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).

Starbucks Iced Green Tea
Yield: 4-6 servings

Starbucks Iced Green Tea

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

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


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.