Starbucks is selling house-made sodas in 16 states, and Texas made the cut. There are three flavors — spiced root beer, ginger ale and lemon ale — that went on sale June 24.
The sodas, which were tested last summer in Austin, are made with a trademarked machine called Fizzio that injects carbonation into whatever beverage it is applied to. Customers can specify the amount of fizz, from light to medium to extra fizzy.
The machine was developed by Starbucks and partner Cornelius, a pioneer in the carbonation world. Starbucks' machine is different from conventional soda machines in that it does not combine carbonated water with syrup. Instead, the beverage is mixed first, then carbonated. That means that, in addition to Starbucks' new sodas, you can also get that carbonation in its other cold drinks such as iced tea.
Customers can specify the amount of fizz, from light to medium to extra fizzy.
The drinks are made to order and timed at 89 seconds to complete. An employee at the Starbucks on Haskell Avenue said that the crew was getting adjusted to making the drinks. Most Starbucks stores have had the machine on hand for experimentation and sampling. At the Mockingbird Station store, one employee said that staffers had taken to carbonating whatever they had on hand.
One distinction between Starbucks' sodas and conventional drinks is that the Fizzio line contains no artificial flavors, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup; it uses sugar instead. A 16-ounce drink has 100 calories.
The root beer is described as having flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and star anise. The ginger ale is a "refreshing blend of real ginger, citrus and brown sugar." The lemon ale is a "citrus-forward blend of real lemon juice with hints of apricot and ginger."
For summer 2014, Starbucks also introduced two new flavors of Teavana iced tea: black tea lemonade and blackberry mojito with blackberry, mint, green tea and lemonade. There are two new sandwiches too: turkey pesto and grilled cheese.
The turkey pesto panino has turkey, provolone, roasted peppers and basil pesto on focaccia. The grilled cheese has a blend of three cheeses — white and yellow cheddar and mozzarella — on multigrain bread.
In addition to Texas, Fizzio is available in Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Diego, Stockton, Modesto, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada and Utah.