We Tasted Starbucks' New Menu Items And This Was The Best One

As the summer heats up in 2024, Starbucks continues to shake up its menus with more ways for its customers to kick off their day, or to cool off later on. Just over a month after introducing boba-like pearls for the first time ever, the chain is now dropping a varied quintet of permanent additions to its menu. These items include two iced energy-infused drinks, a non-dairy sweet cream and foam, an Italianesque breakfast sandwich, and a revamped blueberry muffin.

The fine folks over at Starbucks gave the Daily Meal a sneak peek at these five new offerings before their official release. So how do the Blueberry Streusel Muffin, Cold Brew with Nondairy Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam, Egg, Pesto and Mozzarella Sandwich, Melon Burst Iced Energy, and Tropical Citrus Iced Energy beverages stack up? Comparing one against another is like comparing apples to oranges, but with so many things to choose from Starbucks' menu these days, it's good to know what's worth ordering, and what's perhaps worth avoiding. Below is a ranking of these items, starting at the bottom, and making our way to the cream of the new crop.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer.

5. Melon Burst Iced Energy

After Dunkin jumped into the iced energy beverage genre earlier this year with its SPARK'D Energy line, it was only natural for rival Starbucks to soon follow suit. The two new Iced Energy Drinks Starbucks is introducing are only served in venti size. That's quite a lot of drink to drink, and within that tall plastic cup, it contains 205 milligrams of caffeine. That is actually the equivalent of the same amount of caffeine housed in a grande Cold Brew beverage. The Melon Burst Ice Energy drink has a soothing dark hot pink hue to it, that falls somewhere between the appearance of Starbucks' Iced Passion Tea Tango Tea and its Dragonfruit Refreshers.

The Melon Burst beverage turns out to be more pleasant to look at than it is to drink. It's artificially sweetened, and right off the bat, it's that artifice that takes away from the melon-cucumber flavoring that's supposed to be the draw here. Then again, not sure the teaming of a cucumber and a melon screams "drink me." Nonetheless, it's still a serviceable cooler to sip on, especially on a blazing hot day. Keep in mind that once the ice melts and adds more water into the drink's mix, it takes on more of a cinnamon flavoring, but also grows bitter in the process. This beverage is only for cucumber drink enthusiasts who could use a little pep in their step.

4. Tropical Citrus Iced Energy

On the lighter side of the two Iced Energy beverages, the Tropical Citrus one looks like a soothing, bubbly cup of fine ginger ale. Not sure that's very tropical, but nonetheless, its clearer appearance makes it less dainty and more approachable. The tropical blend here is a passion fruit-based energy drink infused into mint green tea. On a first taste, I somehow sensed a hint of pineapple, but perhaps that was just wishful thinking.

While the Melon Burst started palatable and then turned bitter, the opposite turned out to be true with the Tropical Citrus one. I initially wasn't really drawn to this one, but somehow I kept taking more and more sips of it, slowly warming up to it. I later took the drink with me to go, and as 90+ degree weather melted the ice, the balance of the water added made for an easier drinking experience. If you are in dire need of an energetic tea drink, with 180 milligrams of caffeine, and you don't want to bother heading to Dunkin', this is the one to pick over the melon offering. However, I tend to like my sweet tea to be sugary by nature, and not synthetically saccharine. That fact kept these two drinks from advancing further in this ranking. Here's hoping there's a sugary iced energy drink from Starbucks in our future.

3. Blueberry Streusel Muffin

Blueberry muffins are staples of coffeehouses across America. Starbucks is no stranger to having one on its menu. Per The Seattle Times, its version once served as a life-saving source of nourishment for a giant panda at the National Zoo back in 1999. So if Starbucks' blueberry muffin has been a literal baked "good" for so long, why mess with the formula? I wasn't able to taste compare the old version with the new, but the revised one's enticement can be found in its new middle name — streusel.

This muffin has a much grainier top than before, with flakes that look like a cross between fattened Rice Krispies and a crumble that would look right at home on an apple pie. It's not too crusty to munch on, but does indeed add a nice bit of texture to harden the awesome softness of the rest of the muffin. The streusel is infused with cinnamon, and has an oaty taste to it. The amount of cinnamon included is rather lean, which allows the jammy blueberry pieces inside the muffin to retain their lusciousness. There's also a hint of lemon zest, which makes this a fruity fun treat to compliment any morning beverage order. The good news on this muffin is that it will remain super soft even a day later. I didn't test it beyond a day, but had it remained soft a third day, I would have considered using it as a pillow.

2. Cold Brew with Nondairy Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam

With changing times, needs, diets, and lifestyles, chains have had to step up their game to provide all kinds of options to further satisfy its wide customer base. Even if some things are not my personal cup of tea, or remotely geared towards me, I'm all for more options to satisfy everyone's tastes. Starbucks is upping its game with the introduction of a new non-dairy creamer and cold foam. I had the pleasure of trying them in a Cold Brew with Nondairy Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam.

As the Cold Brew with Nondairy Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam beverage landed in front of my eyes, the cream wasn't rising to the top, but beautifully flowing downward toward the amber body of the drink. A quick sip and I was instantly smitten with it. I was not only fooled into believing this was regular milk, but also that I was having a super delicious, thin coffee milkshake. The vanilla flavoring is just at the right level — sweet, but not overly sweet. And the best part? You can now get the nondairy cold foam on top of any drink you want. This beverage in particular is best enjoyed as quickly as possible as the melted ice water muddies its taste. The water actually erases the "dairy" aspect, and leaves a burnt coffee taste in its place.

1. Egg, Pesto and Mozzarella Sandwich

The Egg, Pesto and Mozzarella Sandwich stars those three ingredients, but let's not overlook the other ones not included in the name but equally doing great work —  kale, cheddar, and onion. This square, mounded sandwich has sunny vibes to it. Sure, the bright yellow egg immediately stands out to the eye, but so does the toasted cheddar onion bun, which kind of looks like a fried egg itself. The bun has a nice parity to it, where a focaccia-like crispness gives way to a soft underbelly. The egg is scrambled and fluffy, and would make Julia Child proud. Its top is coated in a minced kale paste created with the rich pesto sauce. It's like something that was crafted in Little Italy, that was stolen by Starbucks.

I was ready to crown the new sweet cream cold foam beverage the best of the five new items, but a second helping a day later of this sandwich left me with second thoughts. I left my bonus sandwich in the fridge overnight, and in the morning used my toaster oven to try and resurrect it. I couldn't believe that what I tasted a day later tasted as fresh as it did the day before, and that included the same love for that well-balanced breading. I loved this sandwich so much that I wish they made a more lunch-centric version, with a chicken breast sandwiched in between. 


The five items tasted and tested for this piece were made and supplied by Starbucks, in one of its Manhattan locations. They were handed out in the following order: the two Energy drinks, the egg sandwich, and the muffin, and then the Frappuccino.

Each was tested on-site, in the order they were received, and then taste tested again and again in random succession. After taking the drinks home, they were refrigerated, and tasted further with the ice having melted. An uneaten egg sandwich and muffin were also taken home and eaten the following day. This test and subsequent ranking were based on taste, flavor, originality, lovability, and likelihood of reordering by the taste tester.