What to sip and what to skip.
As an adult, you probably spend most of your summer in an air-conditioned cubicle. So it’s easy to get nostalgic for the days when the most pressing thing wasn’t catching the train, but the ice cream truck. This summer, Starbucks is stepping in to make your summer (or at least your coffee break) a little more whimsical with some ice cream-inspired offerings. Loved slushies when you were younger? Try one of three Italian Granitas. Want something more cool and creamy? There’s two new ice cream-flavored Frappuccinos on the menu. Craving a full-on dessert? There’s trifle, too! We took two Starbucks trips to try everything (the Granitas and trifles are only available after 3 p.m. as part of the chain’s Sunset Menu). Here’s the sweet-filled menu (and Real Simple editors’ un-sugarcoated thoughts from our taste test).
Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino
What is it: Coffee, milk, and ice blended with “waffle cone syrup” and dark caramel sauce. Topped with whipped cream, waffle cone pieces, and an extra swizzle of caramel sauce.
What we thought: Smooth and silky, but a little too much caramel for some of our testers.
Double Double Fudge Bar Frappuccino
What is it: Coffee, milk, and ice blended with a double dose of mocha sauce. Topped with thick chocolate whipped cream.
What we thought: The quadruple fudge was a bit too chocolaty for our testers' tastebuds. One of our staff members described it as blending up a box of Fudgsicles and serving as a drink.
Teavana Youthberry White Tea Granita
What is it: Finely shaved lemonade ice, topped with Youthberry (pineapple, acai, and hibiscus) White tea.
What we thought: This refreshing treat for tea drinkers is a lighter take on Italian ice. It has an (unidentifiably) fruity flavor, but isn’t too sweet.
Starbucks Caramel Espresso Granita
What is it: Sweetened ice topped with espresso shots, cream, and a caramel drizzle.
What we thought: If you really need a coffee fix, go with an iced espresso instead. The shaved ice waters down the caramel flavor.
Starbucks Strawberry Lemon Limeade Granita
What is it: Lemonade flavored ice with strawberry slices and house-made limeade.
What we thought: This one has the strongest flavor of all the Granitas. Ours came with strawberry syrup rather than strawberry slices, which made our testers report a bit of an artificial berry taste. We could see the crushed up limes in the ice, which was a nice, fresh surprise!
Chocolate Brownie Trifle
What is it: A warm double chocolate brownie topped with whipped cream and mocha drizzle.
What we thought: This comforting indulgence will satisfy any 3 p.m. chocolate fix.
What is it: Petite vanilla bean scones layered with a strawberry drizzle and topped with whipped cream.
What we thought: The testers didn’t like how the tangy scones were smothered with artificial strawberry topping and would have preferred whole strawberries. Some thought it didn’t seem as cohesive of a dessert as the chocolate brownie trifle.