REVIEW: Starbucks Apple Crisp Macchiato

Starbucks Apple Crisp Macchiato Cup

What is the Starbucks Apple Crisp Macchiato?

Move over, Pumpkin Spice Latter, there’s a new fall drink in town. Recently added to the menu is the Apple Crisp Macchiato, available either hot or iced. Espresso is added to milk, with a spiced apple drizzle on top. You’ll also find the flavor of an Apple Brown Sugar Syrup.

How is it?

Let me start with a story. I’ve always understood that you do not stir a macchiato. After the espresso is layered on the milk, you let it naturally settle as you sip. A year or so ago, I mobile ordered an Iced Caramel Macchiato and sent my husband in to get it while I stayed in the car with our infant son. I gave him the explicit instructions NOT to stir the drink. Five minutes later, he walks out, and what is he doing? You guessed it. Shaking the drink around like it’s his job. Lesson learned: I go in and get the drink myself. (And he doesn’t live it down!)

Starbucks Apple Crisp Macchiato Cup

I share this story because it’s one of the reasons the Iced Apple Crisp Macchiato fell flat for me. When I got the drink, I could visibly see the Spiced Apple Drizzle and Apple Brown Sugar Syrup at the very bottom of the cup. And although that’s how macchiatos are constructed, unless I were to stir my iced beverage, there was no distribution of the flavor. I would have preferred the apple evenly distributed throughout the macchiato. I didn’t get a hint of apple until about 25% of the way through the drink. When I did get to taste the drizzle at the bottom, it was syrupy sweet. But overall, this really felt too similar in taste to the standard caramel version.

What I did like, though, was the hint of spice. It did make it feel like a fall drink that could be a nice alternative for folks who aren’t PSL fans. I’d like to try the Apple Brown Sugar Syrup in a regular iced caffe latte and see if that brings out more of the flavor.

Anything else you need to know?

Starbucks Apple Crisp Macchiato Top

Two other cons for me: The Iced Apple Crisp Macchiato has A LOT of sugar (hello, 36 grams in a tall) and was A LOT of money for a tall. Just be prepared that your waistline and wallet may not like you if you’re a fan of these.

Conclusion:

Just meh. Had higher hopes. I’m curious to see if the hot macchiato translates the same way… I’ll just have to add it to my list.

Purchased Price: $4.75
Size: Tall
Purchased at: Starbucks
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 210 calories, 4 grams of total fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 36 grams of total sugars, 7 grams of protein, and 75 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino

Starbucks Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino Cup

Starbucks not only dictates when fall starts (on PSL day, of course), but now also when summer starts with its drink drops. The latest seasonal lineup, cleverly dubbed “A.S.A.P.” (As Summer As Possible), comprises mainly of repeat/returning items, but there’s one new beverage: the Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino!

This signature blended beverage touts funnel-cake flavor syrup blended with coffee, milk, and ice with layers of strawberry puree, whipped cream, and powered sugar funnel cake pieces.

Starbucks Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino Top

Visually, the first descriptor that came to mind was “stunning,” which may sound exaggerated. So, I’ll settle down and simply say it was a pretty drink! It brought back summer nostalgia as it fondly reminded me of strawberry ice cream sundae cups – the ones with the little wooden spoon. As a kid, I used to eat those daily during summer school.

This Frap was definitely a glow up from those frozen dessert cups. Consistent with all Starbucks’ fruit inclusions/flavoring, the strawberry puree had the nuanced sweet and tartness of real fruit. In contrast, though, the funnel cake-flavored syrup tasted a little bit artificial. It had a distinct vanilla-esque note that even coffee couldn’t hide.

To be fair, though, the drink overall was not very coffee-forward. I was about halfway through when I did a double take and asked aloud, “Is there even coffee in this?!” The nutrition facts in the handy app confirmed the caffeine presence of about 85 milligrams, which is a fraction of my usual nitro cold brew. Regardless, I’m going to say it was by design because it would be easy to overwhelm the fruit flavor with bold, acidic coffee.

Starbucks Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino Layers

I chose not to mix it to maintain the layered drinking experience. My favorite sips started with the whipped cream and strawberry puree part for a strawberries & cream-like flavor. Then it was followed by a slurp of the blended coffee as there were the fun bits of the funnel cake pieces. Said pieces had a graham cracker-like texture instead of fluffy funnel cake. This deviation was fine by me because I hate the idea of soggy pieces. Rinse and repeat (or more like sip and sip some more in this case)!

Is it a color-changing, Insta-worthy mermaid unicorn beverage? No.

Is it a classic that I could see returning summer after summer? Heckin’ yes!

Purchased Price: $5.25
Size: Grande (16 oz)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (16 oz) 410 calories, 20 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 51 grams of sugar, 4 grams of added sugar, 4 grams of protein, and 85 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Frappuccino Passport Series Chocolate Churro

Starbucks Frappuccino Passport Series Chocolate Churro

Starbucks’ Frappuccino Passport Series is inspired by flavors around the world. So it’s fitting that, in order to drink this Chocolate Churro flavored version, I had to travel a distance that measured into the thousands.

It took a whopping 22,860-millimeter trek from my desk upstairs to my kitchen’s fridge downstairs to try the coffee drink. Thankfully, the beverage was refreshing after the journey.

According to my internet friend @CandyHunting, the Passport Series will feature two other flavors — Caramel Flan and Hazelnut Tiramisu. Unfortunately, this one was the only flavor available at my local Target, but I think it’s the most intriguing of the three.

The best way I can describe its flavor is to say it’s sort of like Mexican hot chocolate, but without the steaming temperature or spiciness. It’s a sweet, delicious beverage with the right chocolate and cinnamon balance, but there’s nothing about its taste that makes me think of the churro’s delicious fried dough.

Starbucks Frappuccino Passport Series Chocolate Churro Back

Basically, if Starbucks decides to release this as a non-Passport Series flavor in the future, it could call it cinnamon chocolate or chocolate cinnamon. Or I guess it could continue to be called Chocolate Churro, but that would be a lie.

The sugary coffee beverage also had me scrolling through my computer’s “Drank” photo album because it tastes exactly like another canned or bottled beverage I’ve had several times. Despite giving my scrolling fingers a workout on my trackpad, because I’ve put my mouth around many things, I couldn’t determine what product this tastes like.

Because Starbucks’ Frappuccino Passport Series Chocolate Churro tastes like an unknown coffee drink that I probably enjoy since I’ve had it several times, I must like this Frappuccino. I do, but it’s a little disappointing that this tastes exactly like something else and there’s nothing churro-y about it.

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 13.7 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 280 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 45 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein, and 115 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Bottled Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks Bottled Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew Bottle

My Starbucks card is almost always used to purchase a trenta-sized Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. No additions. No swapping. All I say are the words “vanilla sweet cream cold brew,” plus the word “please,” and I end up with a massive cup of it that has enough caffeine to make my heart beat like a drum at a heavy metal festival.

So imagine my excitement when I found out Starbucks was offering a bottled version of my preferred drink. I was so hyped about it that I added it to my Amazon Subscribe & Save so that I can experience the coffee drink whenever I want when I’m at home.

Sure, I’ll be a pain in the Starbutt to earn Starbucks Stars for them since I have to jump through hoops that involve uploading receipts. But once the caffeine starts flowing through my bloodstream, I think I’ll be all better.

However, after tasting it, I canceled the Amazon subscription because this bottled Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew is a poor representation of the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew that I get handed to me with my name on it.

Yes, I didn’t expect this bottled version to taste EXACTLY like what I’ve gotten from a barista. But I also didn’t expect it would taste like any other bottled coffee drink.

Starbucks Bottled Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew Bottle Closeup

With a regular Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew drinks, there’s some substance because of the cold brew and cream. It has a noticeable vanilla flavor, and it’s sweet, but that sugariness doesn’t hide the cold brew. But with this bottled version, it’s thin, and it has a flavor I can’t discern from other sweetened bottled iced coffee drinks that also have milk. Basically, it tastes bottled Frappuccino-ish, and that’s not what I want. If I wanted that, I’D JUST BUY A DAMN BOTTLED FRAPPUCCINO! saijo;lop.s

Sorry, the caffeine wore off. And that gibberish at the end was me slamming my keyboard because of my disappointment with this coffee drink and probably caffeine withdrawal.

Purchased Price: $4.79
Size: 11 fl oz
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, 13 grams of added sugar, and 4 grams of protein, and 155 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Cold & Crafted Coffee Drinks

Starbucks Cold  Crafted Coffee Drinks Bottles

Even though Starbucks first brought cold brew coffee to its cafe menu in 2015, it seems to have really exploded in recent years. Cold brew coffee is, as the title would suggest, brewed in cold water (usually 24-48 hrs) as opposed to the more traditional, heated way. This process makes the coffee less acidic and gives it a much more smooth, sweet flavor profile. So it makes sense that Starbucks would want to expand its ready-to-drink (RTD) offerings to include more cold brew options.

Interestingly, the newest trio isn’t its first attempt at RTD cold brew. A few years back, it introduced an RTD Cold Brew in a very odd looking brown bottle. I remember buying it and thinking that, at a glance, it might be mistaken for a Red Stripe beer.

Coming in Coffee Sweetened Black, Coffee + Splash of Milk & Vanilla, and Coffee + Splash of Milk & Mocha, the Cold & Crafted line offers fairly standard flavor options. I imagine if these prove popular, we might see them get the seasonal treatment (PSL or Peppermint Mocha) later in the year. For now, let’s take a look at what is currently available.

Coffee Sweetened Black

Starbucks Cold  Crafted Coffee Drinks Black

“Super-smooth Starbucks coffee. Sweetened to perfection.”

Of the flavors, this was the one I was most interested in. While I enjoy my fluffy coffee drinks, the bottled versions sometimes err on the side of way too sweet. However, I was hoping the use of cold brew over iced coffee might make the flavor more balanced. As to be expected with the simple black sweetened black coffee, it came as advertised. The smooth richness of the cold brew was complemented by the sugar. It was a perfect amount of sweetness that didn’t overpower the drink.

Of the three, it ended up being my favorite. I could absolutely see myself grabbing this at a gas station for a quick pick me up.

Purchased Price: $2.28
Size: 11 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutritional Facts: (11oz bottle) 50 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 1 grams of protein, and 135 milligrams of caffeine.

Coffee + Splash of Milk & Vanilla

Starbucks Cold  Crafted Coffee Drinks Vanilla

“Super-smooth Starbucks coffee. Just-right vanilla flavor. Plus a splash of milk”

The dark horse of the three, I found the vanilla variety to be quite delicious. Generally speaking, I rarely have vanilla-flavored coffee drinks. Not out of a strong dislike, but the artificial vanilla flavoring sometimes is just too overpowering. Luckily, in this case, it was just enough to add to the coffee without taking over. The vanilla had a very mild profile that works well with the full-bodied cold brew. The addition of the milk served to make it a well-rounded drink.

Some bottled drinks go overboard to try and cover the coffee flavor, but all the elements in this one worked very well.

Purchased Price: $2.28
Size: 11 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutritional Facts: (11oz bottle) 90 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and 125 milligrams of caffeine.

Coffee + Splash of Milk & Mocha

Starbucks Cold  Crafted Coffee Drinks Mocha
?“Super-smooth Starbucks coffee. Just-right mocha flavor. Plus a splash of milk.”

While all three were quite good, the Mocha one was easily the weakest of the trio. I thought I’d like it more than the vanilla since mocha tends to be my go-to when getting flavor in my coffee, but it just wasn’t quite right.

Unlike the Vanilla, where the addition of the vanilla and milk to the coffee made for a level drinking experience, the elements in this one stand out in a weird way. Upon the first sip, the coffee and milk are strong with the mocha coming in last. The mocha has a more artificial flavor than I’m used to in Starbucks drinks. It was a little one-note and, as best I can say, “chocolate-ish.”

It would be a fine way to get a quick caffeine boost in a pinch, but if I have a choice of the Sweetened Black or Vanilla, I’m going for those before the Mocha.

Purchased Price: $2.28
Size: 11 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutritional Facts: (11oz bottle) 90 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and 125 milligrams of caffeine.

Overall, I think these are a solid showing for Starbucks trying to bring cold brew to a wider audience. While they won’t ever compete with that handcrafted goodness you get going to a Starbucks, they are absolutely worth having on hand for those mornings when you are rushed or even lazy Sundays when you just want to sip some coffee goodness with minimal work. Hopefully, they do well enough to get seasonal flavorings.

Starbucks Cold  Crafted Coffee Drinks Voltron

Oh, and if you are wondering if I mixed them together to create a Voltron of Starbucks Cold Brew, yes…yes, I did. Would I recommend it? Not necessarily. Would I potentially pour all three into a 32-ounce cup to sip while driving long distances? Yet to be seen.