Review: Starbucks Brings The Heat With Its New Summer Cold Brew And Frappuccino

The onset of summer at Starbucks never fails to generate buzz and for good reason. The season ushers in a wave of new menu items that invariably capture the attention of the coffee-loving public. Our past experiences with Starbucks' summer drinks have been nothing short of delightful, which only heightened our anticipation for the 2023 offerings. This is, after all, the same company that enchanted our taste buds with the S'mores Frappuccino and the Mocha Coconut Frappuccino. We couldn't wait to explore what flavorsome creations Starbucks had in store for us this time around.

Among the new menu items for this summer are the Starbucks Green Apron Blend for brewed coffee lovers and the adorable Bumblebee Cake Pop. But the main attractions are a pair of cocoa-heavy, hand-crafted beverages: the Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino and White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew.  Of course, we had to give both drinks a try.  

Meet the Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino

For anyone who's not strictly a coffee purist, it's hard to resist the charm of a Frappuccino. After all, it's akin to having coffee-flavored ice cream. Starbucks' new summer Frappuccino certainly fits the bill, offering a refreshing take on the beloved beverage. This special summer concoction introduces two novel components to the Starbucks menu: A white chocolate mint sauce is combined with whole milk, Frappuccino coffee roast, and Frappuccino chips to form the base of the beverage while chocolate mint cookie sprinkles make their debut alongside decadent mocha drizzle, and a dollop of whipped cream for the garnish.

Our barista chose to layer the mocha drizzle on top of the whipped cream. However, in promotional photos, the mocha drizzle is added directly to the drink before topping it off with whipped cream. We suspect this is done to showcase the attractive green and brown cookie sprinkles. Regardless of the presentation, this delightful blend promises a treat for the senses. Take note: This drink isn't exclusively for coffee drinkers. A cream-based version of the Frappuccino is also available, making it an appealing choice particularly for young ones with a fondness for mint.

Meet the White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew

Alongside the exciting new Frappuccino, Starbucks' summer menu also introduces a refreshing cold brew coffee beverage. So, if you aren't particularly keen on ice-cream-like drinks, the White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew is a cool new option for you to relish during the hot season. This delightful drink is crafted from a base of robust cold brew, enhanced with a few pumps of the brand new macadamia syrup, and topped with white chocolate macadamia cream cold foam, which makes its Starbucks lineup debut. As a finishing touch, a toasted cookie crumble topping graces the foam.

Given our fondness for the many delightful cold foams Starbucks has offered in the past, we're confident the white chocolate macadamia cream would make a wonderful addition to an iced chai or perhaps a white mocha. For those seeking a beverage inspired by a cookie assortment, consider adding the macadamia syrup to a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. This modification could transform your regular order into an enticingly unique cookie-themed treat.

When can you get these drinks

The Starbucks Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino and White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew made their debut on May 9. While the company hasn't provided a specific timeline for these drinks' departure from the menu, it's generally safe to assume they'll stick around for the entirety of spring and extend through the summer season.

However, the popularity of these new offerings could potentially influence their availability. As the unique syrups required for these drinks are limited, fan favorites might run out sooner than expected. We've had a similar experience during the winter months when the Pistachio Cream Cold Brew often seemed to be in short supply.

Interestingly, we've noticed that Starbucks locations inside Target stores tend to keep these limited-edition drinks on their menus longer than standalone Starbucks cafes. So, if you're particularly fond of one of these summer specials but are having trouble finding it at your local Starbucks, a trip to your nearest Target might be the answer. 

How much do they cost?

The Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino is available in the three standard Starbucks cup sizes: tall, grande, and venti. Naturally, the tall size is the least expensive option, priced at $5.95. If you opt for a grande, the price slightly increases to $6.45, while a venti will cost you an additional 50 cents, bringing it to $6.95.

The cold brew variant is a bit more budget-friendly compared to the summer Frappuccino. This option comes in four different sizes, including the generous trenta size which offers a full 30 fluid ounces, six ounces more than a venti. For a tall White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew, you'll pay $4.95. If you're in the mood for a larger serving, a grande is priced at $5.45, while a venti comes in at just 30 cents more, costing $5.75. Should you decide to splurge on a trenta, the price will be $5.95, the same as the base price of the new Frappuccino flavor. 

The nutritional info for Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino

When you place an order at Starbucks, the default size is actually a grande, not the smallest one. Opting for a grande Chocolate Java Mint Chip Frappuccino means you'll be consuming 490 calories, with 180 of those derived from fat. The total fat content is quite high at 20 grams, including 13 grams of saturated fat, which accounts for 65% of your recommended daily intake. The carbohydrate count stands at 73 grams, making up 27% of your suggested daily portion, and the drink includes a hefty 69 grams of sugar. The grande Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino contains 105 mg of caffeine. 

The creme version of this drink has lower stats in most categories with the calories clocking in at 450 grams with 190 calories from fat, carbohydrates at 60 grams, and sugars at 57 grams. That said, the carbohydrate count is slightly higher at 60 grams. 

The nutritional info for White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew

Compared to a similarly sized Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino, a grande White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew contains less than half the calories at 240, with 100 of those from fat. It has a total fat content of 11 grams, including 7 grams of saturated fat. This cold brew also has fewer carbohydrates than what you'll find in the Summer Frappuccino, coming in at 31 grams, and the sugar content is similarly lower at 30 grams. A grande serving contains a considerable 185 mg of caffeine.

A closer look at the ingredients for this one also reveals that the white chocolate macadamia cold foam is a combination of both white chocolate mocha sauce and the macadamia syrup. Interestingly enough, the flavoring on the Macadamia syrup actually comes from real macadamia nuts, which is why it tastes so smooth. So, if you're looking for a lighter, yet still flavor-packed, summer beverage with a decent caffeine kick, this might just be the perfect choice.

Enjoy a refreshing dessert-link drink in the Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino

Though we don't typically gravitate towards Frappuccinos, we found ourselves quite taken with this extra cool concoction. The first thing that struck us was its resemblance to those small Andes chocolate mints you're often presented with alongside your bill at restaurants. (The delightful green and brown cookie crumbles adorning the top certainly enhanced this comparison.) 

The flavor profile of the Chocolate Java Mint Chip Frappuccino is reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake with a whisper of refreshing mint (the coffee flavor was subtly tucked away). The small chunks of chocolate that top the drink give it a decadent dessert-like appeal. Overall, were pleasantly surprised by how much we savored this beverage, and we suspect its cream-based Frappuccino counterpart is equally delightful. If you're looking for a refreshing, dessert-inspired drink to sip on this summer, this could well become your new favorite.

Fall in love with White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew

We're quite fond of an expertly crafted cold foam, and this White Chocolate Macadamia rendition is among the best that Starbucks has to offer. It elicits fond memories of indulging in that ever-so-delicious macadamia nut cookie, offering a smooth and satisfying texture. We believe those who appreciate a good cold foam will be charmed by this one, and fans of macadamia nut cookies will be downright ecstatic.

The cold foam has a sweet undertone, owing to the blend of white chocolate mocha sauce and macadamia syrup. Despite its sweetness, it marries well with the coffee, never reaching the point of overpowering the brew's robust flavors, striking a lovely balance which gently mellows the overall taste.

This cold foam is a delightful counterpart to the Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino, as they present two distinct flavor profiles. We're excited to experiment with this White Chocolate Macadamia Cold Foam on other beverages, confident in its versatile potential to enhance a wide array of drinks.

Are they worth trying?

We wholeheartedly recommend giving both of these new Starbucks offerings a try, even if you're not typically a Frappuccino enthusiast. The Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino was a delightful surprise, as its refreshing flavor profile exceeded our expectations. We were also quite taken with the White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew. It was delightful on its own, but we believe its components could be integrated into some of your other favorite Starbucks beverages to create personalized and unique variations. This could be the perfect time to indulge in some flavor exploration at Starbucks, experimenting with these new additions to uncover novel combinations.

If there's an aspect of these drinks you'd prefer to tweak, remember that Starbucks allows for customization. Don't hesitate to request any alterations to make these beverages perfectly catered to your taste buds. After all, the goal is to discover a drink that's as deliciously satisfying as possible for you.