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The Secretly Perfect Costco Food Court Item No One Ever Talks About

Before you shop, pick up this stimulating drink to power your journey through the crowded warehouse.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

I was somewhere around the Costco meat department near the rotisserie chickens when the Cold Brew Latte Freeze began to take hold.

I remember feeling a little a bit lightheaded, but more than anything, I felt awake. Really, really awake. And energized. Suddenly the vast warehouse around me pulsed with newfound clarity. Amid the cool air and clanging shopping carts, I was struck by my sharpened alertness and propelled onward with a vigorous enthusiasm that I'd never before experienced in such a drab big-box store setting.

In other words: I was buzzing.

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If you ever need a quick pick-me-up as you face the swarming crowds at Costco, make the food court your first stop and order one of these icy, high-octane coffee drinks posthaste.

What, you've never heard of Costco's Cold Brew Latte Freeze? Well, that's understandable. You won't find it anywhere on the food court's highly visible menu board. However, the frosty drink is clearly listed among your options at the electronic self-serve kiosk, priced at $2.99.

Though not technically a "secret menu" item, it can be your secret weapon for navigating the labyrinthine warehouse as clear-headed and content as possible.

Yet, as invigorating as it sounds, this miraculous concoction has been largely overlooked by Costco's otherwise hyper-observant fan base, which is quick to gossip about every other food court offering ad nauseam.

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Costco's Cold Brew Latte Freeze held aloft in the warehouse club's food court
Chris Shott/Eat This, Not That!
Cold Brew Latte Freeze (Per 16-oz. Serving):
Calories: 470
Fat: 6 g (Saturated Fat: 4 g)
Sodium: 140 mg
Carbs: 93 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 96 g)
Protein: 12 g

If you're at all plugged into the Costco echo chamber, then you've no doubt heard all about the famously inflation-proof hot dog combo, the cheap pizza, the pricey roast beef sandwich, and the massive new cookie. You're probably also familiar with the much-missed Combo Pizza, the chopped onions and chicken Caesar salad that triumphantly returned, and the much-maligned mango smoothie that left just as quickly as it came. Far less chatter has centered around the frozen coffee drinks that are currently available.

You may be aware of the Costco food court's other coffee drink, the Cold Brew Mocha Freeze ($2.99), which does appear on the menu board, right next to the popular Berry Smoothie. Shoppers on Reddit have mixed feelings about that one, the most positive being that it's "cheaper than any coffee house that's offering the same product concept" and "definitely a boost of energy." One self-described Costco employee suggested it contains "4x the caffeine" as a previous version of the same drink. (The exact caffeine amounts are not posted.)

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Even so, I don't recommend the Cold Brew Mocha Freeze. For starters, it's a nutritionist's nightmare, packing 580 calories and 111 grams of sugar into a single 16-ounce serving, according to the most recent nutrition facts posted at my local warehouse.

Even worse, it tastes terrible. The first sip is an overwhelming blast of cloyingly bittersweet chocolate syrup that hardly fades no matter how much you stir or manage to gulp down.

The Cold Brew Latte Freeze, meanwhile, is the better-tasting, slightly better-for-you option. It's essentially the same drink, minus the hefty dose of chocolate syrup. It has fewer calories and less sugar, but packs the same eye-opening punch. And unlike the ultra-sweet mocha version, it actually tastes like coffee.

You'll appreciate the rich flavor and increasingly electrifying effects as you nimbly dodge the ankle-nicking shopping carts, checking off items on your shopping list with heightened awareness and concentration.

And with any luck, you'll make it through the checkout line before that jolt of sugar and caffeine inevitably wears off.

Chris Shott
Chris Shott is the Deputy Editor covering restaurants and groceries for Eat This, Not That! Read more about Chris
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