread and butter, Starbucks Coffee sells more than just joe. The international franchise has an impressive selection of tea drinks, too, and some of the company’s customers find those just as, if not more, appealing than Java!

tea drinks at starbucks

Why Starbucks Tea Over Coffee?

Our most previous sentence might have some of you scratching your heads, and we get it. It makes sense to wonder why anyone would choose tea over coffee at a cafe. But it isn’t always an either-or situation; some people like both.

If it is a matter of Starbucks tea versus coffee, though, and tea is the winner, there are a few possible reasons for that; for instance, tea has a lower caffeine content, is better for dental health, and is less likely to cause issues like acid reflux or heartburn.

Roasty Roundup: Tea Drinks at Starbucks

Now that you know Starbucks Coffee sells tea, and we’ve explained why some customers might buy it instead of coffee, let’s look at the menu. Here’s a full rundown of the tea drinks available at the Seattle-born coffee house franchise:

Chai

Chai Tea Latte

Pro-tip: when you order this beverage, drop “tea” and say “chai latte” instead. Chai translates to tea, so you’re ordering a “tea tea” latte. And that sounds silly. But we digress.

The Starbucks chai latte is the perfect balance of spicy and sweet, thanks to the cinnamon, clove, and warming spices mixed into the black tea here. Adding a splash of warm, steamed milk gives the drink a cozy creaminess. It’s simply delicious.

Chai
Image Credit: Mehrshad Rajabi at Unsplash

Chai Tea

Chai is, in our opinion, the ultimate comfort drink. The combination of black tea, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and other warming spices is as cozy as they come.

Unlike the chai latte, plain old chai doesn’t contain any milk. So, it’s an ideal choice for anyone wanting spicy sweetness but doesn’t want a creamier drink.

Iced Chai Tea Latte

The iced chai latte is simply a cold spin on the classic drink defined above. Your barista brews spiced black tea, but instead of topping it with steamed milk, they add a splash of cold milk (or milk alternative) and a handful of ice cubes.

Black Tea

Earl Grey

Earl Grey isn’t your average black tea. Sure, its base is regular black tea leaves. However, bergamot essence, zesty citrus, and lavender make it Earl Grey.

This black tea drink gives you a noticeable caffeine kick — perfect for putting pep in your step when you aren’t in the mood for coffee.

Teavana London Fog Tea Latte

The London Fog latte is Earl Grey’s creamier counterpart. Bergamot- and lavender-laced Earl Grey tea leaves serve as the base of this drink, while steamed milk transforms it into a latte. Add a few pumps of vanilla syrup, and there you have it — the London Fog tea latte.

P.S. If you like Starbucks’s London Fog latte, try making your own with our recipe. Ours is a dirty London Fog, meaning it contains a shot of espresso. However, that isn’t a mandatory ingredient.

Leave it out, and you get a cozy, slightly sweet beverage that tastes a lot like the one from your local coffeehouse.

Black Tea
Image Credit: Sandra Ivleva at Unsplash

Royal English Breakfast Tea

Anyone longing to start the day with a warm cup full of something that’s caffeinated but isn’t coffee will probably fall in love with Starbucks Coffee’s Royal English Breakfast tea.

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It’s nothing fancy — just pure black tea — but don’t mistake its simplicity for being boring; it’s elegant and timeless.

Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte

The Royal English Breakfast tea latte is a few steps up from simply brewing Breakfast tea. Starbucks brews the same blend of Indian and Sri Lankan black tea leaves used to make the latter. But what sets them apart is the addition of liquid cane sugar, steamed milk, and a frothy layer of warm foam.

Iced Black Tea

Is there anything better on a hot day than kicking back with an iced drink? What’s in your cup? Many opt for iced black tea from Starbucks, and we understand why.

Black tea has a bold, full-bodied flavor that’s delicious at any temperature. Whether or not you sweeten it with classic syrup, the refreshing treat hits the spot every time.

Iced Black Tea Lemonade

Something about the iced black tea lemonade screams summertime to us. Maybe it’s the ice cubes. Or perhaps the lemonade it contains gets us daydreaming about the warmest season.

Whatever the reason, the Arnold Palmer-inspired beverage gets us thinking about sweet summertime. But don’t worry — it tastes just as satisfying during the other three seasons of the year.

Iced Black Tea Lemonade
Image Credit: Kilyan Sockalingum at Unsplash

Iced Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte

The Royal English Breakfast Tea latte is for anyone eager to take a break from hot tea drinks.

Starbucks combines an Indian and Sri Lankan black tea blend, a few pumps of liquid cane sugar, ice cubes, and your choice of milk (Starbucks has non-dairy milk alternatives, like oat milk, almond milk, and coconut milk) to make this refreshing caffeinated treat.

The next time you’re out on a hot day, stop by your local Starbucks and get yourself one of these babies!

Iced London Fog Tea Latte

Take a break from your standard cup of coffee with this icy spin on Earl Grey tea. Bergamot- and lavender-infused black tea, vanilla syrup, ice, and your personal preference for milk are all this drink contains. But that’s all you need — those ingredients are enough to provide a serving of refreshment every time.

Green Tea

Emperor’s Clouds and Mist

Emperor’s Clouds and Mist is a pretty dreamy name for a drink. And that dreaminess is appropriate; as far as green teas go, this one is almost ethereal.

Tea producers cultivated these green leaves at high elevations — 3,500 feet, surrounded by clouds and mist — and when brewed, they produced a smoky, earthy-tasting tea with a slight sweetness.

While it’s delicious alone, it handles added sweetener quite well. So, don’t be afraid to ask the barista to add a few pumps of honey blend syrup to your cup.

Matcha Tea Latte

Matcha has been super-trendy for the past couple of years. However, Starbucks added the matcha latte to its official menu in 2006. So, you could say the company was ahead of the curve.

With just two ingredients, this drink isn’t complicated — if you have quality matcha powder at home, you can make it yourself — but despite its simplicity, it brings a lot of flavor.

If you try this drink and think it needs something extra, ask for a few pumps of vanilla, toffee nut, or honey blend syrup. You’ll thank us for the suggestions later.

Honey Citrus Mint Tea

Even if you’ve never tried the Starbucks honey citrus mint tea, you’ve probably heard your friends raving about it during cold and flu season: it’s the famous Medicine Ball tea everyone swears by when they start feeling under the weather!

What was once a secret menu item is now a permanent fixture at the international coffee franchise.

The combination of Jade citrus mint tea, Peach Tranquility herbal tea, steamed lemonade, and a bit of honey works wonders when you’ve got a case of the sniffles or warms you from the inside out when you’re in the mood for something comforting.

Jade Citrus Mint Brewed Tea

Experience the Starbucks Medicine Ball without any extra additions — no lemonade, honey, or peach flavoring — by treating yourself to a Jade Citrus Mint tea.

It’s a light and airy tea with notes of lemon verbena, lemongrass, and spearmint you’ll love any time of day, in sickness and health.

Iced Peach Green Tea

Who would’ve guessed that earthy green tea and sweet, juicy peach complement each other beautifully? Well, Starbucks did! Thus, the iced peach green tea was born.

Once brewed, the Teavana green tea leaves Starbucks uses — and their minty and lemony undertones — meet up with a peach juice blend in your cup, creating the refreshing drink that will no doubt be your go-to anytime the temperatures start climbing.

Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade

Next up on our list of tasty tea drinks from Starbucks is the iced peach green tea lemonade. Green tea is the base drink. Then, the barista tops it off with peach-flavored fruit juice and lemonade, resulting in a slightly sweet summertime-approved treat.

Iced Matcha Tea Latte

The iced matcha latte is the favorite tea drink of many Starbucks lovers and for a good reason. The barista combines a few scoops of matcha powder, one of the café’s milk choices, and a handful of ice cubes into your cup. The result is earthy, slightly sweet, and creamy goodness.

Pro-tip: have your drink made with a splash of coconut milk. Trust us, matcha and coconut are a match made in heaven.

Green Tea
Image Credit: kevs at Unsplash

Iced Green Tea

Did you know green tea is loaded with health benefits? It’s been linked to improved cognitive function, burning fat, and lowering the risk of certain cancers. And a bonus? It tastes yummy over ice.

You’ll taste subtle minty flavors, plus hints of lemongrass and verbena in Starbucks iced green tea.

Iced Green Tea Lemonade

Green tea drinkers know how well lemon and green tea play together. So, unsurprisingly, Starbucks offers iced green tea with a splash of lemonade.

Lemonade intensifies green tea’s usual light citrusy flavors, giving this mildly caffeinated beverage a kick of lemon that’s noticeable without overpowering.

Iced Matcha Lemonade

Since we’re talking about drinks with citrus flavors, it’s a perfect time to introduce you to Starbucks Coffee’s iced matcha lemonade. It has the mellow earthiness matcha lovers obsess over, plus the zest of classic summer lemonade.

Since the drink also provides a decent boost of caffeine, it’s a solid choice for pushing you through your midday slump.

Herbal Tea

Mint Majesty

Mint tea is classic and enjoyed by countless tea lovers around the world. That’s why Starbucks includes the drink on its hot tea menu.

Besides mint, the caffeine-free Mint Majesty tea has a hint of lemon verbena. You can let these minty, citrus flavors stand alone by having your tea with no add-ins, or ask your barista to add steamed milk to the mix and upgrade your herbal tea to latte status.

Peach Tranquility

No wonder this tea has the word “tranquility” in the name. It’s herbal, so it’s caffeine-free. Plus, it has a delightfully fruity flavor that’s perfect for helping you wind down at the end of the day.

Sips of this tea reveal notes of peach (no surprise there), candied pineapple, chamomile blossoms, rosehips, and lemon verbena — so good!

Iced Passion Tango Tea

If you’re passionate about fruity herbal blends, the Iced Passion Tango Tea is right up your alley. Baristas hand-shake this combination of hibiscus, lemongrass, and apple flavors before pouring the rose-colored liquid into your cup.

There isn’t any caffeine in this beverage. So, don’t expect it to give you a jolt of energy. However, its chilly temperature and refreshing flavors can turn your mood around if a long day has you dragging and putting a smile on your face when life’s got you down.

Bottled Tea
Image Credit: Kadarius Seegars at Unsplash

Iced Passion Tango Tea Lemonade

If you thought the Iced Passion Tango Tea couldn’t get any better, try it with a touch of lemonade. So many other Starbucks tea fanatics swear that extra ingredient takes the delightfully fruity tea to the next level, and if you’re big on citrus, we think you’ll agree.

Bottled Tea

Teavana Sparkling Unsweetened Peach Nectarine Green Tea

Not every Starbucks location offers bottled Teavana’s Sparkling Unsweetened Peach Nectarine Green Tea, but if yours does and you like green tea drinks, don’t hesitate to grab one.

Carbonation gives this drink a slightly fancy feel, while green tea leaves provide a low yet noticeable caffeine content.

There aren’t any added sweeteners here — only the natural sweetness from peach and nectarine flavors. But if you prefer subtle tastes to overly sugary ones, you won’t mind; that fruity flavor is all the sweetener you’ll need.

Teavana Mango Black Tea

The Teavana Mango Black Tea makes a lovely afternoon treat. It contains around 55 milligrams of caffeine — just enough to push you over the midday slump. The mango and lime flavors give the energy booster a refreshing and sweet taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get sweet tea at Starbucks?

When most people speak of sweet tea, they mean black tea sweetened with sugar and served over ice. If that’s what you think when you say sweet tea, you’re in luck, as you can purchase a cup of this beverage from the local Starbucks.

The international coffee franchise has iced black tea on its menu. While the drink’s default status is unsweetened, you can ask the barista to add a few pumps of liquid cane sugar to your order, turning the contents of your cup into the sweet tea you’re craving.

Does Starbucks have a calming tea?

Starbucks doesn’t have a designated calming tea. But that doesn’t mean none of the coffeehouse’s menu items make for good sipping when you’re anxious or stressed.

Take the Peach Tranquility tea, for instance. The caffeine-free herbal tea has a light, pleasant flavor with relaxing notes of peach, pineapple, chamomile, rosehip, and lemon verbena. The combination of fruity and floral flavors hits the spot during an end-of-day wind-down session.

Passion Tango Tea is another common choice among anxiety-ridden tea enthusiasts searching for relief. Let the blend of hibiscus, lemongrass, and apple flavors on your taste buds bring you out of your head and back into your body.

This iced tea option is also caffeine-free, so there’s no need to worry about it bringing on more jitters and nerves.

What tea is used at Starbucks?

Regardless of the tea drink you bought — hot, iced, or blended — your barista friends behind the counter used Teavana tea bags to brew it.

Starbucks acquired Teavana in 2012 and has since brewed the Atlanta, Georgia-born company’s leaves exclusively. There aren’t many options available in-store — just black, green, herbal, and chai — but each bears the Teavana label.

Do Starbucks iced teas have sugar?

Whether or not your tea beverage has sugar depends on what you order and how you customize it.

Some Starbucks tea menu items’ recipes include a few pumps of liquid sugar or a touch of honey blend. Others don’t, arriving unsweetened and leaving you to decide how much sweetness to add to your cup.

Which Starbucks iced teas have caffeine?

Every Starbucks iced tea has at least a little caffeine, except for the herbal offerings. That means Mint Majesty, Peach Tranquility, Passion Tango Tea, and Passion Tango Tea Lemonade are all safe bets for anyone searching for a caffeine-free option.

The rest of the teas at Starbies fall into the green or black categories, meaning they have a few milligrams of caffeine.

Are there Starbucks’ secret menu tea drinks?

The Starbucks secret menu is a collection of drink recipes created by regular customers and baristas.

These coffee lovers use their experiences, preferences, and the ingredients Starbucks already has to make off-menu goodies, some of which taste better than permanent menu fixtures!

There are plenty of yummy tea-based secret menu drinks, including the Chai Apple Spice (order a Caramel Apple Spice with a few pumps of chai concentrate) and the Strawberry Green Tea (a Strawberry Acai Refresher made with green tea instead of water).

See what creative tea concoctions Starbucks fans have come up with by Googling “Starbucks secret menu tea drinks.”

If you don’t like what you see, come up with your own recipe!

That’s the Tea!

Now that you know which tea drinks Starbucks offers, there’s only one thing left to do: start sipping! Even if it isn’t usually your cup of tea (pun intended), we know there’s a tea on the menu or a secret menu you’ll enjoy.

Happy Caffeinating!

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