Starbucks refresher vs. lemonade: are they really different?

Starbucks has an amazing variety of refreshers, but some people often confuse them with lemonade. I know that some refreshers have lemonade as an ingredient, but this does not mean that they are the same drink. I decided to find out the real difference between the two by comparing some of their features. In this post, we shall make a comparison and come up with a verdict. By the end of it, you will see how they differ from each other, so keep reading.

What are the differences between Starbucks refresher vs. Lemonade?





Natural green tea extract, white grape juice, real fruits, ice, sugar, water

Lemon juice, sugar, water

Taste profile

Sweet and fruity


Caffeine/ Nutritional Value

Caffeine-2.81mg per fluid ounce, 90 calories in a tall, 20g of sugar, 0 fat

No caffeine, 29g of sugar, 29g of carbs, 80 calories in a tall


Seasonal and Permanent


Starbucks Refresher vs. Lemonade-How they Compare

What it’s made of (ingredients)

Starbucks has a long list of refreshers that come in various ingredients. The most common refresher ingredients are white grape juice, natural green coffee extract, sugar, water, vegetable juice, and real fruit juice. The most popular Starbucks refresher is the strawberry acai refresher, and it has a strawberry acai base and freeze-dried strawberries.

On the other hand, the Starbucks lemonade is made with lemon juice. Water, lemon oil, and sugar. Starbucks uses its lemonade concentrate to make lemonade.

This category goes to the refresher as it combines more ingredients to achieve its unique taste and texture.

Taste Profile

The Starbucks refreshers’ tastes can be described as fruity drinks that are a little lighter than normal fruit juice. These flavors can be mango Dragonfruit, strawberry, or Kiwi Starfruit.

The lemonade tastes tangy with a zing of refreshment in your taste buds. It is sweetened with sugar to give a sweet, refreshing taste.

The taste category goes to the refresher as it comes in a variety of flavors.

Caffeine/Nutritional Value

All Starbucks refreshers are caffeinated. All their bases come with natural green tea extract. The level is at 2.81mg per fluid ounce. A Grande serving gives you around 90 calories, 20g of sugar, 0 fat, 0 proteins, and 15mg of sodium.

Starbucks lemonade has no caffeine. This drink has 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 29g of carbs, 29g of sugar, and 0 proteins.

In this category, the winner is the refresher, as it comes with a dash of caffeine.


Starbucks has seasonal and permanent refreshers. Some are only available in summer, while others are available all year round. The refreshers are available at your local Starbucks.

The lemonade, on the other hand, is available throughout the year. You can easily access it at the store or place an online order via the app.

In this category, we get a draw. As much as some refreshers are available seasonally, you will always get a strawberry acai or other permanent refreshers at any time.

Starbucks Refresher vs. Lemonade: A comparison Review

Starbucks refresher- Overview

There is nothing as refreshing as a Grande refresher on a hot summer afternoon. The low caffeine and ice combined with the fruitiness of this drink are all you need to keep up with the heat. I liked the low caffeine, and the lightness of the refreshers and the variety they came in. On the downside, you will not have any unsweetened versions of the drink.

What I liked

  • The low caffeine boost
  • The refreshment that it brings

What I didn’t like

  • The drinks can be too sugary

Who it’s best suited for

  • This drink is best suited for those who want to quench their thirst on a hot day.

Starbucks Lemonade Overview

The Starbucks lemonade is tangy, with a bit of sweetness. The main ingredients are lemons and sugar, which are combined in water. I liked its versatility and how easy it was to fuse it with other drinks including refreshers. On the downside, there was no sugar-free version available. I also liked the refreshment of the lemonade on a hot day.

What I liked

  • I liked the tanginess and sweetness of this drink.
  • I liked that you could combine it with other drinks

What I didn’t like

  • I didn’t like that there was no sugar-free option

Who it’s best suited for

  • This drink is best suited for those who want to refresh with a simple drink.

Final Verdict: So, which is better? Starbucks Refresher or lemonade?

I will pick the refresher over the lemonade in this case. The refresher is light and sweet, which, makes it the perfect thirst-quencher at Starbucks. Unlike lemonade, you can order the refresher in a variety of fruit flavors.


Is Starbucks lemonade sweeter than refresher?

No, the refreshers are sweeter due to the combination of fruits and sugar.

Which one is healthier between Starbucks lemonade and refreshers?

The refresher is healthier as it is lower in sugar and carbs than lemonade.

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