roasted and unroasted coffee beans image via Smithsonian.com .
Customers have long complained that Starbucks coffee tastes burnt. Apparently, the company has been listening. Maybe a little too well. Starbucks is rolling out a new beverage made from unroasted, green coffee beans.
What, you might ask, does unroasted coffee taste like? According to Starbucks’ vice president of global beverage Julie Felss Masino, “It’s coffee that doesn’t taste like coffee.” In fact, the company refers to the green coffee extract as ‘flavor neutral.’ It also doesn’t have a coffee aroma, and contains a mere fraction of the caffeine. And the point of this new beverage is…?
Starbucks has rolled out two flavors of the iced, green coffee beverage called Refreshers. Cool Lime and Very Berry Hibiscus get their flavor from added fruit juice and are sweetened with stevia.
Green coffee bean beverages aren’t exactly new. Like green tea, green coffee beans are the youngest and least processed form that, on their own, produce a grassy, astringent brew. And like green tea, they have a longer history in Eastern cultures where they are prized mostly for medicinal uses. Recently, green coffee and its extracts have been available in weight-loss aides, and Nestlé has been selling its Nescafé Green Blend and Nescafé Protect, both containing one-third green beans to two-thirds roasted, which Nestlé is promoting for the health benefits provided by high levels of naturally-occurring antioxidants.
Next time you want a cup of coffee that doesn’t taste like coffee, smell like coffee, or pack much of a caffeine punch, you know right where to go.