Starbucks Specialty Drinks and What Goes into Them

Starbucks has become a household name when it comes to coffee, but they have also made a name for themselves in the world of specialty drinks. From the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte to newer creations like the Irish Cream Cold Brew, there’s always something new and exciting to try at Starbucks. But have you ever wondered what goes into these specialty drinks? In this blog post, we will decode some of the most popular Starbucks specialty drink names and the ingredients that make them so delicious.

Let’s start with the ever-popular Frappuccino. A Frappuccino is essentially a blended beverage made with coffee or crème base, ice, and various syrups and sauces to create different flavors. The classic Caramel Frappuccino, for example, is made with a coffee base, milk, ice, caramel syrup, and topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. It’s important to note that the coffee base in a Frappuccino is not the same as a regular coffee, as it is specifically made for blending and has a different flavor profile.

Moving on to the hot drinks, the Chai Latte is a popular choice with its warm and spicy flavor. A Chai Latte is made with a black tea concentrate and a blend of spices including cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. The tea concentrate is mixed with steamed milk and topped with foam. The recipe can be adjusted for sweetness and can be made with non-dairy milk options like soy or almond milk.

Next up, let’s talk about the Starbucks Matcha Latte. Matcha is a high-quality green tea powder made from shade-grown tea leaves. The Matcha Latte is made with this powder, steamed milk, and a sweetener like vanilla syrup. Matcha contains caffeine but also has a calming amino acid called L-theanine which can help reduce stress and increase focus.

Another popular drink at Starbucks is the Vanilla Latte. This drink is made with espresso shots, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup. The amount of syrup used can vary depending on the size of the drink and individual preference. The Vanilla Latte is a great option for those who want a little sweetness in their coffee without going too overboard.

Lastly, let’s not forget about the seasonal drinks that come back each year. The Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL for short, is a beloved fall drink. It’s made with espresso, steamed milk, pumpkin spice sauce, and whipped cream topping. The pumpkin spice sauce is a unique blend of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. As the name suggests, it’s the perfect drink for those looking to get into the fall spirit.

In conclusion, Starbucks has a wide range of specialty drinks made with unique ingredients that give them their distinctive flavors. From the sweet and creamy Frappuccinos to the warm and spicy Chai Lattes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The next time you visit Starbucks, try ordering one of these drinks and see why they’re so popular. Who knows, you might just discover your new favorite drink!


The Sacred Bean: The Uses of Coffee in Religions

Coffee is one of the world’s most consumed beverages. From the moment we wake up, we rely on its energizing and rejuvenating effects to start our day. But did you know that coffee has also played a significant role in various religions throughout history? As surprising as it might sound, this well-loved drink has been a part of spiritual practices and rituals for centuries. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different ways that coffee has been used in religions.


Among the many uses of coffee in religion, one of the most notable is its use in Islamic culture. According to legend, coffee was first discovered by a Muslim shepherd who noticed that his goats became particularly energetic after consuming the berries of a certain tree. Since then, coffee has been embraced by Muslims worldwide, and the drink has become a central element to many aspects of Islamic culture. For instance, during the holy month of Ramadan, it is customary to drink coffee before sunrise and after sunset. This tradition has been passed down through generations and symbolizes the beginning and ending of the daily fast.

Ethiopian Orthodoxy

Another religion that has integrated coffee into its ritual practices is Ethiopian Orthodoxy. In this culture, the brewing and serving of coffee is an integral part of welcoming guests into the home. This ritual is called the “coffee ceremony,” and it involves roasting, grinding, and brewing coffee beans in a traditional clay pot called a jebena. The ceremony is a symbol of hospitality, respect, and friendship. It’s also seen as somewhat of a religious experience, with the aroma of the brewing coffee being interpreted as a form of incense.


In Catholicism, coffee is not necessarily used in religious ceremonies, but it is still a popular drink among clergy and laypeople alike. In some instances, coffee has even been used as a replacement for wine during communion. This practice has been permitted in the Catholic Church, particularly in areas where wine is expensive or difficult to obtain. Coffee is considered a suitable replacement because it has some of the same qualities as wine, such as being a commonly enjoyed drink and having the ability to bring people together.


In the Brazilian religion of Spiritism, coffee is also used for spiritual purposes. In Spiritism, coffee is considered to have cleansing properties and is said to help “disperse spiritual clouds” and clear the path for communication with spirits. As such, it is often served to participants during spiritual gatherings and rituals. The drink is also believed to have a protective effect against negative energies, making it a staple of spiritual practices in this religion.

In conclusion, while we usually think of coffee as a beverage for enjoyment and energy, it has also played a significant role in several religions throughout history. From Islam to Catholicism, coffee has been used in spiritual practices and rituals, often symbolizing hospitality, community, and respect. This speaks to the power of coffee in bringing people together and serving as a cultural artifact — even in the realm of religion.


Good coffee gone bad from the wrong mug choice

I have had a couple coffee cup failures recently, so I’m looking for a couple simple go-to mugs I will be using around the house when there isn’t time to stop and replace. It is interesting that after a bit of research, the material that a coffee mug is made of can impact the taste of the coffee in it.

Porcelain and ceramic mugs are popular options as they are non-reactive, which means that they don’t interact with the coffee and change its taste. We have a few of our favorite Italian ceramic painted mugs, but the beauty of them does make a person a bit more cautious. Glass mugs are also a good choice for this reason, as they don’t add any unwanted flavors to the coffee. I have posted before the multi layer glass mugs we have used. The dual layer glass has a weird impact on the senses as your lower lip on the outer glass is cool and the inner is warm, a much larger difference that a single layer ceramic or glass.

On the other hand, some materials can impact the taste of coffee. For example, metal mugs such as stainless steel, aluminum, and copper can affect the taste of the coffee by making it taste metallic or slightly acidic. Plastic mugs are also not recommended for coffee as they can leave an unwanted aftertaste. As plastic ages, it seems to impact the coffee inside of it differently too.

Additionally, the thickness of the mug can impact the temperature of the coffee. Thick materials like stoneware or double-walled glass like I pointed out above, can keep the coffee hot for longer periods of time, while thin materials like paper or single-walled glass may cause the coffee to cool more quickly.

With that in mind, my search for replacements is narrowed down. The material that a coffee mug is made of can impact the taste of the coffee in it, with non-reactive materials like porcelain, ceramic, and glass being the best options for maintaining the intended flavor of the coffee.

One example of the actual Italian Ceramic mugs we actually enjoy every day. Please note that if you purchase from clicking on the link, some will result in my getting a tiny bit of that sale to help keep this site going.


3 Refreshing Spring Coffee Drinks to Welcome the Changing Season

As the weather gets warmer, spring the clock forward, and the days get longer, our coffee tastes change too. We start to put down the heavy, dark roasts in favor of something a little lighter and brighter. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next iced coffee, look no further. Here are three spring coffee drinks that are sure to put a pep in your step.

Lavender Iced Coffee: This refreshing iced coffee is perfect for those mornings when you need an extra pick-me-up. The lavender adds a floral note that is complemented by the sweetness of the honey. To make this drink, simply add lavender syrup and honey to your cold brew concentrate. Then, pour over ice and enjoy.

Strawberry Shortcake Latte: This sweet and creamy latte is like a strawberry shortcake in a cup. To make it, start by steaming milk with vanilla extract and a touch of sugar. Then, add espresso and strawberry purée. Top it off with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder, and you’re good to go.

Peach Melba Iced Tea Latte: This delicious iced latte combines two springtime favorites: tea and peaches. To make it, start by brewing black tea with peach syrup. Then, add milk and ice before topping it off with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh peach slices. Yum.

These three spring coffee drinks that will surely help welcome the time of the year. Whether you’re looking for something refreshing, sweet, or both, there’s an option here for you. 

Please note that if you purchase from clicking on the link, some will result in my getting a tiny bit of that sale to help keep this site going.


How to get the conversation started on your coffee date

You know that both of you enjoy coffee since it was suggested and accepted to meet at a coffee shop. But, there is your coffee, there they are, and now no words come natural. Here are some coffee themed starters, then you will need to take it from there. 

Talk about your favorite coffee drinks. This is an obvious one, but it’s a great way to start the conversation flowing. What’s your go-to order? Do you like your coffee black or with milk and sugar? Do you like to add flavoring syrups? Once you get talking about coffee, you’ll be off and running.

Talk about your favorite cafes. Do you have a local spot that you love? What made you first start going there? Is it the coffee, the atmosphere, or the people? If you don’t have a favorite cafe, use this opportunity to explore different options with your date and find a new place to call your own. 

Talk about how you take your coffee. Black, light and sweet, iced, cold brew – there are so many ways to enjoy coffee. This question can lead to all sorts of interesting conversations about preferences, food and beverage choices, and so much more. 

Talk about what time of day you like to drink coffee. Are you a morning person or a night person? Do you like to drink coffee as soon as you wake up or do you need some time to fully wake up before enjoying a cup? This question can tell you a lot about someone’s daily routine and their general attitude towards mornings/nights.

Talk about what else you like to do when drinking coffee. Maybe you like to read, people watch, work on creative projects, or just relax and chat with friends. This question can give you an idea of what kind of activities your date enjoys and whether or not you have similar interests. 

Coffee dates are a great way to get to know someone new without feeling too overwhelmed or pressured. By asking thoughtful questions and being an active listener, you can learn a lot about your date in a short amount of time – and who knows, maybe even score yourself a second date in the process.