Starbucks’ Chile Mocha


Sophie Pressler, Editor

Condensation beads along the sides of the frosty plastic cup. A mountain of whip cream towers over the icy coffee below. The first sip brings an intense flavor of cinnamon. Following, is a strange burn that lingers in the back of the throat.

Needless to say, Starbucks isn’t a recent phenomenon. Since 1971, the coffee franchise has expanded into a multimillion dollar operation and even holds a stock. However, in recent years, Starbucks has introduced seasonal beverages, most of which change yearly. For example, one of the newest drinks available is the Chile Mocha.

Available in hot, iced, and blended form, Starbucks describes the Chile Mocha on their website as something “… for those mornings that need an extra kick”. Ingredients that stray from the traditional Mocha makeup include cinnamon, vanilla, ancho and cayenne chile spices. The product has similar traits as the more commonly known Mexican hot chocolate that can be found in most local grocery stores.

The Chile Mocha Frappuccino is the same color and texture as the regular Mocha Frappuccino. However, a sprinkling of chile powder is used as a garnish on top of the whipped cream. The first couple of tastes are reminiscent of a ginger snap or cinnamon type cookie. After these first few sips, the taste of chile powder becomes much more prominent. Overall, the taste was nothing like the expected Mexican hot chocolate-esque flavor, but much more like a holiday cookie with a powerful kick.

Starbucks’ Chile Mocha has a power flavor of both cinnamon and chile powder. That being said, it would appeal to those who sincerely enjoy cinnamon cookies or spicy foods. The interesting combination is like nothing else on the Starbucks menu. If this beverage does not sound like an enjoyable experience, other options such as the Pumpkin Spice Latte and all of Starbucks’ regular drink menu are available for your enjoyment.