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Move over, Espresso. Take that, Cappuccino. Make room for the Frappuccino!
As one of the most popular drinks at one of the most popular coffee chains, the Frappuccino recipe has taken the world by storm. In the just over ten years in which the drink has been offered at Starbucks, it has come to dominate as one of the company’s biggest sellers.
But, ask anyone about the Frappuccino recipe and you will quickly discover that it is a drink shrouded by mystery and intrigue. Its origins, its variations, its contents – nobody quite knows, and nobody at Starbucks is talking. What is the secrecy that surrounds the lucrative Frappuccino recipe?
Firstly, Starbucks claims to have created the original Frappuccino recipe in 1995. But, records show that the Frappuccino recipe can in fact be traced back to Coffee Connection, a Boston-based chain that was later acquired by Starbucks. Even before this, a small café in the village of Hersonissos, Greece, was selling a similar iced drink called the Frappecino. So, just where did the Starbucks Frappuccino recipe come from? Is the drink part of a cover up? Unfortunately, with the recent Starbucks move to trademark their Frappuccino recipe, it is unlikely that the truth will ever be uncovered.
The Frappuccino recipe intrigue does not stop there. The quest to discover just what exactly the drink is made of has been heating up on websites and message boards across the Internet. Coffee? Naturally. Water? Of course. Milk and sugar to be sure. But, what else? Forgetting the blended ice and the colouring, what else is eluding us from the infamous Frappuccino recipe? Some suggest maltodextrin, pectin or corn syrup, while others have attempted their own concoctions with vanilla or cocoa. But, none have managed to replicate the Starbucks Frappuccino recipe just so.
And, that is just for the original coffee-flavoured Frappuccino recipe. There are, of course, others. The Light, the Crème, the Caramel, the Mocha, the Java Chip, the Strawberries & Crème, the Tazo Green Tea, the Pumpkin Spice Blended Coffee, the Toffee Nut, the Peppermint Mocha – the list goes on, as does their top secret nature. Starbucks explains the variations by listing different ‘syrups’ or ‘sauces’ or ‘base mixes’, none of which are ever described in any greater detail.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the mystery of the Frappuccino recipe, its popularity has soared. Today, you can even take a test to determine what flavour of Frappuccino your personality most resembles. If you would most like to sip your Frappuccino in Venice, for instance, and are more likely to visit coffee-producing Peru over Indonesia, then a Mocha Frappuccino is for you! If Istanbul and Indonesia are more your tastes, then you are marked for a Banana Coconut Frappuccino.
There are some things in life that we have no choice but to accept, and the elusive nature of the Frappuccino recipe is one of them. So drink up and enjoy your Frappuccino for all of the taste and mystery it has to offer. Like Starbucks says, a coffee is just a drink, but a Frappuccino is an experience.
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By: Evan Carmichael
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