The Starbucks Ice Cream That You've Probably Forgotten About

Once upon a time, Starbucks had its own line of ice cream. For those of us who remember the 1990s, you may vaguely recall the delicious Java Chip flavor the beloved coffee chain unveiled in partnership with Dreyer's in 1996. The ice cream was so good that it at one time held the highest popularity among coffee-flavored ice cream in the country. Sadly, too few of us know or remember the pleasure of enjoying this frappuccino-style frozen treat.

The Starbucks ice cream line continued into the aughts with Dreyer's at the helm, but in 2009, the coffee company needed a revamp to revive interest. Starbucks dropped Dreyer's as its producer and teamed up with Unilever to reimagine and repackage four of its flavors — Java Chip Frappuccino, Caramel Macchiato, Mocha Frappuccino, and Coffee. It wouldn't matter; this would prove to be the last gasp of Starbucks' ice cream endeavor.

Seasonal stint

In late fall of 2010, Starbucks tried to up sales of its frozen treats with the release of its seasonal limited-edition flavor peppermint mocha. This didn't seem to move the needle much with regards to sales. Regardless, the three flagship flavors remained in stores around the country, and even to this day people still regale the ice cream line. One Reddit user remembers Starbucks' Java Chip as "the single best coffee flavor ice cream ever made."

Starbucks pulled the plug on its ice cream in 2013. The closest you can get to tasting the lost ice cream is by sipping its varieties of frappuccinos. In 2016, Starbucks did launch an affogato, which was ice cream adjacent, at limited locations, but it never made its way to a nationwide product.

If you're feeling nostalgic for that Starbucks coffee ice cream flavor, or you're looking for a new way to enjoy an old favorite, you can add a shot of espresso to a java chip frap. It's not exactly the same as cracking open a pint of ice cream, but it's the closest we're going to get until Starbucks decides it wants to get back on the ice cream horse. Hopefully, the next one won't melt away as quickly.