April 16, 2013

Review: Starbucks Iced Coffee


I like cold coffee drinks and have for a long time. I had to try out Starbuck's Iced Coffee when I cruised by it today in the market. Starbucks has long been into ready to drink coffee with its Frappuccino, and DoubleShot iced espresso.

Starbucks Iced coffee comes in four varieties, with one being low calorie. I like the idea of low calorie, but elected to pick up the base "Iced Coffee" and the Caramel versions, skipping the low calories version; maybe next time. Over at Single Serve Coffee, they mentioned that Starbucks is rolling out the products in select cities, with the Caramel available from Washington DC up to Maine. The rollout nationally will continue through the rest of the year.

How does Starbucks Describe the Taste for its Iced Coffee?

  • Iced Coffee - These beans and just the right touch of sweetness create a crisp, refreshing taste. It's the perfect way to stay cool all year long.
  • Caramel - These beans plus lusciously rich caramel flavor create a refreshing, pick-me-up taste. It's the perfect way to stay cool all year long.
  • Vanilla - These beans plus satisfyingly smooth vanilla flavor create a refreshing, pick-me-up taste. It's the perfect way to stay cool all year long.
  • Low Calorie Iced Coffee - These beans and just the right touch of sweetness create a crisp, refreshing taste. It's the perfect way to stay cool all year long without the guilt.

How Many Calories in Starbucks Iced Coffee

The low calorie version is a good "in between" drink, with 50 calories per 11 ounce serving. I like that they left in some stuff to make it semi-real. When you strip out everything, it's really hard to make something taste good.

The others - Caramel and regular "Iced Coffee" have 110 calories per bottle, with the Vanilla going a little higher at 120 calories.

More after the jump....

Bottle Design

I like the bottle design a lot; nicely modern with a solid branding and presence on the shelf. The bottle feels good in your hand, and is a heavy mass to make you feel confident that you're not going to tip the bottle over. Fits in most beverage holders in the car, but is a bit loose because it's a little smaller than a regular soda can.



I bought the regular "Iced Coffee" and the Caramel versions, and have been drinking them over the last few weeks.

  • Iced Coffee - the taste is pretty thin, with little in there to latch onto. Due to the hot packing operations to make this shelf stable, the top notes get stripped off, s don't expect a lot of light and lofty notes. The classic RTD coffee caramelized notes from the hot packing process are there. On the plus side, the flavor is classic coffee without much acidity. As a quick pick-me-up, I could see trying this every now and then. The sweetness level is light, and not overdone.
  • Caramel - The aroma is of bitter caramel, and the overall flavor is pretty strongly caramel, without the sweetness to come with it. The drink only has a bit of reduced fat milk in it and pectin, but has little body overall. Definitely not like a latte. The lack of body and sweetness really hurts the indulgence factor. I was honestly looking for something a little more over the top.

Review Summary - Starbucks Iced Coffee

Overall, I don;t think I will be buying the caramel version again, but will be buying the Iced Coffee again, The flavor isn't bad, but will be something I could easily pick up while on the go. The price is about $2 and they come in 11 ounce bottles.

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Posted by Scott Martin at April 16, 2013 7:10 PM
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Recent Comments
Scott Martin: Erik, Answering a few questions: So the whirring is definitely read more
Erik G.: Nice review! Just a couple of questions though. How hot read more
Scott Martin: SH, Excellent question - added a section to the review read more
SH: What about machine sound/vibration during the brew process? If it read more
Ironpeddler: Looks like the espresso capsules are different than the current read more
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