Tag Archives: caffeine

Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino

Complete Score: 18.5 / 42 = 44%

Though ridiculously priced ($2.69 at Tedeschi’s on Neponset Avenue in Dorchester), the Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino is a tasty coffee drink that will give you a bit of a sugar and caffeine boost. I’ve had the vanilla and coffee versions of this drink before and they simply do not compare to the grand Mocha flavored concoction. Make sure you shake the bottle to arouse the delicious chocolate powder that’s settled on the floor of the coffee ocean contained inside the bottle (OK I got a bit carried away there)

Value

At $2.69, there’s simply no way this drink is worth the cash. For that price you can easily buy and make yourself multiple coffee drinks. If you’re studying or working late and have no coffee at home and no 24 hour supermarkets in the area, then sure a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccion makes for a suitable, tasty and expensive alternative. Also, at least the ingredients are natural so you’re paying a premium to get a quick caffeine and sugar high from coffee instead of artificially flavored soda. With this bottled coffee drink, you know you’re paying for the convenience of a pre-made caffeine drink, not for the quality or quantity of coffee inside.

Score: 1.5 / 5

Quality

They’re too expensive but damn, these mocha filled drinks sure are tasty. Just like the Bolthouse Farms Mocha Cappuccion protein drinks, these Frappuccinos are quite addictive. I’m begining to think that mocha itself had some strong addictive properties. It’s surely not the caffeine as I’ve long grown past a mere caffeine addiction. Back in my days of attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill I’d frequently buy a pack of these drinks to keep me going on my long car trips to and from Boston. Since then, I believe I’ve become immune to the effects of caffeine, as I can drink coffee before bed and fall asleep just fine (even though I’m a natural insomniac).

Score: 4 / 5

Innovation

For a bit of nutrition with your caffeine shakes, try blending up a banana or two and mixing in a little bit of milk and a Mocha Frappuccino. It is extremely delicious, and for you smokers out there it eases the throat quite nicely. As for the effectiveness of the drugs inside this drink, I find it to be a little bit weak on awakening power but I have drank about a 900,000 of these so I’m also immune by now. If Starbucks invented some way to jack up the caffeine dose, or at least increase its effectiveness, perhaps this drink would score higher in this category. As is, it’s simply coffee, sugar, milk, and that oh so delicious mocha. An argument could be made for Starbuck being innovative in charging so much for this drink, but I will not encourage them!

Score: 1 / 5

Social Benefit

At this price range, we must consider the impact of such a highly priced drink on society. For $2.69 you could feed someone for the day, but instead Starbucks and the consumer get together to exchange some caffeine and sugar for a few US dollars. Surely, there’s better ways we as a world can spend our money on, but obviously there’s worse things too.

Onto the good, Starbucks used natural ingredients in this coffee drink and ships it in a glass bottle. On the negative side though, they wrap the top part of the bottle in plastic, even though it has a sealed top. It’s an unnecessary piece of packaging and only serves to contribute to waste.

Overall, it’s an overpriced, overpackaged, coffee drink that you could make yourself for a portion of the costs and environmental impact. If it came in a plastic bottle and had artificial ingredients it’d get a zero here.

Score: 1 / 5

Freestyle!

Personally, I’ve enjoyed the taste of this drink many times in the past, especially during my college years. Now though, it’s rare that I buy one of these, though every now and then the craving for an overcharged Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino strikes me. It must be some bit of programming Starbucks injects into the drink, because on rational grounds there’s no need for this drink.

Score: 11 / 22

Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino Coffee Drink Mocha is available from Amazon.com.

Complete Score: 18.5 / 42 = 44%

Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein Mocha Cappuccino

Complete Score: 34.5 / 42 = 82.1%

A few months ago John introduced me to what he described as “the best protein shake I’ve ever had”. Indeed, after he poured me a glass of Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein Mocha Cappuccino I agreed with him completely, that drink was delicious!

Value

At Stop & Shop a one liter bottle is $4.29, and at Shaw’s and Whole Foods it’s $3.99. In either case, it’s not cheap. Still, considering there are four servings in one bottle and the amount of nutrients per serving it’s an OK deal. For one serving, you get 150% of your Vitamin B6, B12 and C needs, plus 19% of your potassium, 10 grams of protein, 45% of your calcium, 20% of your magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D and 10% of your daily iron need. Note this nutritional information is directly from the official Bolthouse Farms page for the Mocha Cappuccino Protein drink.

Plus it’s got a little bit of caffeine, no artificial sugars and tastes great. All in all you could make your own protein shake for considerably cheaper but if you must get a pre-made drink, this one is packed with the good stuff for a semi-reasonable price.

Score: 4 / 5

Quality

Simply put, this drink is delicious.

As I’ve mentioned above, one serving costs $1 but also comes jam packed with enough nutrients for a day. Still, I often find it tough to resist a second glass of this stuff, it’s just that good. If you like mocha cappuccinos, you must give this drink a try.

Score: 4.75 / 5

Mochalicious
Mochalicious

Innovation

Well, as I said in the intro, the Perfectly Protein Mocha Cappuccino drink is one of the best protein drinks I’ve ever tasted, which is saying something because usually protein shakes are not the tastiest of drinks. Normally I wouldn’t award too many innovation points to a drink like this one, but Bolthouse Farms nailed the taste of this drink so well that they’ve earned it.

Score: 4 / 5

Social Benefit

Well, all of the Bolthouse Farms drinks come in plastic bottles. They are recyclable but plastic is notorious for being more difficult (e.g. resource intensive) to recycle than aluminum or glass. On the plus side, these drinks have all natural ingredients and the bottle is a hefty 1 liter, so at least they jam a big amount of goodness into that plastic bottle. Also Bolthouse Farms is family owned and produces a lot of organic carrots and other produce. They’re located in California, which is much closer and thus requires less energy to get to me than the Australian blood oranges I reviewed earlier this week. Overall, they could do better but so can nearly every company and consumer on the planet.

Score: 3.75 / 5

Freestyle!

Warning: the Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein Mocha Cappuccino drink is borderline addictive! At least it’s a relatively health addiction, though everything should be consumed in moderation!

This stuff is really, really tasty. I just wish it wasn’t so fracking expensive.

Score: 18 / 22

Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein Mocha Cappuccino is available at Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Whole Foods and most other supermarkets.

Complete Score: 34.5 / 42 = 82.1%

Caffeine: Keep Your Screen Awake!

Complete Score: 38 / 42 = 90.5%

Ever watch a video on your computer and get annoyed by having to move the mouse or disable your screen saver to keep the video on the screen? Well, if you’re on a Mac those annoying times are long gone. Caffeine is one of those great programs that I bet nearly everyone would love to have but is truly at home on a Mac. It’s a tiny (only 240 KB) program that sits in the menu bar and allows you to disable or enable your screen saver and monitor sleep mode with a simple click.

Value

Caffeine is free to download and use. It’s got a tiny footprint and uses barely any system resources. It sits in the menu bar out of the way, patiently waiting for you to enable or disable it. It might only save a few seconds when compared to disabling your screen saver manually via system preferences, but having the visual status right in the menu bar is crucial. Sure we could just go to the system menu and turn off the screen saver, but what about remembering to turn it back on?

The vastness of the preferences menu boggles the mind
The vastness of the preferences menu boggles the mind

Over time, Caffeine ends up saving the user resources by easily letting us see if we’ve remembered to re-enable our screen savers. Plus in version 1.0.2, Caffeine adds a sub-menu, accessible by holding down Command before clicking the coffee cup icon, that allows us to set a time limit for how long Caffeine should be active for. Watching a movie before falling asleep? Just set Caffeine and forget it, knowing your screen saver will turn on after the movie ends.

Score: 4.5 / 5

Quality

Simple, elegant, and efficient, there’s little to improve upon here. Caffeine only does one small task but it does it damn well and looks good doing it too!

Score: 4.5 / 5

Innovation

Caffeine is one of those programs you might not realize you need until you begin using it. At first I thought, it’s not that useful, it just saves me a step when watching a video, but after converting my TV time to Hulu time, caffeine has gotten a lot of use to keep my screen saver at bay while I watch The Daily Show. It’s not a world changing piece of software but the design and implementation is perfect.

Score: 5 / 5

Caffeine is so simple, we've shown you all its menus & options
Caffeine is so simple, we've already shown you all its menus & options

Social Benefit

By allowing users better control over their screen savers and monitor sleep modes, Caffeine ends up saving us energy by re-enabling the screen saver and sleep mode after a period of 5, 10, 15, 30, 60, or 120 minutes. The software is also free to download and use. If it was open-source, it might receive a five here.

Score: 4 / 5

Freestyle!

If you own a Mac and watch any amount of videos, there’s really no reason not to use Caffeine. It’s free, useful, and simple.

Score: 20 / 22

Caffeine for Macintosh systems is available for free at Lighthead Software.

Complete Score: 38 / 42 = 90.5%