Starbucks Shakes Up Its Menu With Iced Hazelnut Espresso

The new Iced Hazelnut Oatmilk Shaken Espresso will stick around beyond this season.

Throughout the year Starbucks does its best to top itself by dropping new seasonal beverages and menu items alongside the old favorites. Some releases only stick around until the weather changes, while others manage to earn their keep and become permanent menu fixtures. However, this winter Starbucks has decided to add two new items to its lineup immediately.

The hot breakfast menu will now feature the new Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes, which come in a serving of two small cubes for $5.75 (that's what we paid; prices vary by location). The little bakes don't quite measure up to the brand's existing Egg Bites, but Starbucks must be pretty confident in the new offering considering its immediate addition to the menu.

Starbucks' newest beverage, the Iced Hazelnut Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, is something of a variation on an existing menu item. So how does this newcomer stack up to the other shaken espressos on offer?

Tasting Starbucks’ new Iced Hazelnut Oatmilk Shaken Espresso

Starbucks notes that the new Iced Hazelnut Oatmilk Shaken Espresso combines its Blonde espresso "with notes of roasted hazelnut, shaken together with ice and topped with oatmilk." At our nearest Chicago location, the drink cost $5.95 for a Grande.

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Considering Starbucks has chosen to add this drink to its permanent menu, the best way to judge its quality is by comparing it to the Iced Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso, which has been on the menu since March 2021 and is a go-to order for this author. Both beverages contain three shots of Blonde Espresso Roast plus oatmilk. However, the brown sugar option contains four pumps of brown sugar syrup and cinnamon powder as a topping. The new hazelnut beverage only contains two pumps of hazelnut syrup.

Starbucks' product images and description of the drink make it seem like a much more decadent sip than it actually is. I'm not entirely sure how, but the two hazelnut pumps manage to distract from the creaminess of the Oatmilk, leaving a more straightforward coffee taste. Or, maybe that's the espresso dominating the relatively paltry amount of hazelnut syrup. I'll admit this is not a flavor I normally order from any coffee shop, but it complements the coffee notes in markedly different ways from Starbucks' other flavors.

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Ultimately, this drink is not as sweet or comforting as its cinnamon-and-brown-sugar counterpart. Maybe adding more pumps of the syrup might help this new drink contend with the established shaken espresso options.

However, I could also see people who don't like sweeter coffee drinks gravitating toward this addition to the menu. The shaken espressos are simple, straightforward iced beverages for those of us who aren't great at concocting a custom 50-word Starbucks order (and by the way, there's a right way to do that). Credit must go to Starbucks for adding a little more variety to the lineup. Hopefully this opens the door for other flavors to join...Iced Peppermint Shaken Espresso, maybe?

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