Starbucks, much like many of the other chains that serve food around the world, has developed a habit of selling all sorts of drinks to suit each special event of the year. In fact, just a few months ago, I wrote about the Autumn Drinks that they were selling at Starbucks here in Korea.
Christmas time is one of the biggest times for Starbucks in Korea. Not only to they usually sell their special diary (yours for free with an enormous amount of purchases) but they also sell a number of special beverages and desserts for your consuming pleasure.
And so it was late in November that I went to a local Starbucks to try two of their Christmas drinks: the Chamomile Relaxer, and the Toffee Nut Popcorn Tree Frappucino. I have to say, the name of the second drink sounds like a Frankenstein’s monster of beverages!
Up front, I have to say that I don’t really like frappucinos. While I do enjoy some sweet coffees from time to time, the idea of a coffee slushie doesn’t overly impress me.
Upon entering the Starbucks, I had to decide whether or not to order the Chamomile Relaxer as a hot drink or as a cold drink. Many of the blogs that I had read here in Korea said that the drink was much better cold, but I decided to get one that was hot, not only to be different, but to balance out the frigid temperature of the Toffee Nut Popcorn Tree Frappuccino.
I placed my order, also getting what they call a Chocolate Snow Panettone, which I will write about later.
While waiting for the drinks to be prepared, I looked around this particular branch of Starbucks.
Being right next to the ocean, I took a few minutes to look at the roiling sea on a cold November Saturday.
Inside, the Starbucks also had some bird’s nest lamp fixtures, which I do find very interesting!
Finally my number was called, and I went to pick up the tray and find a seat in the location.
The Toffee Nut Popcorn Tree Frappucino, was impressively, very similar to the pictures that they had in the advertisements. The Chamomile Relaxer, which was in a to-go cup, wasn’t overly impressive even after taking off the lid, although it did have the proper ingredients floating on top according to the Starbucks Korea website.
I decided to try the Toffee Nut Popcorn Tree Frappucino first. The popcorn on top was very sweet, just like caramel popcorn that you might buy at the movie theater. Mixed with a caramel drizzle, and some whipped cream, the top of the drink was very sweet.
As I put in the straw (now paper not plastic) the first taste of the icy drink was just like a Toffee Nut Latte that Starbucks is also selling now in Korea. The nutty flavor was quite evident, and the drink had the right flavors.
The drink however was just too sweet. With the caramel, the popcorn, the whipped cream, and the Toffee Nut Latte Mix, the sugar was overwhelming. The tall size alone has 52 grams of sugar, which makes the calorie count of only 345 hard to believe.
Next, I tried the Chamomile Relaxer. The drink was topped with lemongrass and lychee according to the Starbucks website, but to me they looked like a pine tree sprig and some dried cranberries.
Tasting the drink, it was also very sweet. The flavor of Chamomile was obscured, and it was more like a sugary lemon tea. In fact, the drink has 36 grams of sugar! I do like Chamomile tea, so it was quite disappointing to find that it didn’t really taste like that.
Overall, these two drinks are for people with a sweet tooth. With a frappucino from Starbucks, this is to be expected, especially when you are ordering it with whipped cream and caramel drizzle! The Toffee Nut Popcorn Tree Frappucino would be better for me if it was half the size.
On the other hand, getting a Chamomile Relaxer that has more than half the sugar of a frappucino is shocking. I was very surprised that they are selling this drink.
To sum up, if you love sweet drinks, either of these would hit the spot.