China’s Starbucks Menu Is SO MUCH Better Than America’s—Here’s Why

Get ready to check out daring drinks and delectable sweets on the Chinese Starbucks menu.

If you ever find yourself in China, needing a cup of coffee, you’ll most likely get it at a Starbucks. Starbucks dominates the Chinese coffee industry with over 4,800 stores in 200 cities in mainland China. But before you order your usual Nitro Cold Brew, check out the Chinese menu options. You’ll be surprised at how different it is from the U.S. menu. (Coffee and ice cream anyone?)

That’s the Tea

Before Starbucks and specialty coffee entered the Chinese market, tea was the drink of choice. So it’s no surprise that Starbucks in China carries some unique tea drink options. You can order an Ice Shake Honey Ruby Grapefruit Black Tea which is a blend of Korean and Israeli grapefruit juice and black tea, mixed with chunks of grapefruit and layers of honey. Other flavors include Pear Rooibos (with big pieces of pear!), Blackcurrant Raspberry, and Peach Oolong.

Modern Mixology

In 2019, Starbucks launched a line of cocktail-inspired cold drinks in China named Modern Mixology. You won’t get much of a buzz though, sorry, unless it’s a caffeine buzz. The drinks are coffee and tea-based, no alcohol; and are served in snazzy reusable cups. The Hyun Iceberg American is inspired by the gin and tonic and the Cold Floating Lime Extract is based on the whiskey sour.

Coffee Plus Ice Cream

Probably the Chinese Starbucks menu items we’re most jealous of is their coffee and ice cream drinks! There are four options featuring popular coffee drinks combined with vanilla ice cream. The Abchido is a double espresso poured on top of a scoop of creamy ice cream. The Cold Brew Malt blends cold brew and ice cream into a delicious malt shake. And of course, we’re dying to try the Cold Brew Float!\

Of course, you can get your coffee and ice cream fix at home with a homemade affogato.

Piece of Cake

Speaking of sweets, when it comes to dessert items, the China Starbucks menu has us beat. Right now they’re offering seasonal Swiss cake rolls in Black Sesame Cheese and Taro Cream Cheese flavors. Their regular dessert menu is also impressive and includes Blueberry Cookie-Style Cheesecake, French Lightning Puffs (which are eclairs), and Tiramasu cake. Yum!

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Erica Young
Erica is a freelance lifestyle writer with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Her favorite recipes are quick, easy and something her kids will actually eat. When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, roaming the aisles at Target or nursing her third Diet Coke of the day.