REVIEW: Starbucks Pineapple Passionfruit and Paradise Drink Refreshers

Starbucks PIneapple Passionfruit Refreshers Cup

What are they?

Starbucks is sliding into summer with two new fruity beverages: Pineapple Passionfruit and Paradise Drink Refreshers. The Pineapple Passionfruit combines – you guessed it – pineapple and passionfruit flavors plus dried pineapples on top for a sunny yellow drink.

The difference between the two is the Paradise Drink has the base of the Pineapple Passionfruit but adds coconut milk. Starbucks has recently been adding these coconut milk versions to the menu, like the Dragon Drink and Pink Drink.

How are they?

Starbucks PIneapple Passionfruit Refreshers Top

Let’s start with the Pineapple Passionfruit. This one was rather underwhelming. It was not as sweet as I expected it to be, and the aftertaste was very tart. It left me even more thirsty! But, the flavor combination itself was very nice. A plus to this was the dried pineapple chunks – the quantity of these was much larger than the dried fruit in the other Refreshers!

Starbucks Paradise Drink Refreshers Cup

After trying the Pineapple Passionfruit, I was curious how the Paradise Drink would compare. Dear readers, this was like a day and night difference for me. I really, really liked the Paradise Drink. The addition of coconut milk makes it creamy, and the milk cuts the tartness of the pineapple. This tastes like it should be on the cocktail menu at a tropical resort… pass the rum to add, anyone? This super refreshing drink had me wishing I got a larger size.

Starbucks Paradise Drink Refreshers Top

A friendly reminder to those not as familiar with the Refreshers – these beverages don’t pack a huge caffeine punch. I enjoy these as a small afternoon pick-me-up after I’ve already had my morning java jolt.

Anything else you need to know?

If you’re looking to jazz this up even more, the Starbucks app shows a third beverage in this family, the Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers beverage. I’d love to know if you’ve tried this one – leave a comment if so!

Conclusion:

If you’re a pineapple fan or maybe just pretending you’re on vacation, check these out.

Purchased Price: $3.75 (Pineapple Passionfruit), $4.65 (Paradise Drink)
Size: Tall
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Pineapple Passionfruit), 8 out of 10 (Paradise Drink)
Nutrition Facts: Pineapple Passionfruit – 80 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of protein, and 35 milligrams of caffeine. Paradise Drink – 110 calories, 2 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 18 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of protein, and 35 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew Side

What is the Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew?

The newest drink to grace Starbucks’ cold brew lineup pairs regular cold brew coffee with vanilla syrup, and on top is a chocolate cream cold foam.

How is it?

Please don’t hate me for using the abbreviation of a high schooler, but OMG. The new chocolate cold foam is AMAZING. Before trying the drink all together, I uncapped mine to get a taste of the cold foam. This is unlike any other cold foam experience I’ve had at Starbucks. It had a light, whipped consistency like a chocolate mousse and could have easily been eaten alone with a spoon. (Hey Starbucks, can you order a whole cup of only chocolate cold foam? Asking for a friend.) When I gave it a whiff, I picked up malty notes that reminded me of a Whoppers candy, which in my opinion, is an extremely underrated chocolate.

Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cold Brew Top

Due to the thickness of the foam, it didn’t sink into the cold brew, which I personally consider a plus. Note that the cold brew itself is nothing out of the ordinary – it’s sweetened simply with some vanilla syrup.

This drink was pretty decadent, and I felt as though I was drinking a dessert rather than my usual morning java. As much as I loved drinking it, I see myself ordering this as a special treat so it remains a novelty I look forward to and enjoy.

Anything else you need to know?

The chocolate cold foam did mask some of the coffee flavor, so if you’re not looking for something super strong but still want the caffeine punch, I highly recommend this.

Conclusion:

If you like cold brew and you like chocolate, this is a no-brainer. It’s a great addition as we usher in summer and one I hope remains on the menu for a while.

Purchased Price: $4.75
Size: Tall
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 190 calories, 12 grams of total fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of protein, and 145 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks BAYA Energy

BAYA Energy Cans

I wondered why Starbucks named its new line of energy drinks, BAYA, so I went looking for possible meanings. Merriam-Webster says it’s an East Indian weaverbird that eats seeds and insects and can be destructive to grain crops. Urban Dictionary says Baya is the most amazing person you’ve ever met. Google Translate says “baya” is Spanish for berry, and that definition probably makes the most sense since these beverages get their caffeine from the berry-like coffee fruit.

Wow! Look at me being all Dora the Explorer or Sesame Street-like by teaching a Spanish word.

While BAYA is its official name, I want to call these Starbucks Refreshers 2.0. There are similarities and differences between these and the, I think, discontinued canned Refreshers line. Both are fruity drinks in slim cans that get their caffeine from coffee but without the flavor of coffee. However, while the Refreshers had around 50 milligrams of caffeine per can, BAYA Energy offers 160 milligrams and is more carbonated. On the flip side, these have just 10%-12% fruit juice, while Refreshers had 25%.

BAYA Energy is available in three flavors — Mango Guava, Raspberry Lime, and Pineapple Passionfruit.

BAYA Energy Mango Guava

Let’s start with Mango Guava. Looking at the fruit combination, I thought this would be my favorite. However, it ended up being the one I liked least, mainly because of its initial strong, slightly off-putting taste that can be best described as an overly ripe fruitiness. But when that subsides, there’s a pleasant mango flavor. However, it’s the same vicious cycle with every sip — an off-putting taste followed by nice mango-ness. Look, it’s not horrible enough to make me spit it out, but it’s not how I’d like a beverage to start. Maybe that unknown fruitiness is the guava. But if it is, it’s not pleasing and not recognizable as that.

BAYA Energy Raspberry Lime

The berry in Raspberry Lime is immediately noticeable when I take a sip, but my taste buds can’t detect the citrus. It’s described as “a spritz of lime” on the can, but I can’t taste it, and if you told me this was only raspberry flavored, I wouldn’t question it. But I don’t mind the lack of lime because the pleasant and slightly tart raspberry is enough to make this a solid variety.

BAYA Energy Pineapple Passionfruit

Pineapple Passionfruit is my favorite of the bunch. But, full disclosure, I’ve been quite positive about recent pineapple-flavored beverages. Its sweet pineapple aroma is as potent as its sweet pineapple flavor, making it a pleasure to drink. The can says it has “a hint of passionfruit,” and while I don’t notice it with the pineapple, it shows up somewhat in the aftertaste. But, like the Raspberry Lime, the secondary flavor is so mild that I wonder why Starbucks even bothered adding it.

Now, with all that said. There’s something about all three varieties that bothers me, and it’s something that, I think, I was concerned about with the canned Starbucks Refreshers. There’s a noticeable flavor flatness. The fruitiness doesn’t pop like the energy drinks from Monster or Rockstar. Granted, those probably use artificial flavors.

Starbucks BAYA Energy’s 160 milligrams of caffeine did give me a nice jolt of energy, and two-thirds of the varieties are tasty, but that’s not enough to compel me to purchase it over my usual Monster, which is more flavorful and in a larger can. But that’s if I’m at the store and had to pick between the two. If I’m at a Starbucks and want a non-coffee pick-me-up, I’d pick this up. Well, not the Mango Guava one.

Purchased Price: $31.79 (12-pack)
Size: 12 fl oz can/12-pack
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Mango Guava), 6 out of 10 (Raspberry Lime), 7 out of 10 (Pineapple Passionfruit)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) Mango Guava – 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 10 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar (17 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein. Raspberry Lime – 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 22 grams of sugar (16 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein. Pineapple Passionfruit – 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 22 grams of sugar (17 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso

Starbucks Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso  1

What is the Starbucks Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso?

Another dairy-free, caffeine-packing drink has hit the Starbucks menu. The new Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso (try saying that one five times fast!) combines espresso shots with toasted vanilla syrup and oatmilk.

How is it?

At first sip, you’ll get a strong toasted vanilla taste up front, followed by the oatmilk. Now if you’ve never had oatmilk before, I describe it as a little thicker than dairy milk with a nutty-ish taste. My colleague shared that she thinks oatmilk often overpowers other flavors in a drink, and I definitely found that here. Despite three espresso shots in a grande, I could barely detect a coffee taste. It didn’t bother me too much, but if you typically look for that, this might fall short for you. Even though the espresso wasn’t super prevalent, it still packed a good caffeine punch that lasted me throughout the day.

Starbucks Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso

Let’s take a second to go back to the toasted vanilla syrup. In the beginning, I was really digging in. But the more I drank, the more I got a bit of the burnt aftertaste. I was originally planning on giving this an 8 rating as I was sipping, but the aftertaste was enough to bump it down to a 7. Not a deal-breaker on liking the drink, just something of note!

I will say that if you aren’t into super sweet coffee, try this syrup. There’s a notable difference in the sweetness of the toasted vanilla versus Starbucks’ standard vanilla, and I enjoyed it. I’m interested in trying it with caramel syrup mixed in as well to merge the flavors.

Anything else you need to know?

I watched as the barista prepared my beverage, and she only gave it three quick shakes in the shaker before pouring. The espresso (when you could taste it) seemed to land at the bottom even though it had been shaken, so I’d recommend shaking it up a little more for even distribution.

Conclusion:

If you were a fan of the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso or the Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso that Starbucks released this time last year, give this a try. It’s smooth and a good drink to try as spring starts to roll in.

Purchased Price: $5.75
Size: Grande
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 140 calories, 4.5 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 11 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of protein, and 255 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte

Starbucks Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte Cup

What is the Starbucks Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte?

The holidays are here at Starbucks, and so is the newest addition to its seasonal lineup. A new non-dairy option, the Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, combines Blonde espresso with a sugar cookie syrup and almondmilk. But the fun is not over yet – it’s also topped with festive red and green sprinkles.

How is it?

Oh. My. Gosh. I had high hopes and this lived up to the expectations. Starbucks knocked it out of the park with the new sugar cookie syrup. I picked up notes of vanilla and sugar with a very subtle sweetness. The syrup pairs well with the almondmilk, making the latte smooth and creamy. It almost didn’t feel like a holiday beverage since I tend to associate those with a heavy dose of sweet. This is one that I could definitely drink all year long. (Starbucks, this is my plea for you to keep it on the menu. Please.)

Starbucks Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte Lip

Another positive to note: Between picking up my drink, a daycare drop off and settling in at the office, I (almond)milked this iced beverage for nearly three hours. And I’m happy to report that the flavor held up without it becoming too watery or diluted. Huge win!

Anything else you need to know?

Starbucks Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte Top Sprinkles

I love the addition of the sprinkles, but they did sink to the bottom rather quickly. And because of that, there was a slight grittiness in the last few sips of my drink. Not a turnoff for me, just something for those who might not like texture!

I want to forewarn you, reader: As most seasonal beverages do, this came with a hefty price tag. A grande here in the Midwest cost me $5.25. Had I gotten a venti, it would have been $5.95. Worth it? Yes… but your budget might take a hit if you become addicted to this one like I have. (Sorry, husband!)

Conclusion:

Yes, yes, a million times yes. I loved this iced and am looking forward to the hot version as well. I’m so thrilled with this Starbucks release and urge anyone with even a slight desire to head to your nearest location and try this baby.

Purchased Price: $5.25
Size: Grande
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 150 calories, 3.5 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 25 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of protein and 170 milligrams of caffeine.

Click here to read our previous Starbucks reviews.