Starbucks sure took their sweet time coming out with an energy drink, right? Years after their successful release of Doubleshot and Tripleshot canned drinks, you can now find the bright & colorful, Starbucks logo-emblazoned cans of Starbucks BAYA Energy in stores nationwide.
Advertised as Starbucks' first foray into the energy category, the press release describes BAYA as a ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage that is "crafted from caffeine naturally found in coffee fruit as well as antioxidant vitamin C for immune support to give consumers a boost of feel-good energy."
You had me at caffeine, Starbucks. BAYA is available in 3 flavors - Mango Guava, Raspberry Lime, and Pineapple Passionfruit.
In addition to grocery stores, gas stations, retailers, and convenience stores; the 3 flavors are available at Starbucks stores and online through Amazon as variety packs or individual-flavor cases.
Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? We certainly thought so. When I heard about Starbucks Baya being available, I immediately rushed to the closest convenience store and convinced my fellow Sharks to do the same. So without further adieu, here's our take on the each of new Starbucks BAYA Energy drinks.
Jared's Review - 9.0/10
I'll start with the fact that I seriously had trouble putting the drink down, if that tells you anything. The mango and guava both come in strong, and there's almost zero bitter aftertaste like there is with Pineapple Passionfruit. You can really taste the real fruit juice in this one - it pairs really really well with the medium-high level of carbonation that comes out to a supremely refreshing energy drink.
Cameron's Review - 6.2/10
Mango guava is such a refreshing flavor, so I was very excited to give this up-and-coming brand a try. Unfortunately, it has a mildly bitter aftertaste that completely negates the point of having something sweet and refreshing. Why would I want a light and enjoyable flavor if I am going to have a bitter taste in my mouth after each sip? The bitterness is likely because caffeine is inherently bitter, and Baya has a low sugar content with no artificial sweetener. Either way, I was quite disappointed with the outcome of this typically delicious flavor.
Jared's Review - 9.1/10
Is Starbucks putting the sugar form of MSG into this? Why are they so good? I expected a subtle raspberry & lime flavor, a la Le Croix, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The flavor hits like a delicious wave, and while it does have a slightly bitter aftertaste, it's not even close to as strong as Pineapple Passionfruit.
The mix is about 60% raspberry, but the lime cuts it nicely, and you can taste the 12% fruit juice. Bottom line, this drink is delicious. Just like Mango Guava, it's the best energy drink I've had that emphasizes the fruit flavor itself.
Cameron's Review - 5.9/10
Raspberry Lime tastes more like a seltzer to me than a typical energy drink. I would buy this in bulk if it were a seltzer, but energy drinks and seltzers fall on a significantly different scale when it comes to taste. This has a rather bitter aftertaste, and really no redeeming qualities that would make me want to try it again.
Jared's Review - 6.8/10
First impression from the first sip - Mtn Dew Kickstart. 100%.
But then I took a few more sips, and the aftertaste really started to permeate. It's not inherently bad, but there is a slight, noticeable bitterness that I assume comes from the combination of pineapple, coffee fruit extract, and coffee bean extract. Pineapple Passionfruit comes through both flavors, although pineapple perhaps a bit stronger. The passionfruit is somewhat subtle.
I do like the bitterness, but I realize that many who try this drink might expect the sweetness of Bang, Reign, or Adrenaline Shoc. Don't come into it with that expectation and you'll do just fine.
Cameron's Review - 4.3/10
Pineapple passionfruit has to be good, right? I mean, pineapple is easily one of the most delicious and refreshing flavors...
Boy, was I wrong. I have rarely been this disappointed by an energy drink compared to expectations. Not only is it bitter with a potent passionfruit flavor dominating the beverage, but it was actively unenjoyable to drink. I literally grabbed another drink upon completion to cleanse my pallet. It may sound like I am overreacting, but it simply is not a quality energy drink.