Starbucks refreshers are one of the most popular non-coffee iced beverages sold by the company, and there are many different flavour combinations to choose from. With these colourful iced drinks becoming so popular over the last few years, many people have wondered “Do Starbucks refreshers have caffeine?”
While there are many different rotating flavours of Starbucks refreshers to choose from, they all contain caffeine due to the inclusion of green coffee extract. In earlier versions, refreshers contain 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 analysed the ingredients in each flavour that the company currently offers. We have also checked the caffeine content of each flavour individually to ensure accuracy.
Along with taking a closer look at each individual flavour 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 there are many different holiday-themed refreshers that are available at certain times of the year, there are currently nine different flavour 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 flavours. It is these base flavours that contain the included caffeine.
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 flavours 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 flavour options.
The most recent flavour 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 flavour, which is the pineapple passion-fruit base.
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, 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 flavours contains the exact same amount. All Starbucks refreshers contain identical amounts of caffeine due to the fact that 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
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 favourites.
Do Starbucks Refreshers Have Caffeine? Conclusion
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 flavour 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.
- Starbucks Refreshers do contain caffeine
- The caffeine in Starbucks refreshers comes from green coffee extract
- There are nine different flavours of Refreshers, all with the same caffeine content
- There are 45 milligrams of caffeine in each 16-ounce serving of Starbucks Refreshers
Want to know more about Starbucks? Check out our articles on “does Starbucks have boba?” and “how much does it cost Starbucks to make a cup of coffee?”