Starbucks' New Drink Is a Plant-Based Smoothie-Coffee Hybrid
When you can't decide between a smoothie and a cold brew in the morning, don't. With Starbucks' new Protein Blended Cold Brews, which launched this Tuesday, you can get the best of both morning pick-me-ups all in one drink.
Starbucks releases new drinks all the time, but this one caught our attention because it's the brand's first-ever plant-based protein drink. And based on the company's mission to make health and wellness a priority this year, it probably won't be the last.
"Plant-based beverages, plant-based proteins are a choice that many consumers are gravitating toward," CEO Kevin Johnson said at an annual investor meeting in June, according to USA Today.
Related: How to Make DIY Almond Milk
Protein Blended Cold Brew comes in two flavors, but don't expect anything Unicorn-esque this time around. Just Cocoa and Almond, so you can go a little sweet or a little nutty, depending on what you're craving. The Cocoa flavor is made with coconut milk and the Almond flavor is made with—you guessed it—almond milk. Both are made with plant proteins and sweetened with a Banana Date Fruit blend, which sounds pretty delightful.
On top of that, Starbucks has some suggestions for taking your drink to the next level (just ask your barista nicely, and be prepared to pay for any additions):
- Request a whole banana in place of Banana Date Fruit Blend and adjust the amount of almond butter or cacao powder (or even add a little bit of both!).
- Add an extra packet of plant-based protein to double the amount in your cup.
- Add an extra shot or two of Starbucks Espresso Roast.
- Add a shot or two of decaf Starbucks Espresso Roast in place of Starbucks Cold Brew.
A warning before you shell out almost $6 for a plain Grande, though: the texture of the drink is pretty... grainy. Refinery29 likened it to "the somewhat coarse texture that's created when almond butter is added to a smoothie." So if that's already your go-to for homemade smoothies, you might love that. And if that doesn't sound so good to you then, hey, there are plenty of other drinks to choose from.
What do you think? Are you down to try these new drinks? Or is coffee with Oatmilk more your jam? Let us know in the comments below!