NEW: Iced teas with a twist. Gluten free breakfast sandwiches go national.

Starting today, March 21, 2017, there’s new food and tea at Starbucks! Your Teavana Shaken Iced Teas get a big makeover and Starbucks has added a shaken iced white tea to the menu! Here’s a taste of what’s new at Starbucks:

NEW: Teavana Shaken Iced White Tea: Starbucks says that this is, “Soft and delicate flavor with a clean, bright finish, new Teavana Shaken Iced White Tea is shaken with ice for a crisp, subtly sweet refreshment.”

NEW: All the Teavana Shaken Iced Teasare now sweetened with a liquid cane sugar, which was specially crafted to complement the Teavana teas, and has fewer calories than the previous sweetener.

NEW: Teavana Lightly Sweet Chai – Available hot or iced, Teavana Lightly Sweet Chai Tea Latte is a less-sweet take on the beloved Teavana Classic Chai Tea Latte. Black tea is infused with cinnamon, clove and other warming spices, mixed with steamed with milk and sweetened with new liquid cane sugar.

In the food news, there is big news: The Gluten Free Breakfast Sandwich is here nationally at Starbucks stores. You will like this even if you don’t require a gluten free diet.

I have actually had the new Gluten Free Breakfast Sandwich a couple of times before today’s national launch. I first tried it when it was in testing in San Diego county last fall. At that time, 350 select Starbucks locations carried this new breakfast sandwich. I was inside the Starbucks headquarters last month trying the new Overnight Grains, and had another chance to enjoy this new Gluten Free Breakfast Sandwich. Delicious!

This Canadian bacon and peppered egg patty and cheddar cheese breakfast sandwich is a tasty, not too heavy, delicious way to start your morning.

The Gluten Free Breakfast Sandwich is warmed in its own packaging to avoid cross contamination, ensuring it stays gluten free.

You’ll find the new Gluten Free Breakfast Sandwich at the majority of U.S. company-operated Starbucks locations.

#CoffTea - Teavana Infused Coffee

Here's something new in the world of Teavana teas and Starbucks coffee: An infusion of the two of them together. You can call it whatever you like, though I think #CoffTea kind of fits.

I had seen this happening on Instagram, where I stumbled upon the ModernBarista infusing Komodo Dragon with Oprah Chai tea:

I decided to recreate the above tea infusion experiment, trying three different coffee-tea infusions:

  1. Reserve Ethiopia Shakiso with Teavana Youthberry Tea
  2. Starbucks Veranda Blend with Teavana Earl Grey Tea
  3. Starbucks Komodo Dragon with Teavana Organic Chai. (I tried it with the newer chai tea, as Starbucks is phasing Oprah Chai out of Starbucks stores).

First off, you still want to follow all of the "4 fundamentals of a great cup of coffee." Use fresh, non-expired coffee. Use filtered water. Use the right proportion of coffee to water. Use the right grind for your brew method.

You want to steep your tea before making the coffee. However, have your coffee ready to go before you start steeping your tea bag. Measure out the right amount of hot water. Drop one tea bag in, and steep for just one minute:

For this experiment, we used 30 grams of coffee to 16 ounces of water. Grind your coffee for a pour over. Get your water, just off the boil. Drop your tea bag into it. Steep for just one minute.

Then use the water in your kettle (now the tea) to make a pour over of coffee. You essentially are making a pour over of coffee substituting tea instead of water. You only want to steep the tea for just one minute to make sure that the water doesn't cool off too much and so that you don't have such powerful tea that it overwhelms the coffee.

 

Next thing you know, you have tea infused coffee!

Here's the Komodo Dragon with Chai being made:

So here's what I thought of these:

Ethiopia Shakiso with Teavana Youthberry: This was sooo good! You get a burst of berry notes, and very easy to drink coffee. The aroma is amazing.

Veranda Blend with Earl Grey - This is an interesting combination. Your coffee becomes remarkably complex with all kinds of flavor notes. The Veranda blend gains a lot of softness and smoothness from the tea.

Komodo Dragon with Chai: This becomes a very spicy coffee. All of the spicy notes in Komodo Dragon just pop. One barista who tried it with me described it as, "your coffee becomes like eating chili."

I definitely want to try these again, and I would LOVE to try the first two (Shakiso and Youthberry, and Veranda and Earl Grey) iced. I think there would have to be some adjustment of the recipe, but I can see that an iced Ethiopia Shakiso infused with Youthberry would be a fabulous Reserve bar type drink.

Your local baristas might be confused by this. Also, in order to get your baristas to do this, you may have to purchase both a tea and a coffee. Don't try to spring the idea of Teavana infused coffee on your local store during peak rush hour. This would be an excellent experiment to try at home too.

I'm campaigning for these coffee-tea infusions to make it on to a Reserve Starbucks bar beverage menu!

Enjoy!

 

Starbucks Stores Say Goodbye to Oprah Chai.

At the 2014 Starbucks annual meeting, Starbucks announced a partnership with Oprah Winfrey to bring an all-new Teavana Oprah-created Chai into Starbucks stores. In 2015, Starbucks introduced an herbal version of Oprah Chai tea.

It looks like you can still get Oprah Chai inside Teavana stores and on Teavana.com: Oprah Chai on Teavana.com.

At least inside of Starbucks stores, the Oprah Chai tea is being totally phased out. Here’s a great comparison of the new hot Chai inside Starbucks stores with the Teavana Oprah Chai:

The new Organic Starbucks Chai is a little darker of a black tea blend with less rooibos and a more subtle spice flavor than the Oprah Chai had.

So if you’re a hot Chai drinker at Starbucks, look for the Starbucks Chai inside stores very soon (many stores may have it now).

Super Easy Teavana Pumpkin Spice Brûlée Candied Pecans!

You can use Teavana's seasonal tea Pumpkin Spice Brûlée to make some pretty amazing pumpkin spice candied pecans. The actual recipe is courtesy of TheModernBarista.com - My good friend Jocelyn created this recipe and as soon as she shared it on social media, I went out and bought ingredients to make this at home!

Here's the ingredient list:

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup Teavana Pumpkin Spice Brûlée tea, finely ground
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups pecan halves

In a nonstick pan combine brown sugar, tea, salt, butter and water. Melt over high heat. Once mixture starts bubbling, add pecans. Stir until they are thoroughly coated. Turn the heat down to low and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the sugar starts to glaze. Remove from heat, spread pecans on a plate and break apart once cool.

Super easy! I couldn't stop eating these after I made them! First off, I gathered up a few things I would need:

I used an old blade-style coffee grinder to finely grind the Teavana tea. It worked pretty well! I want to show you a before and after the Pumpkin Spice Brûlée tea.

If you have a little bit of the finely ground tea left over at the end, you can even just slightly dust your pecans, as they are cooling. These are delicious. You get a subtle pumpkin spice flavor with lovely pecans. (Although if you decide to very lightly dust your final pecans with more finely ground tea, you'll get a bigger pumpkin spice flavor. Either way is amazing.)

Maybe the next big drink at Starbucks should be a pumpkin spice pecan latte? ;) Pecan and pumpkin spice go together!

These were yummy! Let me know if you try these too.

Here's my final yummy pecans:

 

The very first photo in this article is courtesy of TheModernBarista.com.

Just as a reminder, I recommend you visit these websites:

Nitro Teavana Peach Tranquility

Starbucks is testing something pretty amazing. It's the Teavana Peach Tranquility infused with nitrogen.

This is pure brilliance. It's a sweet, cold, creamy tea that foams up due to the infusion of nitrogen. I had to ask the barista if there was any added sugar because it was plenty sweet for me. It's just tea. It tastes amazing and still very low calorie.

The test is a small test in select Seattle Reserve stores. Not every Reserve location has it. You can find the Nitro Teavana Peach Tranquility at the Ballard Reserve Starbucks and the Starbucks at 7th and Westlake in downtown Seattle.

The 7th and Westlake Starbucks offers a "flight" of beverages so you can compare a Reserve Cold Brew, regular cold brew (not infused with nitrogen), Nitro Peach Tranquility, and regular (non Reserve) Nitro Cold Brew. The baristas allowed me to substitute in a "Lake Union Fog" which is exclusive to that store.

The Lake Union Fog is cold brew with a creamy foam (using a spindle blender, it foamed up), vanilla powder (a powder exclusive to their store, not the same powder as in the Frappuccino), and topped with a sugary topping that - so I'm told - is made using crushed coffee cherries as an ingredient of that topping. The Lake Union Fog ends up being quite sweet for a cold brew drink.

Hope you get to try these!

In the above flight photo, the far left beverage is the Nitro Peach Tranquility. The next beverage (which has a sugary topping) is the Lake Union Fog. The far right beverage is a regular classic Starbucks Cold Brew, which is now called the Narino 70 Cold Brew, according to Starbucks.  The far right standard Starbucks Narino 70 Cold Brew is not infused with nitrogen. In between the standard, classic Starbucks Cold Brew and the Lake Union Fog is the standard Nitro Cold Brew, which is the Narino 70 Cold Brew simply infused with nitrogen.

Here's the sign inside the store for the test beverages:

Of course, I wouldn't be doing you justice if you didn't get a nice closeup of the Nitro Teavana Peach Tranquility, which is AMAZING as a nitrogen-infused beverage:

And last but not least, the menu for these test drinks:

Eventually, I will be writing about this on StarbucksMelody.com - please subscribe to StarbucksMelody! I have a couple of questions about this test still, and right now I have an email out to a contact person inside the headquarters. The article that will soon appear on StarbucksMelody.com will look close to this one but may have some slight variations to it.

I truly hope you get the chance to try the Nitro Teavana Peach Tranquility. It is a winner. Yes, I liked the Lake Union Fog but I could easily see myself ordering Nitro Peach Tranquility when I'm craving any kind of tea-like drink. (Yes, I love the Starbucks cold brew but sometimes I want tea!)

Enjoy!

National Iced Tea Day: Buy One Get One Free at Starbucks & Enter to Win Free Tea at Teavana.

Today is National Iced Tea Day!

Both Starbucks and Teavana are celebrating with offers. At Starbucks stores, when customers buy one Teavana Shaken Iced Tea they will get one free to share at Starbucks Stores on Friday, June 10.

At Teavana stores, customers can visit Teavana Stores to Win free Teavana Tea for a Year, plus the chance to instantly win a free 22 fluid ounce iced tea beverage and up to 50 percent off any full priced item, June 10-12, June 17-19, June 24-26. Also from June 10- 12, customers can come into Teavana stores and get a free tasting of Teavana tea blends made to be served over ice.

So when you go into Teavana stores, you will see something like this:

Go to Starbucks today to take advantage of buy one, get one free on the Teavana shaken iced teas!

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EASY ICED TEA AT HOME:

For National Iced Tea Day, I decided that I’d show you an easy wayto make a huge pitcher of iced tea at home.

I’m going to be using the Teavana Peach Green Tea pitcher packets, sold at Starbucks stores or at StarbucksStore.com:

By the way, I literally had a perfect full, delicious pitcher of tea in like 11 minutes. That’s incredible. I gathered up everything that I thought I would need:

I am using the Breville Crystal Clear water heater, which is my favorite thing ever in my kitchen. I use it nearly every day for some kind of coffee or tea making. You will have 7 cups of boiled water about 5 minutes.

I decided to use my big 64 ounce mason jar that I bought for making cold brew coffee. I boiled water, and since that big mason jar is marked on the side with measuring indications, it’s easy to fill it just half way with boiling water. I did wait about 30 seconds before pouring the boiling hot water and added an ice cube. You actually want your water temp closer to 195, so I had about a 30 second lag before tossing in the sachet.

Toss in your Teavana Peach Green Tea pitcher sachet. I ripped open one sachet so you could see the green tea. Here’s what I had as I was waiting on the 5 minute brew time:

Five minutes flew by. (I used my phone to time the brew time.)

The next step is to fill your 64 ounce pitcher the rest of the way up with cold water. I used room temperature bottled water.

Then serve over ice: I crammed a cup full of ice and poured the iced tea over it.

This was super easy and delicious. It’s crisp, lemony, and peachy and I literally had fabulous iced tea super fast.

And in all honesty, this is way cheaper than buying iced tea at Starbucks. You can do the same with the Teavana Passion Tango Tea pitcher sachets. (If you use the Teavana Passion Tango Tea pitcher packs, there’s no need to worry about cooling your water to 195.)

HAPPY NATIONAL ICED TEA DAY!

Teavana tea now in tea sachets!

Starbucks locations now have Teavana teas in tea sachets! This is a big change. Previously you could only purchase Teavana teas as loose leaf teas. You'll find the following teas as tea sachets:

I bought the Mint Majesty to have at home. It's even easier to make a great cup of tea at home.

For the Mint Majesty, bring water to a boil, pour 8 ounces into cup, and steep tea bag for 5 minutes. Make sure to follow the directions on the side of the box. Some of the teas recommend lower temperature water (not as hot as right off boiling), and some of the teas has shorter suggested steeping time.

(One thing is that it looks like Pineapple Kona Pop tea is not offered in loose leaf tea bags inside Starbucks. I hope someone lets me know if I haven't got that right. Pineapple Kona Pop had previously been offered as a loose leaf tea at Starbucks.)

The tea in the tea bag is still the beautiful, same loose leaf tea as before. I just made some Mint Majesty at home - it's perfect. Hot water plus tea bag - so easy!

Enjoy your tea in tea sachets! These were just launched March 22, 2016, inside Starbucks stores. Here's a tip - Youthberry is amazing iced. Steep 2 tea bags with your water to make an extra strong tea to pour over ice. Youthberry is amazing as a tea lemonade. If you can get a Starbucks partner to make you an iced Youthberry tea lemonade, you'll love it. It might be something though much easier to do at home.

Enjoy!

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Melody Overton

Melody Overton is a long-term Seattleite with a passion for Seattle, coffee, a great slice of pizza, and beautiful shoes. From California originally, she moved to Seattle after 4 years Air Force. She loves blogging!