Starbucks is slowly rolling out a change that may directly affect many of its popular iced coffees and other cold drinks.
It’s changing the ice.
Currently, the company uses a traditional form of ice cubes.
But several reports on Reddit, since confirmed by Starbucks to multiple media outlets, say the coffee chain will switch to “nugget” or “pellet” ice, which has developed a cult following in recent years for its chewiness.
This ice is sometimes called “Sonic ice,” as the fast-food chain has been a prominent source and even sells bags of it at many locations.
A Starbucks spokesperson told People that nugget ice machines will be introduced “in select stores” this year, but it will take several years for the new ice to reach all locations.
One TikTok user posted an image from what appeared to be a Starbucks internal website saying the new ice machines will use less water than current methods. That’s in line with a commitment the company made earlier this year to cut its water and waste footprints in half by 2030.
The image shared on TikTok said Starbucks’ ice machines would be from Follett, which says online that its “softer, chewable texture is craved by customers” and that the nuggets absorb the beverage’s taste “leaving a flavorful crunchy treat after the drink is gone.”
Starbucks says tests show nugget ice melts no faster than the current ice. The response from customers has been “resoundingly positive,” according to People.