If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know I love me some Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers (with Light Ice!) from Starbucks; my Gold Card proves that. It’s tangy, but sweet; it has green coffee extract for a natural boost of energy; it’s cool and “refreshing”; it’s pink….you get the idea. It’s amazing! But at $5 a drink (I usually get the Trenta size), I wanted to see what other options were available.
I looked into other Refresher options from Starbucks — the Via packets and the canned Refreshers – and I was not a fan. I wanted to see if there was a way I could make my own version that still tasted just as good.
I looked around online and found a recipe on foodiewithfamily.com that talks about making my own “knockoff” version of the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher with green coffee beans, dried hibiscus flower, sugar, water, and ice!So, I was on a mission to find these ingredients — green coffee beans, and dried hibiscus flower? Where do you find this stuff?!
The search for Green Coffee Beans was harder to find than I thought they’d be. There are lots of retailers online that sell the unroasted beans, but there’re all these flavors from all over the world — I didn’t know whether to choose the Guatemala Proyecto Xinabajul – Agua Dulce from Central America or the Yemen Mokha Harasi from Africa!
I finally decided to order the Organic Green Sumatran kind from deansbeans.com. They had the green beans I was looking for and they were organic. Plus, their main store in Massachusetts had good reviews on yelp. I placed my order for 1 lb. of the beans on a Wednesday and received my box on the following Thursday. With UPS shipping, my order cost $16.
Next on my list was the dried hibiscus flower. I searched online where you can buy just the dried flowers and there were some online retailers, but they said you could also find it at a Mexican or Middle Eastern market. I went to an International Market and found some “Hibiskus”, as they call it in Russia for $3.
And now I was ready to go. I had everything I needed (I already had sugar, water, ice…). I made the Green Coffee Extract first. I decided to make the extract the way MakeGreenCoffee directed because that method seemed like it would yield the most potent extract.
I bottled the extract in a mason jar and stored it in the fridge. According to foodiewithfamily.com, the extract will be good for a month.
I made the Hibiscus syrup next. In a large saucepan, I combined the dried hibiscus flowers, sugar, and water. Once the sugar had dissolved, I brought the mixture to a boil, then immediately turned the heat off and covered it for 25 minutes!
I poured the hibiscus syrup through the screen filter as well.
Nothing like my neighborhood barista
So, I tweaked the the ratios and now it’s passable.
So here’s the “almost Starbucks” recipe:
GREEN COFFEE EXTRACT
- 2 cups green coffee beans
- 4 cups water
- Place green coffee beans and water in a large saucepan and let sit overnight.
- Bring coffee to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer for 25 – 40 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let cool (preferably overnight)
- Strain through filter to remove beans from extract
HIBISCUS FLOWER SYRUP
- 1 cup dried hibiscus flower
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- Combine water, hibiscus flowers, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium-high heat
- Once sugar has dissolved, bring to boil and then immediately turn off heat
- Cover for 20-30 minutes
- Strain through filter to remove flowers from syrup — be careful because it WILL STAIN
“ALMOST STARBUCKS” REFRESHER
Combine 2 tbsp. Green Coffee Extract and 4 tbsp Hibiscus Syrup with ice and 2+cups of water. Shake or mix mixture and pour into glass. Add some frozen blackberries for a little more authenticity.
I’m still working on perfecting the drink. I’ll keep you updated
**UPDATE** See my updated recipe HERE!