Taco Bell's New Agua Refrescas Are A Fresh Sip That Should Go Nationwide

Taco Bell just announced an exciting limited-time offering for Bell Heads in Southern California. The iconic chain has introduced a line of fruit-infused, energy-boosting cold drinks called Agua Refrescas. Having begun on April 11, this exclusive offering features a lineup of three invigorating beverages at a single location in southern California. The test will run for five weeks or until supplies last, making it a must-try for those lucky enough to be in the area. The drinks are modeled after agua fresca, a popular type of blended beverage traditional to Mexico.

Agua Refrescas are the latest Taco Bell attempt to become known for something other than just food. Following the tests of Coffee Chillers and Churro Chillers, this new offering is a testament to the brand's commitment to making its beverages segment. In a press release, Taco Bell U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Taylor Montgomery shared, "Our new Agua Refrescas are a perfect, vibrant pairing with everything our fans crave from Taco Bell and will help us on our journey to make Taco Bell a beverage destination." 

With the mercury rising and summer on the horizon, my need for refreshing, cold drinks is growing. As a daily tea drinker and fan of agua frescas, I was eager to try the new limited-time Agua Refrescas on the Taco Bell menu. I made a beeline to my local Taco Bell to see if Agua Refrescas were everything I hoped. While reviewed objectively, my impressions were based on promotional material provided by Taco Bell.

What's in Taco Bell's Agua Refrescas, and how much do they cost?

Taco Bell's new Agua Refrescas are a refreshing mix of real fruit pieces and green tea served cold with ice. The company uses freeze-dried fruit in its Refrescas. The drinks are labeled as naturally sweetened and offer a caffeinated boost of energy, albeit milder than typical coffee drinks. The colorful drinks come in three sweet and tangy flavors: Strawberry Passionfruit, Peach Mango, and Dragonfruit Berry. If you're avoiding artificial ingredients, be aware that the Agua Refrescas line contains artificial colors. This beverage lineup gives fans in southern California another great drink option to pair with their favorite Taco Bell foods, including the brand's new Cantina Chicken menu.

Agua Refrescas come in a 16-ounce cup. You can order any flavor you like, and the price is the same. All 16-ounce Refrescas will be offered at $3.99 for a limited time, subject to availability. If you're a dedicated Taco Bell "Happier Hour" enthusiast, sorry to burst your bubble, but the new Agua Refrescas are not part of the popular $1 drink promotion.

Where are Agua Refrescas available, and for how long?

Starting on April 11th, Agua Refrescas are making a limited-time appearance at a selected Taco Bell location in Southern California. The company is excited to introduce these vibrant, fruity drinks exclusively at the 2222 Barranca Parkway store in Irvine, available all day long for your enjoyment. So, if you're a resident or visitor in Orange County with a hankering for innovative, new, fruity tea concoctions, download Taco Bell's user-friendly app and make a trip that takes you cruising through the drive-thru or strolling inside. You could also opt for convenient delivery from this particular store before the test runs its course.

These refreshing fruit-forward beverages will appear on Taco Bell's menu from April 11th to May 9th, or until supplies last — whichever comes first. If the Agua Refrescas sell well, there is always a chance they may become a permanent fixture on the menu or see expanded testing to other regions beyond California.

How do Agua Refrescas compare to other Taco Bell beverages?

Taco Bell's beverage menu caters to various tastes, offering everything from rich coffee drinks, sugary sodas, and refreshing juices to a select few iced teas and indulgent frozen slushies. These beverages are all perfect complements to popular Taco Bell menu items like the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, the ever-popular Crunchwrap Supreme, or the classic soft taco.

The Taco Bell beverage menu is sparse when it comes to tea. The introduction of Agua Refrescas expands Taco Bell's tea offerings, which currently include Lipton unsweetened iced tea and Brisk Dragon Paradise sparkling iced tea. Agua frescas are popular Mexican drinks made of fruit blended with water, lime juice, and a bit of sweetener. It's nice to see Taco Bell, one of America's most popular Mexican-inspired chains, taking a shot at bringing agua fresca-like drinks to the fast food market. The arrival of Agua Refrescas provides Taco Bell customers with more delicious choices to enjoy alongside their favorite foods. 

Taste test: Strawberry Passionfruit Agua Refresca

The Strawberry Passionfruit Agua Refresca has a pale but pretty red hue and features delicate bits of freeze-dried strawberries that gracefully float on the top. Its flavor is refreshing and sweet, making it dangerously easy to sip — over and over again. Among the trio of Agua Refrescas, this one stood out as the most sweet, something worth considering when placing your order.

Despite having passion fruit in its name, the drink failed to deliver any discernible notes of tropical fruit. I anticipated a more pronounced citrine acidity reminiscent of passion fruit, yet the drink's flavor leaned heavily towards garden strawberry. While this wasn't unfavorable — after all, what's not to love about strawberries — it did deviate from what I had expected. Despite not being my favorite Refresca, I had the feeling that the Strawberry Passionfruit flavor will be popular due to the universal fondness for strawberries and their familiar taste.

Taste test: Peach Mango Agua Refresca

The Peach Mango Agua Refresca has an alluring golden-yellow appearance. Sprinkled with floating pieces of freeze-dried mango (or perhaps peach, I couldn't tell), this drink beckons to be tasted. Upon my initial sip, I was pleasantly surprised by an unexpected taste. Prepared to taste mango and peach, the drink instead presented a yummy hint of lychee, a tropical fruit native to China. Whether Taco Bell meant to do this or not is irrelevant, as it's a welcome expression. The floral lychee notes were a refreshing departure from common fruity tea flavors. This unexpected twist, coupled with a sweetness that wasn't overwhelming, made the Peach Mango Agua Refresca stand out as a favorite.

While all of the Agua Refrescas are adorned with freeze-dried fruit bits, the ones in this drink seriously bothered me. I couldn't tell if they were mango or peach, but either way, it didn't matter because they were tasteless and chewy, which left me pondering why they were included at all. Nevertheless, I would eagerly order this delicious beverage again, albeit without the dried fruit bits.

Taste test: Dragonfruit Berry Agua Refresca

The Dragonfruit Berry Agua Refresca has a mesmerizingly rich, dark fuchsia color that's hard to ignore. But what really caught my eye were the bits of dragon fruit seeds floating atop the drink — an intriguing surprise that immediately piqued my interest.

With one sip, I was smitten. Not only was this drink gorgeous to look at, but its taste was equally delightful. There were well-balanced notes of grape and cherry, and the dragon fruit seeds added a pleasant texture that elevated the drinking experience and set it apart from the other Refrescas. Dare I say, this drink was so enjoyable that it tasted like it came from a fancy Taiwanese tea shop. It's worth noting that while the Peach Mango Agua Refresca scored high on my taste test, the Dragonfruit Berry Refresca edged ahead, thanks in part to the seeds. This small but significant detail added a fun mouthfeel that pushed the beverage slightly past the Peach Mango Agua Refresca, making it a standout choice among Taco Bell's new Agua Refrescas lineup.

Are the Taco Bell Agua Refrescas worth it?

Let's just cut to the chase: Is a Taco Bell Agua Refresca worth it? Yes, every penny. You'll be rewarded with a refreshing, fruity, iced tea drink to cool off with, and we're sure you'll enjoy the taste. Plus, if you pick up any nachos or quesadillas to go with it, you'll have a delicious drink to wash it all down with and mellow the effects of that Diablo sauce you love to try. The single drawback seems to be that not all flavors stand up as equals (the Dragonfruit Berry was much more balanced than the sweet Strawberry Passionfruit, for example). Additionally, the dried fruit can be hit or miss. That said, while $3.99 makes an Agua Refresca the priciest of all the beverages at the Barranca Parkway location, it's still a reasonable ask.

If you're a fan of light, fruity drinks with a mild tea flavor, Agua Refrescas are a must-try if you're in the area. Angelenos, is the 50-mile drive to Irvine just for Agua Refrescas worth making? Probably not. However, if you're planning a trip nearby, it's worth stopping by to grab some while they're still available. Overall, this is one limited-time item that I hope makes a permanent appearance on Taco Bell menus across the country.