REVIEW: Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

What is the Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew?

A cousin to the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte, the new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew features Starbucks’ tried-and-true Cold Brew with vanilla sweet cream and a pumpkin-flavored cold foam with pumpkin spice on top.

How is it?

I fully embrace pumpkin spice season, even when it makes its debut in August. And OH MY GOSH, you guys, this Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is a real winner. I *might* even break up with the PSL this year and stick with the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. It’s that good.

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew 2

The biggest takeaway from the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is that it’s not as sweet as the PSL. It tasted like a piece of pumpkin pie – just enough of a hint of flavor without an artificial taste. The Cold Brew itself, sweetened with vanilla syrup, is smooth and easy to drink. And while I typically have to be in the mood for Cold Foam, I LOVED this one. I liked that it stayed nicely as the top layer without sinking too much into the Cold Brew.

One thing to note, I tried this drink twice. Once I got it with the straw-less lid. The second day, my Starbucks was out of those, so I got lid and straw. While it didn’t affect the flavor too much, I do prefer drinking it out of the straw-less lid because you get equal parts Cold Brew and Cold Foam.

A grande packs a decent caffeine punch at roughly 185 milligrams, so it got me through my day, both productive and excited about wearing scarves again soon.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Points to my mom for doing the recon on this one: The Cold Brew already has the vanilla syrup added in, so you can’t customize with sugar-free vanilla. Embrace the full sugar, my friends – it’s worth it.

Conclusion:

When can I go back and get another?

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Grande
Purchased at: Starbucks
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts:: (Grande) 250 calories, 12 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 31 grams of total sugars, 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Tie-Dye Frappuccino

Starbucks Tie Dye Frappuccino

I have great news – I’ve recently opened an Instagram account! I may be a bit behind the curve, but late is better than never, and it seems I’ve joined up just in time to fully appreciate Starbucks’ newest Instagrammable blended beverage — the Tie-Dye Frappuccino.

Starbucks Tie Dye Frappuccino Shirt

Working at a store where rainbow-wearing hippies are the norm, I’m no stranger to tie-dye. In fact, I own quite a few tie-dye shirts of my own and even decided to wear one to Starbucks in hopes of matching my drink. Those hopes began to fall as I saw several people with staggeringly yellow Frapps walk by as I waited my turn in line.

Observing the lone, harried barista create my drink, I realized the tie-dye effect isn’t created by blending together multiple colors of syrup. Instead, multicolored sanding sugar was shaken onto the bottom and sides of my cup before a deluge of neon-yellow Frappuccino base was dumped on top. The colors start to bleed after everything settles for a minute, and, TAH-DAH! You’ve got a tie-dye drink.

Well, you’re supposed to have one, anyway.

Starbucks Tie Dye Frappuccino Blue Streaks

My drink, like those of the people in line before me, was colored Big Bird yellow and had only a light bluish tint going along one side of the cup. Completely missing were the vibrant reds, oranges, and greens promised by Starbucks’ in-store promotional material.

Starbucks Tie Dye Frappuccino Foam

The extra dusting of sanding sugar shaken on top of the whip was the most tie-dye thing about my drink, and even that looks like it could have been stolen off the Unicorn Frappuccino, which, by the way, was so influential in fast food history that it has its own Wikipedia page.

Although it’s hard to set looks aside concerning a treat with such visually focused marketing, the Tie-Dye Frappuccino actually tastes pretty good. It’s sweet – which is no surprise since a Tall has over 39 grams of sugar – but not cloyingly so, and it’s got a pleasant hint of banana that keeps it from tasting as blah as it looks.

I wouldn’t order this over my usual Cold Brew with Cold Foam but found it to be a pleasant departure from what I typically order, and thought it was especially refreshing on a hot and muggy July afternoon.

Even though Starbucks’ Tie-Dye Frappuccino may not be groovy enough to inspire everyone to forget their differences and love each other à la Woodstock-style, it’s still an enjoyable summer treat, and worth giving a shot while it’s still around.

Purchased Price: $4.95
Size: Tall (12 oz.)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Tall beverage with whip) 280 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of total fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 39 grams of total sugars, 4 grams of protein, and 0 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Iced Cocoa Cloud Macchiato

Starbucks Iced Cocoa Cloud Macchiato

What is the Starbucks Iced Cocoa Cloud Macchiato?

The newest of Starbucks’ cloud beverages (the “cloud” comes from the foam layer on top of the macchiato that contains egg whites for fluffiness), the Iced Cocoa Cloud Macchiato has espresso, milk and toffee nut syrup. It’s completed with both caramel and a mocha drizzle on top.

How is it?

I liked this drink, but I wouldn’t say I loved it. I’m a fan of the regular macchiatos, but I think the cloud foam on this one threw me off a bit. The amount of foam was pretty significant (I’d say more than the cold foam drinks, which I do really enjoy), so it made sipping it a challenge to balance the foam and the coffee portion. Slow and steady sips won the race. I thought the egg white powder would be weird, but I couldn’t taste it at all.

Starbucks Iced Cocoa Cloud Macchiato 2

What I did like was the marrying of the cocoa and caramel flavors. Coupled with the toffee nut syrup, there was a nice nutty flavor with a hint of chocolate. The coffee portion was my ideal coffee color – not too light and not too dark. I also enjoyed that it was not overly sweet, and was very light. It would make a good afternoon pick-me-up.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Much like the standard Starbucks macchiatos, be sure to let the foam layer and the espresso layer blend naturally in with the milk. I’m pretty sure mixing it is considered a coffee sin.

Conclusion:

I’ll order this again because I enjoyed the taste, but it won’t become a regular order. If you’re in need of something cool and refreshing on a hot summer day, definitely give it a go.

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall
Purchased at: Starbucks
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts:: (Tall) 220 calories, 6 grams of total fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 29 grams of total sugars, and 9 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Dragon Drink

Starbucks Dragon Drink

What is the Starbucks Dragon Drink?

Last year, Starbucks debuted a new Refresher, the Mango Dragonfruit. As part of the new summer menu, the chain has mixed the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher with coconutmilk for the beautifully colored Dragon Drink.

It’s a sister drink to the Pink and Violet drinks, which mix the Strawberry Acai and Very Berry Refreshers with coconutmilk, respectively. If you’ve never had actual dragonfruit before, it includes diced dragonfruit on top.

How is it?

While I typically go for coffee, coffee, and more coffee at Starbucks, I’ve been gravitating more toward the Refreshers these last few months for something sweet and caffeinated. So needless to say, I was thrilled to see this one go on the menu, as I’m a huge fan of the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher.

Starbucks Dragon Drink Closeup

The Dragon Drink did not disappoint. Not only does this drink look pretty, it also tastes pretty. (I have a feeling this will be the summer’s most Instagrammed drink.) It’s much sweeter than the Pink and Violet drinks – in a good way. I often feel the coconutmilk outweighs the taste of the Refresher flavors in the Pink and Violet, but this was not the case with Dragon Drink. The mango and dragonfruit flavors shined through, with the right hint of creaminess from the coconutmilk. It truly was refreshing and had me wishing I was sitting by the pool instead of at my desk.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Since it is pretty sweet, I think I’ll stick to a grande when I get this instead of upgrading to a venti. The grande was just enough.

Conclusion:

Try this! If you’re a Refresher fan, it will be a hit.

Purchased Price: $3.85
Size: Grande
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 130 calories, 3 grams of total fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 23 grams of total sugars, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Coffee Beverages

Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Coffee Beverage

What are Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Coffee Beverages?

They are extra-strength versions of Starbucks’ Doubleshot Energy canned beverages. While the Doubleshots have 145 milligrams of caffeine per can, the Tripleshots have 225 milligrams. There are three flavors: Caramel, French Vanilla, and Caffe Mocha.

This review covers the first two.

How are they?

If your taste buds are familiar with Starbucks’ Doubleshot Energy or even Java Monster, then these will also be familiar to them. There’s enough cream, sugar, and flavoring in both to hide the coffee flavor and energy ingredients, like ginseng and guarana. So if you’re into sweet, dairy coffee drinks, then you’ll enjoy these. I did.

But, maybe it’s just me, they’re not as flavorful as Starbucks’ Doubleshot canned beverages, which I drink regularly. The new beverages are sweet and creamy like their less caffeinated cousins, but the flavors don’t seem pop as much as the Doubleshots. Maybe to stuff more caffeine into each can, the flavor level needed to be affected.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Two hundred twenty-five milligrams of caffeine is a lot. To give you an idea of how much that is, it’s a little less than what’s in a Venti-sized Starbucks Iced Coffee. Here are more numbers: Most Java Monster flavors have 188 milligrams of caffeine per can.

Caramel, vanilla, and mocha are the usual staid varieties when it comes to coffee energy drinks. I wish one of the flavors wasn’t one of the usuals. Unicorn Tripleshot, perhaps?

I didn’t include a photo of the actual liquid because I figured if you’ve seen one canned coffee drink you’ve seen them all. Think dirty storm river water. Okay. Okay. You got me. I forgot to take photos.

Conclusion:

Again, if you’ve had other coffee energy drinks, these Starbucks Tripleshots will taste familiar to you. Getting an extra 80 milligrams of caffeine over Starbucks’ Doubleshots at roughly the same price is nice if you need the added energy because you were up all night watching YouTube videos about the Easter eggs in Marvel movie trailers or something like that.

Purchased Price: $2.78 each
Size: 15 fl. oz. cans
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (French Vanilla)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Caramel)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) French Vanilla – 210 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 29 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein. Caramel – 210 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 29 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Vanilla Almondmilk Frappuccino

Starbucks Vanilla Almondmilk Frappuccino

What is the Starbucks Vanilla Almondmilk Frappuccino?

Imagine a bottled Starbucks Frappuccino with, instead of reduced fat and skim milk, a liquid made from almonds that are treated as if someone is trying to extract top secret information from it. They’re drowned, chopped into tiny pieces, and then drowned again.

Besides this vanilla flavor, there’s also a mocha version.

How is it?

Full disclosure: I drink almond milk. More specifically, organic Silk Almondmilk from Costco that comes in a pack with three half-gallons, which I drink even though there’s a Silk’s Vanilla Soymilk multi-pack that’s cheaper and better tasting. I mention that to show I have no issues with the nut milk.

With that said, Starbucks’ Vanilla Almondmilk Frappuccino is something I wouldn’t buy again. At first, it’s decent coffee drink. But in the middle of every sip, a weird, acrid taste pops up in my mouth. It’s similar to what I experienced with Starbucks’ bottled Smoked Butterscotch Latte. It’s not so horrible that I’m spitting it out and pouring the rest down the drain, but the next time I’m looking for a non-dairy coffee drink, I’ll avoid this.

I’m not sure if it’s the nut milk that’s causing this or something else because the Smoked Butterscotch Latte doesn’t have almond milk and I also recently tried Starbucks’ Almondmilk Caffe Latte and Caffe Mocha which don’t have that acrid taste.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Because the almond milk tends to be thinner than cow milk or soy milk, I thought this would also be that way. But thanks to our friends carrageenan and cellulose gum, it’s as thick and creamy as regular bottled Frappuccino beverages.

Some of you astute readers might’ve noticed I’ve used two different spellings for almond milk. When used in product names, I’ll respect the one-word spelling, but I’m on Team #AlmondSpaceMilk and used the two-word spelling for all other instances. Eh, maybe I’m just a fuddy-duddy.

Conclusion:

Starbucks’ Vanilla Almondmilk Frappuccino has fewer calories and fat than its dairy version, but its flavor makes it my least favorite bottled nut milk coffee drink. Thankfully, there are better options from Starbucks.

Purchased Price: $2.89
Size: 13.7 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 180 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 28 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.