The Perfect Starbucks Order To Match Your Taylor Swift Era

If 2000s teen magazines were still popular, there would absolutely be tons of quizzes about something along the lines of your favorite Taylor Swift era says about you. We'd find out what Swift era matches our personality types, what our relationship fates are based on our favorite era, and certainly what eras line up with each zodiac sign. 

And honestly, with all of the hype surrounding Taylor's current Eras Tour, we'd happily take each and every quiz with enthusiasm even as full-fledged adults. In fact, we're so excited for the Eras tour that we've come up with an eras ranking of sorts, too. If you ever pined for the highly-necessary knowledge of which Starbucks drink you should get based on your favorite Taylor era, you've come to the right place. Starbucks recently shared a similar lineup on its Instagram page, and we're going to share which Starbucks-Era matchups we agree with, and ones where we think Starbies got it wrong. After all, the Bux doesn't always get things right, right off the bat.

The Debut Era

The Taylor Swift Debut Era is exactly that — the beginning of Taylor's story. Almost 20 years ago, the country music world was swept away in a flourish of blonde curls, cowboy boots, and dress getups. Meteoric beginnings, hope, and bravery are what define the opening chapter of Taylor's career. In its list of the Taylor Swift Eras as Starbucks drinks, the coffee chain identifies the Debut Era as a hot chocolate, a choice that we can understand the justification behind. Hot chocolates are youthful, nostalgic — which is a lot like how Swift's debut album, "Taylor Swift," feels to us now all these years later.

We think a more cut-and-dry choice for the Debut Era as a Starbucks drink would be the first beverage ever sold by Starbucks as we know it today — although that option isn't nearly as fun — a simple cafe latte, sold in downtown Seattle in 1984. Not nearly as full of whimsy as a hot chocolate, but if you want a taste of Starbucks' youth, that's the one. 

The Fearless Era

"Fearless" held our hands through all of the emotional wrenches of teen love. We early Taylor stans surely were an amusing sight in 2008 when that album dropped: Tossing your hands up in solidarity to the "she wears high heels, I wear sneakers," as if wearing high heels isn't a feat of strength, and your 12-year-old self would never be allowed to sport anything but sneakers to middle school in the first place — or tearily crooning along to "White Horse" as if the closest brush you'd ever had with heartbreak wasn't watching the boy who loaned you a pencil slow-dance with someone else at homecoming.

To us, "Fearless" much closer resembles the joyous oblivion of youth than the debut album "Taylor Swift." Especially given the irony that a lot of Taylor's listeners in 2008 were just soft-hearted teens pining away in their bedrooms — unaware of the state of the world beyond their LG Chocolates and Claire's earrings collections — oblivious to the fact that immense stress and harsh realities in that year lurked as closely as their own kitchens. Starbucks' drink for the "Fearless" Era isn't one we'd have picked; the brand chose an iced blonde latte, but we'd go for something more along the lines of a caramel ribbon crunch Frappuccino. This sweet, dessert-like drink reminds us more of summery days, rollerblades, and an overall feeling of being young and in love — just like the "Fearless" Era Taylor would want us to feel. 

The Speak Now Era

The influence of pop music starts to take root in Taylor's work in "Speak Now." This is the only album in which the lyrics are entirely her own, making it arguably one of Taylor's most authentic and vulnerable collections. During this era, we saw a lot of billowing dresses and performances with tons of flair — in fact, the most exciting part of the "Speak Now" tour was never knowing what color fairy tale gown Taylor was going to emerge in against a backdrop of brilliant light and pyrotechnics displays. During this era, Taylor truly looked like she was both having a ball and wanted to go to one. She was on the cusp of bringing some adult emotional maturity to her work that had up until this point been mostly happy-go-lucky.

We assume that Starbucks chose the dragon drink as the "Speak Now" Era drink because of its vibrant magenta hue — similar in tone to the iconic gown that Taylor wore on the album's cover. It's too logical of a drink to disagree with, especially since the dragon drink looks as ethereal as Taylor's album cover gown does. It's bright; it's sweet; it picks you up when you need it. In a word: It's perfect.

The Red Era

The "Red" Era was Taylor Swift's harbinger of change. The girlish golden curls and swishy tulle gowns were no more, swapped out for straight bangs, sleeker styles, and red lipstick. "Red" was produced while Swift was on the cusp of adulthood, and this seems evident as she searched for identity in the new visual aesthetic and experimental blended styles of music, including everything from country to pop to rock to indie sounds. The music shared a young adult's first true love and broken heart through Taylor's point of view — although we arguably didn't truly get a glimpse through her lens until she released "Taylor's Version" in 2021, nine years after the original album's drop.

How do you ever exemplify this era through a coffee beverage? Starbucks took the most obvious route and chose the caramel nonfat latte — known as Taylor's latte or Taylor's version. News of what the star reportedly orders on the regular bubbled up during the "Taylor's Version" release, at which time Starbucks and Swift announced a collaboration to promote the re-release of "Red" plus the coffee chain's custom limited-edition Taylor Swift gift cards and her latte. It's a safe choice, but we aren't satisfied with the easy-way-out reasoning. The re-release of "Red" symbolizes a phoenix-like rise from the ashes, a comeback — and right now, we think the best Starbucks drink to emulate that is the raspberry mocha — or anything made with raspberry syrup. We need to see a "Taylor's Version" revival of this flavor!

The 1989 Era

There was no escaping Taylor's "1989" Era — whether you were a fan of hers or not. She was everywhere in 2014, since "1989" ended up being her best-selling album to date with headliners like "Blank Space" and "Shake It Off." This era saw the singer's first album full of music that was unabashedly mainstream pop, and the easy-going music stuck to the masses like Velcro. Taylor was evolving in all aspects, from music to fashion to hair to zipcode — she moved to New York during this era, too. 

And what say you about this era, Starbucks? According to the coffee chain, the "1989" Era is, in fact, an iced caramel macchiato. Our first theory for the selection of this drink was that, like "1989" for Taylor, the iced caramel macchiato is a best-selling cash cow for Starbucks. But sources on the most popular drink at Starbucks butt heads; some say that the iced caramel macchiato is definitely the biggest seller while others say the obvious answer is plain old black coffee. Despite the unofficial verdict, we suspect the macchiato being Starbucks' most popular drink is still the most accurate theory, and we can't argue with that logic.

The Reputation Era

To some, the "Reputation" Era is synonymous with villain era for Taylor Swift. Right before the "Reputation" drop in 2017, she had a run-in with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West that — of course — festered in the public eye for months, which led to a hiatus of sorts where Taylor fell off the map. The album she came back with was intense and moody — after all, she did declare that "the old Taylor is dead" in one of the collection's most popular songs. It seemed pretty clear that the artist was fed up with the pressure and scrutiny from, well, everyone since by that point she was established as a global idol. The touch of somberness and edge created by this era, with its darker lyrics and darker style looks, never really did leave Taylor's music completely, in our opinion, and it flairs up from time to time in her newer works. 

Starbucks says that the "Reputation" Era is embodied in nitro cold brew. Do you agree? It's not a very polarizing drink, nor would we consider it to be particularly edgy. We think maybe Starbucks chose this one because nitro cold brew is best enjoyed on its own, and maybe that robust, dark beverage is meant to reflect this darker period in Taylor's artistry. That's an argument we can get behind, but we'd also toss out for consideration any of Starbucks' most controversial drinks for the "Reputation" era, like the Unicorn Frappuccino or the lemonade cold brew. Those seemed to get people riled up just like "Reputation" and the "new" Taylor did. RIP, old Taylor.

The Lover Era

"Lover" felt to us like the grown-up return to "Speak Now" that grown-up Swift fans needed. It was another soft, romantic album that looked at love from a place of less enchantment and infatuation, and more intimacy and maturity. The "Lover" Era also saw the return of the version of Taylor she'd told us had been put to rest — the vibrant, optimistic, cheerful Taylor. The music is still pop-ish in nature, but taking on slower, more intentional instrumentals and dramatic vocals. 

The Starbucks selection for the "Lover" Era makes perfect sense, in our eyes. This 2019 album is the wiser sister to the 2010 "Speak Now," and the pink drink is the same companion to the dragon drink. The pink drink is as uplifting as its era was, and just as colorful, too. Of course, we know that Taylor undergoes yet another identity change shortly after this, but the "Lover" Era was lovely while it lasted.

The Folklore Era

The "Folklore" Era snuck up on us right as the pandemic revved up into full swing, and it only stuck around for about six months before a new surprise era kicked in. Taylor dropped the album out of the blue, and brought with it another switch-up to the Swift musical style. "Folklore" is as different from "Lover" as "Lover" is from "Reputation." The artist went from dark and edgy, to upbeat and whimsical, to soft, folky indie rock. It wouldn't be a new era without a new Taylor look, too — she emerged for "Folklore" in cottage core style dresses and golden braids galore. 

Apparently, a chai tea latte is the Starbucks version of the "Folklore" Era — a suggestion we agree with. This album's sincere ballads and indie roots feel cozy and warm with a hint of spice, something you'd listen to on an autumn drive to the pumpkin patch. A chai tea latte in your hand would really tie the whole look together.

The Evermore Era

The "Evermore" Era came hot on the heels of the "Folklore" Era because Taylor dropped these surprise albums one after the other, six months apart in 2020. "Evermore" brings more emotion-driven and soulful lyrics to the musical style established by "Folklore." One popular tweet describes the difference between these two sister albums perfectly: "Folklore" is white wine, and "Evermore" is red wine. It's a difficult concept to put into words — but we agree completely. "Folklore" is brunch; "Evermore" is date night. 

Starbucks says that the "Evermore" era is a London Fog tea latte. London Fogs do seem like the elegant, sophisticated older sister that a chai tea latte would look up to, right? You could also argue that "Evermore," since it is paired so closely with "Folklore," is simply a dirty chai tea latte — that the addition of espresso is the same as "Folklore" metaphorically growing up — it's a little less sweet and a lot more earthy.

The Midnights Era

After over 15 years of eras come and gone, we arrive at "Midnights," the most recent album dropped in October of last year. Hype around this album simmered for the better portion of 2022. The music in this collection retains some indie influence, but it adds in elements of synth music and a return to a stronger pop personality. Taylor showed us a lot of vulnerability in this album as she laid several insecurities and heartbreaks out in the spotlight, in particular her long relationship with Joe Alwyn in "Lavender Haze."

Per Starbucks, the "Midnights" Era is embodied by a chocolate cream cold brew. We almost agree, but would closer align this era with the newer cinnamon caramel cream cold brew — but made with nitro cold brew. "Midnights" is one of Taylor's most sophisticated albums in terms of lyrics and message, and we like to think of nitro cold brew as the more sophisticated version of regular cold brew.