Hot tea lattes for the Starbucks soul


by mponto

Posted on November 16, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 16 at 2:12 PM

It's tea time at Starbucks.Starbucks has new treats for the New Year, but they are not the brownie or loaf kind. Instead, they are the drinkable kind - which is just as good.

But rather than introduce some new coffees to the menu, Starbucks has come up with three lattes for tea-lovers...and those who just like to experiment with something hot on cold January days.

Naturally, because I am a Starbucks fanatic, and because I received a coupon in the mail, I decided to try a few of them out.

London Fog Tazo Tea Latte: First up, I had to try the London Fog which is Earl Grey tea with Italian bergamot, vanilla and lavender. They make it by steeping the tea in steamed milk and adding a couple pumps of vanilla syrup.

It sounds simple, but it is really good. In fact, out of the three new treats, this one is my favorite.

It's mostly because I love Earl Gray tea, and also because I actually had a London Fog in Calgary five years ago and have been dreaming of it ever since. It's like an Earl Grey dream all wrapped up in a velvety, milky foam. And with the last two mornings being a little gray, cold and rainy (just like London), it was the perfect way to warm up.

Black Tazo Tea Latte: Next up, I tried the Black Tazo Tea Latte. Starbucks describes it as "a bold black tea with hints of dark caramel, malt and black cherries."

I'm going to be honest with you...I tasted it and even with my eyes closed, I couldn't taste any caramel or black cherries. That's not saying that it was crappy. The black tea in steamed milk wasn't too bad. It wasn't as yummy as the London Fog, but it is packed with caffeine, so it's a good wake me up.

Vanilla Rooibos Tazo Tea Latte: Unlike the Black Tea Latte, the Vanilla Rooibos is caffeine-free. Combine it with the steamed milk and vanilla syrup, and you have the perfect hot beverage to help you unwind at the end of the day.

So the tea is kind of tasty, but will it wreck your New Year's diet?

Well, it does have milk in it, so if you get one of lattes straight from the menu, a grande will add up to 200 calories and 5 grams of fat. But thankfully Starbucks is all about customization. To save a little on your diet, you can get the same latte with non-fat milk and sugar free syrup. This will cut the calories down to 160 and 0 grams of fat.

This isn't too bad if you compare it to my absolute favorite Starbucks drink - their signature salted caramel hot chocolate. This decadent delight has 590 calories and 27 grams of fat and that's with non-fat milk.

It's so bad, but that's what makes it so good.

Starbucks also introduced a couple of cold teas, but I haven't tried them because it's been too chilly. But if you do, let me know which one is the best.

The two new cold teas are Berry Chai Tazo Tea Infusion and Apple Chai Tazo.

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