MavMeg

Starbucks Teas - Is "Infused" Compliant?

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I'm trying to put together a guide on Starbucks Do's and Dont's while on Whole30.

 

Obviously lattes and the large majority of drinks are out. 

 

From what I can tell in research, prior to his year Starbucks used Taza Teas, and their teas (such as the Passion Tea) were compliant.

 

However, now Starbucks used Teavana Teas. On the Starbucks nutrition facts website, the Passion Tango tea includes:

 

An Infusion Of [Water, Hibiscus Flower, Cinnamon, Candied Papaya Pieces (Papaya, Sugar), Rose Hips, Apple Pieces, Lemongrass, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Blackberry Leaves, Candied Mango Pieces (Mango, Sugar), Rose Petals].

The majority of other herbal teas from Starbucks show something similar. Does this mean (with the infusion of candied fruit pieces) that basically none of Starbuck's herbal teas are compliant? 

 

So far it seems only black iced coffee, cold brew coffee, green tea, english breakfast tea, and mint tea are compliant.

 

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That tea isn't compliant. I think most of their flavored iced teas are not going to be ok, but a lot of their hot teas will be. You can always ask for a steeped hot tea and a large cup of ice and make your own iced tea

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Any tea with candied fruit in it is not compliant due to the sugar.

 

Be very careful ordering the cold brew coffee (and really, anything there) that you specify no syrup of any kind at all -- I've read that their norm is to add a sugar syrup to most things. As far as I know, an Americano (espresso + hot water) should be compliant as well, but definitely double check for yourself.

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So after reading the ingredients, the fruit flavored hot teas and the herbal chai are not compliant. The cinnamon chai (tea bag, not latte), earl grey, mint majesty and jade citrus mint, and emperor green tea are all compliant. I think most of the iced of not all have sugar added and the herbal chai has amaranth (a grain, not compliant)

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Black iced tea, green iced tea, and passion iced tea are all compliant (unsweetened, with no syrup added). The ingredients are as follows (from the Starbucks website). Classic syrup is listed in each because it is part of the recipe as ordered, but will not be added if unsweetened. 

 

Black iced tea:An Infusion Of [Water, A Blend Of Black Teas], Ice, Classic Syrup [sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid].

 

Green iced tea:An Infusion Of [Water, A Blend Of Green Teas, Spearmint, Lemon Verbena, Lemongrass, Natural Flavour], Ice, Classic Syrup [sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid].

 

Passion iced tea: An Infusion Of [Water, Hibiscus Flowers, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon, Apple, Licorice Root, Lemongrass, Fruit Juice Extract], Ice, Classic Syrup [sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid].

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Former Starbucks employee here - be really careful with the new teas. Many - iced AND hot - are not compliant. Order a brewed coffee, standard iced coffee (request 'No Classic'), americano, or espresso. All of these are some form of just beans and water. Teas... ask to see an ingredient list.

 

Brewed coffee - available in 8-12-16-20oz sizes - blonde roast (rotating flavors) has more caffeine; Pike Place is very medium bodied and even from a flavor perspective; dark roast (also rotating) tends to be very bold and flavorful, much darker than others (especially Italian, French, and Espresso roasts - if you're a newbie to black coffee, you might want to avoid these).

 

Iced coffee - available in 12-16-24-30oz sizes - you must ask to have the drink without Classic, and even then, I'd give it a smell before drinking it to make sure it wasn't added by mistake; also note that some of the substitute milks, like almond and coconut milk, will not be cold-drink-friendly; I've seen them produce chunks in iced coffees, which aren't so easy to drink through a straw :). This is my favorite drink, though it can be a little tart; this would be easier/more approachable for many of you than hot black coffee.

 

Clover brew - This is a type of coffee that is brewed by the cup. You can order it hot or iced, with sizes and coffee types available dependent on location. It's like the two above, but it's a MUCH smoother cup of coffee, and will make the other stuff taste like dirt. It's also more expensive :) but it's a nice treat if you're a coffee aficionado. If you see Kona available, just order it iced, don't ask questions. It's heavenly.

 

Americano - available both hot (8-12-16-20oz sizes) and iced (12-16-24oz sizes) and is simply just espresso shots, water, and ice (if you ordered it iced). Shot distribution is 1-2-3-4 in hot sizes and 2-3-4 in iced sizes (so a venti americano has four shots).This does not automatically come with added sugar or milk. This tastes like a smoother cup of coffee - less variation in the flavor.

 

Espresso - simply just espresso shots - you can order a solo, doppio (sounds like "dopey-oh"), triple, or quad; you can get them hot or over ice; it's basically a tiny, super-strong cup of coffee. You can also get as many shots as you want (I've watched people consume 10 at a time), but beware... these babies are 75mg of caffeine each. If you have more than four, and you're not used to it, you might experience side effects like the head-spinning seen in The Exorcist.

 

If you're a tea drinker at home, like me, these teas are mostly compliant, pretty delicious, and available in most local grocery stores I've seen (though you will need to read the label on these, as with anything else during your Whole30): http://www.republicoftea.com/(Ginger Peach Green Tea is my favorite)

 

Just as a note: I know the menu can be a little intimidating at Starbucks, and no one wants to be the one at the register asking lots of questions with a huge line behind them. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have about these, other drinks, Starbucks in general, how to talk to the barista, etc. My six-year stint with Starbucks covered everything from barista to store manager.

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I am really confused now!  I thought their iced teas --without any classic syrup -- were compliant?!  I like the green tea.  Help?!

 

If the ingredients apool1 listed above are correct, then, yes, the green tea itself, as long as you make sure they don't add syrup, is compliant. Be sure you find out the ingredients for the particular tea you are going to order.

 

The tea listed in the first post was the Passion Tango Tea, and it is not compliant because of the candied fruit that has added sugar.

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Black iced tea, green iced tea, and passion iced tea are all compliant (unsweetened, with no syrup added). The ingredients are as follows (from the Starbucks website). Classic syrup is listed in each because it is part of the recipe as ordered, but will not be added if unsweetened. 

 

Black iced tea:An Infusion Of [Water, A Blend Of Black Teas][/size], Ice, Classic Syrup [sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid].[/size]

 

Green iced tea:[/size]An Infusion Of [Water, A Blend Of Green Teas, Spearmint, Lemon Verbena, Lemongrass, Natural Flavour][/size], Ice, Classic Syrup [sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid].[/size]

 

Passion iced tea: An Infusion Of [Water, Hibiscus Flowers, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon, Apple, Licorice Root, Lemongrass, Fruit Juice Extract][/size], Ice, Classic Syrup [sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid].[/size]

You're fine on the standard iced green tea without Classic, but you should check labels on any boxed iced teas for sale.

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Also worth noting - the basic Passion iced tea they make behind the counter appears to be without the candied pieces, so without Classic, that would be fine, although the hot Passion tea is not compliant. Super confusing that they have the same name...

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If I order an iced latte made with coconut milk (which they now have) is that compliant?

Starbucks is actually really good about posting ingredients online -- here's the page for a Latte with coconut milk: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/caffe-latte#size=42&milk=1306

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1 hour ago, Pandora Black said:

Damn. Their coconut milk is made with sugar. No wonder it tastes so good,

Also carrageenan and corn dextrin - it's coconut milk only by name...!! <_<

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Okay. I read the ingredients prior to purchasing a box of Iced Passion Tango. After reading so many posts, I grabbed my unopened box to confirm that what I originally read was still Whole30 compliant and...it is. I'm posting pics so you all can verify for yourselves.

0822160352~2.jpg

0822160347a.jpg

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Did you buy that recently?  I was in a Starbucks the other day to buy a pack of Youthberry tea (not compliant) and saw a box of this in an "iced" version and checked the ingredients... I really thought it also had candied stuff in it.  I notice that yours doesn't list pineapple in the ingredients but does list it on the blurb on the front - I think it was candied pineapple I saw in the ingredients.  Maybe I'm misremembering though - I stuck with the Youthberry so I don't have a box at home to check :)  

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1 minute ago, littleg said:

Did you buy that recently?  I was in a Starbucks the other day to buy a pack of Youthberry tea (not compliant) and saw a box of this in an "iced" version and checked the ingredients... I really thought it also had candied stuff in it.  Maybe I'm misremembering though - I stuck with the Youthberry so I don't have a box at home to check :)

Yes. I bought mine on Friday. HTH 

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Hey friends! I thought I would add to this Starbucks thread with some GOOD news. This thread is a little older, so it doesn't include some of the new Teavana tea "infusions" Starbucks now offers :)  [Moderators: please confirm my understanding of the ingredients below!]

Note: "Liquid cane sugar" is listed in each because it is part of the recipe as ordered, but will not be added if you specifically order your drink unsweetened (so I crossed those out below).  Also note: do NOT order the "lemonade" versions of any of the iced teas - tons of sugar in those!

Teavana® Shaken Strawberry Green Tea InfusionICE, AN INFUSION OF [WATER, A BLEND OF GREEN TEAS, SPEARMINT, LEMON VERBENA, LEMONGRASS, NATURAL FLAVOR], AN INFUSION OF [WATER, APPLES, NATURAL FLAVORS, LICORICE ROOT, HIBISCUS, ROSE HIPS, CITRIC ACID, LEMONGRASS], LIQUID CANE SUGAR [WATER, TURBINADO CANE SUGAR, CANE SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVOR, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID].

Teavana® Shaken Pineapple Black Tea InfusionICE, AN INFUSION OF [WATER, A BLEND OF BLACK TEAS], AN INFUSION OF [WATER, APPLES, NATURAL FLAVORS, ORANGE PEELS, LICORICE ROOT, CHAMOMILE POLLEN, CITRIC ACID], LIQUID CANE SUGAR [WATER, TURBINADO CANE SUGAR, CANE SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVOR, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID].

Teavana® Shaken Peach Citrus White Tea InfusionICE, AN INFUSION OF [WATER, A BLEND OF WHITE TEAS], AN INFUSION OF [WATER, APPLES, NATURAL FLAVORS, LICORICE ROOT, ROSE HIPS, HIBISCUS, ORANGE PEELS, LEMON VERBENA, CHAMOMILE POLLEN, LAVENDER FLOWERS], LIQUID CANE SUGAR [WATER, TURBINADO CANE SUGAR, CANE SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVOR, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID].

**BONUS TIP: You can play around with the flavor combinations, for example you can get the "strawberry" infusion in any of the iced teas (black/green/white/passion tango), not just the green tea (same with the other infusions). You can also mix things up by doing "half & half" combos: I personally enjoy a half green tea/half passion tango tea.  -- Since our Starbucks options are limited while on W30, I wanted to throw that out there :)

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