Coffee Bean Secret Menu Items You Need To Try

If you need a cup of coffee to start your morning off right, you're definitely not alone. Coffee is an integral part of a solid morning routine for many people. For all the coffee lovers out there, there may be few things as exciting as a secret menu from one of the oldest coffee and tea shops in the U.S. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, founded in 1963, created its signature Ice Blended drinks in the mid-1980s. Over time, it has expanded to have locations in over 30 countries and as of 2023, there are over 130 right here in the United States.

Happening upon a secret menu feels like finding a treasure trove waiting to be unlocked — if only you knew the hidden password. From the signature Ice Blended drinks to creative twists on traditional desserts from around the world, we're highlighting all the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf secret menu items worth checking out.

Bubble tea latte (without the bubbles)

It is worth noting that this drink is not to be confused with the Taiwanese "bubble tea." Whereas with that drink, you'll find bubbles in the form of fruit jelly or tapioca pearls, this is a whole other beverage. You can enjoy your tea with milk, or make it vegan by having it with no dairy at all or by substituting it with milk alternatives. You can also choose to have your drink with or without a sweetener. This is a rather simple drink with only a few basic ingredients, namely tea, milk, and some flavoring.

Coffee Bean's Bubble Tea Latte is made with English Breakfast tea, vanilla, and white chocolate powder. You can also request decaffeinated English tea and swap out the vanilla powder for hazelnut instead. With all these options, what's not to love? To order this secret menu item, ask your local Coffee Bean barista for an English Breakfast tea latte ice blend, with extra vanilla and white chocolate powder.

Swedish lemon/mint-lime iced tea

At the Coffee Bean, iced tea drinks are usually made using one of three base flavors: Ceylon tea, Peach Jasmine tea, or Swedish Berry tea. While the Ceylon flavor is the usual go-to flavor for Coffee Bean iced tea drinks, you can always request the Swedish berry tea flavor instead.

One way to create a refreshing off-the-menu drink is to request that your barista add one of two sweeteners to your drink. The lemon syrup is a rather pleasant choice. While it is a bit sour, it is subtle enough that it won't overwhelm the flavor of the drink. On the other hand, you can also request mint lime syrup in your iced tea for some refreshing minty flavor.

You can't go wrong with either of these iced tea upgrades. To order this secret menu item, ask your barista for a Swedish Berry Iced tea with lemon or mint lime.

Affogato style ice blend

This secret menu item is one of the many Coffee Bean signature Ice Blended drinks. To learn of the origins of this classic we'll need to go back to the mid-1980s when one of the store managers of the Westwood branch in California started experimenting with recipes. When she blended ice, milk, coffee extract and the Coffee Bean signature flavored powder, she had a hit on her hands, and the rest is history.

This Ice Blended drink is a variation of a traditional Italian dessert. Affogato is a treat that is traditionally made by "drowning" scoops of vanilla gelato or ice cream in shots of espresso. To make the affogato-inspired drink, a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf barista will add a shot of espresso to a pure vanilla ice blend and top it off with a crumble made of Oreo cookies. To order this secret menu item, simply ask your barista to add an extra shot of espresso and cookie crumbles on top of a pure vanilla ice blended.

Matcha affogato

Another variation of the traditional affogato Italian dessert is the matcha affogato, which replaces the shot of espresso with matcha tea. Matcha has a lot of cultural significance as it has historically played an integral role in Japanese tea ceremonies.

When making this drink, instead of drowning scoops of vanilla gelato or ice cream in espresso, one would ask for either a matcha usucha or koicha. Usucha is a thin tea made of matcha dissolved in water, which has a lower concentration of matcha. In order to make a koicha, one uses more matcha, creating a higher concentration and therefore a thicker matcha tea. In traditional tea ceremonies, usucha is typically used for more everyday occasions, while a koicha is more often presented on special occasions.

Michelle, the matcha aficionado behind Sift and Simmer, recommends opting for koicha over usucha when asking for a matcha affogato. By using this technique, you can avoid making the dessert too runny.

Matcha macchiato

Customers can also ask for matcha macchiato, even though it isn't on the traditional Coffee Bean menu. Traditionally, a macchiato is made with a shot of espresso topped with milk foam. When making a matcha macchiato, the basic structure of the drink remains the same, in that you're still topping off a caffeinated drink with milk foam.

The main difference is that instead of starting with a shot of espresso, the base of the drink is matcha powder dissolved into hot water which is then topped with frothy milk. It is best to dissolve the matcha powder in hot water using a traditional bamboo whisk (though a metal whisk will do), because it produces a better usucha (or thin tea) than using cold water and allows it to dissolve better.

Customers can also ask for their matcha macchiato to be iced instead if they prefer. There are different ways to make an iced matcha drink. To make an iced version of this drink, start off the same way, whisking matcha powder into hot water until it dissolves. Then you can pour this over a glass of ice, and lastly, top it off with the milk froth of your choice.

Pumpkin nitro latte

The next secret menu drink features nitro cold brew, a new sensation that's been taking the coffee scene by storm. To make cold brew, one starts by steeping ground coffee beans in cold water for 12 hours or more, and then filtering out the coffee grinds.

Then we take things up a notch, and the cold brew is imbued with pressurized nitrogen gas. This step is where the magic happens, as infusing the cold brew with nitrogen gives the coffee a velvety texture, elevating our beloved cup of joe to a whole new level. The science behind this increasingly popular brew is simple, but the result is an out-of-this-world coffee that looks reminiscent of Guinness with its signature cascading bubbles. It's easy to see why nitro cold brew has become a hit amongst coffee connoisseurs in recent years.

It's no surprise with all the buzz that the Coffee Bean also has a drink that features this popular take on coffee. While the Coffee Bean's pumpkin latte features roasted espresso, pumpkin flavor, nutmeg, and cinnamon, what takes this secret item menu to the next level is the Nitro cold brew.

Chai /chocolate chai tea latte ice blend

Authentic Indian Chai has a long and rich history in India, its country of origin. There are many different kinds of chai and the recipes vary from family to family. The main ingredients in traditional Indian chia are milk, black tea, an assortment of aromatic spices, ginger, and a sweetener. The spices often include some variation of cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, mace, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and ginger powder. While brown sugar and honey are familiar sweeteners, there are also a variety of others to choose from, such as stevia and maple syrup.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf chai lattes are made with black tea leaves, which contain a considerable amount of caffeine, cinnamon, anise seed, cloves, orange peel, ginger root, cardamom, star anise, and licorice root.

The barista mixes hot tea with a blend of spices, according to Coffee Bean's blog. The chocolate chai latte recipe includes the Coffee Bean's Special Dutch Chocolate Powder, for an extra twist. Then this latte is blended with ice, and can be topped off with a dash of whipped cream.

English breakfast tea latte ice blend

Did you know that what is commonly known as English Breakfast Tea actually became popular when British merchants popularized what was originally known as Scotch Tea Mixture during the 19th century? That's right, this blend of black teas was an idea created by a Scottish businessperson. The blends originally included Assam and Ceylon teas from India and modern-day Sri Lanka. During colonization, English Breakfast Tea began to include Congou from China as well as black teas from Kenya.

Coffee Bean baristas make tea lattes with its signature French Deluxe vanilla powder and steamed milk, but you can also recreate this secret menu item at home. According to its blog, to make a tea latte at home the first step includes heating five ounces of water and 3 tablespoons of milk in a saucepan. Then tea is stepped directly in the mixture — one can use either tea bags, or a strainer with loose tea leaves. Once the tea is removed, you can add sweetener if you'd like, and froth the milk with a whisk to allow for the aeration essential to latte milk froth. Serve immediately to enjoy hot, or allow time for cooling as desired.

Earl grey tea latte ice blend

Although flavored and scented teas were actually invented by the Chinese, Earl Grey was made popular by the British. There are many different kinds of flavored teas, a class of teas that has been infused with oils, fruit, flowers, or even spices. The base for flavored or scented teas can include white, green, black or oolong tea. While the true origins of Earl Grey tea are shrouded in legend, what remains consistent amongst different tales is that bergamot oil was used to enhance the flavor of cheaper or lower-quality teas.

This Coffee Bean secret menu drink is a modern twist on a beverage with deep roots. When you order an Earl Grey tea latte ice blend, your barista will brew a cup of Earl Grey tea, add the milk and sweetener of your choice, combine with ice, and blend — serving you a refreshing and flavorful drink.

Moroccan mint tea latte ice blend

When taken in tea form, Moroccan mint has numerous health benefits. This variation of spearmint contains vitamins A and C, which have antioxidant properties. It is also a source of iron and calcium, which are essential minerals. Moroccan mint is also known to treat various ailments such as respiratory issues, or digestive problems such as nausea and flatulence.

To prepare a Moroccan mint tea latte, Coffee Bean recommends steeping the tea for three minutes at a maximum temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit / 80 degrees Celsius. To make the Moroccan Mint tea at home, heat water and milk together in a saucepan, then steep the tea in the simmering mixture. Pour out the tea, add a sweetener of your choice, and froth the beverage using a whisk or frother to create the latte froth. When ordering your drink in-store, ask your barista to blend your latte with ice, creating one of the Coffee Bean's secret menu signature ice blended drinks.

Tropical passion tea latte ice blend

According to the Coffee Bean website, the Tropical Passion tea is made from China Black tea. What is known as black tea in the West, is actually called red tea in China. Also known as fermented tea, it's made through a four-step process that includes withering, rolling, fermenting, and baking. 

The Chinese Black Tea that is used in the Tropical Passion tea has been infused with passion fruit, guava flavors, as well as the yellow flower petals from the marigold and malva plants. Coffee Bean recommends brewing this blend for five minutes at a maximum temperature of 195°F or 91°C. After steeping the tea, add the milk and sweetener of your choice. Then pour the latte over ice and blend to make the Coffee Bean signature ice blended tea latte, completing the secret menu drink.

African sunrise tea latte ice blend

Honeybush is a medicinal tea grown in the Western Cape of South Africa. Its leaves are used to make the tea, while its flowers are a distinct bright yellow. The resulting tea is sweeter than a rooibos tea, and the leaves are low in tannin, the ingredient that causes teas to taste bitter. While the most common types of honeybush tea are mountain, coastal, Heidelberg, and marshland/valley tea, there are several dozens of different types of honeybush in South Africa.

According to TikTok, to make the African Sunrise tea latte you start by steeping two scoops of African sunrise tea leaves. It is best to steep for seven minutes using boiling water. The barista will usually make the drink with vanilla powder, but you can substitute it with hazelnut powder instead. Whisk the flavored powder into the tea until fully dissolved and add your choice of steamed milk. To complete the secret menu drink, pour the tea latte over ice and blend.

Peach cobbler ice blend

To close out the Coffee Bean secret menu list, we have the Peach Cobbler Ice Blend, named after the classic dessert. According to TikTok, the basic ingredients needed to make this drink are ice, oat milk, hazelnut powder, peach syrup, and cinnamon powder. The spices, in combination with the oat milk, are reminiscent of the warmth and flavor of a homemade peach cobbler.

After blending all these items together, the barista will top it off with whipped cream, and a dash of cinnamon. This creamy concoction is a refreshing frozen twist on a classic dessert. It is kind of like pie a la mode in a cup — a dessert you can enjoy on the go!

If you'd like to try recreating the recipe on your own, try using peach puree instead of frozen peaches, or use canned peaches in place of syrup. Sweeten to taste and cut down on the ice for an extra sweet at-home ice blend.