Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Food Column: Knock off Starbucks passion tea with lemonade


I have a bit of a personal Starbucks curse. Now, I only go there every couple of weeks or so, and I always order the same thing. I’m a cautious person when it comes to trying new things. I get nervous spending money on something when I’m unsure I’ll like it. So I always get my usual order: a venti passion tea with lemonade. It’s the only drink on the menu that I know with 100 percent certainty I like.

So what’s my curse? Well on the days that I really want one, I am usually treating myself to get through a rough week. I place my order and hear, “I’m sorry but we’re out of lemonade.” It doesn’t matter if I’m in Tuscaloosa or my hometown. Whenever I need the drink, something prevents me from having it.

At that point, I’m already at the register. I don’t want to hold up the line asking about the other drinks. If I do pick something, I may not like it, and I don’t want to have wasted the barista’s time.

One time, I ordered a chocolate frappuccino that my friend had that looked good. I found it too sweet. Another time, I ordered the tea without the lemonade. It was too bitter. And then one day, I was in the coffee aisle of Target with my roommate. It’s an aisle I rarely visit because I don’t drink coffee. While she picked out her coffee for the week, I looked around the shelves and noticed the Tazo tea bags for the first time, including the passion tea one.

I’ve watched the baristas make my tea order a hundred times. Pour in the tea, add the lemonade, shake and serve. How hard could it be to replicate?

There are a couple of secrets to making a knock-off version of the drink at home. Along with lemonade and tea, you need to add in a couple teaspoons of sugar and a small splash of vanilla extract.

Another piece of advice I’ll give is to not mix the lemonade with the tea right away. Only add the lemonade when you’re ready to drink it. It tastes better, trust me. Because of this, I like to make this recipes a couple servings of tea at a time, really just when I’m in the mood for it, because I’m not a big lemonade fan – oddly enough. When I feel like making this, I try to buy a small single serving size bottle of lemonade. It’s just enough for a few servings of tea every so often.

So if you’re like me, and that Starbucks line is just too long for your busy schedule, try making a knock off at home. Then you can put it in your reusable Starbucks cup and get all the aesthetic without any of the hassle.


2 tea bags of passion tea

2 cup of water

½ cup of lemonade

2 teaspoons of sugar

¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Note: these ingredient quantities make two glasses of passion tea with lemonade. 


Boil the water.

Once it reaches boiling, remove it from heat and add tea bags, sugar and vanilla extract. Stir the sugar and vanilla extract to dissolve and mix, while being careful of the tea bags.

Let steep for 15 minutes.

Remove tea bags, give it one good stirring and pour it into a lidded container.

Let it sit in the fridge of at least and hour.

When you’re ready to drink it, pour one cup of tea into a cup with a lid, add ¼ cup of lemonade and ice. Close the cup and shake well.


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