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December 15, 2012


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Daniel Rappaport

Well, I just can't wait. I am always excited over new Starbucks drinks!


Whaaaat?! WHEN WHEN WHEN?????


It tastes kind of like the vanilla rooibos tea.


I HATED it in a latte (which is how we are promoting it), but it is FANTASTIC in a chai latte.


The syrup itself was gross I thought. But the topping steamed in the milk either with espresso or just as a steamer was delicious.

just another partner

i really liked it! :)


It is flavored mostly by cardamom, which is a spice people seem to love or hate. It comes out as very fragrant in the vanilla spice syrup. It actually reminds me alot of the chai I have at a great Afghani restaurant ; it wouldn't surprise me if this ends up being more popular with the chai drinkers. This flavor is a hit with me, but some people are going to be disgusted by it.


Had it at my store today, it smells horrendous. I figured the taste would be better than the smell, but it ended up tasting like cough syrup with shots of espresso. The topping looks like sand. Usually I don't bag on test items, but all of us at the store tried it and really had nothing to say about it. This is limited right?

old-bux barista

this beverage looks and tastes like the vanilla spice drink Seattle's Best had 2 years ago for Christmas. does anyone else remenber this, too? i wonder if it is the same...pretty cool, If true...


I liked it as a syrup creme or with milk only. As soon as you add espresso it morphs into some kind of bitter nastiness. I haven't tried it but I think it might be a nice addition to chai. As for the topping, it is very heavy on the cardamom. I think that is one spice that is an aquired taste, or as sneetch said, people either love it or hate it. Very weird choice for a drink launch.


It tastes like Earl Grey to me. The aftertaste is stronger than when you're actually drinking it...not awful, but not great either.


We tried it as a latte and all of us openers hated it.

I am hoping it's a limited beverage or meant for something else entirely.

Such as being poured down a sink ...


Can't wait to try it!


It's...interesting. I rather liked the topping, or at least the sugar in the topping. It adds a necessary sweetness to the drink...I think it needs more. Maybe 1/2 and 1/2 vanilla/vanilla spice?


Is this something they're only offering as a test in a few markets, or will all Starbucks be getting this?


I like it; in an iced black tea with a little milk it's very similar to a Thai iced tea. :)

Espresso Tech

I cannot stand vanilla. My first day of immersion, I had to mix the cream base. I choked on the powder and nearly threw up.

Daniel Rappaport

I have actually tried some of the syrup, and I really like it. It would taste fabulous in a chai tea latte', with soy.

I do agree that this is an acquired tasted, and not everyone is going to enjoy it.


After reading most of the postings, it sounds like most to the espresso machines are out of calibration and the temps aren’t right. This can make the shots taste nasty. That’s all I’m going to say. I know the company standards, and now NO one cares anymore at Starbucks. I still have all the Manuals and Training Books. I was Trained by the training department in Starbucks. (all fired back in 2008). Who’s training the new Tech’s now… NO ONE…. because they are not qualified by Starbucks anymore…



I LOVE IT!!! I love the cardamon in the sprinkles...I get a double tall soy no whip extra sprinkle VSL. It's a nice alternative to the menu items. I usually drink chai lattes.


Billy- We miss our techs dearly here in the kc market. Some of us long timers even talk about how things used to be, how our equipment was maintained, how if something broke it didn't take 48 hours to fix it. *sigh*


It tasted like vanilla, perfume and barbecue. It's gross.


I tried this last night and I gotta say... I was extremely disappointed. When I heard about this drink on this site I thought this drink was going to be the best thing since Cinnamon Dolce ... Turns out I was wrong. Didn't taste like vanilla in the slightest and the "spice" factor of the drink was way too over powering...

Save your $$$.


Finally tried it today - I enjoyed it! Is the vanilla spice syrup available for purchase?


I tried the VSL the other day. It was hands-down the worst drink I've ever had at Starbucks, or any coffee shop for that matter. I did not taste vanilla at all. All I tasted was something that tasted like pledge. There was definitely a cleaner type taste and after taste to it. I can't believe it made it past the test markets.


Kristi, why can't you believe it made it past test market? As you can see from this thread, there are people who have different tastes than you and actually enjoy the drink. It's selling fairly well in my store, haven't heard any complaints about it yet. I tried some as a frappucino, tastes sort of like berries to me.


I tried the Vanilla Spice syrup in both a tea and coffee latte...I preferred the tea latte best, using any black tea.


Can you post a picture of the nutrition label? I'm trying to figure out how many Weight Watchers points my drink was this morning! Thanks!


I tried it and have to say I wasn't very impressed. Also, San Diego is a test market and the Vanilla Spice is being overshadowed by the Caramel Flan Latte.

Verquonica Mitchelle

I don't like the stuff because it taste like bengay.


I'm not impressed with it. I get why people may go nuts for it, it's got a very specific taste you love or hate. I've tried it 4 times and it tastes like chemicals to me every time.

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