Starbucks Launches Spicy Refreshers In 3 Flavors And A New Cold Foam

The March 2024 rumors are true: Summer is going to be spicy at Starbucks. According to a press release sent to Tasting Table, the coffee chain has announced that its menu is growing with the addition of three sweet and spicy lemonade-based Refreshers — a Starbucks beverage line that we have opinions about — as well as a new cold foam flavor to ignite the palate and join in on the popular "swicy" trend.

The new chili powder-infused Lemonade Refresher flavors are Spicy Pineapple, Spicy Strawberry, and Spicy Dragonfruit, and Spicy Cream Cold Foam is the new drink topper that can be added to any beverage. These new menu items will launch on April 16, 2024, and will only be available for what Starbucks calls "a very limited time this spring" while supplies last.

Spicy Strawberry brings together strawberry pieces, açaí flavors, lemonade, and a custom spicy chili powder blend all shaken with ice. Spicy Dragonfruit features mango and whole dragonfruit pieces with lemonade, and the chili powder blend. Finally, Spicy Pineapple sees pineapple and passionfruit shaken with ice and pineapple pieces, lemonade, and, you guessed it, the spicy chili powder blend. The new Spicy Cream Cold Foam whips together Starbucks' signature sweetened cold foam and the spicy chili powder for an invigorating take on classic creaminess.

Do the new Starbucks drinks bring the heat?

Coffee isn't always the beverage you want. Maybe a ton of caffeine isn't what you're after, or maybe you just don't want a typical coffee-based drink. But Starbucks is calling your name no matter what, and the chain offers a plethora of beverages that aren't overly juiced up. Tasting Table recently tried the new Starbucks Spicy Lemonade Refreshers to find out if they bring the heat in a pleasant way or fall flat. 

We found the Spicy Strawberry to be a bit limp, though the chili spice adds a nice touch to the sweet beverage. Dragonfruit is more mango-flavored than its name suggests, and benefits from adding extra chili powder. Still, it won out in our taste test. And the Spicy Pineapple, with chewy chunks of real pineapple floating throughout, came in a very close second.

The new Spicy Cream Cold Foam is a bit of an outlier as it can be used to plus up any beverage, though Starbucks recommends throwing it onto an Iced Chai Tea Latte or Cold Brew. The creaminess balances the spice in an almost inverse fashion, defanging the heat that most people would want. That said, it is a unique and zesty application that is far from the usual offerings of most coffee chains, which makes it stand out for us even if it is a bit far from center on the spice scale.