REVIEW: Starbucks Holiday Cold Foams (Peppermint Chocolate, Chestnut Praline, Sugar Cookie, and Caramel Brulee)

The holidays are here, and it’s time to zhuzh up your Starbucks drink with a new holiday cold foam! As many Starbucks enthusiasts know, Starbs (does everyone else call it that? Just me?) likes to really expand its cold brew/cold foam line with new offerings, and these new options align with the four popular holiday beverage flavors. You’ll find Peppermint Chocolate, Chestnut Praline, Sugar Cookie, and Caramel Brulee.

When trying each of these, I chose to add them to a standard cold brew with no other flavors. You could add them to any other drink of your choosing, but for consistency in my review, cold brew it was.

I’ll run down my thoughts on each, and as you can see from my ratings below, I had quite a range of feelings. Note that I first tried a taste of each cold foam on its own to get the full flavor before taking a sip of the drink.

Peppermint Chocolate

If you gave me a spoonful of this stuff, I’d swear it was a chocolate mousse. On its own, this cold foam definitely gives a Peppermint Mocha vibe, and I felt it was more chocolate than peppermint. It distributed nicely into the cold brew as it settled, but it didn’t quite enhance the drink as much as I would have liked. But it is a nice alternative to a Peppermint Mocha if that’s too strong or chocolatey for you.

Chestnut Praline

Womp, womp. My least favorite of the four. This had barely any Chestnut Praline flavoring and tasted too much like a basic vanilla cold foam. I *did* pick up a tiny bit of nuttiness as I went along, but nowhere near as much as I would have liked to consider this a holiday delight.

Sugar Cookie

An iced Sugar Cookie Latte is one of my go-to drinks, so I was super eager for this one, and it didn’t disappoint. When I tried the foam alone, I got a nice, strong flavor from the Sugar Cookie syrup. Just like the Peppermint Chocolate, this one didn’t affect the flavor of the cold brew too much – it was still pretty strong. I would definitely try this one again, and will likely add the Sugar Cookie syrup to the cold brew for even more of the flavor.

Caramel Brulee

HOLY COW! This one was a surprise home run. The irony is I am least likely to order a Caramel Brulee drink out of any of these holiday flavors, yet this was my favorite. It had an amazing caramel taste that really made its way into the cold brew and lasted through my entire grande-sized beverage. I am 100% getting this one again and happily recommend it to others!

One other thing to note: If you’re ordering through the Starbucks app, a friendly reminder that these cold foams need to be added to your drink and are not part of a featured drink on the menu. You’ll find it if you choose “Customize” and then scroll down to the “Toppings” section.

Happy holiday sipping!

Purchased Price: Adding a cold foam to your beverage will cost you an additional $1.25 on top of your existing drink price.
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Peppermint Chocolate), 4 out of 10 (Chestnut Praline), 7 out of 10 (Sugar Cookie), 9 out of 10 (Caramel Brulee)
Nutrition Facts: Not available.

REVIEW: Starbucks Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso

Starbucks Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso Cup

Despite the heat here in the Midwest, Starbucks has its jeans and hoodie on and is ready for fall. Yes, the Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back, but we can’t forget another fall flavor favorite: apple. A new drink on the menu is the Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso.

Does it sound a little familiar to you? Well, neither the apple crisp flavor nor pairing it with Oatmilk is new for Starbucks, as they’ve done it in years past with the Apple Crisp Macchiato in 2021 and the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato in 2022. But this is the first time it’s been with the popular shaken espresso. And let me tell you, I’m here for it.

Starbucks Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso syrup layer

This drink is smooth. This drink is subtle. This drink is cozy. If you’re not a pumpkin fan but want fall in a cup AND some caffeine, this drink is for you. One thing I’d like to note right off the bat is the apple brown sugar syrup DOES pool at the very bottom of the drink. I highly recommend you give it a quick shake or stir to evenly distribute the flavor.

Starbucks Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso ice

At first sip, it was mellow – not too sweet at all and the apple flavor came in as a nice aftertaste. The flavor of the espresso shots (there are two shots in a tall) is definitely masked by the rest of the drink, so if you’re not super into a strong coffee taste, this is a good drink to try. I love oatmilk in my coffee as it gives a drink a nice creaminess, and I definitely experienced that here. I’ve mentioned before that I can be a slow sipper of iced beverages, so over the course of the two hours or so I had this, the flavor held up.

I’m always a little surprised when the price of a tall creeps up over $5, but this one is worth it. It’s a great fall drink I will be getting again.

Purchased Price: $5.45
Size: Tall
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 130 calories, 3.5 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of protein, and 170 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Summer Remix Chocolate Cream Cold Brew with Caramel Syrup in a Caramel Lined Cup

It turns out remixes aren’t just for songs. Starbucks is jumping on the remix bandwagon as summer winds down with three remix beverages. These are cold drink customer favorites with a twist, and one in the lineup is the Chocolate Cream Cold Brew with Caramel Syrup in a Caramel Lined Cup.

Chocolate. Caramel. Cold Foam. What more could you want? The existing Chocolate Cream Cold Brew swaps its vanilla syrup for caramel, and, as the name suggests, your friendly barista will line the cup with caramel sauce for an even bigger flavor punch.

Let me start with this: I love caramel and I love chocolate. I thought the caramel addition was nice but not a wow-factor. Because the chocolate is only in the cold foam, the caramel flavor muted it a bit. But that being said, the flavors paired well together, and it felt like I was drinking a Twix or a Snickers – something with that ingredient combination. The smell of the caramel was very apparent, and you’re paying for it too. In my area, the Chocolate Cream Cold Brew is $5.25 for a grande, and the remix added another $0.60 to the total. Just like the other cold brews in the Starbucks’ lineup, this one is smooth and the cold foam is creamy. I had no issues with the cold foam melting into my drink – it definitely stayed intact, which is a huge win for me.

One thing to note: Despite being advertised as available in the app, I had trouble finding it in mine. Turns out there wasn’t a specific pre-loaded beverage for these remixes; rather, I had to use this link. Find the remix drink you’d like at that link on your mobile device, and click the link when you get to the “Customers can order this beverage in the Starbucks app here.” That took me right to my Starbucks app, where the customizations came up automatically in my app cart. Then from there, it was easy to order.

The other thing to note is that you can create this remix version at any time by simply using the customize feature in the app. If you change the pumps of vanilla to caramel and add the syrup to line the cup, that’s all you need to create this all year round.

Purchased Price: $5.85
Size: Grande
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available due to this being an existing drink with customizations.

REVIEW: Starbucks Frozen Lemonade Refreshers

Summer is here, and so are new cold drinks at Starbucks. A look back through my last several months of Starbucks reviews reminded me that most of the newly released Starbucks drinks have been coffee-based, but the three new items on the menu this season are made using the Starbucks Refreshers. The coffee chain has introduced three frozen lemonades: Pineapple Passionfruit, Mango Dragonfruit, and Strawberry Acai. I tried the first two for some initial thoughts.

The Frozen Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade Starbucks Refresher Beverage (that’s a mouthful!) is the Pineapple Passionfruit Refresher blended with strawberry puree, lemonade, and a scoop of diced dried pineapple. Similarly, the Frozen Mango Dragonfruit Starbucks Refresher Beverage uses the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher base with – you guessed it – lemonade and dried dragonfruit pieces. While these drinks had some similarities, you’ll soon find interesting differences, too. More on that below.

Pineapple Passionfruit is very tart, and the pineapple overshadows any taste of passionfruit. The pineapple also masked the strawberry puree. I am a big pineapple fan, so this didn’t bother me too much. But what I would have liked was more presence of the lemonade. Since this is billed as a frozen lemonade, you’d think it would be more prominent. But I felt this tasted like they had blended the Refresher base itself.

The Mango Dragonfruit was similar in that it tasted JUST like the Refresher with a lack of lemonade. I liked that it was smooth, wasn’t overly sweet, and the strawberry puree meshed nicely here. (Hence a slight increase in rating for this one over the other.)

I find it easiest to lay out the rest of my thoughts in a list:

  1. DO NOT mobile order this drink if you’re not going to pick it up within a few minutes of them making it. While I tried my beverages, I saw a Pineapple Passionfruit waiting on the mobile order table, and you could see the separation of the frozen concoction. You’d be stirring that bad boy up and potentially even sticking it in the freezer unless you want it super liquidy. Interestingly enough, as I sipped, the Mango Dragonfruit did not separate in the same way the Pineapple Passionfruit did. I never had to stir that one up, but I did with the Pineapple Passionfruit. I can only chalk it up to the different Refresher bases, as everything else is so similar. (Another reason for the slightly higher rating for Mango Dragonfruit.)
  2. I recommend getting a straw – or bringing your own reusable straw – for these. Since it’s frozen, I had difficulty sipping it through the small hole in the cup lid.
  3. Personally, I wouldn’t go any bigger than a grande on this one. I think a venti would cause some serious brain freeze.
  4. These frozen lemonades feel like a fun non-alcoholic cocktail from an exotic resort. They are a nice option for folks to have if they’re only tea or Refresher drinkers.

All in all, I liked both of these, but I don’t think they’re Starbucks’ best brainchild. A nice, fun, and tasty drink if you’re a Refresher fan, but if you never get a chance to try one, I promise you’ll be OK too.

Purchased Price: $5.45 each
Size: Grande
Purchased at: Starbucks
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Pineapple Passionfruit), 7 out of 10 (Mango Dragonfruit)
Nutrition Facts: Frozen Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade – 160 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 33 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of protein, and 50 milligrams of caffeine. Frozen Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade – 150 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 33 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of protein, and 45 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks, you’ve done it again! Another cold brew to your lineup, and another winner.

Here for spring is the White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew. New to the party are a macadamia syrup (added to the coffee) and a macadamia cream in the cold foam with a toasted cookie topping to cap it off.

The first thing I noticed when I grabbed this was how creamy it looked – I’d like to thank my barista for clearly acing the cold brew to cold foam ratio. The cold foam was already settling nicely into the drink. There was also a generous amount of the toasted cookie topping.

This might be one of the smoother-tasting cold brews I’ve had from Starbucks lately. I was delighted at first sip with its smoothness, and the macadamia brings a nice subtle sweetness. A little internet research tells me the flavor of macadamia nuts pairs well with coffee, so it’s no wonder it tasted good. For those unfamiliar with the nut, they tend to be a little buttery in taste, so there is no need to worry about a nuttiness overpowering your coffee. I was honestly surprised to see this had 20 grams of sugar in a tall, as it wasn’t very sweet at all.

I’ve mentioned this in some of my past Starbucks reviews, but I’m not the fastest cold coffee drinker. But because of that, I’m able to report that the toasted cookie topping stayed in the cold foam as I sipped my beverage. And from the time stamp on my drink to the time I finished, that was two hours! I really appreciated that it didn’t sink in, and I still got some with the cold foam at every sip. All that said, and much like I’ve felt with other Starbucks toppings, this one didn’t have much of an independent flavor to it. The toppings always seem like a nice-to-have, but they don’t enhance the drink’s flavor profile.

I’m definitely adding this new cold brew to my rotation, and I hope it hangs around for a while!

Purchased Price: $4.75
Size: Tall
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 170 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of protein, and 145 milligrams of caffeine.