REVIEW: Limited Edition Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Canned Nitro Cold Brew

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Canned Nitro Cold Brew Can

What is it?

Starbucks’ new Pumpkin Cream Canned Nitro Cold Brew is a new way to get your pumpkin spice fix! This limited edition can of seasonally spiced caffeine combines nitrogen-infused cold brew with milk and natural flavors.

How is it?

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Canned Nitro Cold Brew Pour

The can states to “gently shake once, pop open and pour hard into a cold glass for maximum enjoyment,” and I did just that; PLUS, I used a spooky bat cup to really bring the autumn energy.

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Canned Nitro Cold Brew Holding

Trying to imitate Starbucks’ excellent Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is tough, and my initial reaction is that visually I didn’t get nearly as much creamy head as I would like. There’s a small, lighter colored creamy layer sitting atop the cold brew, and on my first sip, I’m getting big time Yoo-hoo vibes. You know that “chocolate flavored beverage” that popped up right before the Great Depression? That’s the kind of texture we’re working with here, a watery viscosity. It’s kind of milky but not notably creamy, and as someone who usually takes his coffee black, it’s unimpressive but totally fine by me.

The flavor is interesting. The most prominent spice that pops out is nutmeg, followed by what I think is cloves. There isn’t much of a cinnamon presence, which is odd because a lot of times companies will get lazy and use only cinnamon in lieu of a true spice blend. I kind of miss the cinnamon, but also respect the intensity from the lesser-loved spices. The coffee flavor is smooth, present, and pleasant, rounded out with just a touch of sweetness that keeps this beverage coffee-focused, unlike its latte and Frappuccino counterparts.

Anything else you need to know?

Nearly a decade ago, I swore off non-alcohol liquid calories, and 97% of the time I drink my coffee without cream or sugar. One exception to this rule, which used to be the Pumpkin Spice Latte, is now the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. I have a soft spot for the sauce created by Starbucks in 2003 and love how the cold brew version is a modernized take that lets the coffee shine.

Conclusion:

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Canned Nitro Cold Brew Bat Glass

This canned Pumpkin Cream Canned Nitro Cold Brew won’t fool anyone into thinking it came from the hands of an actual barista, but it certainly does a nice job of scratching that autumn itch if you’re unable to make it to a cafe. I was mega excited when this can was announced, and while it’s not going to pull me away frequently from my cup of hot black, it’s a beverage that interests me. There is no mistaking that this is a pumpkin spice-flavored drink, and while I wish it was just a touch creamier, that’s pretty easy to fix with an extra dash of milk at home.

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 9.6 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 80 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates,1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato

Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato Cup

What is it?

Last year, Starbucks introduced a new fall drink for all the non-Pumpkin Spice lovers out there, the Apple Crisp Macchiato. (I still question those who don’t like the PSL, but we’ll save that debate for another time.) It got a slight tweak in 2022 as Starbucks continues its focus on offering more non-dairy options. The Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato, available hot or iced, combines Starbucks Blonde Espresso, oatmilk, Apple Brown Sugar Syrup, and a Spiced Apple Drizzle to top it all off.

How is it?

A little background: Last year, when I tried the Iced Apple Crisp Macchiato, I was not a fan. The flavor distribution just wasn’t there for me, and the Apple Brown Sugar Syrup was way too sweet. I’m happy to report my findings this year – the oatmilk makes a world of difference!

I once again got the drink iced. The oatmilk is a lovely swap for regular milk, as it cuts the sweetness of the syrup. Although the syrup does pool at the bottom of the drink (you’ll see the layers of syrup, oatmilk, and then espresso on top, as macchiatos are made), it seemed to have a much more even flavor distribution thanks to more Spiced Apple Drizzle on top than I received in last year’s version. My sips were smooth and balanced, and there was just enough hint of spice to make me feel like it was already sweatshirt season despite it being 85 degrees when I ordered!

Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato Top

The espresso flavor wasn’t too prominent, which could be a good thing if you want caffeine but find the taste of coffee overpowering. One other thing: There’s 10 grams less sugar with the oatmilk version. A tall felt satisfying to me, although next time, I may add another shot of espresso to it. Keep reading for more on the espresso!

Anything else you need to know?

The espresso used here is the Starbucks Blonde Espresso, which has a little more caffeine than the regular. You can, of course, swap it out for the signature or decaf versions.

Conclusion:

An improvement for me using the oatmilk! Not sure this will have a regular spot on my drink rotation, but I can see myself ordering when I want something cozy and mellow.

Purchased Price: $5.25
Size: Tall
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 230 calories, 6 grams of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 26 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of protein and 85 milligrams of caffeine.

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.