Sideview of Starbucks

The newly renovated Starbucks at Talley Student Union opened back up on Monday, July 8th, 2019. The renovation added extra counter space to allow for larger service of customers and added the new Nitro Cold Brew Coffee station.

While Starbucks doesn’t roll out a spring menu like it usually does for the holiday season, warm weather’s approach often means new drinks to choose from. As an ex-Starbucks barista, here are some of my personal favorite Starbucks drinks for this season.

Iced toasted vanilla oat milk shaken espresso

Calling all lactose-intolerant folks, this drink is Starbucks’ newest release, highlighting the start of spring. This is the perfect drink for those who like a subtle taste of espresso paired with a smooth blend of vanilla and toasted marshmallows. When I tried this drink, it reminded me of eating s'mores on the beach, as it wasn’t too sweet or bitter. This drink is definitely my new obsession and a go-to for keeping me caffeinated.

Pink Drink

This drink easily has to be my favorite Refresher Starbucks has to offer. This drink consists of coconut milk and a strawberry base. It is perfect for those who prefer a mild taste, rather than a sour one produced by Refreshers that contain lemonade. I also enjoy the pastel pink aesthetic, and it’s fun to eat the dried strawberries after finishing. A secret I learned to enhance this drink — and other Refreshers on the menu — is adding vanilla sweet cream cold foam on top. 

Strawberry acai lemonade Refresher

This drink is a variation of the Pink Drink, as the coconut milk is substituted with lemonade. Personally, I prefer the Pink Drink as I appreciate a mild taste more than a sour one. With experimentation I’ve discovered this is the ideal drink to pair with a bakery item on the menu. 

Dragon Drink

Besides a coconut milk substitution, the Dragon Drink is exactly the same as the mango dragon fruit Refresher. I love this drink, as it is a flawless combination of fruity and creamy. Personally, I don’t ask for light ice with this drink as the ice makes the drink feel fresh and crisp. This is a photogenic drink as well, as the pastel purple creates ideal picnic and study date pictures. 

Kiwi star fruit refresher

I definitely wanted to give this drink a try since I love kiwis. It tasted exactly the way I imagined, sweet with a floral finish. It kind of tastes like watermelon, or Airheads. I would recommend getting the Star Drink if you prefer a creamier finish, since it has coconut milk. If you would like a more sour finish, I would recommend getting the kiwi star fruit lemonade Refresher.

Strawberry creme frappuccino

If you’re looking for a frappuccino that tastes like cake and isn’t caffeinated, the strawberry creme frappuccino is a must. This is my favorite frappuccino at Starbucks, as it’s delicious without being too sweet or syrupy and it mirrors the exact taste of strawberries. If you would like the taste to be closer to a strawberry milkshake, I would recommend substituting half and half in the recipe. On the other hand, add extra strawberry puree on top of the whipped cream for a sweeter taste. 

Iced peach green tea lemonade

While I usually tend to steer away from drinks that contain lemonade since I like the acidic taste a bit less, I surprisingly loved this drink when I tried it. I feel like the green tea balances out the peach juice and lemonade, resulting in a milder product. I loved the shift, as it felt like I was drinking peach juice at the moment with a lemonade aftertaste. It is an excellent drink for a hot summer day, while taking a walk or going shopping. 

I highly recommend trying any of these drinks out this season. Who knows — maybe you’ll find a new favorite order.