The mad scientists at Starbucks’s Holiday Drink Lab buried deep beneath the city of Seattle have released their latest sugary monster into the wild: The Christmas Tree Latte. Like its sibling, the Zombie Frapp, this one employs some bright green goo (in this case it’s whipped cream cut with matcha powder) and a creme Frappucino base (it’s blended with peppermint and mocha sauces). The hillock of cream is also adorned with caramel sauce, and studded with candied cranberries and sliced strawberries, for a bit of fruity kick.
With this melange of creams and sugars and dried fruit and matcha, this drink might just taste like the lovechild of a panettone and a Japanese green tea Kit-Kat — which might be marvelous or repulsive, depending on your opinions about those two divisive sweet treats.
Judging by the early photos creeping onto Twitter and Instagram, this drink looks kind of like an avocado toast crammed into a glass of chocolate milk.... or a bright green volcano erupting in a sea of cocoa. The top part, at least, looks like how a kindergartner might draw a Christmas Tree, so... mission accomplished.
The drink officially goes on stale tomorrow, December 7, and it will be available until next Monday, December 11. In typical ‘Bucks fashion, news of the beverage’s arrival leaked earlier this week, and some locations started mixing the Christmas Tree Frapps early.
Will this new liquid demogorgon become the Starbucks legend, a la the Unicorn Frapp? Or will it be relegated to the dustbin of history, like the Pepper Nitro With a Jerky Twist? Only time will tell. But for now, here’s how the drink ranks on Eater’s Ridiculous Novelty Beverage Scale:
+ 3 points for a really leaning into a bizarre flavor combination
+ 5 points for emulating the shape of an actual holiday object, even shoddily
+ 2.7 points for the Craisin factor
+ 3 points for appearing during prime holiday beverage season (and Starbucks actually, somehow keeping this a secret until the day before the release)
+ 1 point for verticality
- 2.3 points for including matcha, one of the most over-used ingredients in the novelty beverage kingdom (although turmeric would have been more on-trend for 2017)
- 2 points for looking like something that would slime the original Ghostbusters
- 1 point for not containing any coffee (not a deal-breaker for some, but the best ‘Bucks drinks always have a healthy does of caffeine)
- 4 point for repeating the green motif established by the Zombie Frapp. A candy cane-striped or Aurora Borealis-themed aesthetic would have been cooler
Official Eater Ridiculous Novelty Beverage rating: 5.4