With the recent announcement that Starbucks will be posting calorie counts of their food and drink items on the menu in stores nationwide, a lot of people are about to find out just how bad for them that delicious blueberry scone is (490 calories, or just about 25% of one’s recommended 2,000 calories per day, in case you were wondering).
People are also about to discover the truth in an argument I have been making since age fifteen, when my Starbucks “training wheels” (caramel apple spices and chai lattes) came off, and I began getting into the caffeine game in earnest: that Frappuccinos are objectively, unequivocally, categorically awful. Here’s why:
A grande caramel Frappuccino made with 2% milk has 270 calories. “Not so bad, you say to yourself,” until you hear that there are 60g of carbohydrates in this mere 16 oz of frozen, blended heart attack, 59 of which are attributed to pure sugar. Add whipped cream to that (as most people do), and it’s a whopping 400 calories and 65g of carbohydrates, 63 of which are sugar. Ew.
(For comparison, a grande sweetened iced coffee with 2% milk is 120 calories and 24g of carbohydrates).
Frappuccinos are so expensive — a grande is upwards of four dollars before state/local taxes are levied, and extra if espresso or flavor shots are added. Prices I’ve found for a grande caramel Frappuccino range from $4.45 in Boston’s Harvard Square to $4.95 in New York City and $4.99 at California’s Disneyland. If you got a caramel Frappuccino with whipped cream in New York every day during the work week, you would spend at least $24.75 and ingest 2,000 calories. It seems unfair to have you pay the equivalent of three months of Netflix to slowly kill yourself.
For comparison, my grande vanilla iced coffee in Harvard Square this morning cost $2.62.
A grande caramel frappuccino has 100mg of caffeine, while a grande sweetened iced coffee has 125mg of caffeine. Without whipped cream, you’re taking in 2.25 times the number of calories and 2.5 times the number of carbohydrates for 25mg less caffeine.
Doesn’t Starbucks exist solely to deliciously caffeinate society?
Among the pointless things shared among “friends” on Facebook, this has got to be the ultimate in useless. If you share your "Frappuccino creation" on Facebook, I WILL judge you.
If you didn’t chuckle at the image of a giant plastic cup of coffee slush and whipped cream Tweeting, you’re lying.
Furthermore, the aforementioned website devoted exclusively to frappuccinos exhorts you to “show us your #sipface.”
To which I respond: Do you have a death wish? A TRENTA (31 fl. oz.) of Frappuccino? That’s 524 calories. That’s a LOT, in that it’s about 25% of the daily recommended calorie serving. If you add whipped cream, that’s 776 calories, almost 40% of your calories for the day.
This is nauseating.
For when you’re too busy to savor your 66 carbs and 270 calories in a portable cup, you can take Frappuccino on the go in a nice glass bottle — the ultimate fine coffee consumption experience.
This is a particularly grievous sin in my home city of Boston, where everyone knows that a frapPE is a mixture of milk, ice cream, and flavored syrup that those unfortunate enough to not be Bostonians might refer to as a milkshake. Either way, the Frappuccino in no world approaches the pure joy that accompanies a frappe (or milkshake). Bottom line, if you’re gonna get a Frappuccino, you may as well get an ice cream because you’ll hate yourself less afterward.
I hope this article has only revealed to you what you’ve known all along, what that nagging little voice says to you whenever you order a Frappuccino. It’s okay to find Frappuccinos awful.
And if you never considered the logical inconsistencies in the Frappuccino? I hope this is your wake up call.