By Molly Freeman
Additional Contributors: Dane Feldman, Samantha Spoto, Ashley Rodriguez, Veronica Chavez
Photos by Ashley Rodriguez.
On June 8, Seattle-based Starbucks announced six new flavors of Frappuccino in celebration of the blended beverage’s 20th anniversary. The variations are dubbed Fan Flavors in honor of customers’ favorite ingredient combinations; they include Caramel Cocoa Cluster, Cinnamon Roll, Cotton Candy, Cupcake, Lemon Bar, and Red Velvet Cake.
Frapp fans can try all the flavors and vote for their favorite on a special website or on social media using individual hashtags. In an effort to see what all the hype was about, we at BTR decided to try each flavor for ourselves.
Note: two of our contributors are vegan so we tried vegan versions of the Lemon Bar and Cupcake Frapps, which are the only two of the six that can be prepared without animal byproducts.
Caramel Cocoa Cluster
Molly’s Take: I wasn’t sure what to expect from this flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a mixture of coffee and caramel that I genuinely enjoyed.
Dane’s Take: I hated this. I couldn’t even figure out what this was supposed to taste like. Sorry, Starbucks, I love you, but no.
Samantha’s Take: I am not fond of caramel, but I still gave this Frapp a taste. I had to try this flavor more than once to decide whether or not I enjoyed it. After several sips, I emphatically declared that I did not like this Caramel Cocoa Cluster Frapp by making a gagging noise.
Molly’s Take: I was surprised by how similar this Frapp tasted to a real cinnamon roll. It was just as sugary and cinnamon-y as the typical breakfast treat and I would certainly recommend it.
Dane’s Take: Everyone else seemed to enjoy the Cinnamon Roll, but for me it was just the most potable. The aftertaste was extremely unpleasant, but I have a feeling that has something to do with the fact that all of the other flavors had been mixed in to the cup I was drinking out of at some point. I’d give Cinnamon Roll another chance.
Samantha’s Take: Of all the new Frapp flavors, Cinnamon Roll did it for me. This one had the right amount of sweetness and wasn’t overbearingly spicy. It also lived up to its name; it tasted just like a roll right out of the oven… except it was cold.
Molly’s Take: Pretty standard–albeit extremely sugary–flavoring. If you’ve ever tried cotton candy ice cream, that’s not a far cry from how this Frapp tasted.
Dane’s Take: This was not good. The flavor wasn’t as powerful as I’d expected, but I did feel the need to brush my teeth after just a sip.
Samantha’s Take: No. Just no. I have never been fond of cotton candy flavored foods, and this Frapp reaffirmed that. It tasted like the uninviting pink medicine I would evade as a child. Cotton candy should not be liquified and should be sold in its standard form–as a fluffy carnival treat on a stick.
Molly’s Take: I’m not a fan of the birthday cake/cupcake flavoring trend that we experienced a few years ago, and this fell in line with my previous conceptions of the flavor. It’s no Birthday Cake Frappuccino (which was very delicious).
Dane’s Take: I’m pretty convinced the barista gave us a Vanilla Bean Frapp instead of cupcake, but I loved the Vanilla Bean Frapp as a kid, so if this actually was the Cupcake Frapp and not Vanilla Bean it takes the crown away from Cinnamon Roll. Would consume again.
Samantha’s Take: This did not taste any different to me than the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino. I do like the VBF, but just like the Red Velvet Cake, I’m not really sure how or why it is being advertised as Cupcake.
Veronica’s Take: I can describe this Frappuccino in three words: vanilla, boring, predictable. It’s not a bad option, I suppose, if you’re vegan and you really want a Frappuccino. But, with all the other drink options available for non-dairy drinkers, this Frappuccino is definitely not my top choice.
Ashley’s Take: I was a little disappointed by the taste of the Cupcake Frappuccino, but not disappointed enough to never drink it again. I expected to taste a cupcake, but it was more of a singular vanilla flavor. The cake was missing from this one. A Vanilla Bean Frappuccino would taste almost identical. Still, it was decent.
Molly’s Take: Of all the Frapps we tasted, the Lemon Bar was the least like what I expected. The lemon flavoring was a bit overwhelming and it reminded me more of lemonade than a blended, frozen Starbucks drink–I’m still not sure if that’s a good thing.
Dane’s Take: I think if the Lemon Bar Frapp had maintained its consistency a bit better, I wouldn’t have disliked it so much. One of my favorite desserts is the lemon bar and so I had high expectations, but wound up being pretty disappointed. The lemon flavor was there, but the aftertaste wasn’t tart at all. Instead, it was just sugary.
Samantha’s Take: I generally like lemon flavored drinks, but this Lemon Bar Frappuccino was not as refreshing as I hoped it would be. For me, Frappuccinos are a treat, and so I favor sweeter and more indulgent dessert drinks from Starbucks. In theory, I like the concept of a Lemon Frapp, but this needs some tweaking before I try it again.
Veronica’s Take: As a big fan of the lemon-y dessert squares, I was pretty disappointed with this Frappuccino. To be frank, it tasted like a Sprite-flavored slush. Whether this was because of the soy milk substitute or simply because Starbucks hasn’t pinned down that perfect lemon flavor is up for debate.
Ashley’s Take: The lemon bar Frappuccino was not too bad. It tasted a little like lemon sherbet to me. However, the appeal quickly wore off as the sugary taste became more prominent while the drink melted into a puddle of lemon flavoring. It seemed like the most refreshing since it had a lighter flavor that’s not typical of most Frappuccinos. However, I feel like I would have gotten a stomach ache from all the sweetness had I finished an entire one.
Red Velvet Cake
Molly’s Take: Look, red velvet is a generally ridiculous flavor since it’s simply dyed chocolate (though the cream cheese frosting customarily paired with it is exceptional). So, this Frapp isn’t a bad chocolate drink, but don’t expect too much more than that.
Dane’s Take: As someone who is vehemently against red velvet (is it not just chocolate???), I was pretty resigned to not like this from the start. It tasted like melted chocolate ice cream and ground up Oreos.
Samantha’s Take: Red velvet is chocolate in disguise. This Frapp is not red, which is the only quality that makes red velvet what it is. I’m not entirely sure how or why it is being marketed as Red Velvet Cake. If you’re looking for straight up chocolate milk, have at this drink.