We tasted 5 Starbucks drinks – and the results were bittersweet
- Starbucks just opened its eleventh store in SA.
- We tasted five of the drinks it will serve, with some pointers from three-time South African Barista Champion Ishan Natalie.
Starbucks launched its eleventh South African store, in Sandton, Johannesburg, this week.
Business Insider SA sampled five of its more intriguing drinks with the help of loyal Starbucks customer Skye Mvula, a 21 year-old student at the University of Pretoria, and Starbucks SA's coffee guru, three-time SA Barista Champion Ishan Natalie.
Not everything is for everyone, it turns out.
1. Nitro Cold Brew.
This slowly steeped cold brew is infused with nitrogen and made on-site at every Starbucks store every day. Natalie recommends it as an alternative to hot drinks. We weren't impressed.
Business Insider rating: 2.5 out of 5 beans. Cold and refreshing, but just too bitter.
Patron rating: 2 out of 5 beans. "I would never go for this. Though it has a nice coffee taste it lacks sugar and tastes bitter.
This drink is extremely popular because the vanilla syrup in it and topping of caramel drizzle adds a butterscotch-like sweet character to the bold coffee, says Natalie.
Business Insider rating: 4 out of 5 beans. There is a great balance of acidity, bitterness, and sweetness with the drizzled syrup. Definitely a unique taste.
Patron rating: Also 4 out of 5 beans. Traces of bitterness but not as much as the cold brew coffee.
3. Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino
The frappuccino can be ordered with or without a coffee base. Once all the flavours are blended together with ice, a few pumps of strawberry puree go in along the edges of the cup and then swirled to create an attractive marble effect.
Business Insider rating: 5 out of 5 beans. Like ice cream with a hint of coffee in it.
Patron rating: 5 out of 5 beans. Mvula says she likes the element of surprise that comes with this drink. "Its like a milkshake but not a milkshake."
4. Flat White.
Starbucks SA uses a double espresso shot in its flat white instead of a single, like in other regions such as Australia.
Business Insider rating: 4 out of 5 beans. Easier on the tongue than a normal latte.
Patron rating: 5 out of 5 beans. "Its like a cappuccino."
5. Hibiscus Tea.
Starbucks SA has six teas in its range, three caffeinated (English Breakfast, white tea, and green tea) and three herbal infusions: mint, chamomile, and the more unusual hibiscus.
Business Insider rating: 5 out of 5 beans. n interesting acidity and a very soft fruitiness from the hibiscus flower.
Patron rating: 5 out of 5 bean. A totally different flavour from common teas with a nice aroma.
Now read: Rooibos lattes are all the rage at Starbucks across Europe
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