Thursday, December 10, 2009

Starbucks Green Tea Latte or an Onion Smoothie?

In Starbucks they have a Tea Latte listed on the menu. Flavors include black, green, and earl gray. What a great idea! Those are strong tasting teas worthy of some milk and foam with which to temper the dirty tasting properties. So I asked the Starbucks barista what was in a Green Tea Latte?

It turns out that my idea of a Green Tea Latte is quite different from Howard Schultz, director of research and development at Starbucks.

It's a green tea mix that we add syrup to.

Matcha (or 抹茶 as some parts of the world know it) is the mix Starbucks uses. It is REAL green tea in powder form. The Japanese tea ceremony centers on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha. Matcha is now also used to flavour and dye foods such as green tea ice cream and a variety of wagashi (Japanese candy). Unfortunately, Starbucks mixes the matcha it whips up in a small Japanese tea ceremony with sugar. And in the mix that is sent to its over 15,000 stores worldwide, there is more sugar than matcha. Then to further assault the senses (and the waistline), the barista adds melon syrup to the newly anointed Tazo Green Tea Latte. Now that's an ill-matched matcha.

I'll take a cappucino, thank you.

But from each experience we learn; so I will try something new and exciting in my morning cup of green tea. Maybe I'll add some rice milk (which I find sinfully refreshing). How about some orange juice - which I've heard is good for the over 50 male kidney. (Do you know what I mean?) Maybe I'll whip it, whip it first. Do da da da dah.

You shouldn't have to force down a drink that tastes like dirt just because it is good for you. And I shouldn't have to add a pound of sugar to my diet to get something refreshing. I have done worse though - imagine an onion smoothie. Onions are low in calories, fat and sodium, and a good source of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. I thought the blueberries I added would overpower the onions.

So try the matcha - just don't buy it at Starbucks.


  1. Isn't it a "BARISTA" and not a Barrister the one that preps one's coffee?

    Anyway... Starbucks is not a good product in any sense. it's better to support a local coffee house and get a better product... and healthier

  2. You are absolutely right, Kinoptika. A barrister is a lawyer. Thanks.

    And it's unfortunate but, sometimes, Starbuck's is the only option. In my neighborhood, I always support the mom and pops; on the road, whenever I can.


    (edits made to original post)