In the last week, I've tasted three new Starbucks Frappuccinos. All of them were fruit-based and mythically inspired and made me feel ill. So you can understand my hesitance when I heard that Starbucks introduced a new Frappuccino yesterday, the Midnight Mint Mocha. Once again, I was tasked with going to Starbucks to find out what the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino tastes like. I knew my body couldn't handle another over-the-top, technicolor Frappuccino, and it's not like the description of the drink in the press release—as "inspired by thoughts of dark starry nights, looking up at the sky with a cool summer breeze"—gave me much confidence.
What's in a Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino? According to Starbucks, this "beautiful layered beverage starts with scoops of extra-dark cocoa blended with coffee, milk, and ice, infused with cooling mint sugar crystals and cut with a layer of whipped cream." The base of the drink seems straightforward enough, but the phrase "cooling mint sugar crystals" freaked me out. I started to have flashbacks to the "sweet pink and sour blue powder" in the Unicorn Frappuccino and worried that the new Midnight Mint Mocha would be a midnight blue drink with glittery "mint sugar crystal" swirls, like a slice of mermaid toast in a Starbucks cup.
Fortunately for my sanity, I was blissfully wrong, and I can honestly say that I've never been happier to receive a brown drink in a clear, plastic cup. The Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino isn't inspired by mythological beasts. It doesn't taste like some kind of sour candy or vanilla bean frosting. It looks like it tastes like coffee and chocolate, because it actually does tastes like coffee (which, surprisingly, isn't a given when you're ordering a Frappuccino from a coffee shop) and dark chocolate.
As for those "cooling mint sugar crystals"? I couldn't see them, though I'm pretty sure I tasted them. The mint in this drink isn't overwhelming; it adds more of a iciness than an actually strong mint flavor. It's as refreshing as the feeling of brushing your teeth first thing in the morning, but it's not at all like accidentally eating toothpaste. Imagine a York Peppermint Patty that's light on the peppermint, heavy on the dark chocolate, with a splash of coffee. That's the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino in a nutshell.
Buzzfeed referred to the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino as "the anti-unicorn," and I think that's totally right. This new Frappuccino, despite the mint crystals and the starry night allusions, is really straightforward and, dare I say it, delicious if you like coffee and chocolate like me. It's also caffeinated, since it's made with real coffee, and unlike the Unicorn Frappuccino or the Dragon Frappuccino or even the Mermaid Frappuccino, you know exactly what flavors to expect when you pick it up and take a sip.
There are no surprises with the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino, and after a week of outrageous viral drinks, that's perhaps the most exciting thing of all.