Life

We Tried Starbucks’ Tie-Dye Frappuccino And Found It Objectively Awful


Starbucks/Uproxx

Ugh, Starbucks — take a seat and close the door, we need to talk. Look, I don’t know when you started degrading your own brand by making drinks for Instagram posts, but there was a time when you at least pretended to be about quality. Can we go back to those times, please? The times when you boasted about dark roasts and arabica beans like if they were some sort unique feature, proudly displaying photos of coffee farmers in your stores, rather than big close up portraits of your own drinks. Because this new thing you’re doing, it’s not a good look. You’re capitalizing on the darkest aspect of our modern culture: the desperate and ultimately empty search for likes and internet clout.

Starbucks, how do you sleep at night? Probably not well with this combo of caffeine and sugar coursing through your veins.

If you think I’m taking the Starbucks’ new Tie-Dye Frappuccino entirely too seriously, you’ve never tasted one and subsequently arrived at the bottom of a plastic cup with deep feelings of hopelessness. Global climate change, species collapse, ocean acidification — when future generations land on a barren earth to figure out “how it all went wrong,” all they’ll find is the dye from a Starbucks stunt drink, swirling in a lifeless sea.

So, what did it taste like? Excuse me, are you listening to anything I’m saying?! We. Are. All. Dying. END POST.

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Oh, hey. So um… I woke up from a two-hour midday nap and I’m feeling a whole lot more chill about the Starbucks Tie-Dye Frappuccino thing. Does that mean I think it tasted good? No, not at all, it’s still terrible, absolutely do not drink this, I bought it only so you wouldn’t have to. But is it a harbinger of the apocalypse? Perhaps not.

I purposely avoided any press materials regarding the Starbucks Tie-Dye Frappuccino before I had my first taste, I wanted to go into the experience completely blind to see if I could figure out the flavor on my own. I couldn’t. A few years back I threw a tie-dye party. A bunch of friends got together and we made tie-dye clothes for the summer. The process is actually incredibly easy, it just requires a white shirt, some rubber bands, and a few buckets of dye in water. The water in those buckets both looks more appetizing and definitely tastes better (don’t ask) than the Starbucks Tie-Dye Frappuccino.

Dane Rivera
Color. Not as advertised.


First of all — and to be fair I’d imagine this would vary for anybody — my Tie-Dye Frappuccino didn’t look anything like the glorious and psychedelic press photo. The Tie-Dye Frappuccino is advertised as having these deep ribbons of blue and red tangled across a yellow and green base, it looks like a NASA photo of a faraway galaxy. Mine had none of that. It’s mostly just yellow with some green smear in the lower portions. The whipped cream did have the colorful dusty sprinkles of the press photo but by the time I got home they just sort of melted through the whipped cream leaving little craters where they once sat.

Before you think this might’ve affected the flavor, it doesn’t, according to Starbucks the flavor of the Tie-Dye Frappuccino comes entirely from its yellow base.

Dane Rivera

The taste is hard to pin down. This is what I wrote in my notes immediately after three sips: “On the fruity side but milky. Tastes like cake icing. Like the sprinkles you put on a cake, mixed with some Cool Whip. Candy thing on top of Cool Whip.” Pretty much nailed it. The official flavor of the Starbucks Tie-Dye Frappuccino is apparently banana and the drink gets its tie-dye color from turmeric, red beet and spirulina which, as I mentioned, have no discernible effect on the flavor. But I don’t know, I think “Cool Whip mixed with multi-colored candy sprinkles” is a much more accurate description. I tasted absolutely no banana. It definitely does have a fruity flavor, but banana is incredibly distinct and nothing about this drink is distinct — it’s just a colorful sugar bomb.

By the way, why did Starbucks decide that tie-dye tasted like a banana? My money would’ve been on some sort of berry blend, with a hint of sour lemon. Was the Summer of Love hippies all about getting their potassium and I missed that bit of history?

I know it’s weird when internet writer Dane Rivera tells Starbucks, company with a net worth valued at $107.05 billion, how to do business. But seriously, you should be innovating for our tastebuds, not for Social Media. That’s trend chasing and it never stays cool for long.

The Starbucks Tie-Die Frappuccino is available now while supplies last. Drink it if you want to spiral into despair. Or if you like really sugary drinks (no judgment), it’s fruity, creamy, and super sweet. Like very, very sweet. Still, if breaking out into a sweat and feeling compelled to take a two-hour nap is your jam, this drink is for you!

Dane Rivera

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