Starbucks is Rolling Out New Nugget Ice Soon (Comparable to Sonic’s Popular Pebble Ice!)

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There’s yet another change at Starbucks!
woman with mouth open staring at pink drink in starbucks cup

Starbucks is changing things up, again – this time it’s their ice.

The popular coffee chain is at it again. According to Business Insider, Starbucks is making yet another change to their iconic drinks as the company has confirmed they plan to switch the ice they are currently using to nugget ice instead. Apparently, the nugget ice maker uses less water and Starbucks is determined to cut their water footprint in half by 2030.

The change will happen over the course of a few years and stores that make the most iced drinks will receive the new ice machines first. If you frequent a store that primarily sells hot drinks, you may not see the change happen this year.

someone scooping nugget ice into yellow starbucks cup

Are patrons excited or disappointed about the new Starbucks ice?

News of the change spread like wildfire after one Starbucks employee posted a picture of the ice machine to Reddit and claimed their store was one of three testing out the new machines. Feedback was mixed but many customers and employees were pumped about the new change and couldn’t wait to snack on this chewable ice:

“If Starbucks goes to nugget ice – TAKE ALL OF MY MONEY ALL OF THE TIME.”Tistikins

“This. This is what the people want lol!! I love it! I might actually get an iced drink!!!!”Diamondxo

“I will go to Starbucks just for this ice”Andyj


Others were concerned that the ice would melt too fast in hot beverages or that they would get less product:

“I love it. Crushed ice is my fave. I wonder if it’ll have any impact on beverage quality. Do Frappuccinos blend the same? Does the ice melt faster for drinks like the shaken espresso?”fennekinsfox

“This is the only ice we’ve had at my license store. The espresso melts it faster. Also shaken anything melts it down.”lunafeline

“I have an ice-maker that makes this type of ice. I love it but for coffee it melts super quickly and waters down stuff really fast. People are going to complain watch.” – ericaashlee21

“I wonder if they have considered the size and shape has tighter natural compaction, which means more ice in the cup and less product/ingredients. All at the same price per serving.” – Fair_Smile6246

Many thought the ice reminded them of the popular pebble ice served at Sonic Drive-Ins. Others compared the new ice to that of hospital ice. Regardless of what they thought the ice resembled, the Reddit users were very opinionated on the change!

man holding starbucks refresher drink outside store

What has Starbucks said about the new ice?

As news of the change spread, Starbucks has made a few statements regarding the new ice. They have confirmed that stores are getting new machines over the next few years.

The chain has also made it clear that they have done testing to ensure the new ice will not melt faster than the current ice. According to The Today Show, Starbucks will also be keeping the same ice scoopers which means the volume of ice in each beverage should remain the same.

We decided to call up a few Starbucks locations across the country and see if they had any insight on the new machines. One Tampa barista noted that he had not heard anything about receiving a new ice machine so he didn’t expect to see one anytime soon. It was the same story when we called a few locations around Seattle and Chicago.

Both a San Diego location and the New York location in Times Square had heard about the rollout but didn’t know when they would receive the ice maker. The San Diego location stated they didn’t expect to see one until sometime after June.

For now, these new ice cubes seem elusive! We will keep our eyes peeled this year for the new ice to start appearing in our favorite iced coffees and refreshers. If you happen to spot the new machines by you, let us know!

Want to save on your coffee order? Don’t miss our latest Starbucks deals & offers!

About the writer:

Kara is a writer and photographer from the Midwest. Her creative work has appeared in various publications over the past decade. With a background in finance, she loves to be money-savvy.

Join The Discussion

Comments 2

  1. jennifer

    Not happy. I order iced espresso regularly. I love the big ice.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Darn! Thanks for letting us know your thoughts on the new ice, jennifer! 🤗 ❤️

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