Good morning, Rad Blog!


If this picture looks like it was taken in a dusty car with the sun shining on a sleepy parking lot, well, you’d be right. I actually kind of dig this picture.


Anyway, I’m revisiting this Starbucks Refresher(s) because the last time I had one of these was way back in 2014.

Dag, yo. That was one of my first Drink Reaction posts too. Cool!


Well, I figured it would be a good idea to start off the day with this since I hardly want to drink a chilled coffee beverage when I get home from work. I’d rather kick off my day with a cup o’ Joe myself.


So, from what I remember about the strawberry one in 2014, it wasn’t that bad actually. I don’t remember tasting too much of a coffee flavor back then either. I mean, this is also made with coconut water so maybe that blew it out of proportion for me? I should take a quick read of that post to kind of ascertain what I’m about to drink here.


It was kind of meh apparently. The strawberry didn’t really taste like strawberry. Okay. Well, I guess I won’t expect peach either here.


Yes, notice how I say just peach, because that passion fruit flavor is just a selling point. People won’t buy just a peach green coffee. No, but if they see that passion fruit label there they go “Oh! Unique!” It’s all about that bourgeois vibe, man. You know Starbucks will do that too.


Anyway, putting aside business practices, I’m just happy to have something other than cheapo coffee this morning. A little mix never hurt.


What is a Refresher then? I thought it was Starbucks’ take on energy drinks and it might still be. I mean, it is sold in the section where energy drinks are at the grocery store. It also has B Vitamins and ginseng so it is like a coffee energy drink? I’m not quite sure how to put it. It is about the same price as a Monster or the like too, but I had a coupon that was like buy one Starbucks drink get one free. I got this one and a iced Frappe thing for the Queen. It does say “energy beverage” because the word “drink” is so vulgar. Oh well.


I feel like I need to put on a top hat and monocle to drink this already. Maybe that’s just cranky, I-got-up-too-early Chas talking.


Let’s look at this can. Well, it certainly looks better than the 2014 can. It isn’t all bashed up at the bottom. The can still has that half solid color and half white with strange bubbles on it. I don’t get it. It looks busy, but then again I’m kind of cranky.


One thing to note is that this has 90 calories per serving which I think is a lot less compared to its other energy drink competitors. I’m guessing that’s because this is just mostly coffee with some added energy things like ginseng and probably pyridoxine hydrochloride.


Well, does the can have any testimonial? Let’s see.

Yep! It says “happy hydrating.” Huh. Are you an energy drink or a hydration drink? I can’t wrap my head around it. It gives energy but also hydrates. I guess that’s why it is called a “Refresher(s).” “…The right amount of caffeine from green coffee extract to lift your energy—and your spirits.” Well, smash me on the head with a tuba and send me to Fort Ticonderoga, Starbucks knew I was cranky and this is the cure! Thanks, Starbucks!


Okay, what’s in this before I get so cranky that I start blaming the Mermaid thing for something.


Nutrition facts!


25% juice.


90 calories a serving and serving size is 1 can. Nice!


0g total fat. 0g saturated fat. 0g trans fat. 0mg cholesterol. 40mg sodium. 22g total carbs. 0g dietary fiber. 20g sugars. 0g protein. 6% Vitamin A. 2% calcium. 25% niacin. 25% pantothenic acid. 100% Vitamin C. 0% Iron. 25% Vitamin b6.


Jeeze, why list all this crap if it is 0%. I see plenty of drinks without iron in it and they don’t list it. I’m sure there’s some reason they did. I don’t feel like looking it up right now. Okay, fine. I will for you.


I didn’t get a full answer without opening a can of worms, but I’m gonna guess it has to do with regulations of the FDA and what you’re trying to sell. For instance, an energy drink has a set of rules it must list, but if you’re trying to be a herbal tonic or something then it is different.


Okay. Ingredients.


Carbonated water, coconut water from concentrate, white grape juice from concentrate, apple juice from concentrate, sugar, peach juice from concentrate, passion fruit juice from concentrate, natural flavors, green coffee bean extract, citric acid, ascorbic acid, panax ginseng extract, salt, vegetable juice, rebaudioside-a (stevia leaf extract), niacinamide, calcium d-pantothenate, beta-carotene, pyridoxine hydrochloride.


My goodness! There’s actual peach AND passion fruit juice in this! Well, sorry for accusing this of just throwing those flavors into the “natural flavor” zone. There’s actually a lot of juice in this for you, but I do have one concern. This is supposed to be refreshing, right? So, why put salt in this? All this salt does is make you more thirsty. I mean, salt is lost in sweat, but you wouldn’t drink this after a run, would you? I don’t know. This seems like an odd choice for that sort of thing. Then again, I’m not really sure which market this drink is geared towards anyway. I think it is just for people who like Starbucks.


Okay! Cranky Chas is taking over. I need this NOW! Pouring!


Oh! Well, that’s a nice color. It is very peach in color. It has that pink and orange hue that a good peach drink should have. It also smells very nice. I get a nice fruity aroma from it that I can certainly call “peach.” There’s also a bit of a coconut undertone to it too which is slightly concerning since I usually go “blech” to coconut. The peach scent is a bit stronger than it, but that coconut smell there lingers.


Okay, taste time!


Hmm. Hmm. Ehh.


Okay, at first taste it isn’t much of anything besides bubbly. It isn’t bubbly like a soda, but more like bubbly like an energy drink. I can taste the whole B Vitamins in the bubbles which is interesting because those B Vitamins usually come later in an energy drink. I taste them right out of the gate here. In the thick of all that, there’s a bit of a fruity taste to it, but I absolutely wouldn’t call it strong at all. It is only vaguely fruity because it is kind of getting smooshed between a coconut taste and a sweetener taste. The sweetener isn’t sugar in taste, but more along the lines of that stevia that they put in it. I can taste the sort of grassy and sort of manufactured taste that is stevia. The coconut taste isn’t that offensive either so it is good for someone that hates coconut. The thing I usually hate about coconut is the lasting effect it has, but this is kind of short and sweet. The aftertaste is dry. It is pretty odd, but I’m gonna go ahead and label that as the green coffee taking over for the aftertaste. It also sort of puts a halt to all of the other flavors. It is like “Oh, you’re mildly bubbly and fruity with a gross B Vitamin kick? Well, that’s all good, but I’m taking over here.” Yeah, that green coffee adds a dry, earthy taste to it at the end which is only muted by how much water is actually in this.


This isn’t great if I’m honest. I wouldn’t call this a juice at all because the juice taste is muted by coconut and B Vitamins. It isn’t much of a coffee because the coffee taste is weak compared to the first group of flavors. It isn’t that refreshing unless you count the first sip part of it where the bubbles and fruit juice sort of taste good. No, I’d say this is a miss.


Gonna give this a dropped your history book in a puddle out of Rad. I’m gonna say give it a skip. If you want coffee, just get a coffee. If you want juice, just get a juice.


I will say this: this tastes a LOT better than that Bai Bubbles crap when they combined juice and coffee. This is how that mix should go, not like that one.