Starbucks kicked off summer a little early this past weekend with an exciting relaunch: The S’mores Frappuccino has returned to us in all its marshmallow-y glory. I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering if the Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino has caffeine, though, so I went right to the source for a few answers. They’re not exactly surprising answers — I mean, it’s a coffee drink, so you do the math — but they’re worth noting all the same, particularly for folks who try to be conscious of how much caffeine they’re ingesting on a regular basis.
As a quick refresher, the S’mores Frapp consists of marshmallow whipped cream and chocolate sauce on the bottom, topped up with a blend of coffee, milk, and ice, and then finished off with more marshmallow whipped cream and a graham cracker crumble. It first hit the Starbucks menu for a limited time during the summer of 2015; it was such a hit, though, that it’s back for the 2016 summer season. It arrived on April 23, 2016, and it’ll be available for the entire summer or as long as supplies last. How’s that for a seasonal favorite?
And now, the point: According to a Starbucks spokesperson, a Tall, 12-ounce S’mores Frappuccino contains 50 mg of caffeine. However, you’ve also got the option to order a S’mores Crème Frappuccino, which is made from the crème Frapp base, rather than the coffee one; by virtue of the fact that it’s, y’know, crème, it’s totally caffeine-free (minus the relatively negligible amount you’ll find in the chocolate sauce — because let’s not forget that chocolate is naturally caffeinated, too). And hey, while we’re on the subject, Starbucks beverages are all endlessly customizable, so you can always order a decaf S’mores Frapp if that’s your jam.
So: Knowing that a Tall S’mores Frappuccino has about 50 mg of caffeine in it, how does that measure up against a few other common caffeinated food and beverage picks? Let’s take a look, using caffeine content information gathered by the Mayo Clinic. A 12-ounce S’mores Frapp has…
1. Less Caffeine Than A Cup Of Coffee
Your average eight-ounce cup of regular coffee can have anywhere between 95 and 200 mg of caffeine in it. Even when you’re looking at the low end of the scale, that’s nearly twice as much as 12-ounce S’mores Frappuccino — and on the high end, it’s four times as much. Wowzers!
2. About The Same Amount Of Caffeine As A Shot Of Espresso
Makes sense, right? One ounce of espresso has between 47 and 75 mg of caffeine, putting a Tall Frapp down on the lower end of the spectrum.
3. Less Caffeine Than Your Average Specialty Coffee Drink
An eight-ounce latte or mocha has 63 to 175 mg of caffeine, so hey, if you’re trying to cut back, the S’mores Frapp gives you a little less if you go for a Tall. Bonus.
4. About The Same Amount Of Caffeine As A Cup Of Black Tea
Well, sort of — an eight-ounce cup of black tea can have anywhere between 14 and 70 mg of caffeine, which means the S’mores Frapp’s caffeine content is roughly the median amount. It sort of depends on the specific tea, though; your black tea of choice might have either more or less than the S’mores Frappuccino does, so read the label carefully.
5. More Caffeine Than A Cup Of Green Tea
Green tea typically has between 24 and 45 mg of caffeine, so the S’mores Frapp bests it juuuust barely
6. Less Caffeine Than Your Average Energy Drink
This is perhaps unsurprising; after all, the point of an energy drink is to pep you up with caffeine. The Mayo Clinic rounded up a couple of different brands, and they all clock in at around 70 to 80 mg per eight ounces — but with the two outliers racking up as much as 100 to 200 mg.
7. More Caffeine Than Your Average Soda
Cola fan? Your drink of choice probably has less caffeine than a 12-ounce S’mores Frapp; the highest amount 12 ounces of cola contains is around 47 mg, depending on the brand.
8. Less Caffeine Than Chocolate… Sort Of
By “less caffeine than chocolate,” I mean “less caffeine than a full cup of chocolate.” That is a lot of cocoa. For the curious, a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips contains 104 mg of caffeine, while 28 dark chocolate-coated coffee beans contain a whopping 336 mg.
Images: Starbucks; Giphy (8)