Review: Starbucks Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate


It’s getting cold outside here in the Midwest… and with that comes an abundance of warm beverages. Guest reviewer Taylor Birkey shares his take on a new beverage from a coffee giant, Starbucks Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate.

Starbucks Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate

The company officially describes his drink as a “delicious sweet and salty combination that brings together our rich, indulgent Signature Hot Chocolate and the flavors of buttery caramel and smoked sea salt. It is topped with whipped cream, a swirl of caramel and a sprinkle of our sea salt topping – a combination of artisan sea salt and Turbinado sugar from Hawaii.” Let’s see what Taylor has to say:

At the risk of betraying my anti-yuppie worldview by admitting that I have recently been seen patronizing Starbucks, I give you the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.

After recently “divorcing” (no, let’s be fair … “opting to take it slow”) with caffeine, my options when craving a hot beverage have been pretty slim. In times of real bewilderment and frustration, I almost always go with a drink that has always worked for me: hot chocolate. Living through winter after winter of Swiss Miss, Ovalitine, Nesquick, and all other generic brand forms of powdered make-it-yourself hot chocolate (and every so often a cup of homemade Mexican chocoláte) has made me a self-proclaimed elitist when it comes to the stuff.

Enter stage left Starbucks’ new signature drink, the Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate. If you have not tried this drink, you have already waited too long. Not for the faint of heart, this delightful Fall/Winter wonderliquid features the addition of a salty flavoring to the already sweet, rich taste. It’s the typical Starbucks hot chocolate, a sweet ‘n salty whipped topping, and drizzle to taste.

This drink, specifically its aftertaste, reminds me of a handful of classic edibles that are based on this sweet/salty partnership. You may recall: caramel popcorn, chocolate covered pretzels, and honey roasted peanuts to name a few.

Without betraying its classic hot chocolate roots, this new drink from Starbucks, the world’s yuppiest establishment (move over, Abercrombie) might just be worth an exception to your stringent anti-yuppie system.

As always, cheers!

Thanks Taylor!

For those interested, the nutritional information for this drink is pretty, well, shall we say “not very good for you.” A Short/Non-Fat/No Whip will cost you 270 calories and 10 g of fat. Even worse, a Venti/Whole Milk/Whipped Cream is 790 calories with 40 g of fat. Pretty steep, but sometimes, the taste is worth it.

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