Some creations by Starbucks that I have tried lately.
Siming T
Siming T

A little sugar rush with this Frozen Honey Ruby Grapefruit Black Tea wouldn’t kill, especially when it was once upon the time on the top of my beverages list at Starbucks.

Priced at S$7.50 for a Grande size drink, it has evolved from its previous hot and iced versions, and seemingly tasted a little more citric, with grapefruit peel within almost every sip. Although it wasn’t in much of a slush form by the time it came out from the blender, I reckoned that it was still refreshing, regardless of how ridiculous the whether it was outside.

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It had been quite a while since I swore by Starbucks’ sliced cakes, as most of recent creations were more misses than hits, or that they were just too dry, suggesting they were left in the fridge a tad too long.

However, what truly amazed me with their Lychee Rose Cake Popsicle (S$6.90) was that the cake was coated with white chocolate which retained the moisture of the cake within. No doubt the cake was still sweet on the whole, but it was still quite cool to eat such a big slice of cake pop and yet able to hold on to the ice cream stick from start to finish, as though I was really eating a popsicle.

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This year’s Christmas beverage line-up at Starbucks included the Oatmilk Confetti Cookie Frappuccino, which contained espresso with white chocolate syrup and oat milk, topped with plant-based whipped cream and colourful confetti sprinkles (read: crushed candies).

Maybe the white chocolate was supposed to give it the cookie feel, but I felt that this was closer to a white mocha flavour. Also, the confetti sprinkles were more of an aesthetic feature, and did not value-add to the overall taste actually. The product might have been more amazing if rainbow rice or hundred & thousands were blended into a cream frappuccino, just to make the drink look more fascinating.

Given a choice, Toffee Nut Latte or Gingerbread Latte would have carried greater Christmas-y satisfaction.

Since there was no way to travel overseas to appreciate the cherry blossom season, Starbucks made it right this time with their Sakura Blossom Strawberry Frappuccino (S$9.90 for Venti size). As much as the first impression was like having strawberry flavoured milk, I actually enjoyed the part-sour strawberry puree which gave the blended beverage a contrasting profile. And somehow, the drink was not as sweet as its colour, which made it resemble the cherry blossom: beautiful yet not overpowering.

As the first wave of promotional items of 2021, the Pistachio Pure Matcha Latte was a new beverage that added milk foam and pistachio-flavoured sauce for a nutty finish to the already-lovely drink. Though the pistachio sprinkles on the top was a little redundant (likely because pistachios were not that crunchy to begin with), I thought this Tall-sized drink at S$7.60 was a good choice for after-work enjoyment.

The new Starbucks outlet at VivoCity had not only presented some elements of the beach and the sea, but also introduced a series of freshly-baked pastries to go along with their beverages.

Their Chocolate Croissant (S$3.90) had a very flaky exterior with a soft and chewy texture inside, and it was definitely a treat and a different experience as compared to their usual foodstuff (that is, placed in the food display and reheated when ordered).

The first few days of the launch of the fresh bakes seemed to have attracted some curious palates, and I would think that with more options available in due course, there would definitely be more variety for my considerations other than the usual cheesecakes and muffins.

Finally, a new Christmas drink by Starbucks, and a good one as well!

The Jolly Baked Apple Frappuccino (S$9.90 for Venti-sized beverage) was the new addition to Starbucks’ classic Christmas beverages. What was awesome about this (especially the Frappuccino version) was that it came with the baked apple sauce that had lots of real apple bits inside. Although some extra stirring was necessary to mix the sauce well with the coffee, the sweetness of the baked apple sauce gave a nice festive feel, as though this was some sort of a Thanksgiving dessert drink.

The best part: if you are not in the mood for coffee, you could also order the caffeine-free variant. Just ask for Jolly Baked Apple Cream Frappuccino.

Autumn beverages had arrived at Starbucks and one of their newest items on the menu was the Pumpkin Spice Cream Cold Brew (S$7.80 for Grande size). The familiar sweetness from the pumpkin spice syrup was pretty distinct, and definitely added some contrast to the cold brew beneath, but the spice notes could have been more prominent in this case. Guess the natural bitterness from the coffee had overpowered the spice flavours somehow.

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Nowadays, Starbucks would offer more than just the regular selection of coffee, considering that in the recent years they incorporated more variations from the choice of milk to, now, the choice of coffee beans.

Lately, they rolled out the Blonde Espresso for their daily grind, in tandem with their regular coffee blend. Blonde Espresso essentially meant that the coffee beans were not as darkly-roasted, giving it a milder and subtly sweeter finish. And for those who liked their coffee sweet, they could really try the Blonde White Chocolate Mocha (S$8.00 for Venti size) to get added sweetness. When served iced, the beverage turned out to be like having some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream — smooth and sweet.

Since the drink would already be on the sweet side, I thought it would make sense to request for a low-fat milk option. Also, if the default 4 pumps of white chocolate syrup would sound outrageously sweet, you could always ask for less pumps for a sugar-tolerant cuppa.

The latest wave of new drinks from Starbucks seemed to be much inspired by some Japanese vibes. Of the three beverages, the Okinawa Brown Sugar Latte (S$7.60 for a Tall size) was the coffee based drink that added some Brown Sugar syrup and sauce in place of the regular sugar syrup.

The coffee tasted like it was only supplemented with a different type of syrup. On the whole, if the Okinawa Brown Sugar wasn’t something that you were paying much attention to, then this drink might not be that special to you.

This year’s Halloween theme from Starbucks featured two versions of a green tea and chocolate combinations, and that gave a fresh taste from the previous “bloody” or greyish outlook. For that, the Franken Green Frapp-boo-ccino (right) seemed more appealing than the Midnight Chocolate Frapp-boo-ccino (left), as the former was a green tea base with a chocolate whipped cream on top, and vice versa for the latter.

Of course, both drinks came with this white chocolate topper in the shape of a ghost. Be prepared to break open the cup cover to retrieve the choc if you would wish to eat it. Not only that, but the beverage had also reflected a lack of novelty, given that this was probably the third drink within the year that used green tea and chocolate as the main ingredient.

After trying this drink, I thought I could have gotten more satisfaction from a Green Tea Frappuccino with added Java Chip for a self-proclaimed better combo.

Starbucks Singapore had rolled out their new range of Frappuccino blended beverages, and the highlight would probably be the Shiok-ah-ccino, which was also somehow launched in celebration of local heritage. Basically, it was a vanilla cream blended with chocolate chips and topped with whipped cream, waffle crisp and a white chocolate topper.

But I guess it turned out more of a flop than a star, for the beverage tasted just like a cheap Cookies and Cream drink. It probably would have scored a better feedback if they had considered other more nostalgic flavours like red bean, mint chocolate chip or Neapolitan. And guess they had never learnt from their previous beverages that chocolate toppers (and now a piece of waffle crisp too) were not a good addition to a drink that would usually be served with a lid.

Well, try again next year.

Siming T

Level 9 Burppler · 1116 Reviews

First world problem: What to eat for the next meal?

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