I love Frappuccinos. This is unfortunate as at the moment it is the middle of winter and consuming said Frappuccinos has been known to cause excessive shivering, brain freeze* or both.
*Brain Freeze is an excruciating headache caused by drinking too much ice cold liquid too fast.
Suffice it to say, as a devoted junkie / addict, I believe that the afore mentioned side effects are totally worth it.
Over the past two weeks have been searching for the perfect Frappe experience. In my quest have sampled the offerings from various vendors, even going as far afield as Lake Taupo in the search for perfection.
Yesterday I visited Muffin Break and ordered a double fudge frappe. Sound good? It wasn't! The ice was not properly blended and the resulting concoction looked (according to my friend) like muddy snow that had thawed, frozen and then thawed again. The thing was watery (not tasty enough) and gets a score of 3 out of 10.
Also, they put cream on the top. This is partly my fault cause I forgot to say "no cream" but their picture does not feature cream and they should have asked. Muffin Break do have a loyalty program of sorts where you buy so many beverages off them and then get one free. The catch? Only hot drinks count. What is with that? Suffice it to say there is no way I will be going back there for my Frappe fix. Very disappointing. Especially given that they are the most expensive Frappe place in Auckland, charging a whopping $4.90 for a relatively small Frappe.
Robert Harris was better. Actually, the Robert Harris down in Taupo was nothing short of fantastic. I ordered a Mocha Frappe and whilst I strongly suspect that they got the syrups mixed up and gave me hazelnut instead, it was wonderful. Tasted amazing. Ice was pretty well blended. The problem? No spoon. This is not a good thing as a well made Frappe is thick and needs a spoon to be properly enjoyed. Needless to say, loud slurping noises made whilst travelling to Hawkes Bay does not endure one to one's travelling companions. The "Taupo Frappe" was the most expensive of all costing over $5.00. I give it 7 out of 10.
My local Robert Harris (in Auckland) is OK'ish. Have had two of their Frappes, the first was pretty good. The second, was verging on potential greatness until I discovered an uncrushed icecube in it!! I complained to the owner who was kinda apologetic. I say "kinda" because he did apologise and "tell off" the person who made the Frappe but he did not go out of his way to demonstrate adequate remorse. I think a "two for the price of one voucher" or something similar would have been a much more effective way of making up for their mistake. OK, it was not the worst Frappe on the planet, but I won't be going back there in a hurry. This one gets a 6 out of 10. Must confess that it was pretty good value at $4.50 for a fairly large amount of Frappe.
Finally, I visited Starbucks. Now I know that there are many of you out there who hate / loathe / detest Starbucks coffee. All I can say is that whatever sins they have committed, their Frappaccinos more than make up for it. It does not seem to matter which store I go to, they always get it right. Their Tall Mocha Frappaccinos (no cream) are the best ever. My one complaint is that only once have they offered to put chocolate syrup on the top. Chocolate syrup on the top is very very good. They charge $4.60 for a Tall which is not exactly cheap but it is worth it. Warning, these things are sweet. With me that is kinda the point. If you don't like sweet things, then you will probably prefer the Frappes from Robert Harris although then you will miss out on the perfectly blended ice. Starbucks Frappes rate a 9 out of 10.
So there you have it. Starbucks comes out on top. I have tried their white chocolate Mocha Frappuccino and have to say that it did not do it for me. The straight Mocha Frappuccino is the way to go. On a somewhat sadder note, my dad ordered a Grande Cappucinno from them which was anything but grand. The thing was mostly foam and he was very disappointed. He complained bitterly *to me*. I had a look at it and am almost certain that it was more than half foam. Not worth it at all. To make things worse they did not put chocolate on top! How can you serve cappuccino without chocolate / cinnamon?? Not a good look. If you are visiting Starbucks, do yourself a favour and stick to their Mocha Frappaccinos.