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Field Report: Starbucks vs. Burger King Frappe Deals

May 28, 2012

Much as I hate to admit it, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf set the standard when it comes to frozen coffee drinks with Peet’s Coffee & Tea coming in second. For good or ill, neither of those companies are having frappe sales this weekend, so I had to confine my comments to $1 Burger King Frappes and $2 Safeway Starbucks Frappuccinos (or however they’re spelled).

I hit both places Saturday afternoon and here’s what I found.

Burger King. No question about it, when it comes to Fraps and Frappes, $1 is a really good price. In fact, the closest you can get to it is the $1.59 mocha freeze at Costco. So, it’s hard not to like BK’s entry into the market. When it goes up to a regular price of $2.39, though, it’s a bit more questionable. I know the drink special may have made BK workers a bit more harried than usual, but my mocha frappe seemed kind of sad. Although I’m not a whipped cream fan, I noticed that it barely reached the top of the cup (negative style points). Nor did the drink itself, which made me wonder why BK put a dome lid over the beverage. About the only time you should really do that is when there’s a threat of spillage from overflowing. Having it on this drink merely made it look like BK forgot to add something…like enough drink to fill the cup.

As far as the taste goes, it wasn’t bad if you like sweet, which I do. It was even sweeter than Costco’s mocha freeze, but not in a good way. Although McDonald’s doesn’t know how to pull off a frozen strawberry lemonade, somehow the golden arches seems to have fraps down while Burger King…not so much. I know this isn’t necessarily BK’s specialty, but it would be really nice to get a frozen coffee without huge chunks of ice floating throughout and a large ice cube at the bottom. About all I can say is, $1 is a great price.

Starbucks. BK may have been around longer than the Seattle-based coffee behemoth, but Starbucks really knows how to do a frap fast and still make it look nice. My mocha was topped with a perfectly-shaped mountain of whipped cream–which I’m still not wild about–and perfect streamers of chocolate sauce running down the sides of the mountain (positive style points).

The drink may not have been as sweet as I like (I usually go for something like a cinnamon dolce frap), but it was smooth and there weren’t any large chunks of ice still floating in it.

Of course, the Fraps on sale for $2 after 2 pm Memorial Day Weekend at participating Starbucks locations in area Safeway stores is twice the price of the BK Frappe and it shows it. Nice cup with logo, clouds of whipped cream and beautifully placed drizzles of chocolate syrup. Although I don’t typically pay full price, it’s definitely worth its $3.50ish price tag.

The Verdict: You get what you pay for. One dollar isn’t a bad price, but $2 is a better deal.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Terry permalink
    July 22, 2012 6:39 am

    I am an Starbucks fanatic, I mean I receive gift cards and all and I love the frapps there but I have to say that I had MD’s once and threw it away immediately. I’m hooked on Bk’s brand frapps can’t get enough and when I can’t get to or feel like driving to the Bucks I go for the King!!!!!!!!!! so gooooooood!!!!!!!!!!

    • July 23, 2012 10:55 am

      Thanks for the comment. It pains me to say this because I’ve always liked BK more than McD’s, but I like McD’s Frappe better than BK’s. I know you like BK, but I just think McD does a better job. But that’s what makes life interesting, isn’t it? If everybody liked the same stuff, the lines would be so much longer.

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