It’s easy to make fun of Starbucks, what with their high prices, stupid names (I refuse to call their drinks anything but small, medium, and large), and crushing pervasiveness. I used to go once or twice a year, when some demon urge came over me to get a vanilla iced whatsit thingamajig, but since (shockingly) there’s not one in my area with a drive-thru, and with the unveiling and continuing expansion of McDonald’s McCafe line of premium coffees, clown beats mermaid every time. I realize I’m just trading one giant evil company for another, but at least at McDonald’s I don’t have to leave my car. Or learn Italian.
So, I stick my nose up at Starbucks, out-douching the douches standing in line for their soy half-caf god-knows-what, pretending I’m better than them because I don’t kowtow to The Man. I put my pre-ground packaged coffee in my coffeemaker every night, and every morning it is waiting for me when I wake up. I like my coffee like I like my- oh, forget it. I drink it black. That’s all.
There’s a little secret I keep deep inside my fast-beating, over-caffeinated heart, however. I love Starbucks’ bottled Frappuccinos. I don’t buy them very often, because they are overpriced just like everything else Starbucks sells, but I love the little buggers, no matter what the flavor.
So when I heard that Starbucks had come out with Limited Edition Cookies & Cream bottled Frappuccinos, I nonchalantly offered to review them, then broke speed limits and ran red lights to get to the store. Lo and behold, there they were, four little bottles in their cute yet sophisticated-looking carrying case.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen something claiming to be cookies & cream flavored look so adult. There have been many times where I’ve refused to make eye contact with the cashier as they rang up something I’d bought to review, but this was not one of those times. For once, I was not an obviously childless adult purchasing a single box of Kid Cuisine. This is a Serious Drink for Adults, motherfucker. Don’t judge me.
Oh, can you hang on a second? I forgot to grab some gummy worms. Okay, now you can judge me.
When I think cookies and cream, my mind generally gravitates towards Oreos, probably because you can’t throw a rock without hitting someplace that has an Oreo shake, sundae, or other Oreo-related product. Plus, they turned 100 this year – without doing any research, I’m going to assume that makes them the original cookie/cream combo.
While it’s not exactly fair to other cookie flavors, this means I expect my cookie flavor to be chocolatey and my cream part to be a cavity-inducing haven of sugary sweetness. Sorry, oatmeal raisin cookies – I guess you’ll have to wait for your own Frappuccino flavor. Don’t hold your breath. Your…cookie breath. If only morning breath could smell like cookie breath. Divorce rates would plummet.
Getting back on track, Starbucks Cookies & Cream Frappuccino sticks to the chocolate formula. “Shake well” is not just a suggestion; you can see a rather prominent layer of chocolate at the bottom of the bottle, and you have to shake the hell out of it to get it evenly distributed.
I should amend my use of the word “chocolate”. It’s actually “cocoa processed with alkali”, which makes me think of batteries but is much less ominous than it sounds. For the sake of brevity, I’ll just call it chocolate.
As a Starbucks bottled Frappuccino, Cookies & Cream delivers. It’s smooth, sweet and creamy, with a high note of chocolate flavor that blends perfectly with the creaminess and isn’t overwhelming. The taste is similar to Hershey’s chocolate syrup, which is fine by me. The chocolate actually cuts some of the sweetness of the drink, which is chock full of sugar (real sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup).
While “Brewed Starbucks Coffee” is listed as the first ingredient, the coffee flavor is pretty subdued, showing up as more of an aftertaste, albeit a pleasant one. This is not unexpected, as Starbucks Frappuccinos are, at least to me, “the coffee drink for those who don’t really like the taste of coffee”.
Limited Edition Starbucks Cookies & Cream Frappuccino ranks high on my list of favorite Starbucks coffee drinks. Straight from the fridge, it’s cool, sweet, chocolatey, and refreshing. It doesn’t exactly scream “cookies & cream” flavor, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. I liked it so well, I went out and bought another four pack. I’m actually a little sad it’s a limited edition item.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the Cookies & Cream Frappuccino, I realize that it’s not a drink for everyone. It doesn’t exactly taste like cookies, it’s loaded with sugar, and it’s no substitute for a real cup of coffee to wake you up and satisfy your morning caffeine cravings. It’s also, like every Starbucks item, on the expensive side for what it is. That said, if you’re a fan of sweet and creamy chilled drinks, and you enjoy the taste of coffee and chocolate together, you’ll be a fan of this drink in no time.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 bottle (9.5 ounces) – 190 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 32 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, 25% calcium, and 2% iron.)
Item: Limited Edition Starbucks Cookies & Cream Frappuccino Coffee Drink
Size: 4 pack/9.5 ounce bottles
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Refreshing despite being so sweet. Not having to learn Italian to buy it. Chocolate and cream blend perfectly. Not having to be embarrassed to buy it OR have to stand in line with douches to get it. Coffee taste is subtle but delicious.
Cons: Expensive. Bad “I like my coffee like” jokes. Flavor doesn’t scream “cookies”. Morning breath never smells like cookie breath. Will not satisfy hardcore caffeine addicts.