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.


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.

REVIEW: Starbucks Frappuccino with a Splash of Cold Brew

Starbucks Frappuccino with Cold Brew  Salted Dark Chocolate and Toasted White Chocolate

What are Starbucks Frappuccino with Cold Brew?

Bottled beverages that mostly contain brewed Starbucks coffee with a splash of Starbucks cold brew coffee, reduced fat milk, skim milk, and sugar. The line debuted with three flavors — Salted Dark Chocolate, Toasted White Chocolate, and Caramelized Vanilla Honey. The review below is for the first two.

How are they?

The good news is that they taste like bottled Starbucks Frappuccino, which is perfectly fine because I happen to like the line as a whole.

However, the flavors are so nondescript among other ready-to-drink Starbucks beverages that I could secretly pour the Toasted White Chocolate one into a bottle of Starbucks Mocha White Chocolate Frappuccino or a can of Starbucks Vanilla Doubleshot Energy and the Salted Dark Chocolate one in a bottle of Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino or a can of Starbucks Mocha Vanilla Doubleshot Energy, then hand it to you, and you wouldn’t know any better after taking a sip.

I notice a slight saltiness with the dark chocolate one, but I can’t tell there’s cold brew in either flavor. But we have no idea how much a “splash of cold brew” is. It doesn’t sound like much, though.

Even though these are creamy, sweet, and delicious bottled coffee beverages, I find these Starbucks Frappuccinos with Cold Brew to be dumb. What? I’m dumb? No, you’re dumb, Starbucks Frappuccinos with Cold Brew.

A “splash of cold brew” in a beverage that already contains coffee sounds like adding a splash of tap water to seltzer. There’s a difference between the two, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. If it had only cold brew, then that would be significant.

Is there anything else you need to know?

If I didn’t know PepsiCo makes these and that the PepsiCo Beverage Facts website exists, I might’ve had a hard time finding out how much caffeine these have, which is 95 milligrams in each one. The glass bottles don’t mention anywhere this critical information that caffeine-needy minds want to know.


If you’re a regular bottled Starbucks Frappuccino beverage drinker, you’ll enjoy these. But if you’re expecting something different from what you’ve been already drinking, these may disappoint you.

Purchased Price: $2.63 each
Size: 13.7 fl. oz. bottles
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Salted Dark Chocolate)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Toasted White Chocolate)
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) Salted Dark Chocolate – 260 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 270 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 43 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein. Toasted White Chocolate – 290 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 44 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Cloud Macchiato

Starbucks Cloud Macchiatos

What are the Starbucks Cloud Macchiatos?

Starbucks’ new Cloud Macchiato is a new fancy take on an O.G., the macchiato, inspired by a classic Spanish summer drink (leche merengada or meringue milk). To achieve the frothy Instagram-worthy clouds, Starbucks’ R&D created a new “cloud powder” out of egg whites. In my mind, they just added egg whites to their existing cold foam offering, but maybe I’m oversimplifying it.

There are two new flavors: the Caramel Cloud (whipped cloud cold foam, vanilla syrup, espresso, caramel drizzle) and the Cinnamon Cloud (whipped cloud cold foam, cinnamon lemon syrup, espresso, caramel drizzle, a dusting of cinnamon). The latter seems to be more faithful to the Spanish’s meringue milk as it includes cinnamon and lemon.

Starbucks Cinnamon Cloud Macchiato Crosshatch

The crosshatching of the caramel drizzle on both is apparently a key Starbucks touch, but that’s not something I think of when thinking of when ordering caramel-topped drinks from here.

How are they?

They were way too easy to drink because I’m basically paying almost $5 for 1/2 cup of foam and an espresso shot, but I enjoyed it.

The Caramel Cloud had everything I enjoyed about the indulgent Ultra Caramel Frappuccino but with almost half the calories and sugar. Like the Ultra, it was less sweet than other caramel drinks. I noticed when ordering on the app that the Tall came with one pump of syrup. Typically, Tall beverages have at least 2-3 pumps of syrup (Cinnamon Dolce Latte: 3, Vanilla Latte: 2).

In addition to being less sweet, the cloud foam added a luxe aspect to the drink like the cold brew whipped cream did for the Ultra. I liken it to eating a delicious, guilt-free lite whipped cream.

Starbucks Cinnamon Cloud Macchiato Clouds

Watch out for the cloud ‘stache though! Your first sip will be all foam, but the espresso catches up on the 2nd or 3rd sip depending on the size of your gulps. When the espresso broke through the clouds like a ray of sunshine, it packed a wallop because of the bold contrast to the fluffy light sweetness.

As for the Cinnamon Cloud, I didn’t pick up on any cinnamon or lemon at all. All I could discern was that it wasn’t as coffee-forward as the Caramel version. Maybe this one could’ve benefitted from an extra pump of syrup!

Is there anything else you need to know?

It’s available both iced and hot. The hot version comes in a plain, white cup like all the other hot drinks, which defeats the purpose of the frothy cloud concept. Why even introduce it in hot?

Starbucks Caramel Cloud Macchiato Glob of Caramel

Note that the iced version comes with the new straw-less lid, but I had to grab a straw anyway to get the globs of caramel at the bottom.


All in all, it’s no surprise that it’s another winner from Starbucks! But these new drinks stand out because they’re not just another flavored syrup, but truly game-changing innovation in the coffee space. I’m already thinking about all the other flavored cloud possibilities with this new fluffy goodness!

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall (12 fl. oz.)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Caramel)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Cinnamon)
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl. oz.) Caramel – 210 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 28 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein. Cinnamon – 210 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 29 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Red Velvet Loaf Cake

Starbucks Red Velvet Loaf Cake

What is the Starbucks Red Velvet Loaf Cake?

It’s one of Starbucks’ new winter food items, vanilla cake meets red velvet cake in this bakery treat, with a white chocolate icing. It’s served by the slice, and I was not disappointed with the size. The cake slice was even larger than I anticipated.

How is it?

I love red velvet, but I’ve always felt it’s something people either really like or don’t like. So as someone who adores it, this loaf cake was pretty darn good. On first bite I made sure to get the vanilla, red velvet, and icing all in one, and the red velvet was definitely the most flavorful. It was rich without being too sweet. I also appreciated the denseness of the loaf cake. But I will say the density makes it more of a dessert than a quick snack.

Starbucks Red Velvet Loaf Cake Icing

Now let’s talk about the white chocolate icing: A thin layer with nice flavor. I do wish there was more – my husband and I agreed we wish the icing-to-cake ratio was the same in every bite.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I would have a beverage on hand, because the loaf cake was just a teeny bit dry (hence my 8 out of 10 rating). Not enough for me to make a stink about it, but I was hoping it would be super moist. The red velvet portions of the cake were more moist than the vanilla. (Side note: My apologies for using the word moist. I know people dislike that almost as much as red velvet.)


I would definitely order again – this was a nice treat that paired well with my latte for my afternoon pick-me-up.

Purchased Price: $2.95
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 370 calories, 16 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 470 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 29 grams of total sugars, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Cinnamon Shortbread Latte

Starbucks Cinnamon Shortbread Latte

What is the Starbucks Cinnamon Shortbread Latte?

Starbucks has a new winter beverage up for grabs – the Cinnamon Shortbread Latte. The name just makes it seem cozy! The drink adds a vanilla shortbread sauce to espresso, and it is sprinkled with both cinnamon and nutmeg.

How is it?

Oh Starbucks, you’ve done it again. The minute I saw it added to the menu, I had to try it and was not disappointed. Consider the Cinnamon Shortbread Latte the love child of a Vanilla Latte and a Cinnamon Dolce Latte. – why didn’t Starbucks think of this sooner?

There’s a distinct cinnamon smell right off the bat thanks to the toppings of cinnamon and nutmeg. I will note: The cinnamon smell was definitely stronger than the taste. At first sip, the drink was smooth, warm, and not too sugary sweet. I enjoy the classic Vanilla Latte, and what I loved about this new drink was the extra pizazz the vanilla shortbread sauce added. I’d be interested in trying the sauce in an iced coffee as well – I’m hoping it sticks around beyond the winter.

Is there anything else you need to know?

If you enjoy vanilla and cinnamon, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try this drink. It’s also offered as a Frappuccino or an iced drink. I’m hoping to try both. And since it’s Girl Scout Cookie season, I’m tempted to pair this with the Trefoil cookies for an epic shortbread treat.


Run, don’t walk to your nearest Starbucks. Trust me.

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Tall 12 fl oz) 270 calories, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of sugars, 10 grams of protein and 75 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Starbucks Black & White Mocha

Starbucks Black  White Mocha

What is the Starbucks Black & White Mocha?

Starbucks has brought back its Black and White collection, which includes a Mocha, Hot Chocolate, and Frappuccino. The Black and White Mocha, which I tried, has both dark mocha and white chocolate mocha, whipped cream, and chocolate “sequins” (read: chocolate pieces).

How is it?

I consider this the regular Mocha’s older sibling who is all dressed up for New Year’s Eve. It’s trying to make the Mocha fancy, but it just tastes the same – with a fancy description. The chocolate taste is super prominent, with no real white chocolate traces. And although it has 80 milligrams of caffeine in a tall, you’re not getting any coffee taste (which might be a draw for those who don’t like coffee but still want a caffeine hit!).

I do appreciate how smooth the taste is – it’s a decadent drink that’s more like a special dessert. It’s definitely a calorie bomb at 350 calories for a tall alone. I wouldn’t add this into my morning rotation, but make it more of an afternoon sugar rush.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I enjoyed the drink, but the reason I have it at a 6 out of 10 is that it doesn’t separate itself from a good old Mocha. I was hoping for something a little more exciting, but it fell a bit short. So it has a good taste, but it’s a bit of disappointment in the build up.


If you’re a sucker for specialty drinks, it’s worth a try. But if you’re looking for an advanced Mocha, you might not find it.

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Tall) 350 calories, 15 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 42 grams of sugars, 12 grams of protein, and 80 milligrams of caffeine.