If you are one of the millions of Americans who drink Starbucks every day, you may have noticed something a bit odd about the last iced coffee you purchased.
Instead of the classic ice cubes you’re used to, your cup might have been filled with “nugget” ice cubes, which are smaller and denser than standard ice cubes.
No, your local Starbucks isn’t out of normal ice. This is apparently a conscientious decision by the coffee giant — and Starbucks loyalists are not particularly enamored with it.
In keeping with a 2021 announcement that the company would be working to reduce its “water footprint” for the sake of the climate, a Starbucks representative confirmed with the New York Post that this new nugget ice is part of the “green” initiative.
“As we continue to innovate and make investments in the Starbucks Experience for our partners (baristas) and customers, we are introducing new machines that make nugget ice to select stores this year,” the rep said.
“Like many of our recent investments, this machine allows partners to focus on delivering the Starbucks Experience while hand-crafting the same delicious, high-quality iced beverages our customers have come to expect from Starbucks.”
Starbucks did note to Business Insider, however, that this nugget ice rollout would take “several years,” meaning the regular ice is what the majority of coffee shops will carry for the time being.
Insider reported that Starbucks, through several tests, found that “most customers didn’t notice the difference in ice.”
That may be true on a macro level, but many people have some strong feelings about Starbucks shifting to a new kind of ice.
A supposed Starbucks employee sparked quite a debate on Reddit when he showed off the nugget ice in a post:
New special ice (we are 1 of 3 cafe stores testing the new ice). What do you guys think? It looks like the ice at sonic.
by u/Cupcake_Great in starbucks
That post drew responses ranging from excited to despondent and just about everything in between. Many expressed concerns that they would soon be drinking watery coffee.
“I worry that [the nugget ice] will melt too fast in iced espresso drinks,” one user posted.
One user claiming to be an employee who has worked with this ice for almost a year claimed that it “does melt faster and your drink’ll probably get watery easier.”
“I love that ice but it’s terrible for coffee,” another user wrote. “Melts fast and waters down the drink.”
The New York Post tried to put those concerns to rest, noting that Starbucks “conducted tests that reportedly showed the new ice does not melt faster than the existing ice.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.