Starbucks’ Pink Drink is a sweet and fruity iced drink that soared into popularity through the countless social media posts on it.
With its delectable strawberry and coconut flavors, it’s sure to leave you wanting more. But if you need a quick caffeine boost, is having a Pink Drink a good idea?
The Pink Drink does have caffeine. The caffeine comes from the green coffee extract used in the drink’s base, but it is still a smaller amount compared to other caffeinated beverages.
In this article, I’ll go over what makes the Pink Drink caffeinated, whether you can substitute or remove the caffeine, similar drinks you can try if you like Pink Drink, and whether it’s healthy.
Does the Pink Drink have caffeine?
Starbucks’ Pink Drink is caffeinated. According to Starbucks’ website, the average amount of caffeine in a standard grande Pink Drink (16 fl oz or 473 ml) is 45 mg — less than an ounce.
In comparison, a regular cup of coffee has an average of 90 mg of caffeine per cup (although that amount is still less than an ounce).
The Pink Drink’s caffeine also varies according to the size of the drink you order, which ranges from 8 to 30 oz (327 to 920 ml). The bigger the drink, the more caffeine is in it.
Specifically, the amount of caffeine in each available size of the Pink Drink is as follows:
|Pink Drink size:||Caffeine content:|
|Short (8 oz or 236 ml)||22 mg|
|Tall (12 oz or 355 ml)||35 mg|
|Grande (16 oz or 473 ml)||45 mg|
|Venti (24 oz or 710 ml)||70 mg|
|Trenta (30 oz or 920 ml)||90 mg|
As you can see, all sizes up to Venti have less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee. If you want a Pink Drink that can perk you up like your regular cup of joe can, take the Trenta version.
What ingredients are in a Pink Drink?
The four main ingredients in a Pink drink are:
- Strawberry Acai base: This is the same base used in their strawberry acai refreshers and contains white grape juice, water, sugar, and green coffee.
- Coconut milk: This dairy-free alternative sweetens the drink while making it safe for anyone who’s lactose-intolerant or cannot consume dairy products due to other personal reasons.
- Freeze-dried strawberries: These berries add extra fruity flavors to the drink without getting soggy over time.
- Ice: The amount of ice in a Pink Drink can be adjusted depending on what you want.
Where does the caffeine in a Pink Drink come from?
The caffeine in the Pink drink comes from the natural green coffee flavor used to create the strawberry acai base.
Green coffee doesn’t go through the traditional roasting process, so it doesn’t have the same flavor profile or amount of caffeine that other coffee drinks do.
The green coffee provides a muted or earthy taste that doesn’t overwhelm the different fruity flavors used in the Pink Drink.
Can I remove the caffeine from the Pink Drink?
Since the green coffee that provides the caffeine is the Pink Drink’s base, the caffeine can’t be removed or substituted.
However, if you still want to try a variation of the Pink Drink without the caffeine, you can order an Iced Passion Tango Tea with coconut milk and freeze-dried strawberries.
Even if this isn’t an exact replica of the Pink Drink, it’s still a caffeine-free option with similarly refreshing flavors.
Can I substitute other ingredients in the Pink Drink?
While you can’t substitute the Pink Drink’s base, you can make other alterations to enrich the drink’s existing flavors or create a new twist entirely.
If you have a coconut allergy (or aversion to it), you can use regular milk if you want. You can also substitute with dairy-free options such as soy or almond milk.
Bear in mind, however, that these may alter how sweet your drink will be.
The Pink Drink beautifully complements flavor add-ins like vanilla syrup, matcha, and other flavored teas. If you already like how the Pink drink tastes and want more of it, you can ask your barista for an extra scoop of berries.
To learn more about ordering all the suitable customizations for your drinks, check out my article on how to order at Starbucks like a pro.
What drinks are similar to the Pink Drink?
Starbucks has several beverages similar to the Pink Drink, such as:
- Strawberry Acai Refresher: This drink uses all the same ingredients as the Pink Drink minus the coconut milk.
- Dragon Drink: This is almost identical to the Pink Drink, except it uses freeze-dried pieces of dragon fruit as its base instead of strawberries.
- Paradise Drink: Made with pineapple and passionfruit, this drink is a tropical version of the original Pink Drink.
- Strawberry Acai Lemonade: This drink swaps coconut milk with fresh lemonade to create a tangy alternative.
These drinks have different sweetness levels and may taste vastly different than the Pink Drink, but they all have the same rich flavor.
Whether you want a new spin on the original Pink Drink or want to try something new, these drinks offer different takes on the classic.
How many calories does the Pink Drink have
Considering that the Pink Drink has strawberry and coconut (which, in themselves, already add sweetness to this beverage), you may wonder how healthy it is.
According to Starbucks’ official page, the Pink Drink has 140 calories per 16 fl oz (473 ml). If that’s a little too much for you, there is a way to order a 40-calorie version of the drink.
You may also be a bit bothered by the fact that the drink has a higher amount of sodium (65 mg) than caffeine (45 mg) for every grande cup.
Like other sweet drinks, it may be best to consume this one in moderation.
The Starbucks Pink Drink is a caffeinated drink that highlights the taste of coconut and strawberry in one cup.
However, the green coffee base (which adds caffeine) cannot be taken out of the original version of the beverage.
That said, you can substitute the other ingredients, order similar caffeine-free drinks, and open up your palate to a whole new set of flavors.