Update on the Teavana Custom Chai Latte Test.

Last October, I wrote about Starbucks testing a new chai latte recipe in select stores: “The Teavana Custom Chai Test.”

A number of my readers were extremely interested in this test. The stores that offer the “Custom Chai” don’t offer the standard Starbucks chai syrup, which originally was a Tazo brand, and came lightly pre-sweetened.

Eventually, I had readers asking me about a follow up article. Recently I learned that the Custom Chai Test is still ongoing, and entered into a new phase beginning February 16, 2016. One reader sent in pictures of what his store’s Teavana Chai signs look like:

1 - 1 - 20160131_150631 teavana card

1 - 1 - image caramel chai teavana test

I haven’t tried the new recipe Teavana chai being tested right now. My understanding is that the test version of the chai syrup doesn’t come pre-sweetened, so baristas have to add classic syrup or some other sweetener available in the store to make it taste sweet.

I reached out to Starbucks media relations and got this information from them:

In select stores in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Denver, we are offering a customizable chai that allows customers to adjust the level of sweetness and spice based on their preference. We are also testing two new flavor options in these markets– Caramel Chai and Vanilla Spice Chai. These beverages became available starting 2/16.

^ Thank you Alisa C. in Starbucks media relations.

That’s about all I know. I would love to be able to try the new and old recipe versions of the Teavana chai side by side, but that’s not a realistic idea: the test markets only have the new recipe chai, and I don’t have any immediate plans to travel to any of the test regions for the new chai latte test.

So the upshot is that the Teavana Custom Chai Tea Latte is still in testing. Maybe we’ll see it everywhere someday!

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  • Jarrad m

    Hi Melody I am in the Denver area. My old store is currently testing the new chai my current store is not . I have heard from a lot of customers and partners and they all think the new chai is awful . In fact I’ve had so many customers come into my store to get their chai remade as the classic chai because they do not like the new one and we are one of the only stores nearby not testing this . I am so glad my store is not testing this as chai is my favorite beverage and you don’t mess with a classic !

  • Rett Morgan

    I’m really interested in seeing how this turns out. I like my chai on the spicier side, but with the Classic chai, more spice also means more sweetness, which I don’t necessarily enjoy.

  • Pdr

    There are customers that will go to stores that still have the classic chai and buy 6 of them and will reheat them in the microwave because they hate the new chai.

  • Kristina

    Hi Melody! Just a quick message to let you know that I appreciate your website featuring the latest and greatest Starbucks news. It’s been awhile since I’ve visited Starbucks and with all the changes that have taken (and continue to take) place, I know I can rely on your site for not only official news, but fun features and tidbits, too. Case in point, I recently had a birthday and knew a free drink reward should appear on the app, but wasn’t certain about the timing, so I pulled up your site, searched for “birthday” and sure enough, there was the concise information I needed about the shorten redemption window. Thank you and keep up the great work!

    Also, I’ll let you know what I think of the custom chai if I give it a try since I’m in a test market. Being able to increase the spice level without also increasing the sweetness sounds good to me!

  • Melody

    @Kristina – Thank you so much for dropping by and the kind words. I never know what people are thinking until they tell me. If you haven’t already, please subscribe. I know that you’ve been reading this site for years and years and years!

  • Kelsey

    I live in Denver and was able to try the new caramel chai today. It’s so good! My sister and I think it tastes a little like eggnog but much less rich. I haven’t tried the custom chai and I didn’t see the vanilla spice chai but I really hope they keep the caramel chai!

  • Kristen

    I live in Philly and love the new chai!! I can finally get it unsweetened but still have the same great spice taste. Hoping they continue this.

  • Ricky C

    Chai use to be my favorite drink until I turned vegan. Hope this comes to Do Cal.

  • Donna

    YAHOO. I went to the Starbucks in Duluth GA (Metro Atlanta) and they were happy to tell me that Tazo Chai has been re-instated!! We’re back in business with the good stuff.

  • Terry Badura

    Thanks for the info – I hate the new chai – and it’s not being announced that it’s different in my store (Poughkeepsie NY). The taste just changed one week – first I thought it was new baristas who didn’t know how to make it correctly – too much water or something. But there is definitely a different spice involved and no matter how they adjust it, it tastes awful. I recently went to Vermont – chai tasted wonderful – the “old” taste. Stopped at one in Lake George area on my way back – same great taste. Went to my regular store this morning before work – got the nasty stuff. I’m done with chai until they revert back.

  • Diane Haley

    Interesting. I just got the worst chai I’ve ever had at a Starbucks in Denver. Unfortunately I got it to go, so can’t return it. I will stop buying Chai if some decision has been reached to serve this. It was way too sweet and not spicy at all. I hope it was just made wrong.

  • Helen Murray

    After drinking chai for several years I am sad to say that in Pittsburgh, they made changes and I will no longer be a Starbucks customer. Chai was delicious and now it tastes like water. I am very disappointed. I called corporate and complained. I hope they change it back. I don’t think they care that they lost an everyday customer.

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