Thursday, August 16, 2007
Frozen Coffee Drinks
So a couple of weeks ago, driving home from a wedding in Boothbay Harbor, ME, I made what seemed like an innocent stop at a gas station. I grabbed a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino from the refrigerator -- a decision which would alter my mornings for the foreseeable future. Frozen Coffee Drinks are the crack of the coffee family.
... and so began my quest to explore these highly addictive drinks...
Tuesday, August 7th, Au Bon Pain - Mocha Blast
While definitely not known for its coffee, Au Bon Pain had the advantage of being located on the first floor of the building my office is in.
In terms of taste, the Mocha Blast was decent, but provided weak coffee flavor. The Mocha Blast shined when it came to texture. The drink was was blended perfectly, not too smooth, not too slushy.
Wednesday, August 8th, Dunkin Donuts - Coffee Coolatta
Anyone who lives in the Boston area knows about Dunkin Donuts. A quick search using the Store Finder on dunkindonuts.com yields 4 locations within 2 miles of my home and a whopping 24 locations within 2 miles of my office.
While the coffee flavor of the Coolatta was tasty, it was weak. The texture was good, but by the time I got to the bottom, there was no trace of coffee -- only slush.
Thursday, August 9th, Starbucks - Mocha Frappuccino
Starbucks is one of those places you hate to love. It's an icon for a manufactured experience at a chain store. Starbucks is to coffee what the Black Eyed Peas is to Hip Hop. You don't want to like them, but you just can't help it.
The Frappuccino's coffee flavor was great -- the best of all the frozen coffee drinks. Additionally, they used real whipped cream (yes, I got them with whipped cream). The only problem with the Frappuccino was the texture. It was blended too thin. One of the cornerstones of a good frozen drink is the slight icy texture of the drink -- the same thing that makes a slush puppy so great.
Friday, August 10th, Peet's Coffee - Mocha Freddo
Peet's Coffee, primarily located in California, has a few stores in the Boston area.
Like the Frappuccino, the Freddo had great coffee flavor. Additionally, for a little more, they'll up sell you to the higher quality Scharffen Berger chocolate flavor for your mocha. While I'm generally sensitive to being upsold, I can say that this appeared to be a worthwhile investment -- the chocolate flavor was delicious. While Peet's appears to use the same blenders as Starbucks, they solved the over-blending problem by adding a few coffee beans to the Freddo to give it texture.