We Tried Starbucks' New Shaken Espresso Drink to See if It's Any Good

So how exactly does it stack up to the rest of the Shaken Espresso lineup?

Courtesy of Starbucks

Starbucks rounded out its trio of dairy-free Shaken Espresso beverages with the debut of its all-new Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso as part of an early spring menu update last week. The new, coffee-forward drink joins its earlier Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk and Iced Chocolate Almondmillk iterations, which first landed on menus in spring 2021. 

While we've already voiced our adoration for the latter two, we thought it only necessary to give Starbucks' latest go a try for ourselves. So what makes it different? How does it stack up compared to its counterparts? We're answering all. 

When can you get the Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso? 

Starbucks' latest addition joins the coffee giant's lineup of non-dairy Iced Shaken Espresso beverages precisely one year to the day of its original launch. The Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk version hit menus just last week, and much like the originals, it won't be exiting anytime soon. All three Shaken Espresso beverages are now available permanently. 

What does it taste like? 

The Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso promises a "twist on the classic vanilla flavor" with Starbucks' blonde espresso and notes of caramelized vanilla with smooth, creamy oat milk—all of which shined through when we sampled the drink for ourselves. Much like the other two Shaken Espresso beverages, the Iced Toasted Vanilla has a subtle sweetness that melds together perfectly with the bold, rich espresso. It isn't quite so indulgent as other Starbucks lattes and mochas, but instead, boasts more flavor complexity.

If you're more of a sweet, White Chocolate Mocha drinker, then this very much coffee-forward beverage probably isn't a great candidate for your new go-to order, but then again, it's got a little something for everyone to love. 

How does it compare to the other Shaken Espresso beverages? 

Every Shaken Espresso beverage features a careful ratio of sweetness and rich espresso flavoring, but each one is a bit unique. The Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso tasted and felt lighter than the chocolate and brown sugar iterations of the drink. We also found that the oat milk and vanilla pairing created an extra dimension of complementary flavors that's not quite so evident in the others. 

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.