Review: Starbucks Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappucino


Happy Hour is just about the only time you can get me into a Starbucks, owing to the fact that I’m generally too cheap to spend an entire combo meal’s worth on a single drink when the gods of McDonald’s have graced this earth with something I like to call the value menu sweet tea. But it is May, and that means frappucino happy hour between three and five pm, early enough that I’m not at work yet but late enough that I still get that pissy “are you going to be hungry for dinner” look from someone who constantly forgets that I have the appetite of a butcher’s disposal unit and about as discriminating of a diet.

As with any year, Starbucks has crazy two crazy new flavors, and as with any year they are limited with just enough time that you will fall in love with them before they get yanked off the menu in what is probably a combination of reminding you who wears the daddy pants in this relationship, and also because they find the sighs of disappointment strangely gratifying in a sexual way. The two flavors I speak of are Mocha Cookie Crumble (not photographed in this article) and Caramel Ribbon Crunch. And speaking of sexual, just read the description of the Caramel Ribbon Crunch:

“Caramel connoisseurs, this is your beverage. It’s a swirly celebration of four different types of caramel in a cup, topped with a layer of dark caramel sauce, caramel drizzle and crunchy caramel sugar topping. Yes, there are some other ingredients: coffee, milk, ice, whipped cream – but really this is all about ribbons and ribbons of caramel, over and over and over.”

Contempt from the Barista if you pronounce anything incorrectly is not factored into the ingredients, but is rather provided at point of purchase for no additional fee. Not currently rated by Food and Drug Administration for recommended daily values, please consult your doctor if your caramel sugar topping stays crunchy for more than four hours, and do not operate heavy machinery while under the influence of where-ever this joke was headed.

I found the actual frappucino part of the Caramel Ribbon Crunch to be something of a lighter tasting caramel frap, which is great because my enjoyment of caramel and milk in a frozen blended form had previously been hindered by my general attitude against developing diabetes. Not that this will work out in the end, since the Caramel Ribbon Crunch weighs in at a hefty 58g of sugar, and that is for the smallest size you can get, a twelve ounce tall with nonfat milk. However, I have the feeling just based on taste that if you asked them to take away the caramel drizzle and chunks of sugar, you would actually end up with a caramel frappucino with less sugar. I can’t substantiate these claims and I actually reached out to Starbucks for nuitritional information with no response as of yet.

For the caramel lovers, this is exactly what it sets out to be. It is caramel covered caramel with caramel filling that cuts just short of slashing your dietary physician’s tires and burning an effigy of him on his own lawn to send the message that he ain’t welcome in this town anymore. It is a barely creative concoction that throws mountains of caramel in a manner that is slightly more shameless than the person ordering it at the counter, and good lord do I love it.


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