Review: New Starbucks Oatmilk Frappuccinos Cater To Dairy-Free Drinkers But Lack The Usual Flavor

Bottled Starbucks coffees are not new — in fact, the earliest version of the brand's glass-bottled Frappuccino beverages first appeared in supermarkets in 1996, garnering more and more popularity during the 2000s. Boasting classic flavors like vanilla, mocha, or plain coffee, these bottled drinks are not like the blended Frappuccinos that the chain offers in-store, but are evolved versions of Starbucks Frappuccinos that give fans a sweet beverage for sipping on the go, and can be found at nearly any store.

The one downside to bottled Frappuccinos (which many would not consider as a downside) is that they contain dairy milk, which makes them a no-go for lactose-intolerant folks or anyone following plant-based diets. Well, dairy-free folks have a new reason to get excited, because Starbucks now offers oat milk Frappuccinos — a real game-changer in the world of bottled Starbucks beverages. 

Of course, an important question arises from these new non-dairy Starbucks Oatmilk Frappuccino varieties: Are they any good? We tried both new flavors of the oat milk coffee beverages — caramel waffle cookie and dark chocolate brownie — to not only see if they're enjoyable but to compare them with the Frappuccinos that have lined grocery store shelves for decades. Dairy-free beverages can be hit or miss sometimes, so I'm not only taste-testing these products to learn if the new flavors are palatable, but I'm also determining if the oat milk versions can rival their dairy-laden cousins — or if they miss the creamy mark. 

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer/distributor/etc.

What are Starbucks Oatmilk Frappuccinos?

Much like Starbucks' bottled Frappuccinos that have been around for many years, the new Oatmilk Frappuccinos come in familiar glass bottles and look the same in terms of design, shape, and branding. The distinct difference, of course, is that the new Frappuccinos boast their oat milk content on the front of the bottle, making them stand out against the familiar mocha, vanilla, caramel, and coffee-flavored Frappuccinos.

The biggest difference between the new Frappuccinos and the old ones, aside from the dairy-milk substitution, is that the flavors are new ... sort of. The Oatmilk Frappuccinos are offered in dark chocolate brownie and caramel waffle cookie flavors, which seems new and exciting at first, but essentially just means that one has a more chocolate-leaning flavor profile whereas the other is caramel-leaning. Nevertheless, these flavors do offer a refreshing switch from Starbucks' other bottled Frappuccinos, and my hope going into the taste test was that they would indeed offer more complexity than the classic mocha or caramel Frappuccinos. 

In terms of nutritional breakdown, the Oatmilk Frappuccinos are similar to the previous versions. In each 13.7-ounce bottle, the brownie flavor has 280 calories while the caramel waffle cookie version has 270. Both have about 5 grams of fat and 33 grams of sugar, which is notably a bit less than the 46 grams of sugar contained in the classic vanilla Frappuccino, white chocolate mocha, caramel, and mocha bottled Frappuccinos. 

Where to find Starbucks Oatmilk Frappuccinos, and how much do they cost?

Fortunately for those who don't live near a Starbucks, you don't need to visit one of the chain's locations to get your hands on the new bottled Oatmilk Frappuccinos — in fact, most grocery stores should have them in stock, including Walmart, Target, Meijer, and anywhere else that typically sells the classic Frappuccino flavors. 

If your local grocery store starts offering these Oatmilk Frappuccinos, the suggested retail price is $3.99, so you can anticipate that to be the high-end price that you might come across in-store. As of writing this review, Target is selling them for $3.59 per bottle, whereas Walmart has them priced at $3.38. You can also find Starbucks Oatmilk Frappuccinos on Amazon, though you'll have to commit to buying a 12-pack for $37.42, which breaks down to about $3.12 per bottle. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on location, but for the most part, you can count on these bottled beverages running slightly cheaper than Starbucks' suggested retail price. 

Taste test: Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cookie Oatmilk Frappuccino

How might a drink taste like a cookie — and not just any cookie, but a waffle cookie at that? This is the very quandary that riddled my brain when I first heard of this new flavor in the Starbucks Oatmilk Frappuccino line, as cookies have a distinct flavor all their own that doesn't necessarily translate to beverage form too easily. And, truthfully, I wouldn't really say that this coffee drink tastes like a waffle cookie (or any type of cookie, for that matter), but the caramel part does shine through.

Speaking of the caramel taste, I expected that to be the most distinct, notable flavor note, but it ended up being more subdued than I thought it'd be. Though I do enjoy caramel-enhanced coffee drinks, I found myself feeling refreshed that the flavor wasn't too caramel-forward, and instead leaned more towards a general sweet coffee taste that is quite palatable.

As for the oat milk aspect of the drink, you can distinguish the oat flavor, and in some sips, it felt like the drink tasted more like sweetened oat milk than a caramel-flavored Frappuccino. I also noticed a certain thickness about the drink, which almost felt syrupy at first but ended up melding into something more creamy and enjoyable. Overall, I did appreciate the creaminess of this flavor, and though it didn't exactly taste like a cookie, it did taste caramelly with maybe a hint of warm cookie aftertaste. 

Taste test: Starbucks Dark Chocolate Brownie Oatmilk Frappuccino

Similar to my quandary about the caramel waffle cookie flavor, I wondered how a brownie's taste might translate to a bottled beverage. And, as proven by the dark chocolate brownie Oatmilk Frappuccino, the answer is: not much. There are some subtle hints of fudge, and the drink does taste like chocolate, but more than anything the drink hits those familiar notes without delving any deeper. Interestingly enough, the Frappuccino smells somewhat like a brownie, so perhaps if you take a whiff of the drink before taking a swig, you might convince yourself that more brownie notes are present.

Brownies aside, I was also anticipating a certain level of deep, rich, chocolatey flavor, since "dark chocolate" is in the name ... but I was left wanting more on that front, too. The oat milk did shine through somewhat strongly, and like the caramel option, sometimes it felt like the dominant flavor profile. I also noticed more of an oat aftertaste with this flavor.

Overall, I thought that I would like the dark chocolate brownie flavor better than the caramel variety based on my personal taste preference, so I was a bit disappointed. There is nothing offensive about the flavor or mouthfeel, but it doesn't taste strongly of a brownie or chocolate — the main profile is the oat milk itself. And, hey, if you love oat milk, then you might enjoy that aspect, but I was certainly looking for some stronger chocolatey goodness. 

Starbucks Oatmilk Frappuccinos vs. classic bottled Frappuccinos

If you're a fan of Starbucks' classic bottled Frappuccinos, you may be wondering one important thing: How do the oat milk versions compare to the OG lineup? The oat milk flavors come in the same bottle size and amount as the previous Frappuccinos, and as we already mentioned, the sugar content is slightly lower in these new ones. Interestingly, however, I wouldn't say that these tasted any less sweet than the original Frappuccino flavors like mocha or caramel, so you don't have to worry about sacrificing sweetness by picking oat milk versions over the dairy milk options.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the oat milk and dairy Frappuccinos is the flavor. The original mocha Frappuccino, for example, tastes strongly of chocolate, while the original caramel variety provides solid caramel flavor from start to finish. The oat milk options were a bit bland overall, and instead of hitting me with flavor notes right off the bat, they made me search for them the whole time.

Another difference between the oat milk drinks and the dairy-based beverages is the creaminess. I certainly thought that the Oatmilk Frappuccinos would pale in comparison to the dairy versions, but the opposite is true. The oat-based options are more creamy, in my opinion, but keep in mind that they offer an oat-milk kind of creaminess, whereas the dairy-based drinks have a more neutral creamy flavor. 

Are Starbucks Oatmilk Frappuccinos worth it?

After taste-testing the new Starbucks Oatmilk Frappuccino flavors and comparing them to the classic dairy flavors, I've determined that these bottled beverages are worth it — but with a few conditions. First, as someone who doesn't avoid dairy or have an intolerance to it, I don't picture myself choosing the oat milk ones over the original ones. That said, if you do happen to avoid dairy-laden coffee beverages, these Oatmilk Frappuccinos are a worthwhile alternative. It's not always easy to find Starbucks drinks for vegans or anyone who prefers plant-based milk, so I do think these Frappuccinos represent a step in the right direction in terms of dietary accessibility. 

The other condition that makes these Frappuccinos worthwhile is whether or not you like oat milk. If it's your go-to plant-based beverage and you always have oat milk stocked in the fridge, then sure, you'd probably like these drinks. But if you don't really care for the flavor of oat milk, then these Frappuccinos are probably not worth the price tag. I was hoping for a balance of each Frappuccino's flavor juxtaposed with creamy oat milk, but instead, I only got hints of the caramel and the chocolate.