Review: Starbucks' Lavender Oatmilk Chill Leaves Us Cold With Its Fruity-Cereal Flavor

Lavender Oatmilk Chill on counter
Lavender Oatmilk Chill on counter - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

Spring 2024's Starbucks menu release brought a novel category of drinks to stores: beverages that include lavender powder. While lavender was previously included in the global chain's offers in other countries — like menu items from Starbucks South Korea — these lavender drinks are new additions at U.S. locations. Although the drinks lean more toward an herbal tea orientation, there are definitely ways that you can incorporate lavender into a variety of beverages.

Before the early-April release of the Lavender Oatmilk Chill (Starbucks' newest addition to the lavender lineup), the chain introduced an Iced Lavender Cream Oatmilk Matcha and an Iced Lavender Oatmilk Latte among the Starbucks 2024 spring menu offers with bold lavender flavor. With the debut of the Lavender Oatmilk Chill, a new caffeine-free drink joins this selection, providing another option for Starbucks fans.

I'm a former Starbucks barista who has enjoyed quite a few of the chain's latest lavender offerings, so I was curious how this caffeine-free version would stack up. Unfortunately, my excitement was rather short-lived upon sipping the drink.

Read more: 26 Coffee Hacks You Need To Know For A Better Cup

What Is The Lavender Oatmilk Chill?

Lavender Oatmilk Chill on table
Lavender Oatmilk Chill on table - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

The latest item in the collection of new Starbucks lavender drinks for spring 2024 is the Lavender Oatmilk Chill. This drink is a shaken combination of lavender, oat milk, ice, and a scoop of freeze-dried dragon fruit pieces. It does not include any tea or coffee, so there's no caffeine in this beverage at all, making it a great addition to a lineup that has plenty of Starbucks drinks that are kid-friendly. Plus, since there are no dairy-based ingredients in this drink, it's an easy option for those avoiding dairy products in their day-to-day lives.

The drink itself is a lovely lavender color with just the slightest bit of magenta emanating from the diced dragon fruit pieces. This menu item doesn't appear on the official menu board inside the store, but it's an easy order right on the app with no customizations needed to put the drink together.

Where To Find The Lavender Oatmilk Chill?

Starbucks location interior
Starbucks location interior - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

If your local Starbucks stocks lavender powder, you have access to the Lavender Oatmilk Chill. Aside from the lavender, there's not much novel about this drink that would make it difficult to whip up in a typical setting on an average day.

However, if you are noticing that Starbucks lavender drinks are selling briskly at your preferred location, there's a better-than-average chance that the lavender supply might be running a little on the low side there. As a result, it might be a bit more difficult to order the Lavender Oatmilk Chill if lavender-flavored drinks are very popular in your area.

I've been curious about how long these lavender drinks would stick around, so on the day I did this taste test, I asked my barista how long the lavender powder would be available. She was unsure, so she asked another barista, and they agreed that it would probably only be through the end of this summer. She commented that they don't have a definitive date and no time frame has been shared with them. However, an official Starbucks press release states that the spring 2024 lineup of lavender drinks will only be available for a limited time, so it's looking like lavender powder is going to be a seasonal offering, sort of like the popular pumpkin spice offered during fall.

How Much Does The Lavender Oatmilk Chill Cost?

Lavender Oatmilk Chill on counter
Lavender Oatmilk Chill on counter - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

I've learned that Starbucks prices can vary from location to location, even within the same region, but the central Florida Starbucks location where I enjoyed my Lavender Oatmilk Chill rang up the grande size at $4.95. To go down a size, it would have cost $4.45, while the larger venti size would cost $5.45. This beverage is not offered in the huge trenta cup, Starbucks' largest size that is only available for certain drinks.

The primary ingredient you're paying for with these drinks is really the lavender powder. In a tall, a couple scoops is the default; a grande gets three, and a venti gets four. If the lavender flavor is not strong enough for you in these, you can add additional lavender scoops. Interestingly enough, no matter the size of the drink, each Lavender Oatmilk Chill only comes with one scoop of the dragon fruit bits. However, you can also include more scoops of these by request.

Taste Test

Lavender Oatmilk Chill from above
Lavender Oatmilk Chill from above - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

I've heard others compare Starbucks' lavender drinks to Fruity Pebbles or Froot Loops. Although I didn't have that experience with the drinks I've enjoyed so far, such as the Iced Lavender Cream Oatmilk Matcha, the Lavender Oatmilk Chill tastes exactly like fruity cereal. With oat milk as the base of the drink combined with the floral notes of lavender and the slight fruitiness of dragon fruit, it's the perfect mix to create something akin to a fruit-flavored cereal taste.

Although you expect lavender to have a really light and delicate quality to it, that doesn't come through very clearly with the Lavender Oatmilk Chill. The texture is like you would expect from typical Starbucks Refreshers that include a dairy-free milk as part of their composition, and since it's shaken for preparation, everything gets mixed quite thoroughly, provided your barista takes the time to shake it for as long as they should.

Lavender Oatmilk Chill Vs. Dragon Drink

two Starbucks drinks
two Starbucks drinks - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

I was initially unsure how to compare the Lavender Oatmilk Chill, given its uniqueness among Starbucks' usual offerings. However, recognizing a couple key ingredients — dragon fruit bits and dairy-free milk — I thought a comparison with the Dragon Drink, a refresher flavored by dragon fruit mixed with coconut milk, would be perfect.

Despite sharing some similarities, their flavors are distinctly different. Personally, I found the Dragon Drink far more enjoyable than the Lavender Oatmilk Chill, which prompted curiosity about mixing the two for a potentially delightful blend.

The primary drawback of the Lavender Oatmilk Chill is its peculiar flavor, reminiscent of Froot Loops, suggesting it might benefit from an additional element. After experimenting at home by combining half of each drink, I discovered the mix — half Lavender Oatmilk Chill and half Dragon Drink — was surprisingly excellent. This mix, with its enhanced floral notes, offers a unique taste experience. If you're looking for a twist on the Dragon Drink with an extra floral kick, adding a scoop or two of lavender could be a game-changer, resulting in a deliciously unique beverage. Consider switching out the coconut milk for oat milk, too.

Is The Lavender Oatmilk Chill Worth It?

handheld Lavender Oatmilk Chill
handheld Lavender Oatmilk Chill - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

I don't often say this about Starbucks drinks, but in my opinion, the Lavender Oatmilk Chill is not worth it unless you make some significant modifications to the drink. To my palate, it tastes like Fruity Pebbles, which isn't my favorite flavor and really doesn't appeal to me as something I would crave or look forward to — which is definitely an important requirement for any Starbucks drink, considering the price at checkout. That said, it's worth noting that this drink might appeal to young children, especially if they enjoy fruity cereal.

Instead of ordering the Lavender Oatmilk Chill as is, consider taking a Dragon Drink and asking to switch out the coconut milk for oat milk while adding in a scoop or two of lavender powder. The resulting drink will be caffeinated, which differs from the Lavender Oatmilk Chill, but it's definitely better tasting.

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