Starbucks 'Nugget Ice' Are New Change Replacing Cubes - Freshered
Two TikTok screenshots side by side. First shoes hand holding brown iced coffee in Starbucks takeaway cup up to camera. the second lots pf nugget ice
Two TikTok screenshots. The first is from @peachiemariam video from 19/5/2022. The second from @themessengerontiktok 19/5/2023.

Starbucks 'Nugget Ice' Are New Change Replacing Cubes

Jasmyne Jeffery May 20, 2023

There’s been a lot of chatter about Starbucks and their ice over the last few months, but now there is a confirmed change happening. Trialing something new, Starbucks ‘nugget ice’ will be replacing their cubes in many stores in the US.

There was word on the street that there would be a Starbucks upcharge for ice a few weeks back. However, that never actually manifested. This time, the speculation regarding nugget ice has been confirmed by the popular coffee chain, and will likely be coming to a store near you.

Starbucks Set Nugget Ice Is Being Trialed In The US

It all started earlier on this month when a Reddit post talked about ‘new special ice’ being tested in a third of stores in the US.

Since then, more and more people have talked about it, with videos surfacing on TikTok and more about the change. Though it may not seem like a big deal, many have strong opinions on Starbucks ‘nugget ice.’

For those unaware, the coffee chain currently uses cubed ice for all of its summer drinks. However, the new ‘nugget’ ice is more rounded and pebble-like in shape. They’re smaller and denser than what’s already used, which could make a noticeable impact on drinks this summer.

According to TODAY, this is part of a multi-year rollout for Starbucks. This means many stores won’t get the new nugget ice machines this year. If all goes as planned, we can likely expect Starbucks stores across the world to be changing their ice gradually.

In a statement, a representative for the brand said the following:

“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.

“Like many of our recent investments, this machine allows partners to focus on delivering the Starbucks Experience while hand-crafting the same delicious, high-quality iced beverages our customers have come to expect from Starbucks.”

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Customers Have Mixed Reactions To Starbucks Changing Their Ice

Upon learning about the change, it’s fair to say that Starbucks fans have had some pretty strong opinions on nugget ice.

Many have been concerned that the ice will dilute their drinks quicker.

Commenting on the Reddit thread, one fan said:

“Normally this ice IS IT!!!! But I worry that they will melt too fast in iced espresso drinks.”

Another agreed, saying that whilst they enjoyed snacking on the ice, it didn’t go with drinks very well:

“Lemme eat it all day. But not in my coffee.”

Many also thought the ice makes a good snack, suggesting that Starbucks should “bag it and sell it as snacks” whereas employees of the chain said, “I can’t wait to snack on this my whole shift.”

Starbucks has reassured customers that they have “conducted several tests” to demonstrate that the new nugget ice does not melt faster than their current cubed ice. Plus, their tests also concluded that mostly, customers didn’t notice a difference.

It looks as if the Starbucks nugget ice is intended to be a permanent plan. So, you’ll have to head to a store new you that’s trialing it to get your own opinion.

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.