The New Starbucks Refreshers

So, Starbucks has a new product line called “Refreshers.” I’ve been drinking the canned version for a while… and I LOVE it. Until recently, there was only one flavor… Raspberry Pomegranate. Which is a carbonated beverage, all natural, with caffeine derived from unroasted, green, coffee beans. It’s light, sweetened naturally… with very little sugar, and is very tasty. I think they have at least three flavors now, though I’ve yet to see them in any of my local SBs yet.

Then I saw that they were coming out with a Via version of refreshers… I think it was just released this week. On the same day, they were giving out free samples of an in-store, hand-crafted version… that the barista told me was similar, but NOT the via version. I guess they make a version in-house, but I’m not sure what the process is.

The in-store versions include Cool Lime or Verry Berry Hibiscus. They both LOOK cool and refreshing… don’t they? Again, full of caffeine, but derived from “un-roasted, green, coffee beans” that are supposed to be tasteless. I was intrigued.

I decided to get a Grande Cool Lime… one, because it was hot out, two, because I’ve had the Hibiscus Iced Tea and already like that and three, because how could I resist a fresh slice of lime in my drink on a hot summer day?!

Well… the first sip tasted great… UNTIL I finished swallowing it. Then, I was plagued with an aftertaste I couldn’t quite put my finger on and couldn’t find the words to describe. In a nutshell… it was bitter. Almost tannic, like overly strong tea, but with a weirder flavor. Clearly, it’s the green coffee beans because it was a flavor I wasn’t familiar with.

Totally disappointing. It looked SO good! I wanted to drink it… but I couldn’t even finish it… no matter how hard I tried! The palate is great doing down, but the finish is downright awful. Oh well….

On a side note, they are really pushing this product… because I received an email today offering FREE Refreshers today from 1pm to 3pm. If I wasn’t at the shop, I would have run over to the West Roxbury Starbucks to see if the Hibiscus flavor has the same unpleasant aftertaste as the Cool Lime… but alas, I was working. 🙂 I’m also up for trying the Via version… so we’ll see if that’s any better.

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