Starbucks has finally introduced its autumn/fall-themed menu in Singapore! As someone who loves music, I feel like the menu seems to be a selected playlist of this year’s flavors, with the addition of a classic tune: the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). These are the chart-topping hits. Mango Mango has returned for another round on the menu. The only one that has a slight remix to its original melody of flavors is the chocolate black tea. Chocolate Black Tea 2.0 has a twist – there’s an option of adding either earl grey jelly or coffee spheres in the drink.
The vanilla fig frappe/latte is a brand new item that’s joined the party. I wanted to try it instantly when I read the menu. Vanilla and figs are quintessentially autumn – I can imagine them as scented candles. Having them in a drink would be fun!
Since the weather is becoming cooler, you’d think that I’ll be transitioning to hot drinks. Well, that isn’t happening yet. Having enjoyed icy drinks in Queensland’s autumn and winter (frozen cola and Starbucks’ matcha frappe to be precise), I’m not changing my preference for cold drinks anytime soon in Singapore! I, therefore, selected the vanilla fig frappe.
Just as much as vanilla and figs sounded delightful, I was intrigued with the frappe’s sweetness profile. Its two heroes are sweet on their own in general, so, was the frappe going to be ‘sweet on sweet’? From my previous experiences with special frappes, I knew there’ll be something that’ll cut into the sweetness. I wanted to identify how that particular element would work with the vanilla and fig combo.
I learnt from one of the baristas that this frappe comes with two different bases – a selection of either coffee or non-coffee. I chose the one sans coffee as I wanted to have a stronger taste of the two main ingredients, rather than the espresso’s.
When I collected my frappe from the barista, I was surprised with its appearance. The whipped cream and toppings looked gorgeous! The frappe itself reminded me more of a snowy winter instead of autumn. I guess you’ll get an autumn-looking drink if you choose the coffee-based version. The swirl of whipped cream on top is garnished with what seemed like freeze-dried fig bits and a fig sauce.
The sprinkle of crunchy figs reminded me of lovely orange leaves, scattered on the ground and crunch when you step on them.
To answer my question, it certainly wasn’t ‘sweet on sweet’ for me as its sweetness was controlled. The frappe reminded me of a vanilla frappe, with the addition of fig elements. Vanilla and fig didn’t collide, their flavor notes were balanced as vanilla blended with the fig’s flavor. The dried figs on top added a slightly more pronounced fig taste when I mixed everything, which I quite liked.
I realised that the vanilla fig latte has an identical base to the PSL: espresso (if you choose a coffee base) and milk (for both coffee and original bases). It’s almost as though both the vanilla fig and pumpkin spice lattes are siblings as espresso and milk are their bases. Just like siblings, their difference lies in personalities, or in this case, flavor profiles.
If you’re keen on having a new autumn drink, the vanilla fig latte & frappe is an option!