Starbucks Confirms It's Changing the Type of Ice Used in Drinks
Your next iced coffee from Starbucks may look a little different. After rumors surfaced earlier this month that a minor but impactful change was coming to the beloved coffee chain's chilled drinks, Starbucks confirmed Thursday that it is changing the type of ice used in its drinks, replacing normal ice cubes with nugget ice nationwide.
"As we continue to innovate and make investments in the Starbucks Experience for our partners (baristas) and customers, we are introducing new machines that make nugget ice to select stores this year," a spokesperson for the company confirmed in a statement to PEOPLE. "Customers who have tried the nugget ice in our hand-crafted iced beverages during testing had a resoundingly positive response."
Per the spokesperson, the change will not be immediate. The rollout of nugget ice, which will occur nationwide, will be a lengthy process, and many stores will not make the change this year at all. Starbucks is said to be prioritizing those stores with a high volume of cold drink orders before implementing nugget ice at other stores across the country.
Thursday's confirmation comes after a Reddit thread posted last week first reported the ice changeup. Someone who said they were a Starbucks employee shared a photo showing the smaller ice nuggets, stating that some locations would begin testing new ice machines. The user wrote, "new special ice (we are 1 of 3 cafe stores testing the new ice). What do you guys think? It looks like the ice at Sonic."
If the replies to the post are any indication, nugget ice will not be getting any rave reviews. Although the response to nugget ice on a nationwide basis remains to be seen, the overwhelming response to the Reddit thread was negative, with many Starbucks drinkers concerned that the ice will melt too quickly, leading to watered down drinks. Replying to the post, one person wrote, "normally this ice IS IT!!!! But I worry that they will melt too fast in iced espresso drinks," with one person confirming, "I used this ice when our machine broke, you are right. The ice is not dense enough to not simply melt even in iced tea drinks." However, somebody ese explained, "higher surface area means it cools your drink to the ice's temperature faster. Once the liquid is at the temperature of the ice, the ice doesn't melt." Starbucks did not address these concerns in its statement to PEOPLE.