Investigating the Starbucks ice controversy


Ava Smith

Junior Hailey Welter poses with her Caramel Macchiato.

Ava Smith, Features Writer

Starbucks has long been criticized for adding minimal proportions of coffee in comparison to the enormous amounts of ice in their products. This leads a substantial number of customers to request “light ice.” However, the days of changing the ice composition may be long gone. Rumors that Starbucks is charging extra for “light ice” or “no ice drinks” enraged consumers. The Associated Press quoted a tweet saying that a Starbucks employee claimed in a TikTok that Starbucks was charging over a dollar for light or no ice. However, the TikTok, which was not created with the official Starbucks company, only claimed that Starbucks was charging for no water requests. A spokesperson for the company confirmed that these rumors were, in fact, false. That did not stop them from reaching students, who were upset. Despite these frustrations, however, many adore the drinks too much to boycott the restaurant entirely.

Coffee products, especially those generated by Starbucks, are highly addictive. “Most Starbucks drinks are high in caffeine. Caffeine is addictive, and your brain craves caffeine when you are feeling tired,” according to Coffee Levels. “Starbucks is also addictive because of the high sugar content in their popular drinks like venti frappuccinos.”

Starbucks has an abundance of popular drinks that the public continues to order. “[The most popular drink at our location] is definitely the Caramel Macchiato,” Starbucks Barista at Wintergreen Plaza Ashli Gomez said. The Grande Caramel Macchiato has 150 mg of caffeine and 33g of sugar, according to their nutrition facts, which contributes to the addictive nature of the drink.

Many RM students are addicted to Starbucks as well, as locations  are consistently flooded with students during lunch time. “I get a caffeine headache at the end of fourth period, and my Starbucks order always makes me feel better,” junior Alexandra Michalopoulos said. “If I don’t get my coffee, I won’t be able to focus.,” Other students rely on coffee to get them through stressful school days. “During AP testing week, I had a ritual where I would drink my coffee every morning to wake myself up,” junior Jordyn Kolchins said.