I’ve mentioned my love of coffee several times on here and the podcast, but I haven’t talked much about my progression from Mountain Dew drinker to coffee junkie. The proverbial crossing of the Rubicon occurred in my early 20s when I was making a lot of road trips and needed a convenience store offering with more caffeine than Dew could provide. Enter the bottled Starbuck’s Frappuccino; as sweet as a soda yet with almost twice the caffeine. That did the trick, but eventually I graduated to “real” coffee and more refined packaged choices like canned iced coffee from Caribou Coffee (and Coke) and the Mermaid. Sadly for me, Starbuck’s stopped making their canned iced coffee and Caribou/Coke left the bottled market altogether a few years back.
But now Starbuck’s is back with bottled iced coffee in glass packaging resembling my old friend the Frappuccino. I picked up a bottle of the vanilla flavor from my local Target for around $2. The obvious first impression was that it looked like coffee with just a touch of cream; no off white or tawny colored beverage here. Upon uncapping, a nose grope of strong vanilla hit me just like a Vanilla Frap. However the first sip was not a freight train of sugar, but a nice balance of coffee, sugar, and cream I remembered from the canned version. It hit the right notes and, at 11 fluid ounces, hit the spot too. Starbuck’s bottled Iced Coffee will definitely be on my radar the next time I’m roaming the highways and byways of the Midwest away from the reach of coffeehouses or the McCafé.