Exclusive: Tasting Starbucks's New However-You-Want-It Frappuccino

Tasting Starbucks's New However-You-Want-It Frappuccino

Last week, coffee drinkers learned Starbucks would soon be serving vegan blended frozen drinks as a result of a recent Frappuccino reformulation. While the official unveiling of the new Frappuccino line isn't until next Tuesday, May 4, I got an early preview of the customizable recipe. Was it any better than the old one? Find out when you keep reading.

Until recently, all Frappuccinos began with a dairy-based powder, regardless of flavor. In contrast, the new blended drinks start out with one of three liquid, non-dairy bases: a coffee base, a coffee light base (which contains some Stevia and has half the calories of the original), and a creme base (which contains no coffee extracts).

The media-savvy company is also introducing new blenders (with a separate blender dedicated to soy products), which are significantly quieter and generate a creamier drink. In addition, Starbucks is unveiling three new drinks: the Soy Strawberries & Creme, Extra Coffee Caramel, and Mocha Light Frappuccinos. I tried the Soy Strawberries & Creme, and found that despite its natural flavors, it didn't taste particularly like a real strawberry.

What I really enjoyed was going wild creating customizable flavors. I ordered a Grande Soy Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce Javachip Frappuccino, light on the upside-down whip, with cinnamon dolce topping — and absolutely loved every sip of it. For comparison purposes, I also sampled my standard Frap, the Coffee Light; it was airier and creamier, with finer, more consistent ice particles than before.

Overall, I consider it a change for the better — although I hope the change won't affect store efficiency. Are you excited for the new Frappuccinos?

The new blender.

The new Soy Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino.

The consistency of the new Frappuccino is finer and more consistent.

From left to right, the Coffee, Coffee Light, and Creme Frappuccino bases.

My custom Frappuccino creation.