Readers, I've had a crappy job. I worked at Walmart for 2 years, America's most soul-destroying chain of slophouses. I smiled all day, because that was part of the job. If I was a jag, I was out the door. Doesn't matter if it was a guy trying to turn his counterfeit cash over to me to change out for a Reese's Cup, a dentist handing me a small bible as a "tip", or the guy who said I should get out in the sun because I was too pale - I had to smile. I didn't have to be nice, but I had to play it. In American service culture, this face is important. It makes or breaks a franchisee, and it's the difference between the Target across from your house, and the Target about 15 minutes away. You'll chose the one where people have the right idea about the face. I'm not too bothered about service here, I get that Europeans tend to see American service as disingenuous (it is, but it feels good man) so it's usually a bit less smiley & less conversational. Fine by me for the most part.
See, I understand service is different everywhere you go, but man oh man - watch out at London Starbucks if you're ordering these new Fan Favorite drinks, because it is stink eye central. I've ordered them twice now, and both times it was like I was asking them for a Googoo Cluster Frappuccino & whatever cash they got. A 'face' best described as scared and angry. I go to Starbucks plenty and order standard drinks with no issues, but for whatever reason these are frightening and confusing to Starbucks employees in London. Should've guessed by how they've hidden the signage about them from view. So, I have no idea if these are being made properly or what - again mine was very thin and separated into a couple layers, but that might've been a result of the gorilla-slam it took against the counter as the girl barked CINNAMON FRAP at me.
Jokes on her, I loved it anyway.
The Cinnamon Swirl Frappuccino has cinnamon syrup, coffee, white mocha sauce, and even vanilla - so this is one syrupy affair. Apparently it's meant to come topped with a cinnamon sprinkle, but I wanted to get out of that Starbucks alive so I didn't mention it. Given all those syrups, I was worried it might be a bit too sweet - the cookie dough one did actually border on it. However, the cinnamon & coffee work nicely to add a bit of spice & a bit of bitterness to it. Don't get me wrong, it's still far more a dessert than a coffee drink, but if you like the sweetness of a standard Frappaccino it isn't much sweeter than that.
The taste really does do a good job of approximating a cinnamon bun - with the white chocolate mocha & vanilla combining into something far greater than the sum of their parts: Cinnabon style icing. The cinnamon is sweet & just a touch spicy, and is really the dominant flavor.
This one is actually my favorite so far, and the one I can actually see drinking again sometime. While the Cupcake was nice and the Cookie Dough was okay, both of them are the sorts of drinks that never really make sense after you've tried them the first time. I already had a sweet milkshake of this flavor - I don't really need to try it again. The Cinnamon Swirl however is very well blended & since it actually has some coffee in it, tastes like a bit more than just a milkshake.
I look forward to trying Summer Pie. I'll amend this review to also include it, and hopefully an update on a better experience in Starbucks when ordering these, haha.
I kid the Starbucks employees, I wouldn't want anyone to lose their job over disappointing an American in the fast food service realm - I mean, it's really easy to do. I'm sure that they just hate making these because they're new recipes with lots of syrup & bits and such.