Starbucks started serving three new drinks on the menu Monday as Valentine’s Day approaches. The trio of Molten Chocolate beverages includes the Molten Chocolate Latte, Molten Chocolate Frappuccino, and the Molten Hot Chocolate at participating stores until February 14th. “What says love more than coffee and chocolate?” Starbucks asked its patrons as it outlined what it has in store for the holiday. While coffee and chocolate are always at the center of our hearts, Cupid’s arrow might have missed the mark on this molten madness.
(Photos courtesy of Starbucks)
Since the Yahoo Food office is surrounded by Starbucks, we secured a stash of all three drinks for an early taste test.
Walking into a New York City Starbucks at the corner of 43rd Street and 8th Avenue, the chalkboard menu proudly displayed the three new additions. Yet, the barista seemed confused when I ordered one of each of the Valentine’s Day Drinks. She repeatedly looked back at the sign to confirm my order while punching it into the register, then I hesitantly paid and moved on to wait for the order. As my drinks came out one by one, my initial reaction was that my communication had been confused. The first two drinks looked and sounded the same, but the barista insisted it was correct and kept on with the order.
No-nonsense New Yorkers and Times Square tourists filled the store in a single line to get their caffeine fix from the front counter as I eagerly anticipated my drinks to appear. Perhaps “molten” doesn’t scream “Valentine’s Day,” but I noticed no one else ordered from the special menu during my stay. The line progressed as patrons ordered ordinary drip coffees, green teas, Venti-mocha lattes and the like. No romantics here.
I checked the printed labels on the cups and confirmed my order: Molten Chocolate Latte, Molten Hot Chocolate, and a Molten Chocolate Frappuccino, all here. Then I looked down at my cardboard carrier: three drinks to be taste-tested that so far all seemed identical.
Molten Chocolate Latte
Starbucks description: Chocolaty chips are melted into espresso, then topped with steamed milk combined with bittersweet mocha sauce. This latte is finished with mocha and espresso-infused whipped cream and an espresso mocha drizzle. It’s available hot and iced.
Review: As I didn’t specify hot or iced, I received my Molten Chocolate Latte in between the two options at a solid lukewarm temperature. The first sip was as sweet as getting a Valentine from your crush in second grade. The second started to make my stomach almost as sick as when you see your crush putting cards in everyone else’s mailbox, too. Its espresso element is especially predominant in the initial stage, then slowly starts succumbing to the heavy mocha taste. Overall, it’s pretty similar to a Starbucks mocha latte with a possible psychological emphasis on the “molten” part.
Molten Hot Chocolate
Starbucks Description: Bittersweet mocha sauce and chocolaty chips melted into steamed milk for a smooth and creamy taste. Mocha and espresso-infused whipped cream and espresso mocha drizzle tops off the beverage.
Review: My fears flash before my eyes as I put the plastic lid up to my lips and learn it tastes almost exactly like the latte, with less of a caffeine infusion. Significantly smoother than the latte, it mirrors the Starbucks standard hot chocolate. The specialty whipped cream melted almost immediately into the steamed drink, so I didn’t get to distinguish it from the drink itself, but again it appears “molten” is a state of mind.
Molten Chocolate Frappuccino:
Starbucks Description: Coffee with rich mocha sauce and chocolaty chips blended with milk and ice. This beverage is finished with mocha and espresso-infused whipped cream and an espresso mocha drizzle.
Review: The Starbucks Molten Frappuccino description is almost spot-on to its regular Mocha Frappuccino, with the exception of throwing the word “espresso” into the Valentine’s Day announcement. True to its trio, the blended beverage is also topped with the ambiguous espresso-mocha drizzle. However, the chocolate chip chunks that stood out in each sip of the straw are the only aspect that made this molten stand out among the rest.
Moral of the story: Molten can be anything you want it to be, even your Valentine’s Day date.
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