Are they as good as they look?
Forget about unicorns. Today, Starbucks released their new Mango Pineapple and Berry Prickly Pear Frappuccinos, and they’re just as Instagram-friendly as you’d expect. They look like works of art, really—not surprising, considering both of them consist of layers of blended cream and vivid, fruity purees, forming “ribbons of bright color throughout,” as Starbucks product developer Jennica Robinson put it. But nobody’s shocked that they’re pretty. How do they taste? I went to my local Starbucks to order both of these new “drinkable watercolors” and see if they taste as good as they look. I have happy news to report: Yes, they’re pretty damn tasty.
I ordered a tall Mango Pineapple Frappuccino—consisting of mango Frappuccino blended crème, poured over a mango-pineapple puree—and a tall Berry Prickly Pear Frappuccino, which is a mango Frappuccino blended crème poured over a strawberry and prickly pear fruit puree.
They looked so bright, happy, and summery that even I, not the biggest Starbucks aficionado, was pretty jazzed.
First up was the Berry Prickly Pear, which ended up being my favorite. The cream was very rich, and the puree gave it a great tang; the effect was a soft, soothing berries-and-cream flavor. The prickly pear made it particularly interesting, considering it’s not often used in mainstream flavor combinations. Overall, it tasted summery and nostalgic without being too in-your-face. The only downside: after a while, the drink had a weird aftertaste that reminded me of Tums.
After a few sips, I moved to the Mango Pineapple Frapp. The taste was pretty much exactly what you’d expect, considering mango and pineapple often go hand-in-hand for more tropical flavors. But I did notice a subtler citrus-y element that made it really refreshing.
Both of the new flavors taste a lot like the custard-and-ice gelato combos from Ritas. The puree was a great move for Starbucks, as it added rich and real fruit flavors without leaving the drink with weird texture and chunks. However, as always for Frappuccinos, they were rich and on the heavier side, and I ended up bringing the Berry Prickly Pear home with me.
Tomorrow may be the first day of summer, but Starbucks has made a valiant effort to make it start today.