New Starbucks items already sensationalized


Lainey Devlin

The new drinks permanently added to the Starbucks menu excited coffee lovers with the new, diverse flavor and milk options. The drinks spread over social media platforms and quickly inspired customers to create their own recipes using the new ingredients. As they continue to gain popularity, Starbucks drive thru lines keep growing.

Lainey Devlin and Elyssa Abbott

To welcome the arrival of spring, Starbucks released a handful of new additions to their menu on Tuesday, March 2. Starbucks announced the new lineup of drinks and food items on Monday, March 1, but thanks to TikTok baristas, rumors circulated about the items for several weeks beforehand. The main attraction of the releases consisted of the long awaited oat milk. 

Dunkin’ Donuts beat Starbucks to the oat milk trend in August of 2020. Finally, Starbucks announced the addition of the Oatly brand of oat milk to their milk options, and of course, created two specialty drinks to accompany it. The first new drink of 2021 consists of the Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. Starbucks showcases the creative brown sugar syrup, oat milk, and shaken espresso in this refreshing drink perfect for a spring day. Although bitter, the notes of oats compliment the espresso beautifully. The drink may not appeal to those not used to strong espresso or bitter drinks due to the lack of brown sugar flavor. The other shaken espresso drink added to the menu, the Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso, consists of a rich chocolate flavor with the almond essence that adds sweetness. The drink feels sophisticated, but refreshingly playful with the variety of flavors. The shaken espresso, although new, expands off of Starbucks’ line of original mixed drinks. Baristas add espresso, milk of choice, flavorings, and ice together and hand-shake to create a perfectly mixed and frothed drink. 

The pistachio latte, a new addition introduced on January 5, piqued the interest of those wanting to expand their coffee order. The nutty flavor hardly mixes in with the coffee and milk, giving the drink a separated and unappealing look. While the drink could satisfy a coffee craving, the pistachio latte leaves customers disappointed and not wanting to order it twice. 

The honey oat milk latte, a play on the honey almond milk cold brew, brings together the sweet honey flavor with the rich oatmilk to create a perfectly smooth coffee drink. The drink implements a subtle honey flavor that adds the perfect amount of sweetness to balance out the bitter coffee flavor. 

From these new drink flavors and combinations, teenagers went straight to TikTok to share their own take on the drinks. A popular one amongst the app features a play on a brown sugar milk tea, similar to the ones found at boba and Asian tea shops. To order, ask the barista for a venti iced black tea with oat milk and add six pumps of brown sugar syrup and three pumps of vanilla syrup. The drinks popularity quickly spread from TikTok to  other social media apps, probably due to the addictively sweet flavor and accessibility for those not close to a traditional boba shop. 

“I liked the honey oat milk latte, the chocolate espresso wasn’t a hit for me because I don’t like the taste of espresso but the chocolate flavor was good. I liked the brown sugar one though, I’ve never had a brown sugar drink before. The pistachio one wasn’t stirred up well, but it was good,” said coffee enthusiast Amy Devlin.

These new additions to the permanent Starbucks menu pleases customers, but leaves them wanting more sweetness in the drinks. The brown sugar idea sounds great, but the execution fell short with the lack of brown sugar flavor. Despite these faults, the oat milk choice provides another dairy alternative and the ability to create even more TikTok coffee concoctions.