Starbucks and I have a love hate relationship. Since I drink very little coffee and he is a Tim Hortons addict, I don’t go often. I can get tea anywhere and they dumped Tazo for Teavana. Tazo Awake tea rocks and Teavana took over Teaopia and got rid of all of my favourite teas so I just stopped going unless it was the only place available. Then they sent me an offer for 6 bonus stars on tea lattes. I love tea lattes, I make them at home with my fake steamed milk (foamed and microwaved). So off I go on my quest for a Gold Starbucks card.
I will start by saying that making a tea latte isn’t that hard (or shouldn’t be). They make steamed milk for 100s of drinks and since they use tea bags for everything but Chai or Matcha tea lattes, they are literally adding steamed milk and froth to a half cup of tea and some syrup.
Tea Latte #1
I know I don’t like really sweet teas, I don’t add sugar or honey to most teas but the milk content calls for some in lattes. So I order a half sweet venti English Breakfast tea latte. It isn’t busy so I am watching as she adds a shot of espresso to my tea and I have to point out that there is no espresso in a TEA latte. She makes it again, with 5 pumps of syrup. I mention I wanted it half sweet and get a snarky “well you should have ordered it half sweet then”. The huge 1/2 on the cup says I did, but having her make it a 3rd time? I took my latte and left.
Tea Latte #2
This time someone else was paying. They only get 4 stars and are jealous of my 6 star offer. It is very clear that this barista knows their tea. I mention that I really don’t want it too sweet and can I have just 2 pumps syrup (venti has 5 on a regular order) and they recommend one classic and one vanilla for taste since two isn’t much in a venti and a sprinkle of chocolate powder will make it delish. He adds the water to the tea bags as soon as I order so it has time to steep by the time the milk is added and the bags can be removed. If the tea is too weak and you have to stir the tea, you lose foam so this is a good thing.
Tea Latte #3
Back to using my own card and I go to yet another Starbucks. They have no clue that a tea latte is meant to have classic syrup (they all have vanilla according to them) but get the order right eventually, but pour the water in just before adding the milk so despite having two tea bags, it is super weak until the bottom of the cup. It stays nice and foamy though. But yay with the two bonus stars I got per visit, I made it to Gold on Starbucks Rewards with this one right? No. This one is in a Sheraton, I have a receipt showing a tea latte but their system must be different because I get neither the bonus star promised on the brewed coffee I bought for him earlier in the week, nor the tea latte – but I do get two for the visit.
The amazing customer service team did add my stars when I emailed them though – so kudos to them!
Tea Latte #4
This one is just undrinkable. I am not sure what happened to it. I went back to the same location as my first one, but different staff. She allows the tea to steep for a minute but leaves the bags in and adds the milk and hands it to me. No time for chocolate powder today, I am running for the train. Get on the train and take a sip to think ewww what is that? The tea bag was broken and I have a cup of tea leaves, no foam left and just milky sweet tea just minutes after I left Starbucks. I made it to Gold but won’t be going back to that Starbucks again. I checked my email today to find an email asking me about my experience with that store, but the form doesn’t load – looks like they can’t get anything right.