Starbucks Is Shaking Up Iced Drinks With One Big Change

Starbucks is bringing a subtle change to its iced beverages.

As part of a multi-year rollout, the coffee chain will slowly be transitioning to nugget ice in stores nationwide, thanks to the brand's upcoming addition of new machinery inside its retail locations.

"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," a spokesperson told People in a statement Thursday, May 18.

The communication also noted that "customers who have tried the nugget ice in our hand-crafted iced beverages during testing had a resoundingly positive response."

Many stores will not see the change this year, as the company is prioritizing stores that typically see a high volume of cold drink orders. The switch will happen gradually over the course of the next several years, and is part of Starbucks' goal to cut its water footprint in half by 2030. The new ice machines use less water, according to the company.

Related: Your Favorite Starbucks Drinks Will Soon Be Available in Stores

One location in particular that is already trying out the new style of frozen water cubes prompted one of its employees to start a Reddit thread—comparing it to the ice used in drinks at the fast food chain Sonic—where fellow Starbies-lovers chimed in with their thoughts about the switch.

Several internet users speculated that nugget ice would water down drinks.

"Normally this ice IS IT!!!! But I worry that they will melt too fast in iced espresso drinks," one wrote.

However, Starbucks said they conducted several tests to confirm that nugget ice does not melt faster than its current ice.

Meanwhile, others—notably, those who enjoy chomping on ice—reacted excitedly to the change.

"I love it. Crushed ice is my fave," someone added.

"They chew very easily, so very yummy," a different employee working at another one of the Starbucks cafes testing out the new kind of ice wrote. "I like them, little less aesthetically pleasing but make it so much easier to consistently make drinks."

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