The Impulsive Buy

REVIEW: Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Baristas are selling me Fraps while misspelling my name at cashiers!

I must mumble, because per usual, my Starbucks cup said “Ben.” That’s ok though because nothing could break my holiday spirit, for today I was trying the new Christmas Tree Frappuccino that looks exactly like a Christmas tree!

Well, kinda like a Christmas tree, I guess?

Look, I know how advertising works. I wasn’t expecting my drink to look like Rockefeller Center, but then again, I also wasn’t expecting Charlie Brown.

The whipped cream looks more lime than pine, and when you think about it, the entire premise is flawed. In theory, the whipped cream portion represents the iconic image of a Christmas tree, so said tree would be like five feet of trunk, and one foot of branches! More like, “Bark, the herald angels sing.” Right?


Fine. ‘Tis not the season for petty whining, so I’ll just let it go, let it go, let it go. (Sung to the tune of “Let it Snow,” not that Frozen song, although I guess that works too. You decide!)

The whipped cream gets its green color due to a matcha infusion, which I’ll be honest, I barely noticed. The topping was drizzled with caramel as well as candied cranberry “ornaments,” so I tasted those more than the actual cream. I mainly order Caramel Fraps, so the whipped cream tasted like it usually does on those.

Phantom matcha aside, the caramel was delicious as always. The cranberry pieces added a nice little crunch element. There’s a freeze-dried strawberry tree topper that did its job because it was the “star” of the show. I enjoyed it.

I made sure to leave plenty of toppings so they could mix in with the Mocha Peppermint Frap.

I finally took a big gulp and O Tannenbaum was it good! That chocolate mint goodness had me singing Ave Barista.

If I had to equate the flavor to something familiar, it tasted like a liquid Andes mint. It wasn’t quite mint chocolate chip ice cream like you’d expect. There’s not much flavor discrepancy when combining chocolate and mint, but I still say this leans more towards an Andes.

I mixed the toppings in, and they got a little swallowed up. Subtle caramel fought through the mint a couple times, and the cranberry bits provided a fun crunch, but the flavors kinda disappeared into the dark abyss.

I also think there may have been too much ice because it tasted watered down about halfway in. The mocha and peppermint dulled and never lived up to the first couple sips.

In the end, it may not have been exactly what I wanted, but I still appreciated it. I’d like to call “bah humbug” on the $5 price, but I’ll leave you on a positive note. Merry Christmas.

(Nutrition Facts – 420 calories, 21 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 50 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, and 15 milligrams of caffeine.)

Purchased Price: $5.08
Size: Tall
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Mocha and Peppermint are a winning duo. Freeze dried strawberry was kinda brilliant. Caramel drizzle never fails. Fun overall concept. Candied Cranberry ornaments were a great addition.
Cons: As far as looks go, it’s the thought that counts. Pretty expensive. Didn’t pick up the matcha. Flavors got watered down. Ave Maria isn’t a Christmas song. I did not intend for the Frozen song to get stuck in your head. “Ben.”