Switching your daily coffee for a cold refresher sounds like the perfect plan. The fruity, sweet drink boosts your energy and drowns your thirst – what could be wrong with that? But what’s really giving you that extra pep in your step? Do refreshers have caffeine?
Fruit juice alone can’t be that powerful, or could it? Let’s see exactly what goes into a refresher.
- Do Refreshers Have Caffeine?
- What is Green Coffee Extract?
- How Much Caffeine Is In A Starbucks Refresher?
- Refreshers With No Caffeine
- How To Make Starbucks Pink Drink (Without Caffeine)
Do Refreshers Have Caffeine?
Yes, Starbucks refreshers have caffeine. It comes from the green coffee extract used in the base for the refresher.
A decade ago, Starbucks introduced their innovative way of including coffee in non-coffee drinks. This includes Frappuccinos and Refreshers. The green coffee extract is obtained from unroasted arabica beans.
What is Green Coffee Extract?
Green coffee extract is delivered from unroasted coffee beans.(1) It has a significant amount of chlorogenic acid but much less caffeine than light and dark roasts.
However, green coffee extract can cause the same effect and side effects as regular coffee. The green coffee extract can provide you with more energy and better focus. But it can also cause heart palpitations, insomnia, and increased anxiety.
How Much Caffeine Is In A Starbucks Refresher?
How much caffeine is in a Starbucks Refresher, actually? Well, we’ll say not enough to cause any worries in a healthy adult.
On average, each grande refresher has less caffeine than a shot of espresso. Here’s a glimpse at the most popular choices.
1. Strawberry Acai & Pink Drink
The viral Pink Drink is proclaimed as the best refresher you can get. Some even refer to it as an energy drink. But this is far from the truth.
A grande Pink Drink and Strawberry Acai Refresher has only 45 mg of caffeine. For reference, a single blonde espresso shot has 85 mg of caffeine.
2. Mango Dragonfruit & Dragon Drink
The Mango Dragonfruit and Dragon Drink are the violet favorites among refreshers. They’re made with a Mango Dragonfruit base that includes green coffee extract.
It might come as a surprise because you can’t really taste the coffee. Don’t worry; both drinks have a mild caffeine content – only 45 mg of caffeine for a grande.
3. Kiwi Starfruit & Star Drink
The Kiwi Starfruit and Star Drink are a blend of tangy starfruit kiwi base, freeze-dried kiwi, and ice. The Star Drink tastes almost like a milkshake, so it’s probably caffeine-free, right?
Nope, the base used in both drinks includes green coffee extract! A grande size of each drink will provide you with 45 mg of caffeine.
4. Very Berry Refresher & Violet Drink
Just like other refreshers we’ve reviewed so far, the Very Berry Refresher and the Violet Drink come with a caffeine kick.
They’re a mix of muddled blackberries, tangy hibiscus, and green coffee. The Violet Drink comes with coconut milk. Each of them has 45 mg of caffeine for grande.
5. Starbucks Ready-to-Drink Refreshers
The ready-to-go refreshers are canned drinks available in grocery stores. They’re a convenient option for when you’re craving a refresher, but there’s no Starbucks location nearby.
Starbucks regularly rotates the flavors, so the one available at the moment is Blueberry Acai. Each can has 12 oz of refresher and 50mg caffeine.(2)
6. Via Refreshers
Starbucks provides convenient instant refresher packages for aspiring home baristas.
The flavors that come in these sachets are Very Berry Hibiscus, Cool Lime, and Strawberry Lemonade. They come in packets of 6, and all you need to do is add water.
You can find them online and on Amazon. Each pack has 55 mg of caffeine.
Which Starbucks Refreshers Have No Caffeine?
Unfortunately, all Starbucks refreshers contain caffeine.
It’s incorporated in the refresher base, and there’s no way to ask the barista to make it caffeine-free. So if you suffer from caffeine sensitivity, avoid store-bought refreshers.
Instead, opt for other caffeine-free drinks or make decaf refreshers at home. We’ve got a great recipe!
Do Starbucks Refreshers Have More Caffeine Than Coffee?
Refreshers are low in caffeine when compared to other coffee beverages.
Each flavor has, on average, 45 mg for a grande. For comparison, a Starbucks Dark Roast coffee has 260 mg for grande. Latte has less – 150 mg, while Mocha falls in the middle with 175 mg of caffeine for the same size.
To put it into perspective, the largest size of a Refresher – a Trenta, has just slightly more caffeine than a single shot of espresso.
How To Make Starbucks Pink Drink (Without Caffeine)
Just because you want or need to stay away from caffeine doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a refresher.
The Pink Drink is all over social media. If you’re anything like us, you’re craving it every single time it pops up! And now you can have it caffeine-free on tap in your own home!
- Strawberry Acai Base (click here for recipe): 5 oz
- Coconut Milk: 5 oz
- Water: 1 oz
- Freeze Dried Strawberries: 1 scoop
Simple Syrup (optional)
- Water: 1 cup
- Sugar: 1 cup
- For the first step, you'll need to prepare the Strawberry Acai Base. We've provided a straightforward, caffeine-free recipe to make it at home. You can even make it a day in advance.
- Now, we need to make simple syrup. Take a saucepan and place it over medium heat. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar.
- Stir until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat right before the syrup starts boiling. Set it aside to cool off completely before use.
- It's time to build the drink. Take a shaker and pour coconut milk and water. Shake to combine well. This is how we'll thin out the coconut milk.
- Open the shaker and add the Strawberry Acai Base, simple syrup, ice, and freeze-dried strawberries. You can use fresh strawberries as a substitute. Optionally, you can skip the syrup.
- Shake well to combine all the ingredients. In a tall glass, add some ice and pour over the finished drink. Garnish with some more strawberries, and enjoy!
Summary – Do Refreshers Have Caffeine
We love a sweet, refreshing drink but are they helping our caffeine intake? If you’re wondering do refreshers have caffeine – the answer is yes.
The refresher base contains green coffee extract, which packs small amounts of caffeine. But unlike regular coffee, refreshers have on average 45 mg of caffeine.
All refreshers contain caffeine; it’s part of their base. If you want a caffeine-free refresher, follow our recipe to make it at home!
There’s caffeine in every Starbucks refresher. A grande refresher has less caffeine than a shot of espresso. The daily recommended caffeine intake is 400 mg for a healthy adult, and a refresher has barely 50 mg. But beware that the green coffee extract has the same side effects as regular coffee.
The Ready-to-Drink Refreshers have the highest amount of caffeine. For example, a tall can containing 12 oz has 50 mg of caffeine. So when compared, a single can has just as much caffeine as a grande refresher. However, canned refresher doesn’t classify as an energy drink.
The Strawberry Acai Refresher contains caffeine. Unfortunately, the green coffee extract is blended into the base, making it impossible to order it caffeine-free. But you can make it at home by preparing your own Strawberry Acai Base. Just switch the green tea extract with caffeine-free tea!
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