Is it worth a detour through the Starbucks drive-through? (Video by Denise Neil and Alexis Jungman) McClatchy
Is it worth a detour through the Starbucks drive-through? (Video by Denise Neil and Alexis Jungman) McClatchy

Dining With Denise Neil

Denise Neil has the latest Wichita restaurant news, with comings & goings, recent reviews and more.

Dining With Denise Neil

Christmas Tree Frappuccino: Is it worth a trip to Starbucks?

By Denise Neil

December 08, 2017 09:23 AM

Starbucks has grown so fond this year of making wacky and weird limited-time stunt frappuccinos, I’ve learned to spell “frappuccino” without looking it up.

And I’ve learned what unicorns and zombies would taste like if they were blended coffee drinks.

It’s the holiday season, so the coffee chain is back with a new one. The Christmas Tree Frappuccino debuted on Thursday at Starbucks across the country, so naturally, I raced right over to see if it was worth racing right over for.

It turns out I was so prompt, the barista at the West Street Starbucks didn’t even know how to make one quite yet. Through the window, I could see her and her co-worker bent over the company-issued directions, reading them closely.

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The drink’s inventors are clearly trying to offer a beverage that resembles a tree. Its brown trunk is mocha and peppermint flavored frappuccino, and the greenery is represented by a fluffy, light-green cloud of matcha-infused whipped cream. Caramel drizzle and candied cranberries are sprinkled on top for ornaments, and the tree topper is a freeze-dried strawberry.

The drink we got didn’t look great because the whipped cream was mushed down by the plastic frappuccino dome-lid, and I immediately regretted using the drive-through. But I powered through and took a sip.

My daughter and I decided that it tasted sort of like a frozen Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie. As a devoted fan of the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha hot beverage, I thought the frozen and blended version tasted weak and watered down.

Although I was more impressed by last spring’s Unicorn frappuccino, this one was definitely worth trying, and the good news is, none of us have to commit to loving it or hating it because it’ll likely be gone from Starbucks menus by the end of the weekend.

Wichita Eagle writer Matt Riedl tries Starbucks' latest concoction, the Zombie Frappuccino, a caramel-apple blended drink.

Denise takes a turn trying to describe the magic of this crazy new beverage. Video by Denise Neil