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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Since working at Starbucks, I’ve had the opportunity to try a variety of drinks and food items, as well as try and create my own drinks. Although the Starbucks “secret menu” doesn’t (technically) exist, here are some of my favorite drinks, as well as some of the modifications I’ve made along the way. 

  1. The Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso 

Personally, one of my favorite drinks at Starbucks — it’s not too sweet, but it’s not too bitter, while also providing a good amount of caffeine with the four shots in a venti. I’ve made it a few different ways, adding and subtracting ingredients to make the perfect drink to have during my 4 a.m. shifts. 

For a venti, I add three pumps of chai, two pumps of brown sugar, two pumps of vanilla, signature espresso rather than the blonde espresso, and top it off with the salted caramel cold foam. 

The chai adds a deeper flavor to the brown sugar and the vanilla balances out the spices. Because it is slightly sweeter, I prefer the signature shots over the blonde to balance out the sweetness, and the salted caramel cold foam adds just a bit of savory to the sweet. 

  1. The Chai Tea Latte 

I hope we all know at this point that “Chai Tea Latte” simply means “Tea Tea Latte” (thank you, Pavitr Prabhakar, from “Across the Spider-Verse”), but that doesn’t take away from the deliciousness this drink has to offer. 

For a grande iced chai, I like to do two and a half pumps of chai and two and a half pumps of mocha. Top it off with a little bit of cinnamon and milk of your choosing, and you have a knock-off version of a Mexican hot chocolate. 

If you’re like me and prefer your drinks not to be as sweet, adding a shot of espresso and/or some water can curb the sweetness while keeping the lovely taste of the mocha and the chai. 

Tea Time Drink GIF by Larissa - Find & Share on GIPHY
  1. The Passion Tango Tea 

I am a big fan of teas — both iced and hot (but preferably iced). The passion tango tea Starbucks offers is a great, non-caffeinated option for those who don’t enjoy coffee or want caffeine. However, it is a bit too sour for me to enjoy on its own. 

My solution? Add strawberry acai base. The acai base adds just the right amount of sweetness and curbs the sourness the passion tea encompasses. Shaken with extra ice, it’s one of my favorite drinks when I just want a treat without the consequences of caffeine. 

  1. The Peach Tea 

When in season, the addition of peach juice is by far my favorite modification to black tea, especially in summer. With just a splash of lemonade and extra ice, the peach black tea is a good substitute for the lack of fruity syrups for teas. 

Although these are just a few drinks that I have tried and enjoyed, Starbucks allows for as much customization as you could possibly need. I’ve had customers add dragon fruit pieces to a vanilla bean frappuccino, making it a beautiful shade of purple, while others create what I call a french toast latte using brown sugar, hazelnut, and vanilla. I’d definitely recommend going out of your comfort zone and trying something new — who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite drink. 

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Eera Vedavyas

CU Boulder '26

Eera Vedavyas is an editor and contributing writer at the Her Campus Chapter at the University of Colorado Boulder. Beyond Her Campus, Eera is a sophomore at CU Boulder studying Psychology with a minor in Business. Their writing journey began in middle school after being inspired to write a novel. Now, her writing experience has evolved too poetry, journalistic writing, and is currently editing her first novel that she hopes to publish one day. In their free time, they enjoy reading, learning how to cook, discovering new music, playing video games, and exploring new places.