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Do Starbucks Refreshers Have Caffeine? And How Much?

Ryan Marshall
Last Updated: February 5th, 2024

Starbucks refreshers are one of the most popular non-coffee iced beverages sold by the company, and there are many different flavor combinations to choose from. With these colorful iced drinks becoming so popular over the last few years, many people have wondered “Do Starbucks refreshers have caffeine?”

Do Starbucks Refreshers Have Caffeine?

Starbucks Refreshers come in various sizes, each with different caffeine content. A Tall (12-ounce) Starbucks Refresher contains approximately 45 milligrams of caffeine, while a Grande (16-ounce) size offers around 60 milligrams of caffeine. If you prefer a Venti (24-ounce) Starbucks Refresher, you will be getting roughly 90 milligrams of caffeine.

Starbucks Refresher Flavours

While there are many different rotating flavors of Starbucks refreshers to choose from, they all contain caffeine due to the inclusion of green coffee extract. In earlier versions, refreshers contained caffeine due to the use of tea, but the company transitioned to green coffee extract years ago.

We have taken a deep dive into all aspects of the Starbucks refresher beverages, and have analyzed the ingredients in each flavor that the company currently offers. We have also checked the caffeine content of each flavor individually to ensure accuracy.

Along with taking a closer look at each individual flavor of Starbucks refresher, we have also gone through the history of this popular iced beverage and finally answered the question “Do Starbucks refreshers have caffeine” once and for all.

starbucks refresher flavours

While some selections change over time, and many different holiday-themed refreshers are available at certain times of the year, there are currently nine different flavor options on the Starbucks menu when it comes to refreshers.

The Dragon Drink is a pink and creamy iced beverage that is made by combining the Starbucks mango dragon fruit refresher base with coconut milk for a unique texture and look. It is finished with freeze-dried pieces of real dragon fruit to add to the fruity experience.

The same mango dragon fruit refresher base and freeze-dried fruit pieces are used to make the Mango Dragonfruit Starbucks refresher, and there is also a lemonade version available. This mango dragon fruit base has been used to make some of the most popular variations of refreshers.

The pineapple passion fruit refresher base is also used to make three different variations of a refresher, each of which is finished with freeze-dried pineapple. The pineapple passion fruit and pineapple passion fruit lemonade refreshers are both hugely popular in the summertime.

When combined with coconut milk, this pineapple passion fruit refresher base is used to make the Paradise Drink, which has become very popular across social media platforms since it was introduced to the market recently.

The Pink Drink was one of the first Starbucks refreshers to become hugely popular due to social media platforms, and it is still a staple that has remained on the menu for many years. It is made using a combination of coconut milk and the Starbucks strawberry acai base.

This same strawberry acai base is used to make both the Strawberry Acai and Strawberry Acai refreshers, for a total of nine different Starbucks refresher options that are made using three different variations of base flavors. It is these base flavors that contain the included caffeine.

History of the Starbucks Refresher

history of the starbucks refresher

The Starbucks refresher was introduced to the market in the year 2012 and became hugely popular after the Pink Drink and Dragon Drink became hugely popular across different social media platforms in the years 2016 and 2017, respectively.

While many different flavors of Starbucks refreshers have come and gone over the years, the strawberry acai base has been around since day one. It is still on the menu today and is served in three different flavor options.

The most recent flavor to be removed from the Starbucks menu was the Kiwi star fruit refresher base, which was used to make the very popular Star Drink in 2020. It was removed from the menu to make room for the newest base flavor, which is the pineapple passion-fruit base.

Starbucks Refreshers and Caffeine

starbucks refreshers and caffeine

There are two common misconceptions when it comes to Starbucks refreshers that leave many people confused.

The first is that Starbucks refreshers do not contain caffeine, and the second is that they contain caffeine due to the use of iced tea. Neither is true, as they do contain caffeine as confirmed by Starbucks themselves, and refreshers are not made using iced tea.

The caffeine in Starbucks refreshers comes from green coffee extract, and each of the three Starbucks refresher base flavors contains the same amount. All Starbucks refreshers contain identical amounts of caffeine because the same portion of the refresher base is used to make each of the nine drinks.

Green coffee is made by extracting from unripe coffee beans, which presents a very different aroma and taste profile compared to roasted coffee. Green coffee contains less caffeine when compared to fully ripened coffee beans.

All 16-ounce portions of Starbucks refreshers contain 45 milligrams of caffeine, which is about half as much as the average cup of coffee. For reference, 16 ounces is the size of a Grande beverage at Starbucks, which is their equivalent of a “medium-sized” drink.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq starbucks refreshers

How Much Caffeine Do Starbucks Refreshers Contain?

All Starbucks Refreshers contain 45 milligrams of caffeine per 16-ounce serving. 16 ounces is equal to a Grande-sized drink at Starbucks, and the caffeine in Starbucks Refreshers comes from the green coffee extract.

Where Does the Caffeine in Starbucks Refreshers Come From?

Each Starbucks Refresher base contains caffeine that comes from the extract of green coffee beans. Green coffee is unripe and has not been roasted, and it contains lower levels of caffeine compared to fully ripened coffee beans.

Are There Any Caffeine Free Options at Starbucks?

There are many different options on the Starbucks menu that do not contain caffeine including lemonade and certain tea-based beverages. There are also a variety of different caffeine-free frappuccino options, as well as hot chocolate and other classic favorites.

In Summary

Over the past decade, Starbucks Refreshers have grown from one of the more obscure items on the menu to one of the company’s top sellers.

There are currently nine different flavor options, each of which contains 45 milligrams of caffeine per 16-ounce serving. The caffeine in Starbucks Refreshers comes from green coffee extract, and each 16-ounce serving contains about half as much caffeine as the average cup of coffee.

Key Takeaways

  • There are currently nine different Starbucks Refresher flavors, each with 45 milligrams of caffeine per 16-ounce serving.
  • The caffeine in Starbucks Refreshers comes from green coffee extract, not iced tea.
  • Starbucks Refreshers have grown in popularity over the years and have a consistent caffeine content across flavors.

About The Author

Ryan Marshall

Ryan is a full time freelance writer who can most often be found on the disc golf course or local coffee shop when not behind a keyboard. He is an avid traveler and lover of all things sports and outdoors. Ryan is also a certified level one sommelier, and is endlessly curious about the world of high end beverages. Writing about wine, coffee, and other specialty beverages has given him a chance to take a deeper dive into his research, and he loves helping people find the perfect drink for their palates and preferences!

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