Do Starbucks Refreshers Have Caffeine? What You Need to Know

Updated on: January 25, 2023
Author: Nick Habre
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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 real fruit juice drinks released by Starbucks in 2012. They 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

There are also 3 versions of each of the main flavors, namely, regular refreshers, refreshers with lemonade, and 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.

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 refreshers at Starbucks. So if you are sensitive to caffeine, or would like to avoid it, you will need to look for alternatives.


If you absolutely love these addictive drinks and you're not sure how to deal with the caffeine hit, then try having a sleeping aid, like this natural sleep aid from Amazon:

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 refresher before, then don't worry as you will not taste coffee at all!

How Much Caffeine Do Starbucks Refreshers Have?

All Starbucks refresher drink types have the same caffeine content, but this depends on the cup size your order. A tall (12 fl oz) refresher drink has 35 mg of caffeine and a  grande (16 fl oz) has 45 mg of caffeine.

Starbucks refreshers come in four cup sizes - tall (12 fl oz), grande (16 fl oz), venti (24 fl oz) and the trenta (30 fl oz).

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!

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

Here are a few things we can learn from this 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.
  • 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 a few excellent Starbucks refresher drink alternatives that do not contain caffeine.

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

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. A 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?

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

A Grande refresher prepared in-store will have about 45 mg of caffeine (all refresher types). For reference, a grande iced coffee has about 165 mg of caffeine.

The caffeine content of Starbucks refreshers obviously depends on the drink size your order. Tall (12 fl oz), grande (16 fl oz), venti (24 fl oz) and trenta (30 fl oz) all contain different levels 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.

do refreshers have caffeine

Bottom Line

Starbucks refreshers do have caffeine, although the amount differs depending on the  drink size and type. 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 more than anything and has dedicated his time to learning all he can about this magical bean. He can make a mean latte, loves a flat white, 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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