It has honestly felt like the summer of new Starbucks drinks with everything from the Lady Gaga collab to the Ombré Pink Drink, and the new releases keep on coming. You guessed it, Starbucks is coming out with yet another new drink this week, and this time, it's kind of funky. The brand new Pepper Nitro with a Jerky Twist comes out today, July 31, at Starbucks' Seattle Reserve Roastery. Here is everything you need to know about this exotic new blend. 

Yes, Starbucks is Putting Beef in Your Coffee

milk, cappuccino, tea, espresso, coffee
Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

The Pepper Nitro with a Jerky Twist is the new cold brew on the menu at the Seattle Reserve Roastery. It's made with a brand new nitro coffee blend (Starbucks Reserve Eastern D.R. Congo Lake Kivu), and is flavored with malted pepper syrup, cracked pink peppercorn, and a refreshing honey foam. To complete the brew, the cold drink is topped with a slice of grass-fed beef jerky on a bamboo skewer. 

I do appreciate that Starbucks is veering back towards coffee rather than some more colorful iced beverages, but this experimentation is pretty edgy. Tbh, this beef jerky-topped coffee sounds a bit too modern day cowboy for my taste. I already struggle with the strong flavor of a cold brew, and adding acidic nitro-brew and savory beef jerky sounds intense. However, sign me up for honey foam on all my cappuccinos, please.

It's All For a Good Cause

pizza, coffee
Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

This drink appears to actually have been made with some pretty damn good intentions. The nitro base, Starbucks Reserves Eastern D.R. Congo Lake Kivu blend, is a product of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The DRC once had fertile land and a flourishing coffee business, but after years of war and civil turmoil, farmers struggled to produce and sell their beans. However, in 2013, a peace deal was signed with rebel groups and the community in Congo began working really hard to make coffee their livelihood again. 

With the support of Falcon Coffees, a company that has helped Starbucks cultivate relationships between the giant coffee company and coffee growing regions around the world (including the DRC), Starbucks made an agreement with the DRC community to invest in their coffee. This agreement not only promised to sell their coffee, but helped improve infrastructure and sustainability in the region. So you could say this coffee is pretty special.

“I know of no tougher environments in the coffee world to work in,” Konrad Brits, CEO of Falcon Coffees, said in a press release. “But these Reserve coffees demonstrate the potential of this region to produce truly specialty grade coffees. They show the coffee world that these coffees are worth investing in.”

The Bottom Line

I don't want to hate on the flavor of a charitable drink, so I'm just going to restate what they are doing here and let you make up your own opinion. Starbucks is coming out with some cold brew coffee, topped with beef jerky, and it's a continuation of their support for communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The drink is only offered at the Seattle Reserve Roastery, so if you're in town, head to the Reserve starting today and dare to be bold.