Leave it to Starbucks to come up with new coffee inventions. They have created many fan favorites and many have become staples in their menu. When cold brew became a trendy item, Starbucks tinkered with it and made some new creations, such as vanilla sweet cream and the Narino 70 roast.
Well for the spring and summer, Starbucks decided to infuse coconut in their cold brew; thus the Toasted Coconut Cold Brew is born. I have seen mixed reviews on the Twitter-sphere reading it is everything from amazing to “tasting like sunscreen”. The baristas at the Starbucks I went to told me they HATED it (and even offered to make me something else if I did not like it). I am a huge fan of the iced coconut milk mocha macchiato (one of my all-time favorite drinks) so I had optimism upon trying it.
I will say that the drink is not as good as the iced coconut milk mocha macchiato. With that said, I was still rather pleased with how this tasted. According to the Starbucks app, the drink is described as “Crafted with flavors of toasted coconut, smooth Nariño 70 Cold Brew and Sumatran Coconutmilk.” I could tell that this was a coconut inspired drink; you can definitely taste it. The coconut flavoring, however, is not too overbearing and you still taste the smoothness of the cold brew.
I actually thought they drink was not as sweet as I thought it would be. It is not exactly a bitter drink, but it can still be too strong for people who do not like stronger brews. I had to add a little bit of half and half myself. The drink is still pretty smooth, though, and you still get the sensation of the initial cold brew while getting the flavor of coconut. I will say this is definitely an acquired taste, though, so if coconut is not your favorite, you may be better off ordering something different.
I ordered a grande and it came out to be $4.04 after tax. That’s pretty much what I would expect coming from Starbucks. Actually, being a seasonal drink, I am a little surprised it was not more. The only downside is that Dunkin Donuts somewhat fought this by having a “coconut creme pie” option for their coffee drinks as well, including cold brew. Dunkin Donuts has slightly cheaper cold brews, so if you want to save a little bit, you may be ending up trying Dunkin Donuts.
Starbucks usually lies right in the middle overall in terms of how strong their roast is. Of course they have lighter and darker roasts, but they seem to be rounded out in the middle. I would put the Toasted coconut cold brew as one that fits the middle perfectly. It was not too strong or too weak for me. That being said, adding a splash of cream can still help if you do not want a prevalent taste of coconut.
A grande size drink came out to be 50 calories according to Starbucks.com. This is a pretty light drink if you are watching what you put in your body. Given there is no added milk or dairy to the drink (unless by special request), this is pretty much a low-fat, low calorie drink.
Comparing this to a Dunkin Coconut Creme Pie Iced Coffee, this is a much healthier option by having lower amounts of calories and fat. Again, the lack of dairy helps the overall calorie content. This is definitely a drink to get if you are on a diet or watching the amount of content of dairy you are putting in your body.
I can see why this drink got mixed reviews. This is going to be a drink that is an acquired taste. If you do not like coconut or do not like coconut flavoring in your coffee, I would not recommend this for you. That said, it certainly does not taste like “trash” or “sunscreen” as some tweets have stated. This is a pretty quality addition to the menu and right in time for summer.
Even though this is my opinion only, I still want to see more opinions on this drink. Coconut has a chance to become a trendy drink for summers to come if it gets a popular enough reception. Here’s to hoping coconut brews can get some traction and can become popular in the future.
No promotional consideration was given in exchange for this review. The views expressed in this review are those solely of my own.