Starbucks' Latest Innovation: Ice Cubes Made of Coffee


Some Starbucks innovations are assuredly better than others. But even those — or perhaps especially those — who wouldn’t go near a Unicorn Frappuccino with a pink-and-purple 10-foot pole may recognize the appeal of the coffee behemoth’s latest innovation: coffee ice cubes.

Currently being tested at 100 Starbucks locations in two urban markets — Baltimore and St. Louis — the coffee ice cubes provide an alternative to regular old ice cubes made of water and can be ordered in any beverage.

Ordering them will boost your coffee tab by 80 cents, but the advantage, some say, is a coffee drink that is more coffee-ish, less watery. And what iced-coffee drinker among us hasn’t felt the irritation and repulsion of that watery bottom-of-cup sip on a hot summer day? (Not quite as bad as when someone tries to make your iced coffee pouring hot coffee over ice — shudder! — but still not ideal.)

One poster on Reddit said substituting the coffee ice for regular made a white mocha frappuchino resulted in a distinct improvement. “The coffee taste was stronger and it was a lot smoother,” wrote owlcitizen44, who said the ice arrived at the Starbucks serving it pre-made and packaged and required an employee run to the back of the store whenever a customer ordered it.

Starbucks is still gauging whether to permanently add the coffee ice cubes to the chain’s menus and roll them out more widely. (The company is gauging customer reaction, which, judging from the response on Instagram, seems overwhelmingly positive.) In the meantime, you can always chill out this summer with these iced coffee hacks.

Photo courtesy of @justchayla

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