Starbucks Refreshers Energy Drinks Are Tasty, But Not as 'Fresh' as They Sound

starbucks refreshers wild berry hibiscusWhether it's thanks to a restless night up with the little ones, a hangover, or anxiety over work or wedding planning (cough), we've all had mornings -- or heck, one of those afternoons -- when you can barely keep your eyes open. For many of us, the go-to pick-me-up is coffee, but believe it or not, not everyone loves coffee! Or the insanely high amount of caffeine that coffee provides. And that's why Starbucks has come up with a new energy drink offering called Starbucks Refreshers, which they say are more natural and lower in caffeine (thus less taxing on your already wiped-out adrenal glands) than similar beverages.

If you're like me and you've already been to Starbucks once today (and are considering a second trip to occur imminently), you may have noticed they're offering samples of two new Refreshers: Cool Lime and Very Berry Hibiscus. I tried both, and they're basically like super-fruity iced tea. But with a bonus ...


They're made with green coffee extract -- as in the extract of unroasted coffee beans, not green tea leaves -- that's supposed to give you "natural energy."

Starbucks' promo material says that they've come up with an "innovative process" that pulls caffeine from green coffee beans before they're roasted to nab this so-called green coffee extract, so people who don't care for coffee can enjoy the lift without the coffee flavor. Cool -- I could definitely see an offering like that being a perk (pun intended) for plenty of patrons who aren't coffee fanatics like yours truly. Even those of us who are might want to enjoy a natural, low-cal drink with only 45 to 55 mg of caffeine (as opposed to 200+).

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But I do have to call the 'bucks bluff on one lil' thing. They may be the first big company to use raw "green" coffee beans in a drink like this, but they're not exactly the first ones to come up with a "natural energy drink" period. Black or green tea sans anything else is, well, just that. And if we're talking about natural alternatives to drinks like Rockstar and Red Bull, well, other companies (like eBoost and Bethenny Frankel's energy drink) have been marketing their natural, stevia-sweetened, green tea extract-laden energy drinks for a while now ...

That said, original or not, these Refreshers are still a welcome addition to the Starbucks lineup. If only because it means I'll have the perfect excuse to lure my non-coffee drinker friends in there more frequently!

Are you intrigued by these new energy drinks?

Image via Starbucks

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