Resurrected Recipes Ep. 1: Starbucks Blueberry Black Tea Lemonade
My Summer drink of 2019 hibernated when the winter came. Spring is here and so is my craving - Read on to make your own Iced Blueberry Black Tea Lemonade at home!
I drank so many of these last Summer that people knew my Starbucks order: Venti Iced Blueberry Black Tea Lemonade, Half Sweet. From the beginning I knew not to get attached, after all, how many other great drinks have come and gone at the iconic coffee chain? As soon as they stopped carrying the blueberry juice, I knew I'd have to bring this back to life for myself. The post below details my research and the recipe I developed to resurrect this recipe in your own laboratory (ahem, kitchen).
Blueberry. Black Tea. Lemonade.
Seems simple enough, my first step was consulting the official Starbucks menu page. The proprietary ingredients are "a Blend of Black Teas," "Blueberry Flavored Juice Blend," "Liquid Cane Sugar" and for some reason, does not list "Lemonade" but obviously it's got to be in there. Now that I had my four main ingredients, for true authenticity, some deeper digging was required.
The Tea... Sis
This was probably the easiest thing to source, it is well known that Starbucks makes use of Teavana branded tea in their shops. This article from Delishably.com talks about the teas they use, as well as the Classic Syrup (Liquid Cane Sugar) ratios per size, which I'll talk about more later. A quick trip to Amazon.com had a box of Teavana English Breakfast tea in my pantry in less than 48 hours. Tastemade suggests steeping 2 bags per cup of boiling water to match the strength of the in-shop tea, and the box that the sachets came in suggests steeping for 5 minutes to avoid bitterness.
The listed Juice Blend is said to contain both blueberry and white grape juice. After playing with it, the closest blend I found was a 3:1 blueberry to white grape juice mix. To make a cup of the mixture, use 3/4 cup Trader Joe's 100% Blueberry Juice and 1/4 cup Welch's 100% White Grape Juice in a liquid measuring cup. This will make it easier to pour in your travel cup later.
Liquid Cane Sugar/ Simple Syrup/ Classic Syrup
This sugar water is really optional, there's enough sugar in the juice blend and Lemonade that you don't REALLY need it. For the sake of being thorough, mix 1:1 granulated sugar of you choice to hot water and mix until entirely melted. The measurement system used in store is as follows:
Tall: 3 pumps
Grande: 4 pumps
Venti: 6 pumps
Trenta: 7 pumps
One pump is approximately one teaspoon, and I keep my syrup in a squeeze bottle for easy measurements with minimal sticky mess.
I hit a goldmine when I found this article by Spoon University: According to a barista, the closest lemonade you can buy in store (I picked mine up at Walmart) is Minute Maid's "Just 15 Calories" Lemonade.
**My measurements are based on the Venti travel cup I have**
2/3 cup Teavana English Breakfast Tea
1/3 cup Trader Joe's 100% Blueberry/ Welch's White Grape Juice Blend
1/3 cup Minute Maid "Just 15 Calories" Lemonade
Optional: Simple Syrup to desired sweetness
Step 1: Prep your teas and mixes. Combine 3/4 cup Blueberry Juice and 1/4 cup White Grape Juice. Add two English Breakfast Tea Bags to 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes.
Step 2: In your travel cup, add black tea. It should come up to the first line. Blueberry/ grape mix is added next, up to the second line. Finally, top up the third line with lemonade and any simple syrup.
Step 3: Stir or shake the contents of the cup, then fill with ice. Enjoy!