Bittersweet: Starbucks Pop’zel Coffee Frappuccino

Starbucks has been on a roll recently, introducing new drinks nearly every week. This time they’ve introduced a unique fusion of popcorn, pretzel, and coffee and called it a Pop’zel Coffee Frappuccino: a virtual ‘party in your mouth’!.

Not only aesthetically pleasing to look at, but also a sweet surprise!

Topping a soft layer of whipped cream, covered with sweet caramel sauce is a beautifully-made pretzel and a sprinkling of popcorn. At first sip, you get the sweet, strong taste of popcorn followed by a hit of bitter from the coffee. This unique and contradictory sensation stirs the taste buds, sending them on a wild ride!

One consumer remarked that this drink is a “sweet burst of childhood” as this bittersweet beverage recaptures the memory of popcorn at the movies as a kid, followed by the reminder of being an adult indulging in a fresh cuppa java on a busy afternoon.

I suggest eating the pretzel and popcorn first to prevent them from getting all soggy and weird after soaking too long. It does ruin the whole aesthetic to extract these sweet morsels so beautifully embedded in cream, but food is still food in the end. I recommend this drink to people who generally like their coffee very sweet (or as we say here, ‘ka’t dai‘).

The price is a bit on the high side at S$9.40 for a venti and S$8.60 for a grande. Still, if you;re thinking of giving it a taste, go quickly. It’s a promotional item, and may not stay on the menu forever!

That said, however, because I prefer my coffee old-school bitter, I was unprepared for how overpoweringly sweet the combination turned out to be. The pretzel (which I haven’t mentioned until now) added little to the overall flavour, being more of an aesthetic touch, like a decorative bow on a present. As for it being just a straight-up fusion of unmitigated sweet and bitter, it was also a bit pricey for my budget. The Pop’zel coffee frappuccino is quite a unique novelty product, innovative in its unlikely combination of common snack foods and coffee. But while it was fun to experience once, it’s doubtful I’ll queue up for seconds.

My rating: 7/10

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