Starbucks "Teatime:" oh so very meh.

Categories: Product Review

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A certain competing publication included an insert in last week's issue promoting Starbucks' new Tazo tea drinks. This was not just one deal, but actually two: a coupon for a FREE regular-sized drink and one for two bucks off another.

The superchain has two new drinks: a tea latte and a tea "Infusion." In less than an hour I was holding out folded coupon number one, for the freebie.

I chose one of the tea lattes (there are three), the "Vanilla Rooibos," made with an African red tea. And well, it was ... nothing special. Like heavy foam tinged with artificial sweetener. A deep, earthy aftertaste.

Last I checked, it was -21 out, so anything registering even lukewarm should go down like a godsend, right? I finished it, but I found myself sort of haltingly looking at the cup every time I picked it up. "Oh, you again."

Only later did I learn that the damn thing didn't even have caffeine in it. Strike TWO, Starbucks. Now, onto drink two ... the "Infusion." I chose the "berry chai" tea (one of two choices: the other is apple).

I was surprised, but it was actually worse than the latte. Like hot Hi-C with pumpkin pie spices. Overly sweet. I drank about 2/3 and chucked it. The only thing I liked was the garish, lipstick-y stain it left on the mouth of the cup.

Stick with what you know, Starbucks.

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