Coffee Facts

Fall Drinks That Flopped So Bad Starbucks Wants to Forget Them

Over the years, Starbucks has released quite a few fall drinks that weren’t actually great enough to keep on the menu seasonally.

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When the fall season comes around at Starbucks, it’s hard to look past the ever-so-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte. Every once in a while, though, the worldwide coffee chain will attempt to release a new drink option alongside the PSL.

Unfortunately, many of these did not make the cut and were actually so unsuccessful you may have not even heard of them due to Starbucks rushing to move on from their failed experiments.

Although, maybe some of these will have you wishing you could give them a try yourself.

Fall Drinks That Flopped So Bad Starbucks Wants To Forget Them

Starbucks Fall Drinks That Flopped

So, let’s jump right into this list of fall drinks from over the years that just weren’t quite right for the seasonal Starbucks menu. From warm and toasty to cold and spooky, the coffee shop has really tried quite a few different things.

Chile Mocha

First up is the Chile Mocha, which was released in the fall of 2016 and is essentially Starbucks’ take on Mexican hot chocolate. Made a lot like their regular mocha latte, with espresso, mocha sauce, and steamed milk, the only difference was what made this one spicy. With the addition of an ancho and cayenne chile powder, customers were met with a sweet and spicy chocolate drink that definitely warmed them up.

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This flavor combination took inspiration from things such as mole and horchata. Starbucks chose to use ancho due to its mild heat and fruity flavor, as well as just a bit of cayenne to help complement the chocolate mocha. Unfortunately, this drink didn’t last very long, as next year, it had apparently left the menu with no hope of return.

Person Holding white Cup with logo Starbucks
Image Credit: Komarov Egor on Unsplash

Maple Macchiato

This next one is actually a drink that seems like a pretty reasonable option to keep as a regularly returning seasonal pick. Except, that’s not the case for the Maple Macchiato. This beverage was first available in the U.S. but didn’t last long and was removed in 2012.

It then had its time to shine in Canada, where maple syrup is a staple. However, it was discontinued there, as well. The layered drink of milk and espresso also consisted of vanilla syrup and a delicious maple drizzle. It just didn’t have as much popularity as Starbucks had hoped and ended up not being a continuous fall offering.

Dark Barrel Latte

We’re not sure why Starbucks thought the Dark Barrel Latte was a good idea to try out in the fall season of 2014, but it definitely was being tested out by the coffee company. This was a non-alcoholic beer-flavored coffee that had a chocolate-stout sauce.

While plenty of other alcohol-inspired flavors can work in coffee beverages, we have to say beer is not one of them. People who tried this one even noted that it actually tasted a lot like beer, which doesn’t seem like the best thing to drink when getting your morning started.

Starbucks hot drink
Image Credit: Samule Sun at Unsplash

Toasted Graham Latte

Next up is a drink that did make it out of the testing phase: the Toasted Graham Latte. This is a honey-graham-flavored coffee beverage that was released in the fall of 2015. It was created by the inspiration of a cereal-soaked milk taste, so that’s essentially where the flavor of this drink lies.

Not to mention, alongside the release of this unique beverage, Starbucks also decided to specially design their fall cups, much like they do during the winter season. This had sketched art of fall-inspired things such as leaves, pumpkins, pine cones, and berries.

Frappula Frappuccino

Moving on, let’s talk about the blended drinks that were actually only available for a limited time, but seemed to keep up a brightly colored and uniquely flavored theme for a few years in a row. Starting in 2016, Starbucks released a Halloween beverage called the Frappula Frappuccino.

This was a vampire-inspired frozen beverage that had mocha sauce and whipped cream set on the bottom of the cup. Inside, there was a Frappuccino of white chocolate mocha sauce, milk, ice, and creme base. A strawberry puree drizzle was set on top to replicate vampire blood, as well as some sweet whipped cream.

Caffe Misto starbucks
Image Credit: Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Zombie Frappuccino

If you thought that was the most creative Starbucks could get, the Zombie Frappuccino from fall 2017 is a step up. This one actually looked a bit less appealing than the vampire-themed drink, as well as not as tasty.

The bright and tart green apple Crème Frappuccino also had a caramel flavor to it and was topped with pink whipped cream to represent zombie brains and a red mocha drizzle for an extra spooky decoration.

Witch’s Brew Frappuccino

Last on the list is what appears to be Starbucks’ final attempt at limited-time fun Halloween drinks. The Witch’s Brew Frappuccino was another blended beverage that was definitely a bit more far-stretched when it came to design and flavors.

It was essentially an orange crème Frappuccino that had a base color of purple and green swirled throughout to represent “bat warts.” The green part of this drink was made with chia seeds; it was topped with whipped cream and had some green powder sprinkled on top to represent “lizard scales.”

Starbucks coffee cup on the wood table
Image Credit: KAL VISUALS at Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions

There may be a few questions you have now that we’ve gone through some of the fall drinks that didn’t quite make the cut on the Starbucks menu, which is why we answered some for you below.

Did Starbucks Discontinue the Salted Caramel Mocha?

Unfortunately, yes, Starbucks did discontinue the Salted Caramel Mocha. This was actually a rather popular fall flavor for a while at the coffee chain, so a lot of customers were pretty upset when the company decided not to bring it back.

What is Starbucks’ Most Popular Fall Drink?

To no one’s surprise, the most popular fall drink at Starbucks is the iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s the most frequently purchased beverage during the season and has been for years now. Although, we will say that in 2020, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew actually surpassed the PSL in sales.

What Are The New Fall Drinks?

At the time of writing, Starbucks has released two new fall drinks. These are the Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and the Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte. The Apple Crisp Oatmilk drinks have been on the menu for a few years now, and the Pumpkin Chai is something that was purchased very frequently before it became a menu item.

Wrapping Up

Overall, there have been some hits and misses when it comes to Starbucks seasonal drink releases, and fall is no exception. Though some of these may have been purposely made as limited-time options or were just test runs, you have to wonder what makes or breaks a Starbucks beverage.

Maybe you have or haven’t heard of the drinks listed above, or maybe you even had a chance to try a few of them. Either way, we’re certainly curious about what else Starbucks will come out with in the future fall seasons and if there will be any successes.

Happy Caffeinating!

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