Starbucks Caffe Mocha – review

Deep, rich espresso. Thick and creamy milk paired with a heaping helping of mocha. Intense gastrointestinal discomfort. This is what you get with Starbucks Caffe Mocha chilled espresso beverage found in your grocery’s frig section. You can have 48 oz. of this for only $4.50 if you hurry into Target stores before the price climbs back up. Searing GI pain doesn’t come cheap, you know.

My neighborhood Target has an in-store Starbucks, and as I crept in for a rare Sunday morning shopping trip with the fam, it was looking pretty good. Though I commonly feel overwhelmed and ill-prepared when ordering, I enjoy a good Starbucks. It’s definitely not my go-to coffee. More like a special treat for the day.

Since I’m a well-documented pleasure delayer, planned to make my purchase on the way out. Before long, though, I was met with the sale-priced coffee option behind glass. The item looked new, but I think that it only underwent some repackaging as it is now in a plastic bottle rather than a rectangular cartoon. Why get some coffee, when for a little more, I could get a lot of coffee – enough coffee to hold me over throughout the Memorial Day weekend. The purchase was a no brainer.

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I unpacked the overflowing car before pouring my newest indulgence over ice in a tall glass. The first sip doesn’t disappoint. It’s not too strong and not too weak. Pretty sweet and comes off more milk chocolaty than bittersweet, which is my preference. I downed the glass before heading to the hammock to soak up some relaxation. Ahhhh. This is life.

Over the course of the next 48 hours or so, I sucked down the 48 oz. To me, this didn’t seem crazy or needlessly intense. I was thirsty. I didn’t have work. It tastes good. The label let me know that the total calories are pretty sparse. They come in at 140 for an 8 oz. serving. Everyone wins, or so I thought.


As the ounces went down, I began having some discomfort in the old poop-making department. Nothing serious, think more of a lingering discomfort than Harry Dunn craping his brains out at Mary Swanson’s Aspen ski house. That’s how it was initally, at least.

At this point, I figured my discomfort had to be related to the drink since other coffee beverages have had this effect on me in the past. I insanely keep going back expecting a different result. Ah, addiction.

In a search for answers, I checked the packaging. Reduced fat milk – check. I am very tolerate to many things including lactose. Espresso – check. Their my favorite kinds of beans. Sugar, yum. Cocoa, yum. Natural flavors and salt. What’s not to like? Carrageenan. Of course, how could you have a drink without carrageenan? Whoa. Wait a minute. Lock up the breaks here. We are veering off. Carrageenan? What the hell is carrageenan?


Well, Wikipedia tells me that it’s a family of linear sulphated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. Duh. I’m glad I cleared that up. Wait, I have just one more question. What the hell is it doing in my mocha? It only took 2 minutes of research to conclude that people throw this crap in drinks, especially milky drinks, to thicken it up and make it creamier. I mean, what else could they use to make it creamier? Cream? Nonsense.

Look Starbucks, and all the other drink makers, feel free to use 2% or even whole milk in your drinks. I’m not really that worried about the calories and fat that I get from milk because it’s actually quite good for me. You know what isn’t good for me? Feeling like there is a team of baristas steaming my stomach acid and writing my name on my intestines is not good for me.
So I beg of you, leave the seaweed out of your packaged drinks, and if you don’t like that option, feel free to include a roll of Quilted Northern with every bottle of Starbucks Caffe Mocha. Your customers will thank you.


Consume. Review. Repeat. gives Starbucks packaged Caffe Mocha 2 legs numb from sitting on the toilet out of 10.

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