QUICK REVIEW: Starbucks Juniper Latte

Starbucks Juniper Latte

What is the Starbucks Juniper Latte?

I was a little surprised when I learned of Starbucks’ latest drink, the Juniper latte, because it was released late November but wasn’t a holiday-like drink.

Nonetheless, I was intrigued – the main draw of this new latte is a juniper syrup, which is supposed to add a “light, pine-like flavor with delightful citrus undertones.”

How is it?

My barista told me that customers have either been loving the Juniper latte or hating it, so I braced myself. I wasn’t so sure about the citrus-ness of it, but turns out I didn’t have to worry. At first taste, it tasted like a regular latte – actually not much flavor at all. I smelled the citrus, but didn’t taste it. There was an earthy aftertaste, but it wasn’t overwhelming.

Starbucks Juniper Latte 2

Here’s the best way I can describe my experience: I liked the Juniper latte and I enjoyed it as I drank it, but it’s not something that I’m adding to my standard rotation of beverages. A good one-time try, but not enough to make it to the top of my list.

Is there anything else you need to know?

If you’re looking for something that is NOT sweet, this is your drink. The only sweetness came from the dusting of pine-citrus sugar, but that only lasts for a few sips until it melted into the drink. Still, a nice addition!

Conclusion:

If you go for a standard latte with no added syrups or flavors, or if you just want to try something a little different, I think you’ll enjoy the Starbucks Juniper Latte.

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Tall) 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 27 grams of sugars, 9 grams of protein, and 75 milligrams of caffeine.

QUICK REVIEW: Starbucks Cordusio

Starbucks Cordusio

What is the Starbucks Cordusio?

Having recently returned from a trip to Italy, I was excited to try this new Starbucks Cordusio, which the coffee chain’s site says is named for and inspired by the Piazza Cordusio, a popular city square in Milan. It’s also where Starbucks just opened its new Reserve Roastery. This espresso-meets-mocha drink consists of espresso, mocha, and whole milk.

How is it?

I enjoyed the dark mocha flavor – the description says it has a taste of dark chocolate, which I definitely tasted. It felt like I was indulging in a super dark chocolate bar. Give me all the chocolate! There’s more of a coffee taste than Starbucks’ regular mocha, which in my opinion is creamier and less coffee-like. Because it seems like I’d be drinking dessert, I rarely get a regular mocha. Coffee is what I want!

I took my time with it and found it to be more of a sipping drink that can last you through the morning.

Is there anything else I need to know?

The menu sign at my neighborhood Starbucks advertised this as a short, but you can get it in any size. My friendly barista shared that both the short and the tall have two shots of espresso, so it just depends on how much milk and mocha you want with it.

Conclusion:

I thoroughly enjoyed the sophisticated feel of the Starbucks Cordusio. Heck, even the name sounds fancy! I’ll definitely get again, now that I’m finally moving to hot drinks after iced coffee season.

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tal
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Tall/12 fl. oz.) 200 calories, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of sugars, 9 grams of protein, and 155 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Witch’s Brew Frappuccino

Starbucks Witch's Brew Frappuccino

“What’s that? [Bat]’s wart, mmm! And [toad]’s breath? Nothing’s more suspicious than [toad]’s breath! Until you taste it, I won’t follow a spoonful.”

So apparently the folks over at Starbucks weren’t quite creative enough to come up with their own ingredients for the Witch’s Brew Frappuccino, so they had to take worm’s wart and frog’s breath from Sally’s soup on The Nightmare before Christmas, and they replaced the animals to avoid copyright infringement. I’m surprised they didn’t add deadly lampshade in place of deadly nightshade.

According to various official descriptions, this purple concoction also has swamp fog, goblin regret (whatever that is), and lizard scales.

I’ve got to hand it to Starbucks: this is a visually stunning drink. The orange-flavored purple base, the green-colored chia seeds, and the green sugar on top of whipped cream. Purple and green will never overthrow orange and black as the ultimate Halloween colors, but this is a fittingly spooky treat.

Will this brew gain the approval of Samantha Stephens, Winifred Sanderson, Sabrina Spellman, and Minerva McGonagall? Ehh.

While I was waiting for my drink, I overheard the barista talking disparagingly about it with a man who I assume was his boss. I didn’t dislike it like they did, but it wasn’t amazing.

The purple base tastes like generic orange Creamsicle. It was a nice enough flavor, but halfway through my Tall drink, I couldn’t really taste it. I don’t know whether I had sucked all the flavor out (like with a Slurpee), or if I had gotten numb to it. Regardless, the second half wasn’t as tasty as the first.

Starbucks Witch's Brew Frappuccino 3

The slimy, green chia seeds (bat warts, I assume) were disappointing. They had no flavor, and they seemed out of place in this drink. It’s nice to break up the monotony in a drink like this, but the chia seeds weren’t the best way to do it. At least you’re getting a minuscule amount of nutrients from their presence, right?

Starbucks Witch's Brew Frappuccino 4

Oddly enough, my favorite part might have been the green-colored sugar (lizard scales?) resting on the whipped cream. I don’t think it’s supposed to taste like anything, but it seemed better than regular sugar. But I doubt you’re supposed to consume it separately.

Starbucks Witch's Brew Frappuccino 5

If you want to try Starbucks’ Witch’s Brew Frappuccino for the seasonal novelty of it, then go for it. It’s not terrible. I love these holiday gimmicks; also, I don’t drink coffee, so I was glad to have another alternative at Starbucks. It’s a fun offering.

If, however, you’re hoping for a delicious drink, there are better ways to spend five dollars.

Purchased Price: $4.95
Size: Tall
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Tall) 270 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 35 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, and 0 milligrams of caffeine.

QUICK REVIEW: Starbucks Limited Edition Smoked Butterscotch Latte

Starbucks Limited Edition Smoked Butterscotch Latte

What is the Starbucks Limited Edition Smoked Butterscotch Latte?

As a grab-and-go option for people too busy to stop by a brick-and-motor Starbucks, this coffee-house inspired drink features, “smoky sweet notes of kettle-cooked butterscotch mingled with Starbucks espresso and creamy milk.”

How is it?

Even though a lot of these bottled latte beverages are initially underwhelming due to their lack of milk froth, this limited edition offering took it a bit further by continuing to be disappointing all the way to the bottom of the bottle.

Starbucks Limited Edition Smoked Butterscotch Latte 2

Despite being a “smoked” latte, I thought this was surprisingly less smoky than Starbucks’ regular espresso-based drinks. Actually, rather than having pleasant notes of smokiness, I thought it tasted rather burnt, which also overwhelmed any butterscotch flavor it may have had. It’s almost got an element of artificial char, which is off-putting. I imagine the espresso usually would have helped to even out the acrid aspect of the smoke, but this drink didn’t have nearly enough of it.

Also, Starbucks has no right to boast that the smoked butterscotch is mingling with “creamy” milk. The reduced fat dairy utilized here makes the entire beverage way too watery to be called creamy, and it left me longing for the whole milk lattes served by my local baristas.

Is there anything else I need to know?

If you think this might taste better warmed up and sipped like regular coffee, I’m going to save you the trouble by telling you I’ve already gone that route, and, no, it doesn’t make this poor man’s latte any better. It makes it worse because it makes the espresso seem even weaker in contrast to the smoke flavoring.

Conclusion:

Even though the Starbucks Limited Edition Smoked Butterscotch Latte seems like an easy way to enjoy a seasonal favorite and skip the coffee shop, it’s not. Simply put, you’re going to wish that you had taken the time to stop by a real Starbucks and order a freshly made Smoked Butterscotch Latte.

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 220 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 34 grams of sugars, and 8 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Starbucks Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws

Starbucks Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws

What are Starbucks Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws?

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws are essentially Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL)-flavored rolled wafers. Pirouline, the Belgian inventors of this wafer form, manufactures this eco-friendly straw alternative that’s part of Starbucks’ “Coffee At Home” efforts. This means it’s available at grocery stores along with PSL K-Cup pods, VIA Instant flavors, etc.

How are they?

Starbucks Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws 3

The Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws tin has an overpowering holiday candle smell, but the wafers taste like a delicious PSL! The flavor comes from the inner white chocolatey coating.

They’re individually packaged, which I thought was a waste of packaging at first. But when I realized I could only eat one at a time, I appreciated it kept the others at optimum freshness.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Starbucks Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws 4

I thought sipping an iced PSL through this cookie straw would be too much (also see: too basic), but it was surprisingly good. It accented the pumpkin spice sauce and made the drink taste even more festive with a touch more of the cinnamon and nutmeg goodness.

Starbucks Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws 5

However, the wafer does NOT work well with hot drinks. I thought the inner coating would melt and add some its flavor to my Pike Place brewed coffee, but it just made the exterior mushy.

Conclusion:

It’s worth the splurge especially if you love all things pumpkin spice. It’s good enough to eat it on its own as a snack or as a sweet treat to complement your coffee. With this launch, Starbucks is cementing its PSL foothold in snacks too. I can’t wait to see what other PSL snack innovations come next year!

Purchased Price: $6.98
Size: 9.1 oz. container
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cookie) 60 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Starbucks Cold Foam Dark Cocoa Nitro

Starbucks Cold Foam Dark Cocoa Nitro

What is the Starbucks Cold Foam Dark Cocoa Nitro?

I’m convinced the reason Starbucks keeps coming up with new cold foam beverages is to drive home the idea of the strawless lids. I don’t hate it! The latest is the Cold Foam Dark Cocoa Nitro, which adds cocoa cold foam on top of the tried-and-true Nitro Cold Brew. In the in-app description of the drink, Starbucks says the cold foam is “bringing out the coffee’s natural chocolate notes.”

How is it?

Two words: Slam Dunk.

I usually prefer my cold brews to have a little cream in them, a la the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. That’s why I love cold brew on nitro – it adds a creaminess to the drink. This Dark Cocoa Nitro does not disappoint in terms of creaminess and flavor.

Starbucks Cold Foam Dark Cocoa Nitro 2

There’s a slight cocoa taste when you get your first sip of cold foam and the cold brew, and it is just enough to sweeten it without being overpowering. The subtleness of the cocoa is a delight. I also got a whiff of cinnamon – it smells like fall in a cup. (Don’t tell the Pumpkin Spice Latte I said that!) And the caffeine is strong enough to power you through your afternoon or snoozefest of meetings at work.

Is there anything else I need to know?

If you go searching for this puppy, make sure your friendly Starbucks has the nitro tap. Not all of them do, so I suggest checking your Starbucks mobile app to see which nearby locations carry the drink.

Conclusion:

The Cold Foam Dark Cocoa Nitro is officially my favorite cold foam beverage from Starbucks. I can only hope it sticks around long enough for me to get my fill!

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Tall 12 fl oz – 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of sugars, 1 gram of protein, and 215 milligrams of caffeine.