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Starbucks Iced Tea

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veggielover Jun 6, 2011 11:12 AM

Has anyone else noticed that the formula for Starbucks iced tea has changed? Iced tea is my drink of choice :-) and the previous version at Starbucks was better than I could make at home. Now it tastes no better than any other adequate version, but not as good as home brewed.

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    Cathy RE: veggielover Jun 6, 2011 02:28 PM

    No. I ask for not sweet and no water added. All three flavors (black, green and passion) are crisp, clear and strong.

    1. Davwud RE: veggielover Jun 7, 2011 04:19 AM

      I work for them and I've not heard of a recipe change.

      DT

      2 Replies
      1. re: Davwud
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        veggielover RE: Davwud Jun 7, 2011 10:45 AM

        I also get it unsweetened.

        I emailed corporate website and was told that Tazo changed the formula for the black iced tea that I used to love. I always thought that there was a touch of bergamot in the black iced tea, but no more.

        1. re: veggielover
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          jayjay RE: veggielover Jun 7, 2011 03:45 PM

          FYI, Tazo is owned by Starbucks.

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        veggielover RE: veggielover Jun 15, 2011 06:43 AM

        I decided to try out my theory that Starbuck's previous version of black iced tea had bergamot in it so I bought a box of Tazo Earl Gray and made yesterday's batch of iced tea with half Tazo Earl Gray and half Tazo Awake. It tasted just like the iced tea that I remember.

        1. Sensuous RE: veggielover Jun 15, 2011 07:06 AM

          I can't tell a difference. The shaken black iced tea with half sweetener is what I order. It is always perfect.

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            elysegabrielle RE: veggielover Jun 18, 2011 01:08 PM

            Yes, it has definitely changed! I drink the black iced tea unsweetened, no water and light ice. I even went to several different locations and it is not the same as it used to be. I asked the barista at one location and she said that it's the same Tazo blend. I will be writing to Starbucks requesting that they change it back, the new one is not good.

            I bought the original version to make at home and it tastes identical:
            http://www.starbucksstore.com/product...

            I am not sure if this is what they replaced the black tea in the store with:
            http://www.starbucksstore.com/product...

            1 Reply
            1. re: elysegabrielle
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              veggielover RE: elysegabrielle Jun 21, 2011 06:16 AM

              I am not sure. I didn't think that it even tasted like Tazo tea. IMO, it tasted like the stuff you get at most places that sell a lot of iced tea that is ok but not great.

            2. menton1 RE: veggielover Jun 19, 2011 10:40 AM

              Love the iced passion tea on a hot day. Great! Iced tea qualifies as a refill as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: menton1
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                CanadaGirl RE: menton1 Jul 14, 2011 03:47 PM

                One of my favourite beverages ever. I get it unsweetened as I find the sugar overwhelming.

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                benjamom RE: veggielover Jun 23, 2011 01:52 PM

                it's absolutely different. it's not good. it tastes average. it's comparable to mcdonald's. my brother is a store manager and confirmed that it's different.

                4 Replies
                1. re: benjamom
                  menton1 RE: benjamom Jun 23, 2011 03:26 PM

                  McD's has Passion iced tea? Doubtful. McD's and Starbucks in the same sentence is quite a stretch... They are polar opposites.

                  1. re: menton1
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                    benjamom RE: menton1 Jun 23, 2011 03:34 PM

                    no passion tea at donald's. I'm talking about the black iced tea specifically. that's the only one starbucks has changed. and the taste of the new black tea literally is comparable to the taste of mcdonald's iced tea.

                    1. re: benjamom
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                      veggielover RE: benjamom Jun 23, 2011 07:00 PM

                      I agree it tastes ordinary. I have never had the iced black tea at McDonald's but it tastes no better than the iced black tea at Dunkin Donuts.

                  2. re: benjamom
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                    juree79 RE: benjamom Jul 9, 2011 08:28 PM

                    THANK YOU! I had an argument with a Starbucks employee about it and he insisted that the black iced tea wasn't different. So frustrating! It totally tastes like McDonald's unsweetened iced tea.

                    I noticed it tasted different earlier this year and confirmed it by trying at several other Starbucks stores.

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                    jowu RE: veggielover Jun 24, 2011 09:12 PM

                    Yes, I've noticed it now tastes like old black tea, nothing special (Mc Donald's could suffice). It's very disappointing. I look forward to my "tea treat" whenever I go and no one else's tea ever came close to the flavor. I've also tried it at different Starbucks thinking "Maybe they left it out all night and let it get stale," that's how it tastes anyway. Unfortunately, the new version isn't worth the drive or effort. I can make better at home, which wasn't possible before.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: jowu
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                      master815k RE: jowu Jul 10, 2011 01:39 PM

                      They had a blueberry ice tea in the summer a couple years ago that was delish! Wish they would bring it back!

                      1. re: master815k
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                        benjamom RE: master815k Jul 14, 2011 03:43 PM

                        i think it was called berryblossom white. it was tasty! they also had orange syrup to sweeten the passion tea, that was wonderful.

                        1. re: benjamom
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                          master815k RE: benjamom Jul 30, 2011 06:36 AM

                          No, it wasn't berryblossom white. That was a tea they had all the time. The bluberry ice tea was a special that they had in the summer time only.

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                      merkay RE: veggielover Jul 14, 2011 11:33 AM

                      I have at least one Starbucks black iced tea every other day and I have not noticed any difference in the flavor. I hit multiple Starbucks most weeks, and it all still tastes the same to me. And, to say that it tastes like McDonalds is insane. I also have a McDonald's iced tea at least once a week (no Starbucks near my work) and McDonalds iced tea has a watered down, metallic taste that is completely absent in Starbucks iced tea.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: merkay
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                        juree79 RE: merkay Jul 14, 2011 01:36 PM

                        Do you drink it sweetened or unsweetened? I wonder if your area isn't affected by the change. The tea is definitely different here in Southern California. I noticed it earlier this year so it's been a while now since the change. The new tea doesn't have that hint of citrus anymore and is comparable to just regular old iced tea (like McDonald's). A while back, I purchased the tea bags that taste like the old Starbucks tea and have to make my own tea now :(

                        1. re: juree79
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                          merkay RE: juree79 Jul 14, 2011 03:02 PM

                          I drink it unsweetened - sweet tea is an abomination. ;) I'm in Chicago, and haven't noticed any change here. I really like the Starbucks iced tea because it seems to be the only tea I can buy while on the run that actually tastes like tea, so I suspect I would notice a change.

                          Now, I have noticed a difference with Dunkin Donuts iced tea, but it wasn't that great before, and still isn't, so it's not loss.

                          1. re: merkay
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                            juree79 RE: merkay Jul 14, 2011 03:09 PM

                            Hahaha... I agree. Can't stand sweet tea.

                            1. re: merkay
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                              benjamom RE: merkay Jul 14, 2011 03:46 PM

                              i live in a chicago suburb but won't go to starbucks in the city because they never shake it. do you ever have that problem?

                              1. re: benjamom
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                                merkay RE: benjamom Jul 14, 2011 04:41 PM

                                I don't usually pay close attention, but when I do, they almost always seem to shake it. I can only think of a few times where they may not have shaken it.

                                1. re: benjamom
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                                  juree79 RE: benjamom Jul 14, 2011 07:56 PM

                                  I've noticed less shaking too

                              2. re: juree79
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                                jowu RE: juree79 Jul 14, 2011 04:22 PM

                                I drank it (past tense) unsweetened. I'm in MI and I was told the formula was changed the beginning of June. At least that's when the change hit here. I read a couple of the "form letters" from Starbucks re. it and it doesn't look like any consideration is being made for us dissatisfied tea drinkers. I also emailed Starbucks about it but got no reply.

                                1. re: jowu
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                                  juree79 RE: jowu Jul 14, 2011 07:57 PM

                                  :( :( :( This makes me sad!

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                              benjamom RE: veggielover Jul 14, 2011 04:02 PM

                              when i have extra time i email starbucks to tell them how bad the new tea is. here's one interesting reply:

                              On Jun 30, 2011, at 6:33 PM, Starbucks Customer Care wrote:

                              Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.
                              I am truly sorry to hear about your disappointment with the new Black Iced Tea. This new tea blend has a more broadly appealing flavor than our current black iced tea, which contains essences of bergamot and citrus. The more traditional flavor of the new blend is what most people think of when they're thirsty for a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day.
                              I want you to know that we take feedback from our loyal customers seriously. Because you know better than anyone else what you want from Starbucks, I will share this with the department here in our corporate office.
                              We have made a promise to our customers to provide outstanding products and service. I know that this is a primary reason why you visit Starbucks and I understand how disappointing it is when we let you down.
                              Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to improve what we do.
                              If you have any further questions or concerns that I was unable to address, please feel free to let me know.
                              Thanks again,
                              Lexy Q
                              Customer Relations
                              Starbucks Coffee Company
                              800 23-LATTE (235-2883)
                              Monday through Friday, 5AM to 8PM (PST)
                              Share your ideas at www.mystarbucksidea.com

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: benjamom
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                                elysegabrielle RE: benjamom Jul 14, 2011 04:07 PM

                                This is one that I received:

                                Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

                                I am truly sorry to hear about your disappointment in the taste of our new tea recipe.

                                I want you to know that we take feedback from our loyal customers seriously. Because you know better than anyone else what you want from Starbucks, I will share this with the product development department here in our corporate office.

                                We have made a promise to our customers to provide outstanding products and service. I know that this is a primary reason why you visit Starbucks and I understand how disappointing it is when we let you down.

                                Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to improve what we do.

                                If you have any further questions or concerns that I was unable to address, please feel free to let me know.

                                Thanks again,

                                Yvonne G

                                Customer Relations

                                Starbucks Coffee Company

                                800 23-LATTE (235-2883)

                                Monday through Friday, 5AM to 8PM (PST)

                                Share your ideas at www.mystarbucksidea.com

                                1. re: benjamom
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                                  juree79 RE: benjamom Jul 14, 2011 08:03 PM

                                  I'm very tempted to send a copy of that reply to the Starbucks employee who argued with me. He had a bad attitude that was very un-Starbucks!

                                  As a side note, for those of you who miss the old iced tea, you can try the link that "elysegabrielle" posted above:

                                  http://www.starbucksstore.com/product...

                                  It's the same one I ordered a while back and tastes like the original.

                                  1. re: juree79
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                                    LAWoman RE: juree79 Jul 20, 2011 07:36 AM

                                    This link is no longer active. Can you please provide more information about what the product was?

                                    1. re: LAWoman
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                                      elysegabrielle RE: LAWoman Jul 20, 2011 08:03 AM

                                      They've changed the site around, now the tea says "seasonal". This is the one: http://www.starbucksstore.com/Tazo%C2...

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                                  peareye RE: veggielover Jul 27, 2011 01:47 PM

                                  This is the reply we got back today from Starbucks. Apparently those of use who noticed the change and don't like it are not smart enough to know what good iced tea is:

                                  Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

                                  The black iced tea had a soft launch and had slowly replaced the inventory with the prior blend of black tea. This new tea blend has a more broadly appealing flavor than our current black iced tea, which contains essences of bergamot and citrus. The more traditional flavor of the new blend is what most people think of when they're thirsty for a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day.

                                  I have send your feedback to the appropriate departments about how you feel about the new blend. If you have any further questions or concerns that I was unable to address, please feel free to let me know.

                                  Warm Regards,

                                  Calisha
                                  Customer Relations
                                  Starbucks Coffee Company
                                  800 23-LATTE (235-2883)
                                  Monday through Friday, 5AM to 8PM (PST)

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                                    claxfroger RE: veggielover May 8, 2012 04:00 PM

                                    I knew it had to have changed! I drink black unsweetened iced tea from starbucks all the time. at least I used to. I loved it. I always thought it had almost a light black pepper taste to it. but now it just taste average and boring. I just lost interest in drinking it. For the price they charge it needs to be back to the old formula in order to pay for it. Thank you for posting this. thought maybe it was jut me.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: claxfroger
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                                      veggielover RE: claxfroger May 12, 2012 12:49 PM

                                      I have moved on :-) but I no longer go to Starbucks for iced tea, and to be honest it tastes no better or worse than Dunkin Donuts or McDonald's. I now brew my own with Tazo tea.

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                                      zita RE: veggielover Aug 16, 2012 04:30 PM

                                      You all may have moved on, but summer is my time for Starbuck's black iced tea, unsweetened. I came here via a search for "Starbucks black iced tea changed." Now, having read your confirming remarks, I'm going to hit Twitter. This has been a disappointing summer without that wonderful tea with a hint (a just right hint) of bergamot.

                                      When I haven't thought ahead, I buy Lipton's "pure leaf" by the bottle, and use the bottles to make my own tea, add a little fruit juice, and save my Starbucks money.

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                                        mikec711 RE: veggielover Mar 12, 2013 10:14 PM

                                        the new black iced tea sucks , bring back the old iced tea , I wont go there anymore they lost $ 2400, or more from me a year , I even got rid of my starbucks gold card

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