‘Tis the season to welcome back Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour, fondly nicknamed “Frappy Hour”. As a teenage girl who lives, breathes, and dreams Starbucks (how typical), this is by far my favourite holiday of the year.
For those unfamiliar with this blessed promotional tactic, Starbucks sells every Frappuccino 50% off between 3pm to 5pm, from May 1 to May 10. If you don’t understand why this is so exciting, please let me elaborate. A Frappuccino is the magical blended marriage of coffee or another base ingredient and ice, usually topped with whipped cream. Tim Horton’s fans are probably all going, “So… a glorified Iced Capp?”, but they are oh so wrong (no offense).
What makes a Frappuccino so amazing is the customizability of it. In addition to the over 20 flavours, customers can add extra flavour shots like peppermint or raspberry, and ask to have ingredients like Java Chips blended in. It’s like you’re your own barista, and nothing feels better than accidentally inventing the best drink of all time. My personal contribution to the Starbucks society was when I ordered the Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino with two pumps of peppermint syrup, and a magically refreshing, non-caffeinated, holiday-reminiscent drink was born.
This annual event usually comes with limited edition flavours that last through the summer, and this year’s were just as amazing as last year’s. Mostly because two of the three new flavours were the same as the previous year’s (the Mocha Cookie Crumble and the Caramel Ribbon Crunch), but the third flavour was quite possibly sent down from the heavens above and blended with angel tears. The Caffè Espresso Frappuccino is basically the Coffee Frappuccino, with an Italian Roast Coffee drizzle (gasp!) and an espresso infused whipped cream that literally TASTES LIKE TIRAMISU. I’d gladly trade my right kidney for a lifetime supply, please and thank you.
Sites like http://starbuckssecretmenu.net give you endless possibilities to try out during the half-price promotion, such as the Banana Split Frappuccino. Trust me, adding an entire banana into your Frapp isn’t gonna sound so gross when you taste the mouthgasm-inducing blend. Make sure to know the ingredients for your drink when you order from the “secret menu” though, because some baristas might not be aware of the specifics.
Frappy Hour seems extra special this year because two days before the event started, Starbucks introduced the Oprah Chai Tea Latte, a chai tea blend created by the extraordinary hands of Oprah Winfrey herself. The iced version tastes like the lovechild of a gingerbread cookie and pumpkin pie, so in other words: absolutely fantastic. Even better, every time you purchase an Oprah Chai Tea Latte, 25 cents goes to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, which provides funding for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. On the first day of Frappy Hour, I spontaneously decided to see if I could ask for an Oprah Chai Frappuccino, and after a sip, I realized it was the best decision of my life. My Starbucks experience will never be the same, so thank you Oprah.
Sure, there are some downfalls to Frappuccino Happy Hour. Sometimes the wait is 20 minutes, regular customers have to wait in the same line as annoying packs of teens, and baristas become overworked and tired (it takes double the time to make a cold drink than a hot drink). Is it worth it? As selfish I feel admitting it, it is. I mean, paying $2.50 for a drink that usually runs you $5 is the best. I still feel awful for the baristas though, the two hour mayhem they go through is chaotic. I go to Starbucks often enough for them to know my name and make small talk about life, so to counteract the guilt I feel for my almost-family, I tip extra heavily.
Enjoy your cups of deliciousness for the next week to come, but just make sure to work it all off. They don’t look that scary, but I’m speaking from personal experience when I say that all the sugar and cream adds up. And just a heads up for any of you who want to make a girl happy, my usual order is a Venti Soy Coffee Frappuccino.