I will not say very many nice things about frappuccinos, ever, so this post is somewhat out of character. That said, although the snob in me still finds them abominable affronts to coffee, I appreciate their improvement.
Are the great? No. Good. No. Something I would drink if starving and parched, near to the point of death? Still, no.
But better is better, and credit should be given where it's due.
Once upon a time, Starbucks used to make frappuccinos with a prepared, syrupy mix, which was concocted the night before. The resulting product separated quickly and easily, and tasted more of candy than anything else. Still, the sugar bomb had its devotees, as sugar bombs will. Perhaps those die hards will not like the new method. But I think that most will.
It isn't anything too revolutionary. In fact, it's the sort of thing that prompts you to wonder why it wasn't done sooner.
Instead of using the pre-mixed base, Starbucks now constructs their frappuccinos with instant coffee or espresso, and milk. Whatever syrups you desire are then added, along with ice, and the whole thing is blended together.
This allows for customers to more fully suite the beverage to their tastes, first of all. It also allows for decaf and soy frappuccinos, for those who want/need them. The freshness factor is also worth noting.
From an employee perspective, the new method is superior as well. There are no mixes to make, and thus no mixes to throw out either. Thus there is less waste, and less dishes. Both are certainly good things. Milk also seems to blend with the ice more smoothly than the syrupy mix did, which makes the drink much easier to pore.
So while I still wouldn't drink them, I appreciate the fact that others do enjoy their coffee (or sometimes not coffee)/milkshake things. We have to hook the kids somehow, after all.