Taste test: New Starbucks Canada cold tea and coffee drinks

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New cold drinks at Starbucks Canada (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

A trio of new cold beverages are hitting the menu at Starbucks Canada this week, and we’ve taste tested them all.

The drinks represent a new branch of drink experiences for those weary of the usual Starbucks items, and showcase some new gadgets at the coffee chain’s plentiful locations: Fizzio carbonation machines and Toddy brewers. All three will be available starting Tuesday, July 7.

Let’s take a tasty tour of this trio of two Teavana Sparkling tea drinks and the newest cool coffee kid on the Starbucks crew.

Cold Brew Coffee

This week marks the Canada-wide release of Starbucks’ Cold Brew coffee. This stuff, frankly, blows regular old iced coffee out of the water. Sure, an iced coffee will give you that caffeinated kick and chill you out, but the coffee flavour of the Cold Brew is more fully realized, is naturally sweeter, and has a round, smooth finish.

The Cold Brew is made using a freshly-ground special Cold Brew Blend that is slowly steeped with cool water for 20 hours in a device called a Toddy Brewer. What heat does for the regular brewed cup of joe is replaced by what time does in a cold brew.

Cold Brew (Photo courtesy Starbucks)

SEE ALSO: Cold Brew Coffee coming to Starbucks Canada

We did a side-by-side tasting of Cold Brew and iced coffee, and the difference is immediately evident. If you’re an iced coffee devotee, fear not: It still tastes great. Sipping a regular iced coffee after drinking the Cold Brew seems to highlight its more ashy aftertaste.

Teavana Sparkling Tea Juices

Tea plus fruit juice plus fizz equals the new cold Teavana drinks. For black tea drinkers, the Black Tea & Tangerine offers the tastes of tangerine, mandarin, and peach, with a tea-forward finish, and a gentle fizz.

The Sparkling Passion Tango & Pineapple blends Teavana Iced Passion Tea with pineapple juice and the drink gets a jolt from the carbonation machine. This drink has bright, sweet tropical notes, and the fizz seems a little more intense. Our office was pretty diplomatic in liking both of the tea drinks, though a slight edge would have to go to the Black Tea & Tangerine drink.

As a side note, for 50 cents, Starbucks will add fizz to whatever cold beverage you want on their menu, like their iced teas, or even their Cold Brew. Fizz all the drinks!

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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