Review: Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Vanilla


The use of vanilla is very popular in soft drinks and beyond. You may recall the “Vanilla Wars” between Coke & Pepsi back in 2002-03 with the introduction of Vanilla Coke and Pepsi Vanilla. They were hot sellers for a while, but eventually both got discontinued. The Atlanta-based powerhouse brought back their Vanilla Coke in 2007, under the name Coca-Cola Vanilla… and rolled out Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero. Even Dr Pepper got in on the action with Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper and Dr Pepper Berries & Cream. I mention this because even coffee drinks welcome the use of this flavoring, as evidenced by Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Vanilla

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Vanilla

As I noted in my review on the Coffee flavor of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee, I’m not a coffee drinker, but I thought the Doubleshot Energy+Coffee beverage wasn’t that bad. We talked about the positioning and history of this brand in that post, so if you haven’t read it already, go take a look!

The Vanilla flavor is available in stores, as well as Starbucks locations. It comes in a can that is typically associated with a 16 oz. energy drink, however in this case, you are only getting 15 oz. of beverage. The design follows a tan color scheme with brown diagonal accents. The Starbucks logo is found on the top third of the front panel. The rim of the beverage is silver and denotes the flavor (“Vanilla”) while also highlighting the additional supplements (Guarana, Ginseng, B Vitamins). The back of the can notes that this drink is “charged up with coffee and vanilla.”

Like the original Coffee flavor, this drink is brownish in color, similar to what regular coffee looks like when loaded with cream. The smell produced when opening the can is that of a sweet beverage, with some hints of vanilla present with the prominent coffee aroma.

As far as taste… very sweet! The Vanilla version of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee definitely is more appropriate for sweettooths when compared to the Coffee version. Like similar beverages in the carbonated soft drink world, the vanilla flavoring adds a smoothness and creaminess that typically is not there. As before, this drink is not carbonated, but thicker than a standard soft drink. Overall, it was a positive experience, though it actually might have been just a little too sweet for my tastes.

My wife Amy, who is a coffee drinker, also tried this Vanilla version of Energy+Coffee. She liked it as well, but noted that she was able to detect the inclusion of the artificial sweetener sucralose (typically known as Splenda in retail markets). Neither of us are fans of artificial sweeteners, but for some reason Amy was able to sense it more in Vanilla’s aftertaste this time around.

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Vanilla contains the same amount of caffeine as the original Coffee flavor: 146 mg., which breaks down to 9.7 mg/oz. This puts it on the same level as the “biggies” in the energy drink world, Red Bull (9.64 mg/oz.) and Monster (10.00 mg/oz.)

Per 15 oz. can, you’ll find that Vanilla provides 210 calories, 180 mg of sodium, 25 g of sugars, and 2.5 g of fat. Itemizing the nutritional supplements, you’ll find 325 mg of ginseng, 90 mg of guarana, 1800 mg of taurine, 450 mg of carnitine, 2000 mg of maltodextrin, and 180 mg of inositol. Nutritionally, this Vanilla flavor is pretty much the same as the Coffee flavor.

A full ingredient list is as follows:

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Vanilla
Starbucks® Coffee (water, coffee), reduced fat milk, skim milk, sugar, maltodextrin, dextrose, taurine, cellulose gel, natural flavor, L-carnitine, panax ginseng root extract, inositol, sodium ascorbate (Vitamin C), guarana (paullinia cupana) seed extract, cellulose gum, calcium phosphate, niacinamide, sucralose, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), tricalcium phosphate, caramel color, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), riboflavin, Vitamin A palmitate, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), Vitamin D3

If looking for a creamier, sweeter, and smoother cold coffee drink experience, Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Vanilla is a solid bet. Its energy drink attributes provide an uplift for those looking for such, while the use of vanilla flavoring makes it appealing for both coffee and non-coffee drinker alike.

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Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of Starbucks and PepsiCo