Do Starbucks Refreshers Have Caffeine? And How Much?

Updated on: August 3, 2023
Author: Nick
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Do starbucks refreshers have caffeine

Do Starbucks refreshers have caffeine? This is a question that many people ask, especially since these drinks are marketed as being refreshing and perfect for hot summer days.

In this post, we will answer that question and provide details about how much caffeine different refresher types and sizes contain. We will also do a comparison with other Starbucks drinks to see how they stack up.

If you are sensitive to caffeine or would just like to avoid it, we will also discuss some refreshing non-refresher alternatives from Starbucks!

Let's get started!

What Are Starbucks Refreshers?

Refreshers are a line of lightly caffeinated drinks released by Starbucks in 2012. They are flavored with natural fruit juice (sometimes natural vegetable juice) and feature inclusions, which are freeze-dried fruit.

Starbucks refresher drinks come in the following main flavors:

  • Kiwi Starfruit

  • Mango Dragonfruit

  • Strawberry Açaí

  • Very Berry Hibiscus

  • Pineapple Passionfruit

Please note that at the time of this update (August 2023), the Very Berry Hibiscus refresher has been discontinued from the Starbucks refresher menu.

There are also 4 versions of each of the main refresher flavors, namely:

  • Regular refreshers

  • Refreshers with lemonade

  • Frozen refreshers

  • Refreshers with coconut milk

For example, you could order a very berry hibiscus lemonade! 

To confuse things a bit, Starbucks refresher drinks with coconut milk get special names. 

For example, the Kiwi Starfruit base with coconut milk becomes the Star Drink, and the Mango Dragonfruit with coconut milk is called the Dragon Drink. The Starbucks strawberry acai refresher with coconut becomes the Pink Drink.

Are you curious and want to learn more about Starbucks refreshers? Read our post about our best Starbucks refreshers picks!

Do Starbucks Refreshers Have Caffeine?

Yes, all Starbucks refreshers contain caffeine.

Unfortunately, there are no decaffeinated or caffeine-free refresher drinks at Starbucks. So if you are sensitive to caffeine, or would like to avoid it, you will need to look for alternatives.

Thankfully, Starbucks' massive menu has something for everyone. 

If you're looking for something to quench your thirst without the added caffeine, you can try decaf iced coffees or iced lemonades or their great selection of caffeine free Starbucks drinks. Check out our guides to learn more!

How Do Refreshers Have Caffeine?

The caffeine in Starbucks refreshers comes from green coffee beans.

Green coffee extract is derived from green coffee beans, that is, coffee beans that have not been roasted.

Green Coffee Extract

Since the coffee has not been roasted, it also contains a higher level of chlorogenic acid. This is a natural compound that is lost during the roasting process, and may have some health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (1).

Green coffee extract tastes nothing like the coffee beverages we are familiar with. So if you've never tried a Starbucks refreshers beverages before, then don't worry as you will not taste coffee at all!

How Much Caffeine Do Starbucks Refreshers Have?

Starbucks refreshers are lightly caffeinated beverages. All refresher types and flavors have the same caffeine content. However, Starbucks refreshers can be ordered in four cup sizes. Obviously, the larger the cup size the more caffeine your drink will have.

The caffeine content of your refresher drink for each cup size is as follows:

  • A tall refresher (12 fl oz) has 35 mg of caffeine.

  • A Grande refresher (16 fl oz) has 45 mg of caffeine.

  • A Venti refresher (24 fl oz) has 70 mg of caffeine.

  • A Trenta refresher (30 fl oz) has 90 mg of caffeine.

Yes, the trenta is a 30 oz monstrosity that will bloat most people... Also, there are ready-to-drink canned refresher drinks. These are not the same drink as the Starbucks refreshers you can order in-store as the canned ones contain more caffeine and do not contain any inclusions!

Starbucks Refresher Caffeine Content Comparison Versus Other Drinks

To put things into perspective, we have prepared the following handy table so you can decide what refresher size best suits your needs, and how refreshers stack up versus other popular caffeinated cold drinks.

Drink SizeTall (12 oz)Grande (16 oz)Venti (24 oz)Trenta (30 oz)
All Refreshers35 mg45 mg70 mg90 mg
Canned Refreshers50 mgN/AN/AN/A
Starbucks BAYA Energy Drink160 mgN/AN/AN/A
Starbucks Iced Black or Green Tea20 mg25 mg40 mg50 mg
Starbucks Iced Coffee120 mg165 mg235 mg280 mg
Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew215 mg280 mgN/AN/A

For reference, the maximum recommended caffeine intake is 400 mg per day as per the FDA. Here are a few things we can learn from the above table.

  • Starbucks refreshers contain more caffeine than iced tea!

  • There are canned Starbucks refreshers that contain even more caffeine but are available in 12 oz sizes only.

  • A Starbucks iced coffee contains about 2.4 times more caffeine than a Starbucks refresher.

    A Starbucks iced coffee contains about 2.4 times more caffeine than a Starbucks refresher.

  • Want an intense shot of caffeine without coffee flavors? Starbucks is selling its BAYA Energy drink, which contains 160 mg of caffeine in 12 oz, and uses green coffee extract as well.

  • Want an even more intense dose? Try a nitro cold brew, featuring a whopping 4.3 times more caffeine than refreshers.

Does Starbucks Have Caffeine-Free Refresher Alternatives?

Yes! There are many caffeine-free options! Starbucks' caffeine-free alternatives include lemonades, juices, herbal teas, and carbonated drinks.

If you're looking for something fruity and refreshing, try the Starbucks lemonades. Starbucks offers many kinds of lemonade drinks that are caffeine free.

Some of our favorites include...

  • The classic lemonade
  • The Iced Passion Tango Tea Lemonade
  • The Blended Strawberry Lemonade
Starbucks lemonades are a caffeine-free alternatives to refreshers

Or perhaps you fancy something else. An iced coffee can also be a refreshing drink.

  • The Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, or
  • The Decaf Iced Caffè Americano

Please beware though that decaffeinated does not mean caffeine free. Coffee is considered decaffeinated if 97% or more of the caffeine has been removed (2).

If you're looking for Starbucks drinks for kids, we got you. Check our article for the healthiest caffeine-free drinks you can get at your favorite coffee store.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which Starbucks Refresher has the most caffeine?

Trenta size Starbucks refreshers have the most caffeine at 90 mg. This applies to all refresher types since the flavor does not impact the caffeine content.

The exception is the canned Starbucks refreshers, which contain the highest caffeine concentration, at 50 mg per 12 fluid ounces. However, these are only available in 12 oz sizes.

For reference, a mug of brewed coffee has about 90 to 100 mg of caffeine, while a grande iced coffee has about 165 mg of caffeine.

What refreshers have no caffeine?

Unfortunately, none. All Starbucks refreshers have caffeine.

However, Starbucks offers alternatives such as lemonades, fruit juice and decaf iced coffees.

By the way, decaf iced coffees still contain a bit of caffeine.

What other Starbucks drinks use green coffee extract?

The Starbucks BAYA energy drink also uses green coffee extract.

How many calories do Starbucks Refreshers have?

This depends on the drink size, the type of refresher you order, as well as any toppings you add. A popular Starbucks Refresher - the Pink Drink - contains 140 calories in a Grande 16 oz size.  For the same size, the Violet Drink contains 110 calories, and the Strawberry Acai contains 90 calories.

Are Starbucks Refreshers healthy?

No, I would not consider Starbucks refreshers a healthy drink. Although they contain real fruit juice, they also contain quite a bit of sugar. For example, the mango dragonfruit refresher (Grande size) contains 19 grams of sugar. The lemonade version contains a whopping 31 grams while the Dragon Drink contains 23 grams of sugar.

do refreshers have caffeine

Bottom Line

Starbucks refreshers do have caffeine, although the amount differs depending on the drink size. If you're looking for a caffeine-free alternative, try one of Starbucks' lemonade drinks.

We hope you found this post helpful. Do you have any questions or tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Nick loves coffee... Actually, he NEEDS coffee! So, he has dedicated his time to learning all he can about this magical bean. He can make a mean latte, is obsessed with flat whites, and is always up for a cup of java!

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of coffee, tea or herbal infusion if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.

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