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Are Starbucks’ new coffee ice cubes really worth the hype?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Starbucks is trying out a new menu item that really isn’t all that innovative, yet everyone wants.

starbucks cubes

Ice ice baby

As it heats up outside, few things sound more refreshing than a fresh iced coffee. Chilled, caffeinated perfection — but if you don’t chug it in 5 minutes, it’s more of a weak, watery disappointment. Ice cubes are always going to melt in above freezing temperature. You can’t change the laws of physics. You can, however, change how you drink iced coffee.

But how could coffee stay cold without pesky ice cubes, you ask? The answer, although easy and obvious, is apparently blowing some people’s minds: coffee ice cubes. The newest provider of this simple idea? Good ole’ Starbs.

coffee cubes

For 80 more cents, you can cool down your coffee beverage with more coffee if you live in Baltimore or St. Louis, where Starbucks is soon going to offer coffee ice cubes as an add-on at 100 total locations.

The chilled chunks of caffeine are currently just a test, and no one knows how long they’ll be available or at which exact stores.

Is it really so experimental?

While new to Starbucks, coffee ice cubes really aren’t a foreign concept. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme both launched “Cube Beverages” last year, letting customers keep their drinks cold not only with coffee, but with chocolate and fruit flavors too. Starbucks was aware that this new trend was brewing, and they were only late to the game because they were prepping for launch.

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The company recently beefed up several stores with freezing units to accommodate their cubes.

Even though they’re not the first ones to do it, Starbucks definitely has enough industry influence to potentially become king of the coffee cube.

News flash: you just need a freezer

Flavored ice cubes might sound crazy, but they really aren’t that cutting edge if you think about it. You just take some coffee and pour it in an ice tray like you would with water, stick it in the freezer, and bam! Innovation. Starbucks isn’t trying to pretend they have a secret formula.

The company shared DIY instructions last year, in case anyone needed help understanding that you can freeze water even if it’s brown.

Starbucks is a genius in making simple ideas sound new and creative; they proved that pretty pictures and trendy fonts can make milkshakes, cold brew coffee, and iced tea with juice sound like their own innovations. It’s relatively safe to say they have a game plan to do the same with coffee ice cubes.

Coming soon

Sure, you can make them at home, but Starbucks makes them look so cool you’ll be willing to wait in line.

However, unless you live near one of the locations participating in the pilot, you’ll have to settle for filling up your own ice trays for now.

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Written By

Helen Irias is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a degree in English Literature from University of California, Santa Barbara. She works in marketing in Silicon Valley and hopes to one day publish a comically self-deprecating memoir that people bring up at dinner parties to make themselves sound interesting.

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