Once again, the latest special frappe that’s reached Starbucks stores in Singapore is rather unique. It’s almost a splitting image of the brown sugar milk tea – the new global craze courtesy of the bubble tea / boba realm. Starbucks has hopped onboard this latest trend, and coffee enthusiasts are joining the ride. I’ve got to mention, the frappe sounds delightful.
‘Dark caramel’ was a complete mystery to me, as I’d never, ever heard of it before. It’s said that brown sugar milk tea has a caramelly edge to it from the brown sugar, therefore I presumed the dark caramel is a nod to that sugary element. Salted caramel and regular caramel are no strangers to my palate, so I was looking forward to ticking this mysterious ‘dark caramel’ off my list of flavors.
‘Spheres’ initially brought back vague memories of geometry from high school math classes, but it clicked in me that spheres is a description of tapioca pearls in boba. Instead of referring to them ‘pearls’, it’s been dubbed as ‘coffee spheres’ as a result of the spheres’ coffee flavor.
As I was observing the art of creating the frappe, the drink slowly became somewhat reminiscent to brown sugar milk tea. The final result kind of looked like it, but with the addition of a small swirl of whipped cream on top.
The dark caramel has a rather buttery flavor instead of a sugary note to it. I reckon people who enjoy buttery caramel popcorn would appreciate this frappe’s balance between buttery dark caramel and coffee. The dark caramel isn’t overpowering either. It’s interesting because most places tend to include sugary caramel or salted caramel with their coffees (if they offer caramel-flavored coffees), so this version of caramel is an awesome change.
The spheres – which I’d been very curious about – took me by surprise. Those seemingly boba-like pearls are Brazilian coffee spheres that actually burst into liquid coffee when bitten into. This meant that I literally had bursts of coffee in every sip. It’s an ingenious addition to the buttery caramel concoction!
I have to admit – I’m not really into buttery caramel in general, but I enjoyed the frappe. I had a great time experiencing the creative flavor combinations in the dark caramel frappe.