Have you tried the new Starbucks Discoveries beverages?

by Melody on July 6, 2013

IMAG5994 New Mocha, Vanilla, Caramel Macchiatto Discoveries July 2013Starbucks is offering a new way for you to enjoy a Vanilla Latte, Caffe Mocha, or iced Caramel Macchiato.   In your grocery store, in cartons, is a new product called Starbucks Discoveries.  I had some difficulty finding it initially – notice that in my photo, I found it in the section with orange juice, and lemonade.  When I saw the cartons of new Starbucks Discoveries, I thought maybe it was the same item as an internationally popular Starbucks drink called Discoveries.  (I still don’t know if it is the same item).  In any case, I had high hopes for this new beverage.

I bought a carton of the Vanilla Latte and Mocha, and figured that was a fair starting place to try these.

I would love to know what you think of the Discoveries.  It does have a coffee-esque flavor, but I thought it had a strange aftertaste, the Mocha version more so than Vanilla Latte.  I want badly to give these two thumbs up, but I am afraid I can’t do that.  I tried the Vanilla Latte more than once, and poured over ice, and it’s a little better over ice.  Of course, taste is pretty subjective so I am hoping someone in the comments will disagree with me and love this new product.  I didn’t really like the aftertaste.  I don’t think it tastes close to a true espresso flavor.  It’s a mediocre substitute for a real Vanilla Latte or Mocha.

The Starbucks website has official nutrition information for the Discoveries.

By the way, while I was at the grocery store, I did find more of the Strawberry Lemonade Via which is delicious.  If you haven’t had the chance to pick some up, and you’re looking for a refreshing summer Via, this is a good one!   I still think it might be the best of the Refreshers Vias.

Have you tried the Starbucks Discoveries?


Post to Twitter

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda July 6, 2013 at 7:06 am

I haven’t tried them yet. I keep looking for them in the grocery store but with no luck. However that could be because I keep checking by the coffee and coffee creamer. It’s not a coffee add in? It’s a stand alone drink? Huh. Sounds interesting. And it’s refrigerated?

Melody July 6, 2013 at 7:10 am

@Amanda – It does not look like a coffee add-in to me, like a creamer. It says, “for best results, shake well and serve chilled, or over ice.” (That’s not exact but very close.)

And yes, look for it in all kinds of different places – I can’t figure out why this fits in the section with bottled orange juice and lemonades.

You definitely have to refrigerate – and I think the carton says to use it within seven days of opening.

MagicKat July 6, 2013 at 7:19 am

Did you find that at QFC or Safeway? I didn’t see this product at Albertson’s, I’ll keep looking. I’m betting it doesn’t come dairy free though.

Melody July 6, 2013 at 7:22 am

@MagicKat – That picture is from the QFC at University Village. In my Twitter stream, one person was saying they found them at the Safeway on Madison. I really don’t think it is dairy free.

Michael July 6, 2013 at 8:09 am

Melody, I found this at Walmart here in High Point , NC for $4.88. I tried the Caramel macchiato flavor. At first, I really wasn’t fond of it. To me, it tasted like a watered down version of the canned Doubleshots with slight caramelly flavor. It does have dairy and I found it near orange juice and lemonade with the other iced coffees. I had somewhat high hopes for this product but it doesn’t really taste like a handcrafted Starbucks drink (clearly it’s not). I doubt I’ll be buying it again but it was fun to try something new.

Becky E July 6, 2013 at 8:31 am

They’re in Walmart and Kroger here in the Indy area. It’s in the refrigerated case with juices and creamers. We’ve only tried the Mocha and like it for what it is. More of a treat or dessert since it’s kind of thick. I make my own ice cubes using espresso or strong brewed coffee. So pouring it over those instead of regular ice cubes doesn’t dilute it as much but takes away the extra thickness of the milk.

Chris July 6, 2013 at 9:28 am

Hi Mel, I have tried the international versions and I’m not totally convinced by them either. We have the ‘Seattle Latte’ and ‘Seattle Skinny Latte’ versions here which come in 8 fl oz cartons. They are OK but certainly not the best way to experience Starbucks. The problem in the UK is that Starbucks doesn’t sell the Via Refreshers or for Iced Coffee so there’s no other real way to experience cold Starbucks drinks at home.

We also have these http://www.starbucks.co.uk/menu/beverage-list/bottled-drinks/starbucks-bottled-coffee-frappuccino-mocha-chocolate-drink but they are very average, not nice at all!

To note these products can be found in the dairy section in my local supermarket.

Jenn McP July 6, 2013 at 10:11 am

I tried the Vanilla Latte last week and was really impressed! I don’t typically drink sweetened coffee but I thought it really tasted like the real thing!

Brett July 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I saw them at Fred Meyer (also in the juice area) and bought the Caramel Macchiato flavor. It wasn’t bad, but like you mentioned, had a weird aftertaste. The aftertaste reminded me of Captain Crunch, to be honest.

theatrenut July 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm

I have seen the U.S. drinks, the cartons are pretty large. they were stored in the juice/lemonade section here, too (I swear I saw them on a non-refrigerated shelf at Target, but that doesn’t seem right).

During a recent trip to Ireland and London, the only Starbucks I had at all was a couple of the Discoveries (Int’l) Skinny Latte in the cute Starbucks shop-like cup, which I bought in a Tesco Express. They were good, but went down in about two gulps.

That drink, the canned Doubleshots and the Iced Coffee in bottles all taste pretty similar to me. Like a very light (as in not strong) slightly sweetened coffee drink made with evaporated milk. That’s the flavor I get.

While I’m here, I’ll mention that I’ve also tried the Valencia Orange Refresher and the Orange Spiced Iced Coffee. I really liked the coffee, to which I added a little half-and-half. The orange refresher was just okay – I’m a huge (as in trenta!) fan of the Cool Lime Refresher, and I have not been swayed.

LB July 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm

For $5.50, I’ll pass.

Neil Harris July 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Great post. In Chicago, I have seen them at Jewel, which is owned by Albersons.

denise r July 7, 2013 at 2:20 am

These ‘Discoveries’ don’t sound very appealing to me. But, I will say that I think Sbux did a great job on the Strawberry Lemonade VIA…I think it is hands down the best ‘Refresher VIA’…..no weird tastes, plenty of ‘taste’, just right amount of sweetness and refreshing lemon, to me.

Kristina July 7, 2013 at 6:54 am

I must admit, I’ll probably never purchase any of these Discoveries items; it’s of no interest. However, I recently saw the Strawberry Lemonade Refresher VIA in the grocery store and almost purchased it. Now I wish I had after reading this blog post. They next time a Sbux coupon shows up in the Sunday paper, I’ll give it a try. Are you a fan of it more than the Valencia Orange Refresher? That one has quickly become a favorite of mine, both carbonated and non-carbonated. Hope it stays in the lineup after the Summer season.

Rachel H July 7, 2013 at 8:49 am

I can’t believe the haters! {LOL} I absolutely LOVE these.

Now granted, these aren’t going to taste like a fresh-poured shot concoction. But in the realms of icky thick grocer-bought iced coffee drinks, I was impressed w/the lighter viscosity. And what I’m in love w/the most is the ingredients – typically only around 5 items that aren’t hard to pronounce {a rare find for iced coffee drinks}. And its REAL sugar, not that fake crap.
Do agree w/you on the Mocha aftertaste. I just assumed it was the spice they’d added. Caramel Macchiato is a fave go-to, so this is weaker then my typical espresso-laden fave. Must admit to being guilty of dropping a DoubleShot w/8oz of this over ice w/a touch of caramel sauce. That made up a good difference. Will have to try the vanilla next. I’d love to know the average caffeine/shot ratio they’ve come up for each 8oz.
Speaking of, I normally pour a Doubleshot in a glass of ice – those are thicker then these. I’ve also never seen “espresso” added to a drink like these {barring other strbx products}. But for a person who can’t always make it to a drive-thru, these are a great, measured calorie option. And considering I’m working at losing weight, I’m happy to have these favorites to drink in the morning at just 120 cals. Hoping they’re here to stay!

Melody July 7, 2013 at 8:54 am

@Rachel H – I can’t like and rave about EVERYTHING that Starbucks does! LOL. Maybe I’ll try the caramel macchiato and see how that compares.

I confess, I am addicted to ice cream, and often have it a little milky – sometimes I pour a little milk on top of it. I have used Via as an ice cream topping before too – I end up with a thick shake. These two Discoveries aren’t too bad if you’re making your own milkshake!

I love your thorough review. By the way, I went and visited your website – that’s an impressive blog!

Mollie July 7, 2013 at 8:57 am

I found them at Randall’s in Houston (Safeway owned) and I purchased the caramel macchiato. I had it this morning over ice and I will be purchasing this again. I did not have an aftertaste in mine at all. It was a little thicker than my normal iced caramel macchiato with nonfat milk that I do order regularly, and it is missing the caramel drizzle in the barista version. But when the price of the carton (that makes six “tall” drinks) is roughly the price that I pay for one to one and a half…. I don’t miss the caramel drizzle at all. (I personally think it is too sweet with the caramel anyways). I had a couple of friends over last night and we tried it without ice…. It was thick. The ice really helps it!

Rachel H July 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Via over ice cream? Mmmmmm! I’m gonna have to try next once I file it in the recipe box for “Why didn’t I think of that yet?” Have long been a fan of your site and Strbx savvy. So happy to have you over at mine and hear that you liked it {blush}. Sorry if I “reviewed”…I think my normal verbiage has been replaced by product-quality lingo. LOL That said, I know you can’t love it all…but I was so shocked that like, NOBODY preferred it here yet. I know my protein shakes in the am will never be the same again now! :-D
And {OMG} you’re not alone in your milky ice cream goodness. My daughter will get a sundae and only eat the very top down to give it room. Then she’ll stir it up while waiting for it soften to that near milky-shake consistency before she’ll eat it. I so had to giggle when you described it so completely above. I’ll have to pour milk over it next time I serve it at home for her now, I bet she’ll be thrilled.

Melody July 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Okay, I just went and “liked” your site Rachel H. I couldn’t find a way to email subscribe. As for lingo in the head, surely you’ll get this, but as a hard-core blogging addict (me), after a while my head is partly zooming with everything from what widgets does a person have? google PR? Alexa rank? Facebook? Bloglovin’ ? Do I need badges (i vote ‘no’ on those), and what kind of a blog – comments – just all of those things that go with being a blogger … I think about them when I see new blogs! By the way, I hope you’ll check out my fast food review blog, MelodyEats.com!

Rachel H July 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Awww! Thanks! Oh yes…and thank you for the reminder. I’ve been attempting to redesign & polish it up this past month but the devil has been in the details. {Literally glamping it out too it seems.} Nothin’ like realizing my email subscriptions have been wiped out for the past 4 weeks. LOL Will def make sure to head over and follow you on your fast food review blog too! :-D

Kat C July 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I tried the Vanilla Latte one (my Wal-Mart didn’t have the caramel machiatto–my favorite drink!) and I like it, I’m about to go sip on some now. It has a richer taste and is less sweet than the International Delights. For someone who goes to Starbucks once a week for an icy drink I think this is nice substitute that is easier on the wallet.

Leslee July 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Hi Mel! I found the Starbucks Discoveries product here in N. California at my local Bel-Air (Raley’s/Nob Hill) and yes, in the refrigerated juice aisle. I purchased the Vanilla Latte since I am a latte nut and figured I could make a good comparison. I didn’t hate it, found it better than the bottled versions and since it’s cold I agree with Becky E that it is a nice dessert! A bit pricey ($6.99) but so is most Starbucks products in the grocers. Rachel H echoes my appreciation of the ingredients; only 5 and all pronounce-able (is that a word?!?!?).

I also picked up a package of the Strawberry-Lemonade refresher today and LOVE IT!!! Will make a nice treat to sip at my desk at work :-)

Melody July 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm

@Leslee – I too thought it was impressive that the ingredient list was short and pronounceable.! Glad you found the strawberry-lemonade via!

Laily July 8, 2013 at 6:40 am

Of course I didn’t get the email notification for THIS post -smh =/

Melody, at the time I posted the pic of these on yours & Starbucks’ FB a while ago, I had only opened & tasted the Vanilla Latte one. When I opened the supposedly new Caramel Macchiato a few days later, it didn’t open the same way the 1st carton did (you know what I mean, like it wasn’t sealed correctly). It also had a weird consistency, so I didn’t feel at ease to drink it-threw it out without ever tasting that one. Quality control issue, maybe? Most likely, I might not repurchase it, as I like the VIAs better, as I can recreate almost any drink at home my way (including milkshakes by simply making an “espresso shot” w/ a hot or iced VIA packet). There was a time I was addicted to International Delight’s Iced Coffee (Original flavor over ice w/ their Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream creamer) & hoped everyday that Starbucks would make their version of a multi-serving carton of ready-to-drink, prepared cold coffee drink. After all this time, I really expected something that would blow me away. In the beginning, I think my enthusiasm was caused more by the love of the idea, not the product itself & how it was executed. I don’t want Starbucks to discontinue, but just go back to the drawing boards to improve the taste & texture.

Cough Fee July 12, 2013 at 9:57 am

One word: YUCK! Stick with the real thing.

GermanChoco4x July 15, 2013 at 5:50 am

I found them some days ago at the supermarket near my workplace. I tried ‘Seattle’ and ‘Caramel Macchiato’ and have to say that they are very delicious. I actually hate coffe, espresso and co. But I loved the sweet and light bitter taste. I bought these 2 sorts in Germany and I’m not sure if they sell this cartons here. In the supermarkets I was, I just found 220ml cups to go :-/

violet July 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I got the cafe mocha one at safeway and for 4.99 it was the same as just one frapp at starbucks the taste was pretty much the same and i just blended it up with ice.I thought it was a good product.

denise r July 29, 2013 at 6:46 am

I have to admit, I have looked a little for these but obviously in the wrong places….I will look at Jewel but….I really think I would not even try them. I do like, and keep on hand, the large sz canned “doubleshots” (coffee and mocha). I think they’re very good for a drink when running out the door sometimes. But, mostly I’m going to a Sbux for what I want to drink.
I couldn’t see the oz. or sz in the pics. Does anyone know?

Brent July 30, 2013 at 9:25 pm

SO BUMMED that these taste nothing like the real thing. I probably get an iced mocha from starbucks once a week, and was really hoping they started selling the actual beverage as is. Unfortunately it’s completely different.

Marion July 31, 2013 at 10:32 am

I found it at our local Target. I tried the caramel macchiato and was hooked. I swear Starbucks puts crack in their coffee…lol

Jessica August 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

Unfortunately I don’t live near a Starbucks so it’s not easy getting my fix…lol the nearest Starbucks to me is 45 mins:( I always buy the bottle mocha frappuccino in a four pack at a convient store and that gets pricey at two a day they run a little over 4.00 for the 13oz. I found the mocha discoveries a few days ago and I thought it was great. They don’t seem to have such a sweet taste compared to the bottled I normally buy. Plus I paid 4.99 per carton. Out of each carton I got 3.5 13oz bottle so it saved me a couple of bucks. Not as good as walking into a Starbucks though!

Aki August 2, 2013 at 5:27 am

I just bought these after waiting for them to come to Walmart. I was really excited because I figured it’d be cheaper than Safeway. I’m drinking one now. <3 It's sooo good. But I was wondering…does anyone know why you have to consume it within 7 days? I feel dumb for asking, but I just wanted to know.

arminius August 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I thought they were ok, but I was hoping that they would just be a large form of the bottled Frappuchino product. We go through cases of them and while the bottles are recyclable it still seems like a big waste not to be able to buy the drink in a bulkier size.

Does anyone know why the bottled Frappuchino product doesn’t come in larger sizes? It seems to me that if they were going to make a carton-sized product, why not go with what they already know people love?

Brent August 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Agreed about the liquid (as opposed to smoothy they sell in the coffee house) frappuccino. I’d love to get a more economical version of that, if they aren’t going to make this stuff taste anything like the iced mocha you get in the coffee house.

Liv August 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

I’m just about to crack my carton of Mocha open this morning and went searching for some reviews first. These are my preliminary thoughts:
1) Price sensitivity seems silly when $5.50 is just a little more than one drink at S’bucks. (I also had a dollar off e-coupon from Kroger)
2) Wonder if it will be good blended with ice?
3)It HAS to be better than the bottled crap on the shelves.
4) I’m pretty rural, so getting real ingredients (milk/coffee, etc…) in S’bucks container without a full shop run with four kids would be ideal.

Crossing my fingers!

Melody August 3, 2013 at 8:57 am

@Liv – You leave us in suspense! How did you like the Mocha Discoveries?

tim August 4, 2013 at 6:35 am

The Mocha Discoveries reminded me of a cross between Starbucks Iced Coffee with Mocha,and cream (serve at the Cafes), and bottled Mocha Frappuccino. Overall I like the Discoveries product, it think its a worthy while addition, but if anybody don’t drink bottled Mocha Frappuccino, or Iced Coffee with Mocha,and cream they probably won’t like Mocha Discoveries.

The Discoveries uses Starbucks Espresso blend, but its BREWED Starbucks Espresso blend(not Starbucks Espresso blend performed in a actual Espresso format, therefore not Espresso). The success of bottled Frappuccino, and the Starbucks brand, along with Pepsi looking for new beverage growth, and rollout of the International House Coffee cartons all likely driven the creation of Discoveries.

I think Starbucks could extended to R-T-O Coffee Creamers(ala International House Coffee).

Daniel August 4, 2013 at 7:08 am

They sell these in shoprite next to the milk, soy milk, almondmilk, etc. I was going to purchase this product but it is LOADED WITH SUGAR!!

Kristen August 7, 2013 at 9:45 am

I love the vanilla latte – and for 4.50 you get six 8 oz servings
Perfect for mornings when I am running late

Danny August 14, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I just bought the CM, and I thought it was okay. I got it on sale for 3.49 at target. Obviously I would prefer the real thing but for the price of a tall CM I got 8 servings.

Jess August 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I tried the caramel and the mocha (the vanilla isn’t sold near me!) and loved them BOTH! No weird aftertaste for me. The espresso flavor was true to me. I think this is a great sub to a $5 latte because it literally costs .83 cents a drink! It’s just sweet enough for my mom to like and just espresso enough for me to like. two thumbs up!!

DaveS August 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

The reason you can find these on some non-refridgerated shelves is that it does not need to be refrigerated.
It says on the box that it must be refrigerated upon opening and then “for best results” should be consumed within 7-days.

Jaime August 25, 2013 at 8:58 am

I just bought a Starbucks Discoveries Mocha and I did not like it, I go to Starbucks everyday, so I was trying to save money but that is not going to happen..

JULIE September 13, 2013 at 8:50 am

I just bought one last night from Stater Bros. here in CA. I got the vanilla latte and I tried a sip last night and it was pretty good. Note: Do not expect it to taste exactly like a vanilla latte made by an actual Starbucks barista, because you’ll be disappointed. So yes, you don’t get a strong espresso taste but still LOVED it. May not be like my cafe vanilla but still up there. I did not have an after taste either…

Jonathan September 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

My company received a crate of these Starbucks Discoveries-Caramel Macchiato cartons. Since we have over 200 employees in our headquarters in South Jersey and Starbucks is one of our clients, they gave us a bunch of free samples so we can try them out and then fill out a survey and tell them how we liked it. I never thought I would like a product like this, but I was shocked how great it tasted! I found myself googling how much it costed and at $4.88 @ Wal-Mart this is definitely something I would consider purchasing. It was downright delicious served over ice! I can’t wait to try out the Vanilla Latte and Cafe Moccha flavors. Two thumbs up!

Alan October 3, 2013 at 5:53 am

I like the Caramel Macchiato the best of the 3 flavors. One question though, there is a date on the back of the carton. Does anyone know if that is a use by date or sell by date or how to know how close to buy to that date? Thanks!

Jae November 9, 2013 at 4:34 am

I always buy Frapps at Starbucks, with that said I have nothing to compare the Carmel machiatto discoveries to. Although, I can say it has convinced me to buy machiattos at Starbucks! Can’t say much for the Vanilla one, it didn’t take on too well with my taste buds. It’s taste was more like when you let the ice sit in an empty DD’s Carmel iced coffee cup!

fancee December 4, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Haven’t tried them and most likely wouldn’t. I used to go to Starbucks daily for a Caramel Frappucino 2 add shots no whip, UNTIL I learned how to make them at home, now I go in every couple weeks just as a treat. Brew 8 cups of coffee double strength add 1/2 cup sugar or even use a little less splenda if diabetic put in pitcher and keep in fridge use for iced coffee or fraps. I used a venti frap cup the first few times I made I made it so I would know where to fill it to. Fill the coffee about 1 finger below bottom line on cup pour milk ip to bottom line fill cup with ice put in blender and blend blend blend. You can buy Starbucks caramel sauce and use that to put on top and buy a bottle of caramel syrup just use a cap or less. If you want mocha get the hersheys chocolate syrup put some in when you blend and some on top when done. with all the flavored syrups out there the possibilities are endless. But you do need a high powered blender for the ice a normal home one works but the ice isn’t as smooth as Starbucks but is tasty and so much cheaper.

Sherry January 3, 2014 at 11:06 am

I tried the Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato, oh my word it was so good. I keep it in the fridge at my work and drink about 2 cups a day. The taste is very nice and I must say it is a winner in my book. Great job starbucks…

Tracy April 10, 2014 at 10:08 am

I just discovered Starbucks Discoveries this week at my local Kroger store. I thought 4.99 was high but it really isn’t. I tried the Vanilla Latte and drink it over ice. I love it. I have had 2 glasses so far and so has my son and there is still some left in the container. Which is why I say – it wasnt that much of an investment for a quick iced drink grab and go in the morning. I will most likely buy this again. The store I was in had mocha but I was afraid it would be too sweet. I may try the Caramel Macchiato if I see that . . .

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: