December 8, 2019

Starbucks' Tie-Dye Frappuccino Tastes Like Disenchantment

“I have never tried psychedelic drugs, but I imagine the experience is a lot like drinking a Starbucks Frappuccino. Strange sensations, unnatural colors, increased heart rate, heightened emotions, paranoia: It’s all there in that plastic cup, the three or four times a year the brand introduces one of its Instagrammable, limited-time offer frapps.

What a grande strange trip the latest iteration is, then. Fifty years after Woodstock, the Tie-Dye Frappuccino is here to remind you that the idealism of the 1960s is dead.

[Who makes the best cookies-and-cream ice cream in the U.S.? We scooped up 15 top brands to find out.]

This is the dawning of the age of Frappquarius: a pale yellow drink with streaks of green and pink throughout, and a whipped cream topping sprinkled with pink, purple and blue. The colors come from natural sources — beet, turmeric and spirulina — which is a pretty hippie recipe, Starbucks. Press materials don’t identify the flavor, but I’d describe it as artificial banana and disenchantment, with a touch of peach. It looks like a Grateful Dead T-shirt that took a few spins through a Vitamix with some Laffy Taffy and magic markers, but only for the first three minutes after it’s handed to you. After that, all the colors settle to the bottom, and it evens out to a pale shade of yellow with a layer of pink-gray sludge at the bottom. It coats your mouth and tongue with a viscous film of sugar and has an aftertaste that lingers like sour milk.”

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