Starbucks' New Drink Is Just a Vegan Smoothie with Caffeine
Starbucks announced today a new addition to their menu: Protein Blended Cold Brew. The press release says that the new beverage was "inspired by our customers’ love for Starbucks Cold Brew and a growing interest in plant-based proteins." Way to capitalize on a trend, Starbucks.
While the name is not particularly appetizing, in actuality the beverage sounds OK. There are two flavors—Cacao and Almond—and they both involve non-dairy milk (coconut and almond, respectively), flavoring (cacao powder and almond butter), cold brew, ice, a "banana-date fruit blend," and a slightly mysterious "plant-based protein." Whether that is a powder or something else is not explained.
Basically, this is just a protein smoothie that happens to have cold brew in it—and that's far from innovative in the world of energy drinks. Just looking at the first page of Google results when you search "cold brew smoothie" will tell you that. But this is the first drink Starbucks has offered that highlights alternative milks. Coupled with the coffee giant's push towards recyclable cups and away from plastic straws, they're doing more than many other chains to lessen their environmental impact. And because of that, I'll refrain from teasing them about their overly complicated drink name... too much.