Ordering Iced Milk Tea At Starbucks Is Easier Than You Might Expect

Milk tea isn't on the menu at Starbucks (although a few tea lattes are) — but with all the creative secret menu discoveries from the chain's devoted fans, that doesn't mean you can't order it. In its simplest form, milk tea is just what it sounds like: tea with added milk. This can mean your favorite milk or plant-based option or a splash of creamer. In different countries, the beverage may look a little different — for example, sweetened Taiwanese bubble tea includes tapioca pearls, Hong Kong milk tea uses evaporated or condensed milk, and Indian masala chai incorporates a variety of spices.

You may not be able to recreate your exact bubble tea concoction at Starbucks, but you can get pretty close. First, select your favorite iced tea — the chain has black, green, chai, and herbal options to choose from. Then, add in a splash of your favorite of the store's milks, which include 2%, coconut, heavy cream, oat, and soy. And if you're used to sweeter drinks, like those found in boba tea shops, you can opt for a variety of sweetener packet, liquid sweetener, and syrup additions.

Mix and match Starbucks' iced tea customizations

If you use the iced tea, dairy, sweetener formula, you've got yourself a basic milk tea. But just like in boba shops, you can customize your drink even more at Starbucks. Many milk tea establishments will let you choose the sweetness level for your beverage; Gong Cha, for instance, offers five different sugar levels ranging from 0% to 100%. You can mimic this customization by controlling the amount of sweetener you add to your Starbucks drink — if you're going with a syrup, specify the number of pumps, and if you opt for a sugar packet, dictate how many you'd like.

You can also mix and match a variety of add-ins to create elaborate beverages that resemble your favorite store-bought milk tea. If you love brown sugar or caramel varieties, for instance, try adding pumps of brown sugar or caramel syrup to an iced black tea, although you can also choose flavors like vanilla, toffee nut, cinnamon dolce, and hazelnut. Then, top your drink off with a salted caramel, vanilla sweet cream, or chocolate cold foam. For a fruity concoction, start with an iced green tea base and add milk, honey, and a fruit add-in like strawberry purée. And if you're a chai milk tea fan, you can add pumps of the flavor to any tea and milk combination.