5 Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Secret Cold Concoctions
Updated: Feb 27
As a part-time barista in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL), I'm always exceptionally intrigued by the secret recipes posted on the internet for Starbucks drinks. However, to look for a similar article on CBTL is a whole other story, which is why this article exists! I'm going to share with you 5 different, but entirely manageable (for the baristas) drink concoctions that you can (hopefully) try out at your next CBTL visit.
I will be including several things per drink:
A brief review of how the drink tastes
Recipe: what goes into the drink when we make it at CBTL
Total Cost: all at regular size, inclusive of change of milk and additional items
How to order: a "template" of how you could order it at the place
Rating: a personal rating of how the drinks tastes like :>
One last bit before I delve into it: all of these recipes and most of the photos are contributed by my friends from my workplace; I've also added some of their names here as credit, as this article would not have been possible otherwise.
Now onto the drinks!
The Affogato-Style Ice-Blend
If you have ever had an affogato, then you should know that it is one of the most amazing desserts ever created. If you haven't, here's a really poor representation of it: It is an Italian coffee-based dessert that usually takes up the form of a vanilla gelato or ice cream topped or "drowned" with a shot of hot espresso.
In CBTL, our DIY affogato drink boasts of a milky vanilla flavour as its base, contrasting deeply with a strong, aromatic shot of espresso. The end product is tied together through the subtle sweetness and crunchy texture from the Oreo bits at the top. It is a drink that brings together the flavours of coffee and vanilla, creating a perk-me-up dessert or drink that you can have on a hot day in Singapore.
Imagine Oreo crumbs (some says it's the best topping) on top of this....
Recipe (by Su Jean) —
Pure (skim milk) Vanilla Ice Blend - $7.90
Optional: change to Soy Milk (highly recommended) or Almond Milk (+$0)
Extra shot (+$1)
Extra cookie crumble (+$1)
Optional: Whip Cream (+$0)
Total Cost: $9.90
How to order:
"Can I have a pure vanilla ice blended with an extra shot and cookie crumbles, both to be added on the top after blending?"
Rating: 4.5/5 (a must try)
Tea Latte Ice-Blend
In CBTL, we have a huge range of tea lattes that you can choose from; from the standard English Breakfast Tea Latte to the fragrant Tropical Passion Tea Latte. No matter which tea latte you choose to get for the day, it will definitely put a smile on your face. And this is especially true if you put an unorthodox twist to it by making it ice blended!
The ice-blend version of the tea latte lightens the sweetness of the drink, but yet enhances the flavour through amplifying the scent of the tea. It is also a really refreshing drink on a day where you might need to study in the heat because the library is just too filled. Yeah, we have all been through that...
P.S If you are indecisive about what to choose, my friend strongly recommends the "Tropical Passion Tea Latte Ice Blend".
Recipe (by Zulaikha) —
Any iced tea latte
Chai / Chocolate Chai / Earl Grey / African Sunrise Tea Latte: $7.60
Or go for the cheaper alternative - English Breakfast / Morrocon Mint / Tropical Passion Tea Latte: $6.90
Optional: Whip Cream (+$1)
Total Cost: $6.90 - $8.60
How to order:
"Could I have a ____ iced tea latte but ice blended please?"
This drink is a change to the standard "Iced Vanilla" where we use fresh milk / skim milk (upon request) to create the sweet treat. It is not caffeinated, and thus a really popular choice with children. Given that the base is soy milk, it is also a great choice for those abstaining from dairy products. It is an extremely versatile drink!
The difference that soy milk makes is that it enhances the aroma of vanilla powder, creating more depth in the taste. It doesn't just taste like sweeter milk. It leaves a unique flavour lingering on your tongue, and you will definitely go back for more. However, it may feel a bit heavy on the stomach after a full cup, so do sip it slowly, and let the melted ice do its job!
Recipe (by Haneez) —
Iced Vanilla - $7.10
Change to Soy Milk (+$0)
Total Cost: $7.10
How to order:
"Could I have a regular iced vanilla but with soy milk instead?"
Swedish Lemon / Mint-Lime
We serve three main types of iced tea at CBTL. Ceylon Black Tea, Peach Jasmine Cold Brew Tea, and finally Swedish Berry Iced Tea. Most of our flavoured iced teas are made with the Ceylon tea, but it is definitely interchangeable with Swedish Berries.
Swedish Berries is a tea that is subtly sour, and works well without any sugar added to it. This is because it has a natural fragrance that hides the fact that it is unsweetened. Trust me, packing the tea bags for this tea always has us craving for it (oops).
One of the recommendations is to add lemon or mint lime syrup to the unsweetened tea. The lemon syrup adds sourness to it, but doesn't make it a super-sour-face-cringe drink. Instead, it deepens the flavour of the flower tea, making one yearn for more.
On the other hand, the mint lime, or mojito, syrup, creates a minty burst in your mouth; and contrasting it with the natural flavour of the berry, it blends together easily. For all those who love minty flavours, this is definitely a drink for you!
Recipe (by Jamie) —
Lemon / Mint Lime Iced Tea - $7.20
Change Ceylon black tea to Swedish Berries tea (+$0)
Total Cost: $7.20
How to order:
"Could I have a lemon iced tea with swedish berries instead of ceylon?"
Bubble Tea (Latte) No Bubbles
Feeling fancy for a cup of CBTL bubble tea? In all honesty, this is more like a novelty drink rather than something that is a "must-try". However, based on the feedback that friend gave me, and actually trying it personally, I thought it was a relatively good drink and deserved to be shared!
As the title suggests, there are no pearls in this drink, but it works just fine on its own. Using the Gula Melaka syrup that we drizzle on our Gula Melaka Pandan Cake (you should really try this too), and mixing it with a large cup of English Breakfast tea latte, you get a really mellow flavoured milk tea.
Ironically, adding more ingredients does not actually make the drink heavy. In fact, it feels even lighter on the palate! The drink promises a robust scent from the English Breakfast tea leaves, whilst leaving you with a sweet after taste of the Gula Melaka syrup. My friend swears by the large size of this drink, so you should definitely give it a try in large!
Source: Singapore Foodie
Another possible combination that you can try would be Iced English Breakfast Tea Latte with Hazelnut powder in place of the Vanilla powder. We usually make said drink with the vanilla powder to make it milky, but with the hazelnut powder, it adds fragrance over the baseline fragrance that the English Breakfast tea already offers.
Recipe (by Camilya/Rina) —
Iced English Breakfast Tea Latte (Large) - $7.30
Regular size: $6.90
Optional: Change from Vanilla to Hazelnut powder (+$0)
2oz Gula Melaka Syrup (+$1)
Total Cost: $7.90 - $8.30
How to order:
"Could I have a large iced english breakfast tea latte with additional gula melaka syrup?"
If you would like to change the powder: "Am I able to switch the vanilla powder for hazelnut?"
And that's a wrap for the secret concoctions of drinks from CBTL! I had an amazing time collating these drinks for you, and hope that you will be able to have fun trying these drinks too. You can always mix and match the flavours however you like, so go wild!
Disclaimer: These drinks are merely recommendations by the people from my outlet, and are not official secret drinks on the menu, so some outlets (apart from the Toa Payoh branch) may not be willing to prepare the drinks as they are not official, so please don't be offended when they turn you down.