This Starbucks iced guava black tea copycat recipe tastes just like the original drink! A refreshing black iced tea with a tropical guava twist. You can also easily make the iced guava black tea lemonade version, which has some fresh lemonade added to complement the fruity guava. Easy to make at home, with simple ingredients and a fraction of the cost of going to Starbucks!
Black tea, white tea, guava, lemonade: How many versions are there?
This classic Starbucks drink has several variations that are all relatively similar to each other. Due to their similarity, it can be confusing to find the recipe for the drink you are actually looking for. Here is a simplified explanation of the variations on this drink and how you can easily make simple substitutions to create each specific iced tea drink:
- Iced Guava White Tea: A few years ago, the iced guava black tea drink didn’t exist at Starbucks. Instead, it was this almost similar drink that just used white tea in the place of black tea. When Starbucks discontinued their white teas, this drink was replaced by the iced guava black tea, which is the version that is currently sold in stores. Truthfully, there is not much difference in terms of taste between the two drinks. Black and white tea taste almost the same when mixed into drinks with other flavors. However, to make the white tea version, follow the instructions below for the iced guava black tea and instead of using a black tea base, use a white tea one.
- Iced Guava White Tea Lemonade: This drink used to be sold alongside the more basic iced guava white tea. The only difference between the two drinks being that this one has lemonade added. This drink was hugely popular but has also been discontinued and has been replaced with the iced guava black tea lemonade. Again, it is not much different in taste compared to the iced guava white tea lemonade. But if you prefer the original white tea taste, prepare the iced guava black tea lemonade (instructions below) with your favorite white tea instead of black tea.
Ingredients for an iced guava black tea:
- Black Tea: There are many types of black tea (assam, darjeeling, ceylon) and the type you use doesn’t matter too much. Use your favorite type. The most important thing is that the tea is highly concentrated when it is brewed. It needs to be a stronger cup of tea than what you would normally drink hot so that the flavor is not diluted when mixed with guava.
- Guava Nectar: Try to find guava nectar rather than guava juice. Guava juice can taste slightly more artificial and may be mixed with other fruit flavors. Guava nectar will give the most authentic taste. If you want, you could use the juice from fresh guava, however depending on where you live, it can be hard to find guava and they can be expensive. It is also easier and much faster to use boxed guava nectar. Don’t worry — it still tastes just like the version you buy in the store.
- Sugar & Water: Granulated sugar is heated on a saucepan with water to form a simple syrup — which is basically a liquid sugar mixture. This is the best way to sweeten drinks because it dissolves easily when stirred into drinks.
How to turn this drink into an iced guava black tea lemonade:
- Replace half of the guava nectar with lemonade. You can use store bought lemonade or homemade lemonade.
- Skip the simple syrup. Hold off on adding the simple syrup right away. Store bought lemonades in particular can be very sweet and can make this drink overly sugary. Mix everything else together first and add simple syrup to your taste if needed. How much you need to add will depend on the type and brand of lemonade you are using.
- For the white tea versions, use white tea. To make the discontinued iced guava white tea and iced guava white tea lemonade, the only difference is the type of tea that is used. Instead of black tea, use a white tea.
- Let the tea steep. Normally, you would only steep tea for 3-5 minutes. However, steeping the tea for longer creates a highly concentrated black tea. When it is mixed with the guava, the tea won’t be too diluted, and will form the perfect balance of flavors.
- Use high quality guava nectar. Try to find pure guava nectar. Avoid juices, especially ones that are mixed with other fruit flavors. The quality of the guava nectar will determine whether the drink tastes just like the Starbucks one or not.
- Chill the tea first. For best results, chill the tea in the fridge before mixing it with the guava and ice. If you are in a rush, you can use ice cubes to cool the hot drink, but this may dilute the flavor.
- Adjust the sugar. If you want a slightly sweeter drink, add a bit more simple syrup. If you want an unsweetened drink, you can leave out the simple syrup all together.
- Make extra simple syrup. You can easily make a large batch of simple syrup using a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water and store the extra in the fridge for up to several weeks. This will make preparing drinks much faster.