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Starbucks Refreshers Taste Test: Two Flavors Are Solid, One Is Like Four Loko

Posted: 04/11/2012 11:42 am Updated: 04/11/2012 1:44 pm

Starbucks Refreshers

Starbucks, apparently under the impression that people don't associate its name closely enough with caffeine, has recently moved into the energy drink market, one of the fastest-growing segments in the food industry.

The company claims that its own entrant, Starbucks Refreshers, is differentiated from incumbents by its use of "green coffee extract" for caffeine. The extract is made from unroasted coffee beans, so Starbucks is calling it a "natural" source of caffeine that doesn't have coffee's trademark roasted flavor. As such, it can (theoretically) be combined with fruit juices and still taste good.

The $64,000 question, of course, is, "Do the drinks actually taste good?"

HuffPost Food conducted a tasting of all three flavors to find out. The product, in case you're inspired to buy, is currently available in a few grocery stores across the country. It should be rolling into Starbucks locations over the next few months; an employee at the branch nearest to HuffPost HQ said he expected to get a shipment in May or June.

Click through below to read the findings of our Starbucks Refreshers taste test:

Orange Melon
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Tasters generally liked this one, complimenting its relatively light taste and subtle flavor. One said that it "tastes more like peach than either orange or melon," though others disagreed, comparing it to an "Orange Julius" or "cantaloupe." The most common complaint was an artificial aftertaste. But one taster summed up the general consensus this way: "If I were driving at night, and feeling tired, I might drink it." It's not exactly a James Beard Award, but it's a fine endorsement.
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Filed by Joe Satran  |