Summer's in full swing, and with it, Starbucks Coffee has steadily unveiled a host of frappuccino flavours. From Midnight Mocha, to limited Lady Gaga-inspired drinks, to the classic favourites, the Frappuccino menu is huge.
For an evening pick-me-up, I had a great taste of the Berry Prickly Pear Frappuccino Blended Crème. At $4.45 for a tall in Vancouver, this price is on par with other blended creme beverages from Starbucks. As the website notes:
...a whole lot of fruity fun in one cup. You’ll pick up tastes of bright berries and prickly pear, with side notes of hibiscus and passion fruit. While it lasts.
For non-Starbucks regulars, it's important to note that this is first and foremost a blended creme beverage which means there is zero caffeine content.
In my cup, there was indeed a lot of fruity fun happening visually. The splashes of red colour make for a cool pattern in the cup though nothing as extravagant as the ones seen in press release images. It may not look it either, but mango syrup is also used in this drink.
Taste-wise, this tasted like a fruit smoothie to me, though with fewer air bubbles than a place like Orange Julius might have. There was a lot of sweetness to the drink but I could imagine there being some other mellow fruit mixed in, though nothing prickly. It could be that by "prickly pear", Starbucks is referring to opuntia, a type of cactus that bears berry-tasting fruit. The drink is quite sweet with pretty heavy proportions of mango and strawberry flavour so it might be hard to pick out the opuntia. The American Starbucks drinks menu also indicates notes of hibiscus and passion fruit but I tasted negligible amounts of either intensities.
Overall, not a bad drink even though the website seems to advertise alternative flavours. For calorie counters, a grande beverage runs you 260 calories whereas a green tea frapp of the same size would contain 430 calories. Sad to say though I won't miss this drink when it's gone.
Starbucks are never too far from each other when it comes to Vancouver. The Starbucks on Granville near West Georgia Street though has a distinction of seeing lots of foot traffic. It might be for this reason that the tables inside are all very thin and most space seems to be designed around accommodating a long line.
It's a classic Starbucks look inside with lots of dark furniture and bright lights around the menu. There's seating for about 30 guests and I wouldn't recommend trying to be productive here as there's space for maybe a tablet and not much more in front of you.
Like any Starbucks, you'll place and pay for your order prior to picking it up at the counter. Starbucks makes it really easy to pay from your phone if you have Apple/Android Pay. I had a gift card loaded onto my Starbucks app and scanning my e-gift card's barcode processed quickly. As they say, time is money, and payment at Starbucks is all optimized in getting you on with the rest of your day.
Staff were pleasant enough with the classic move of the barista taking orders orally to reduce waiting times at the end. A great strategy!
One-liner: I wouldn't call it the "drink of the summer", but you could have worse blended drinks at Starbucks
Highlight: The berry swirls inside the Berry Prickly Pear Frapp
Price per person: Starting at $4.45 for a tall
Would I go back? No.