Everyone knows that coffee is a prominent figure in any college student’s life, but how much coffee/caffeine does the average student consume? Here’s a fun fact grabbed from ScienceDirect.com, “Caffeine, in any form, was consumed by 92% of students in the past year … Coffee was the main source of caffeine intake in male (120 mg/d [milligrams per day]) and female (111 mg/d) consumers.”
One can only imagine that a lot of that coffee was purchased from a Starbucks. Starbucks is the biggest coffee chain in the world with about 31,256 stores worldwide. What makes Starbucks so popular? Is it the variety of drinks, the short wait times or the merchandise? It may be a combination of the three depending on who you ask, however one thing is for sure, the seasonal items they offer play a big role in drawing in customers worldwide.
Since the spring season is coming up, Starbucks is bringing back the Iced Golden Ginger Drink, Iced Pineapple Matcha Drink and the Nitro Cold Brew with Salted Honey Cold Foam. Lucky for you, I’ve found some people to help me give you the most reliable review possible. You’ll be hearing my thoughts —a former Starbucks employee — on the drinks along with Morgan Brown, a senior at APU and current Starbucks barista, and William Fike, another APU senior and former Starbucks barista.
Iced Golden Ginger Drink
The Starbucks website describes the Iced Golden Ginger Drink as, “A sunny beverage that features ginger, pineapple and turmeric flavors, shaken with coconut milk and ice.”
“The Golden Ginger drink looks like sunshine and tastes very earthy, the Ginger is very overpowering and negates the pleasantness of the drink,” says Brown.
Now, I absolutely hate ginger and tumeric. When I tried this drink for the first time so I could know how to describe it to customers, I wanted to spit it out. I would say it’s an acquired taste, some will like it, others won’t.
“When I first heard of the drink I was excited because I love ginger,” said Fike. “When I took my first couple of sips it had a chalk consistency, this ended up going away but the drink itself didn’t taste very good overall.”
Sorry, it’s a no from us.
Iced Pineapple Matcha
Our next drink is the Iced Pineapple Matcha, which is, “Made with premium matcha green tea with flavors of pineapple and ginger, shaken with coconut milk and ice.”
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of matcha. It tastes too much like grass to me. On the flip side, I am a huge fan of pineapple. When I tried Iced Pineapple Matcha for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised. With the pineapple flavor, the matcha wasn’t as strong, and I couldn’t taste the ginger. The pineapple and coconut flavor together can remind you of a tropical vacation with each sip.
On the other hand, Fike states, “I was expecting more from this one. It ended up tasting like the original drink but much weaker.”
Along the same lines, Brown says “The iced pineapple matcha also has a very earthy flavor and reminds you of rolling around in the grass and getting dirt stuck in your mouth. It was interesting, and I would not recommend it.”
Nitro Cold Brew with Salted Honey Cold Foam
Finally, we have the Nitro Cold Brew with Salted Honey Cold Foam. The Starbucks website states, “This beverage was designed to complement the smooth flavors of nitro cold brew, topped with a salted honey cold foam and a stripe of sweet and salty toasted honey.”
“I normally enjoy nitro cold brew. It is smooth and strong tasting,” said Fike. “However this cold foam could have used more sweetness. I feel as though the “honey blend” tastes too much like fake honey and not real honey.”
I, like many college students, have an addiction to caffeine — it’s not a problem if I know it, right? I favor coffee that has a strong taste, but I do like a little flavor to go along with it. If you’re a fan of the sweet and salty spectrum, like I am, I would 100% recommend the Nitro Cold Brew with Salted Honey Cold Foam. You’re going to love it, trust me.
While Brown enjoys the strength of the drink, she isn’t too fond of how sweet the drink can be, “The nitro is very smooth and velvety and has so much caffeine it keeps you running, but the honey foam is sickly sweet, and I’m personally not a fan,” said Brown.
While these reviews offer some insight on the spring seasonal drinks Starbucks has to offer, these are Brown’s, Fike’s and my opinions. If any of these drinks spark your interest but our reviews made you think otherwise, head over to Starbucks to get one anyways. Try something new! If you end up having a different opinion, let me know by leaving a comment on our Instagram.