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Taste Test: Starbucks Tazo Tea Infusions

Despite hard times, coffee chain Starbucks continues to try new tactics. Two weeks ago, I introduced you to the company's tea lattes, its latest beverage to hit counters nationwide. But if lattes aren't your thing, Starbucks is hoping you'll reach for its new Tea Infusions instead, which are available in two flavors: Tazo Berry Chai and Tazo Apple Chai. I had a chance to give these drinks — a nondairy blend of Tazo black chai tea and fruit juice — a try. To find out how they fared,


Tazo Berry Chai: Described as "a blend of aronia berry and blackcurrant juices steamed with black tea and exotic spices," I could taste the cloves and cassis sticks in the chai blended into this beverage. Although the drink had a mellow blackberry taste, each sip had a spicy, peppery ending. It did strike me as very sweet, and I wondered how much sweeter it would taste once lukewarm.

Tazo Apple Chai: Although there were supposedly "sweet spices" steamed into this beverage, PartySugar and I thought it was a dead ringer for spiced apple cider. It was also heavy on the sugar.

If you're in search of a spiced cider with a caffeine kick, or want to enjoy a drink akin to mulled wine without the alcohol, these drinks would be for you. It's hard for me to rationalize forgoing the taste of classic chai tea in exchange for one of these infusions. I found them both to be too sweet. While Starbucks maintains that they can also be served on ice, I wonder whether they would taste even more cloying when enjoyed cold.

Have you tried either of these drinks? What did you think of them?

cheer4veggies cheer4veggies 8 years
i got the apple chai. and i instantly regretted it. i dont know if the barista didnt know what they were doing but i would have one sip that was cider and one sip that was chai concentrate. even when i did swirl it up myself, the flavor combination wasnt good. the spice from the chai - esp the nutmeg and clove - completely overwhelmed the cider. and im a chai loverrr! ugh. never again.
amandaaa amandaaa 8 years
i love the chai tea latte, but every other time i order it something goes time it just tasted like warm milk. another, way too spicy. i'm not sure i'll try these...maybe the apple chai!
chadsvge chadsvge 8 years
I'm actually a barista at Starbucks, and I can't say I enjoy either of the Tazo tea infusions, but the apple chai is the lesser of two evils. Everyone is saying it is loaded with sugar, but all it consists of is chai concentrate and steamed apple juice. The berry chai is just chai concentrate and steamed berry currant juice that gets shipped to us in a box. Honestly, the berry is too tart and the chai too spicy to make a good mix. If you haven't tried them iced, you might like it better, the flavor isn't as robust.
muse2323 muse2323 8 years
I sampled both of them and though, at the first sip, I liked them, by halfway through the sample-sized cup, I was pretty tired of them. Heavy on the spices. And if I were going to order one, I'd go for the apple--the berry was too much for me.
minijewel minijewel 8 years
i really liked the new vanilla roobios tea they have. it's really awesome. : )
Antioxidant Antioxidant 8 years
I tried the Berry Chai thinking it would be something completely different. It gave me a headache, it was so gross. Hot, sweet, and spicy juice is very strange.
sucraRush sucraRush 8 years
I've tried it once [iced] and ordered it under the assumption that it was a healthier alternative but it turned out worse than I thought. It is really really sweet but I have to admit, pretty tasty..
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
I tried the Berry Chai and it was honestly a little too much for me. I could taste the juice in it and it just didn't do it for me hot. I prefer my juice cold and my tea hot and when they are put together it's a no-no.
cupcake_ cupcake_ 8 years
A coworker tried this today and she said it was WAY too sweet. But I wouldn't mind trying the apple one. But it's hard for me not to get my regular Passion Tazo tea.
emalove emalove 8 years
Nah, I'll just stick with my green tea. Or chamomile.
superfoxml superfoxml 8 years
I have such a beef with Starbucks because I LOVE Tazo tea, but whenever I order it, something goes wrong. Never when I order coffee. But at many of their shops they have the cashier do tea, the barista do coffee, so they either forget to make your order or completely screw it up. No time that I've gone to SB have they actually made my tea without a hitch. It really really irritates me. I'm better off just buying a box of Tazo and making it at home.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
No thanks...
Food Food 8 years
limelindsey -- I agree, you can't tell the difference at all! I guess the only thing would be the fact that this has caffeine. :)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I like my apple cider more on the tart side, so I probably won't try these...they sound like they have a lot of sugar in them.
limelindsey limelindsey 8 years
I tried the Apple Chai. It's not bad, I didn't think it was too sweet but that sort of thing is subjective. I couldn't really tell the difference between it and apple cider, but I liked it.
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