Starbucks Iced Green Tea

Note: This post was written in 2012 when Starbucks used TAZO teas for their iced tea recipe. They now use Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea for their iced green tea. You can still follow the same recipe in regards to making the tea concentrate and simple syrup for sweetener!

When I go to Starbucks, I always order one of the following: 1. soy chai latte, 2. skinny soy cinnamon dolce latte, or 3. sweetened iced green tea. It’s been on the warm side here in Florida the last couple of weeks which means I have been craving iced beverages. Iced green tea season is upon us! Sounds awesome, right? Well, there is one problem. This simple iced tea costs almost $3.00 for a venti size. I refuse to spend $20 a week on iced tea. REFUSE!! Time to figure out how to make it myself! I was pretty hesitant to post this recipe because it’s not really a recipe, but considering the amount of people I know that share my addiction for iced green teas from Starbucks, I thought some of you might also appreciate it. So, rest easy, your wallets are safe! The last few times I have gone in to order my iced tea, I carefully watched the baristas make my drink so I am 98% sure that this is exactly how they make it.

You guys only need to get two ingredients from the store. Yes, 2! First, you need a box of Tazo Zen Green Tea. My grocery store sells it for less than $7 a box. The second ingredient you need is sugar (or the sweetener of your choice). And there is a third ingredient…WATER! But, that’s free, duh! So, for less than $10, you can make your own green tea that will last you about 2-3 weeks. So much better, right?! And after making my own for the last few weeks, I can tell you it tastes exactly the same!

At Starbucks, they simply brew a concentrate with the Tazo Zen tea. They fill your cup only about one third of the way full with the concentrate, add ice and water, and a few pumps of their classic syrup (which is basically just simple syrup), shake it up, and that’s it! I have provided a recipe for creating your own simple syrup at home, but you can also buy your own bottle of their classic syrup if you don’t want to make it yourself. Or, of course, you can just sweeten it with straight sugar or sugar substitute (just note that this might taste exactly the same).

Yield: 4-6 servings

Starbucks Iced Green Tea

Starbucks Iced Green Tea

Making your own iced green tea just like Starbucks is so simple and saves money!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


For the iced tea:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 6-7 bags Tazo brand Zen tea (OR Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea)
  • simple syrup to taste (optional)

For the simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a large sauce pan, bring two quarts of water to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Cover and let sit for about 15 minutes. Store the concentrate in a covered pitcher in the fridge.
  2. To make the simple syrup, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar into a separate pan. Stir the sugar into the water and bring to a boil until the sugar has completely dissolved in the water. Let cook and the mixture should thicken. Store in a container in the fridge (I put mine in a squeeze bottle).
  3. To make your drink, fill a tall glass about 1/4 to 1/2 of the way full (depending on how much tea you want). Fill the glass with ice and water. Add some of the simple syrup to taste and stir with a spoon (or pour into a covered bottle and you can just shake it up). Enjoy!


For a venti size-equivalent drink, they add about 6 pumps of syrup. I’m not sure how much is in each pump, but I find that adding about 1-1 1/2 tbs. of the simple syrup is plenty for me. – If you would prefer not to sweeten your iced tea with sugar and would prefer to make it lower in sugar or sugar-free, you can try sweetening your tea with agave syrup or you can purchase sugar-free syrup.



  1. When we lived in FL, me and the kids would always go to the Starbuck’s drive through on our way to play dates. I loved a iced black coffee with two pumps of sugar free vanilla (just typing that made me smile!) And you’re right, it does add up fast! But here, while there are Starbucks, they look at me like I’m crazy when I’ve tried to order iced coffee (or tea for that matter.) I love that you made one of their iced drinks at home! And the green stripped staw is really cute, can I ask if you bought it online? I’ve been trying to find some for a kids’ party I’m having next month. Great post!

  2. I’m all for saving money!! Well done. My hubby used to go buy coffee on the way to work, but I nipped that in the bud and he’s been making it at home for years now at such a savings to us. Plus you know exactly what went into your drink and that clean hands prepared it for you. :) Have a great weekend and enjoy a cool beverage on me… we’re going to have low 30’s this weekend.. urgh..I wish I was in FL. :)

  3. I have not been to Starbucks in ages, but they do have a tasty variety of non-coffee drinks. Glad you are enjoying that Florida weather and your tea looks like the perfect refresher! It will be getting down to the 20’s here this weekend, so I do envy you. Have fun this weekend!

  4. What a $ saving tip! Lucky you with the warm weather. It’s snowing here and I’m sipping very hot tea :)

  5. You are so smart to make this for yourself–I love the Zen teas myself, and recreate the Passion iced tea at home. Enjoy the heat!

  6. I love iced green tea! Looks delicious!

  7. I’m with you on that one – I love their tea but I refuse to pay that much for it! I’d much rather make it at home! Where in Florida are you? I’m just over the Fl-GA border…

  8. What a refreshing drink…getting ready for summer! ;)

  9. Yeah, we could all save a lot of money by making our favourite Starbucks drinks at home!

  10. I love iced green tea – it’s so refreshing and delicious! My husband makes a pot of this everyday and we go through it all, it’s so yummy & healthy too :) Love your pictures, makes me want to reach for a glass right now :)

  11. I hear ya! I’ve been making Moroccan mint green tea at home and loving it.

  12. Yes! I definitely needed this. Iced green tea is one of my Starbucks favorites, but I’ve never tried to recreate it at home. Apparently, I need to pay more attention to the baristas :) Thanks for the recipe inspiration! And, enjoy the warm weather!

  13. Stephanie…this is such a great post. While I like Starbucks….boy it can add up. There is one in the lobby of the building where I work….and some mornings it’s hard to pass up! But you are right…if they can make something yummy….so can we! Great, simple and money saving post!

  14. Oh, that’s so funny… whenever I go to Starbucks I order an unsweetened double Matcha latte (also green tea!) – I love that you have created a home style version for us today – this is such a great idea and just a ‘smidge’ more economical too ;).

  15. I am with you…love Starbucks but hate the prices. I will still get their lattes but the tea and regular coffee are a no no with me.

  16. I enjoy green tea, but admittedly, I haven’t yet tried it iced. I’m sure it’s great — I’d love to try it.!Next time I’m in the mood for green tea, I’ll have this recipe ready. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. This is such a refreshing drink. Gosh, the drinks at Starbucks are so dear in Singapore. Home-made is always the best!

    Stephanie, I came over from Ann’s blog & love your Egg Muffins! Left my comments there too. I’m following u now & would love to have u follow me too! Looking fwd to sharing our love for food amongst others :) Happy Valentine’s Day, dear!

  18. this is my kind of tea,I love green tea,is very simple and cheaper than sturbucks for sure .

  19. Looks so refreshing! Thanks for sharing.

  20. thanks for saving a fellow addict save some money!!

  21. Hey I’m not the brightest so I have a question…do u take the tea bags out after that 15-20 sit period?

  22. Ice tea is awesome this summer season. I’m drinking it when it’s noon because I feel thirsty. Tea is my life.

  23. Do you need to use so many tea bags? Can’t you do it with just one or two? I am going to try this by sweetening with stevia instead of real sugar.

    • Hi Russell. Keep in mind it’s 6-7 bags for 2-3 quarts of water. This recipe is not for just one glass of tea. The idea is to make a concentrate so that you have enough for 2-3 quarts of tea. 1 bag wouldn’t be enough for that much water. If you want to make just one glass, then you can use much less water and one bag of tea, but I like to make a large pitcher worth so it lasts me all week long. This is also the way that Starbucks makes their green tea. They make a concentrate and then dilute it with water. Hope this helps.

  24. This topic has been dead for almost a year, but just found it today. The recipe doesn’t seem specific enough for me. 2 quarts of water and 6 or 7 bags. should I use 6 or 7? I’ve seen another say 2 quarts water and 5 bags – as being the *Starbucks* way. My wife has tried many different ways and still the taste isn’t quite the same. I’m thinking that maybe because they leave it as a concentrate until ready to use. Suggestions?
    Thank you,

    • Good question, Adam. I say 6-7 because some might find 7 to be too strong. Personally, I don’t think 5 bags is enough to make a concentrate. I usually use 7 bags and find that the taste is really similar. I pour the concentrate into a pitcher and then pour some into a glass or bottle and then add water. If your wife sweetens hers, that can also effect the taste. They use a simple syrup.

  25. They actually only seep the tea bags for 4 minutes in hot water. That’s what makes it taste amazing & not as bitter.

  26. I do this at home with a Kuerig machine since I only drink one every so often. Try making your own syrups, I make strawberry, lemon, raspberry, and cherry syrup (frozen berries in simple syrup). I also make coffee syrups. Much more labor intensive since you usually need to create an extract first.

  27. Hi, I can see no one has posted on this for awhile… but I just found this recipe and I am thrilled!! I was wondering though… does this tea have the same minty taste as the Starbucks tea? I really like to order it with the peach flavoring. Do you have any syrups that you can recommend?

    • Hi Makala, yes, the green tea is the same that they use and also has the spearmint flavor. I haven’t tried adding fruity syrups to it, but I know Starbucks does sell a lot of theirs on their website so you might check there first. I have used Torani syrups (not a peach one and not in this tea, but in other drinks) and I like that brand as well (you can purchase them on Amazon and they do carry some in the grocery store).

  28. Does this taste the same as the bottled Tazo green tea that Starbucks also sells?

  29. How much thought does it take to realize a $4 box of tea far outweighs over $40 spent per week on any kind of tea? Its iced tea, parcel it out into smaller bottles, freeze it and then you have some for a few weeks at a time.

    Capitalism will kill this society . . . .

  30. By the way, you don’t need to poison yourselves with some sort of chemically sweetened, flavoured syrup. There are alot of fruit teas on the market. You can get berries, peaches, blueberries . . . even at offbeat stores. Please, ladies, use your heads!

    • There is no need to be so snarky here, Jade. First, this is a recipe for making the tea at home so obviously anybody coming here is interested in making it themselves, you’re preaching to the choir. Also, my recipe for simple syrup doesn’t contain any chemicals, it’s just sugar and water. Finally, this is a food blog, not a place to judge others. This is just a simple shortcut for those who want to save money and make it at home. Have a great day.

  31. Hi, thanks for sharing this recipe! I just recently discovered tea, and love the green tea at Starbuck’s, though could do without the excessive cost. I like my tea unsweetened, so I just want to make sure I do not need anything other than the tea bags and the water/ice for mine? I am assuming the simple syrup is for the sweetened part of the tea?

  32. Pingback: Starbucks Iced Green Tea Ingredients | tummyfat -reducebloating

  33. Thanks for the recipe! I LOVE Starbucks green tea and have been experimenting at home. I just got a box of Teavana Jade Citrus Mint (what they use now) ($6/box) at Starbucks. I also like the Tazo Zen (what they used to use). The Tazo is now about $3/box at Target. I”m going to try your recipe with both.

  34. A previous poster said that they use a different tea now so I was just curious.

  35. Hey! Do you think I could get away with using any brand of green tea? I have tons from Bigelow that I should use up before purchasing more but I’m not sure how the taste would be like… Maybe I should experiment! Haha, thanks for sharing.

  36.  Although I’ve tasted both kinds and I really don’t taste a difference between either of the two personally,But this is not the brand that they use at Starbucks what they actually use is Teavana jade citrus mint. The other brand TAZO Is my back up,Whenever the store runs out of the Teavana which they always do.

    • Hey Daniel, this post is pretty old and at least back in 2012 when I posted it, they used the TAZO tea for their regular iced green tea. I know they use the Teavana mint tea for their medicine ball drink (which I also have a recipe for on the blog). They may have switched to the Teavana tea more recently though, but they definitely used TAZO a while back. I’ll make a note in the post to acknowledge this though, thanks!

  37. Hello! I followed your instructions exactly and ended up with a perfect replica of the Starbucks version! I have never commented on a recipe blog in all the years I’ve used them, but I felt compelled to write this note so others will know to try it. Go ahead and take the Pepsi challenge and put this drink against the Starbucks version. My husband was also amazed, and he is the one who buys them daily. Thanks for saving us money!

  38. FYI (re: Daniel’s post) we used TAZO Zen, which is “a harmonious blend of green tea with lemongrass and spearmint.” A 20-count tea bag box cost us less than $4 at our grocery store. We make 2 quarts at a time using 5 tea bags and we let it steep for 30 minutes. Also made the simple syrup exactly as noted. Follow the recipe instructions and you won’t be disappointed. Thank you, Stephanie!

  39. This may be silly, after I steep the tea bags, do I remove them before putting the tea in the fridge? I look all over the website and couldn’t find that bit. Thank you!! 

  40. I know this is a super old thread but hoping someone can answer . How long does the concentrate last in the fridge ?

  41. Now wouldn’t it be great if we could get their ice….. That would be perfection!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.