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Why your iced coffee from Starbucks might be a lot stronger this year

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Photo: Thinkstock/Food Photographer

For some people, that first warm spring day is the start of a whole season full of outdoor running, grilling out, and road trips. But for caffeine lovers, it means one thing: It’s officially iced coffee time (and if you’re really in the know, make that nitro coffee).

And this year, there’s actually big news on the cold-brew front: Starbucks is currently testing a stronger formulation in 100 of its stores. The secret to its super-intensity? Adding coffee ice cubes.

“The coffee taste is stronger and it is a lot smoother.”

The concept isn’t completely new—they’re easy to make at home, after all. But despite their simplicity, you won’t find many places using coffee ice cubes (most corner cafes don’t). So it’s interesting that one of the first to sell them is the biggest coffee chain of all.

The word got out on Reddit via a chatty barista, who says the change makes the iced coffee—and frappuccinos—more delish. “The coffee taste is stronger and it is a lot smoother,” the user revealed. The megachain is testing the coffee ice cubes in select locations across the country, and if all goes well, they will be a mainstay nationwide.

Currently, Starbucks doesn’t list which locations have high-octane cubes, so—just like when you’re ordering your fave healthy off-the-menu drink—you’ll have to ask your barista. (Though if your pre-workout cold brew is making those extra donkey kicks a breeze, that might be a hint.)

If you really want to stay on top of all the latte trends, you have to try the “merbabe” which goes great with mermaid toast.