What’s In A Starbucks Granita? These Icy Treats Will Keep You Cool & Refreshed All Summer Long
Are you suffering from Frappuccino fatigue? I mean, as much as I love me a blended, frosty coffee drink, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing — which is why the new Starbucks Granitas come as such a delightful surprise, because what’s in a Starbucks Granita makes it the light, fluffy, and refreshing seasonal treat of your dreams. Starting on June 14 (that’s today!) and continuing through the summer, the Starbucks Caramel Espresso Granita, Teavana Youthberry White Tea Granita, and Starbucks Strawberry Lemon Limeade Granita are all available on the Starbucks Sunset Menu — that is, they’re available after 3 p.m. at participating locations throughout the United States and Canada. Summer goals, y’all. Summer goals.
But what the heck is a granita, anyway? Hailing from Italy, it’s a frozen dessert similar to sorbet and Italian ice; however, it doesn’t require a machine to make, so if you’ve been getting ice cream maker FOMO, a granita should ease your pain. All you need to do is take some shaved ice and top it with whatever your little heart desires, and voila: Granita. The shaved ice in a granita is a little coarser than it is in Italian ice, so it’s crunchy at first before literally melting in your mouth; the Kitchn has a set of easy-to-follow instructions in the event that you want to try making your own granita, so head on over there if you're feeling crafty.
If you're not, though, head to your local 'Bux instead. Starbuck’s take on the treat is described as “finely shaved ice that is lightly sweetened and topped with bold espresso, white tea, or refreshing lemonade” — the top-off beverage, of course, depending on which flavor you order. Unlike a Frappuccino, the ice in a Starbucks Granita isn’t blended up with the espresso, tea, or lemonade, making the result a little less heavy than your standard Frapp; indeed, that’s what the mighty ‘Bux was going for. “We wanted something that was cool, but light,” Michelle Sundquist of the Starbucks beverage development team said in a press release. “Our Sunset Menu is a refreshing way to jump-start your evening and take you into a long summer night.”
But back to our original question: What's in 'em? Here’s how each flavor breaks down.
Starbucks Caramel Espresso Granita
Honestly, this one sounds like the best dessert ever to me: The shaved ice here has been subtly sweetened; then espresso is poured over the top, a splash of cream is added, and it’s all finished off with a drizzle of caramel. And yes, there’s caffeine — a 12-ounce Tall contains 75 mg of caffeine, according to a Starbucks spokesperson. So basically, think of the Caramel Espresso Granita as a grown-up, high-test version of a Sno-Cone (minus the cone, of course).
Teavana Youthberry White Tea Granita
Not into rich coffee or caramel? This tropical, white tea-based Granita might be more your speed. In this one, the shaved ice is lemonade-flavored; then, instead of espresso, the ice is topped with white tea, pineapple, acai, and hibiscus. Also, it’s pink, thanks to the hibiscus. And we know how much the internet likes pink Starbucks drinks.
Starbucks Strawberry Lemon Limeade Granita
If you like your fruity drinks a little more classic, give this one a shot. Like the Youthberry White Tea Granita, the Strawberry Lemon Limeade Granita’s shaved ice is lemonade-flavored — but it’s also got strawberry slices blended in. Then it’s topped with house-made limeade. If that isn’t the taste of a Norman Rockwell summer, I don’t know what is.
The prices vary depending on the market, but generally speaking, the Youthberry White Tea Granita and Strawberry Lemon Limeade Granita will set you back about $3.45 to $3.75, while a Caramel Espresso Granita costs somewhere in the $3.95 to $4.25 range. Plus, from June 14 to June 26, if you stop by Starbucks in the morning, then bring your receipt back after 3 p.m., you can get a 16-ounce Grande Granita for a mere $3. Not too shabby, right?