Mint can be a tough flavor to nail. It’s nearly always refreshing, but too much of it tends to become reminiscent of toothpaste. This is the downfall of a lot of mint chocolate ice creams. It’s not impossible though. Wendy’s did a great job with its Peppermint Frosty during the holidays last year. It somehow managed to perfectly replicate the taste of an Andes mint, despite the fact that the Frosty contained no chocolate. I’m still wondering what foul sorcery Wendy’s used to pull THAT off.
But enough about Frosties. We are here for Starbucks’ new Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino today. Frappuccinos are too indulgent for me to consume on a regular basis, so I was excited to have the opportunity to drink one with zero guilt…well, minimal guilt. Normally I prefer my fancy coffee drinks without whipped cream and sprinkles, but here that’s a big part of the experience, so I had the whole Megillah. I hope you appreciate the way I’m gallantly falling onto the sword for all of you here.
I had this twice. The first time I got it, the barista didn’t add the mocha to the drink, and it was an assault of pure mintiness. I didn’t realize a component had been left off, so I thought it was supposed to taste like that, totally chocolate-deficient and toothpaste flavor-adjacent. I was prepared to give it a 5 out of 10, but then we realized the drink had been made incorrectly, so I bought another one at a different Starbucks. This time, I watched the barista make it. You better believe I watched her squeeze that mocha bottle.
The result? What a difference some chocolate makes, although I think we all kinda knew that already. With the chocolate, the drink still had some of the refreshing quality of mint, but it was tempered by the earthy, indulgent flavor of the chocolate. If anything, this incarnation of the drink leaned too far in the chocolate direction, which I say with the caveat that I don’t think “too much chocolate” can be considered a downside.
The Frappuccino chips did their thing and added little pops of a different chocolate flavor, and while I only was able to eat the Chocolate Mint Cookie Sprinkles at the finish, they were delightful little bits of cookie goodness. The one drawback this drink had was that neither time did I really get the taste of coffee. I tasted it in a few sips the first time, then the second time, my palate was so overloaded with the other components that I couldn’t taste coffee at all. A lot of people may not care, but I like my Frappuccinos to taste like coffee.
Hot days are coming, and this drink will probably make a lot of Starbucks customers very happy with its ability to be both cooling and just a little bit sinful. Personally, though, I’m getting a plain Coffee Frappuccino next time: I’m just missing the “Java” that was supposed to be in the Chocolate Java Mint.
Purchased Price: $4.95
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 340 calories, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 47 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein, and 75 milligrams of caffeine.