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Starbucks @kdogg27/TikTok

‘They’re drinking them like juice’: Starbucks barista says she knows Refreshers contain caffeine but ‘still let parents buy it for their kids’

‘And the parents wonder why their kids beg for Starbucks everyday.’


Brooke Park


Starbucks baristas have warned TikTok before about the surprisingly high levels of caffeine in Starbucks Refreshers. But it seems not all baristas are necessarily looking out for unsuspecting parents.

Barista Kiyra Ellis (@kdogg27) says she was feeling like a “Gremlin today” as she poured a Strawberry Açaí Refresher on a TikTok clip that has since seen 1.2 million views.

“I knew the Strawberry Açaí Refresher had caffeine in it but I still let parents buy it for their kids,” Kiyra says, parodying the famous TikTok sound played in the background where the creator says he “knew the perc was fake but I still ate it because I am a gremlin RAWR.”

@kdogg27 Feeling like a Gremlin today #starbucks #barista #baristatok ♬ original sound – DeMarcus Cousins

Starbucks initially advertised that its Refreshers contain coffee extract when the infamous drinks launched in 2012. Those classic drinks many associate with juice can contain from 35 to 90 mg of caffeine depending on size.

Yet, many users in the comments were surprised to hear the Refreshers are akin to mild energy drinks.

“CAFFEINE???” one user exclaimed.

“Ahh makes sense why my lip was twitching the other day,” another divulged. “Had 2-3 in one day,”

Caffeine content can be diluted by requesting more water, as one user pointed out, “the way I ask parents if they want extra water in it because I know they will regret it.”

Alternatively, customers can order Crème Frappuccino in most flavors that contain no caffeine.

But the internet hasn’t singled out Starbucks for mass discussion on its drinks’ caffeine content. Panera Bread’s Charged Lemonades elicited strong and diverse opinions from TikTokers too, with some saying the caffeine in the drinks made them sleepy to others unknowingly consuming over twice the recommended caffeine intake for a day.

The Daily Dot reached out to Kiyra via Instagram direct message and to Starbucks via email.

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