Dear God, Starbucks, Please Stop With All The New 'Unicorn' Flavors

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An Instagram photo shows the latest Starbucks Frappuccino flavors (and just how Instagrammable they are). Instagram

I never thought I’d have to do this again.

To be honest, I was rooting for Starbucks—we were all rooting for Starbucks—to put aside the trend of creating and promoting new drinks that taste like a combination of death and sugar. But that just seems to be what’s in these days: unicorns and slime, with no real benchmark for quality or taste.

After the Unicorn Frappuccino debacle—which ended in upset stomachs and a lawsuit against Starbucks—I thought the popular coffee chain would surely go back to doing what they do best: brewing fair trade roasts and charging customers five bucks for a cup of Joe.  

Related: The Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino represents everything that's wrong with America

But there I was on Wednesday, forcing my favorite barista, Josh, to whip up a "Berry and Prickly Pear Crème Frappucino" and "Mango Pineapple Crème Frappucino," the latest frothy drinks Starbucks was plastering on billboards and street signs across New York City.

I should start by stating that I place no judgment on someone who enters a coffee shop and orders anything other than coffee. This is America, the land of options, where teenagers are just as entitled to drink a venti double chocolate mint Frappuccino alongside a struggling novelist sipping on their third cappuccino. My problem is not with them—it's with these bevy of new flavors that taste like nothing that should ever be considered edible, or sold by a massive global corporation.

Admittedly, the mango-pineapple combination doesn’t sound awful on paper. Moreover, I’m a big fan of berries, so I tried my best to go into ordering both drinks with an open mind. Still plagued by the Unicorn Frappucino’s taste of metallic sludge, I was expecting Starbucks to have learned from the error of their ways with these two new summer deserts.

Starbucks failed me once again.

Not only does the mango pineapple Frappuccino taste nothing like mango or pineapple, but both drinks still seem to have that same underlying, Godawful aftertaste of heavy fats, oral medicine and sugar. Much like the Unicorn Frappuccino, the base of both new drinks relies on Starbucks’s Frappuccino syrup. It’s the third most-used ingredient in both beverages, just behind ice and milk, featuring artificial flavoring, salt and sugar.

The ingredients for the mango Frappuccino also includes a "mango pineapple sauce" and "mango syrup," which consist of more salt, sugar and water. I was happy to learn each drink features real fruit purees, albeit watered-down with fake flavors and preservatives, but at least it's an attempt to include actual foods.

With at least 50 grams of sugar, 52 grams of carbohydrates and at least 10 milligrams of cholesterol, the exact same taste of Unicorn waste and sugary sludge is not worth the exorbitant prices Starbucks charges.

And yet, there continues to remain an undying fascination with what comes next: Will Starbucks create an "Alligator Frappuccino" that looks like neon-green toxic stew but would almost certainly reach double-digit likes on just about anybody’s Instagram? Or will the coffee chain create a last-minute "Rainbow Pride" Frappuccino to celebrate Pride Month, but instead of tasting fabulous, causes nausea and digestive troubles? The options are simply endless!

At the end of the day, gimmicks can’t last forever. Genuine quality must always prevail, or consumers will quickly catch on and be turned off by the repetitive, constant attempts to latch onto a marketing scheme.

It’s unlikely Starbucks will stop creating "bold" new flavors in the near future; perhaps just as unlikely as it will be for many loyal customers to order the latest colorful concoction the next time it comes around—or even return at all, for that matter.