Starbucks' New Refreshers: What Was Wrong With Iced Tea?

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Last week, corporate coffee house giant Starbucks stuck its new non-coffee coffee drink, the "Refresher," on menu boards across the nation. The drink is meant to be a refreshing alternative to coffee for the warm summer months -- but we have to ask, isn't that what iced tea is for? 

The Refresher comes in two flavors -- Cool Lime and Very Berry Hibiscus, The drinks are made with real fruit, fruit juice, B vitamins, ginseng and -- drum roll please -- "the extract of green, unroasted coffee beans for a little of caffeine, without the coffee taste." 

Interesting. Green coffee extract, you say? 

My curiosity got the best of me this morning and I ditched my usually trenta iced green tea for one of these concoctions. 

After talking with the girl at the register, I decided to try the berry hibiscus. Not because I have anything against lime (register girl actually liked the lime better), but because the berry had such a vibrant color and truth be told, I"m a bit superficial and wanted the pretty one, damn it. 

​So how did it taste? 

It's different, that's for sure. It's reminiscent of Starbucks' own Tazo Passion tea -- but with chunks. Lots of chunks. And chunks in my drink is something I cannot handle. But other then the retched chunks of who-knows-what floating about (it kinda looks like something died in there and don't even get me started on the foam that never went away), it tasted like  berry iced tea. Very sweet berry iced tea. 

Who knows, maybe these things will be the next frappuccino (highly unlikely) but it sure wasn't my cup of tea, er, coffee. 

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.