Starbucks Introduces New Fruity Energy Drinks Made From Unroasted Coffee Beans; Free Samples This Friday

It was early last month that Starbucks announced it was buying a San Francisco bakery in an effort to improve its food offerings. It was late last month that it said it was opening a standalone store dedicated to serving its Tazo brand of tea. This month Schultz and Co. is getting into the energy drink business.

This week, Starbucks introduced its Refreshers line of energy drinks. It's available in three ways: made by in-store baristas, in ready-to-drink pouches, and in powder form.

Have it in store and the barista will sweeten the brews with fruit juice and Stevia, the sugar substitute. The Cool Lime flavor will include a lime wheel and the Very Berry Hibiscus has whole blackberries added into it. What makes these energy drinks energy drinks? It's caffeine from "Green Coffee Extract", which is exactly as it sounds: unroasted Arabica beans that the company says has "the natural energy from coffee, but with none of the coffee flavor."

Curious? Well, so am I frankly, and Starbucks knows we all are. So they're going to give away a free Tall (12 fl. Oz) cup of the stuff this Friday, July 13 from noon to 3 p.m. at participating stores.

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