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February 12, 2007


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Wow. The Cream Base is made with MILK not water. The base we use in coffee frappuccinos does have water in it. Lets try and get our facts straight people.


we do not use water for our cream base. We use milk.


I mean, no offense to anyone, but when you go to drink a frappuccino, I think we can all safetly assume that it isn't exactly the best thing for you. Thats the way life is. Can you imaging if everything was good for us? I for one would hate to lose the chance to 'cheat' and indulge myself every once and awhile.

Kelowna Starbucks Rebel

So anyways it isn't called "Universal Creamy Base," its cream beverage base, and as the hunk said, its basically just milk powder, sugar and milk. Also the fact that she rooted through the garbage to find bag bothered me. Actually the fact that she drinks green tea Frappuccinos in the first place bothered me even more.


Yeah, why do we even sell those anymore? They're barely even palatable....


chi-town's best/angriest barista

yeah, i dunno what package she's reading, but our CBB is made with skim milk, iget stuck doign prep work a lot so i know this for certain. welcome to the lovely world of "the tubb of yubb" but either way, it's pretty safe to assume that anything you get from starbucks isn't exactly going to be very healthy for you, no matter how the dress it up and advertise it's "improvements" it's still noxious stuff.


I liked the blackberry green tea frappuccino(r) blended creme. It is important to use the trademark, don't forget that. Anyway, I want you all to know that its called CBB (creme beverage base) and has been called that for almost a year and was originally called UBB (universal beverage base). If she had bothered to look on the Starbucks website, she would've easily seen the nutritional facts concerning her green tea frappuccino(r) blended creme. This knowledge is not esoteric but is in fact for the public to know if they so desire.


I liked it with the blackberry, but as soon as we stopped doing that.... Its alright with raspberry in it, but the flavoring makes it look like defecation.


It always makes me laugh when I read things typed up by customers, bashing our products with such confidence when there isn't hardly any truth in what they are saying. And I wonder how she learned it was called "Universal Creamy Base," we haven't used Universal Beverage Base for awhile now, we use Cream Beverage Base (CBB). And yes, no matter what we were to make our Fraps with, it's going to be bad for you, so don't complain if you freely drink them like crazy. If she were to take a look at the Matcha powder we use in our Green Tea Fraps, I don't think she'd touch one again...


I know... Does she just want them made with milk, flavor, and ice??? Sick. Well. At least she didn't refer to the drink as a *shudder*




If the green tea frap is made with this, it's a big mistake. Green tea gives the impression that it's a healthy beverage while it's really just clogging your arteries.


Ha! I said 'frap'!


"Too cheap to use real milk, they have recently developed this new white powder"

Ha ha ha. Starbucks has ALWAYS used UBB/CBB for cream-based fraps.

And concerning the "Red Velvet" frap, I wouldn't trust anything an e-survey says about Starbucks. I guess they make at the fabled "other Starbucks" - you know, the one that still sells Chantico and has eggnog year-round.


I belong to e-rewards. How come I didn't get to do the starbux survey. I WAS ROBBED!

Globally Speaking

Here's a tip before everyone starts blaming her and saying "she's wrong," "we call it CBB now," etc.: CHECK THE WAY SHE SPELLS FAVORITE.

She spells it FAVOURITE - which indicates she is probably not from the U.S.A. and that means that it is POSSIBLE that it's called something different where she is located AND it is POSSIBLE that it's made differently where she is located, and therefore it is POSSIBLE that she is correct...

That said, as a consumer, I have been surprised at the number of "premium" products that use hydrogenated oils (Godiva, Ghirardelli, etc.) For some reason I think of hydrogenated oils as "cheaper" (saves the corporation money because they extend shelf life, etc.) and don't expect them to be in the more premium products - hence the surprise when I see them in products like Godiva. So from my viewpoint I can see why this customer would be surprised (many U.S. customers didn't think the pastries had trans fats - and many still think the apple fritter and the doughnut have fewer calories than the maple or blueberry scones.


Stuff like this is why I always get my SBUX drinks made with soy. At least I know what's in soymilk.


So... what did she think was in it? Magical Delicious Fat-free Fairy Dust?

I don't think consumers (her, myself, and y'all) have the right to be disgusted. If you are sensitive about what you are ingesting, you should also be proactive enough to find out what it is you're ordering. The brief message makes it sound as though she's been getting this for a long time, and only recently saw what goes into it. Please, people, enough with the sensationalism. Either be concerned and find out what the ingredients are, or accept the fact that it's a treat and don't care how much fat and calories are in it. Those are your options. Note that ignorance for the sake of laziness is not one of them.


barista lane

Universal Creamy Base is a hilarious name, and is she just assuming about how we make the drinks? Because if she actually watched someone make one, she wouldn't be seeing us using white powder and water.

...and finally, GRTL and GTF = disgusting.


Universal Creamy Base sounds like:

a) a really bad porno, probably set in space
b) part of a really dirty joke


I'm in agreement with pretty much everything said above about CBB/UBB and the ick factor.

However, there's one thing that needs to be clarified: hydrogenated oils are not trans fats. Trans fats are partially hydrogenated oils. (The difference is in the number of hydrogen atoms added to the chain of fats; fully hydrogenated fats, the really solid ones with the longest shelf life, have are completely saturated with hydrogen atoms. Trans fats are only... partially hydrogenated.)

What companies are doing now in order to say that their products are "trans fat free" is blending fully-hydrogenated fats (think Crisco) with un-hydrogenated fats (liquid oils) to get somewhat the consistency that partially-hydrogenated fats had.

Sorry to go off on a tangent, but like NewShift said, if you're going to be disgusted about something you're ingesting, at least find out what it is. While fully hydrogenated fats aren't good for you either (saturated fats clog arteries), the problem with trans fats is that they are linked to free radicals, which increase the risk of cancer.

You know...the matcha based drinks aren't so bad when you take out that horrible melon syrup. The frappuchino without the melon syrup reminds me of green tea ice cream.
I still wonder why melon syrup is even in the recipe, I mean if you're ordering something with matcha in it, don't you want to taste the matcha?


I'm reading all of these posts and am amazed about how you so-called "loving" employees of Starbucks speak down about your customers. They pay your salaries, so please...whether they have a supportable claim or not, you may want to think twice about how you address them. I can guarantee that if I were that customer, I'd never visit a SBX again simply b/c of the poor portrayal that you put across with your responses.


She's from Canada.

Starbucks Gossip webmaster

>>>>>>She spells it FAVOURITE - which indicates she is probably not from the U.S.A. and that means that it is POSSIBLE that it's called something different where she is locat


D, I love how you think we're all like this on the clock, in front of customers. There's no such thing as a really perfect job, so of course a blog that gives us some anonyminity is going to be a haven for some steam blowing.


Well, everybody else is correct, although we do add powdered ingredients to it, the Cream Base IS made with real milk. Nonfat milk actually.

I imagine the creation of the powdered ingredients WAS a cost-saving measure--I'm pretty sure nonfat milk is cheaper than half & half which is likely what we'd make cream frappucinos with if we used only "real" milk products. However, this is not a "recent" development. I can personally vouch for at least 3 years of use, and from what I've gathered from older partners it's been used for at least 6 years. The fact that this customer never bothered to ask how we make her drink until now does not make it a recent change.

Lastly and most importantly, according to corporate nutritional data (available at Starbucks.com) there is NO TRANSFAT in ANY cream based frappucino. There also is no saturated fat in most cream frappucinos except from the whipped cream. So, although some people may scoff at the addition of artificial ingredients, the cream beverage base is actually, by the most common measures, HEALTHIER than using real cream.

Chai Bob Soypants

Well that explains everything....

Maybe the UBB did have trans fats in it, which is probably a reason we've switched to CBB?

Anywho, it's a frappuccino, it's not going to be good for you, green tea or not.

Kelowna Starbucks Rebel

Yes, even in Canada it isn't "Creamy Beverage Base," not even in Quebec. This woman has issues that go higher than just making up some crap about white powder -- she's probably been sniffing it.

NJG from NYC

So... what did she think was in it? Magical Delicious Fat-free Fairy Dust?

LOL. too true.


What I think it all comes down to is deception. She feels as if she was lied to and we feel as if people should know.

Starbucks legally fulfills their obligations as far as making nutrition information available and even doing more by adding sugar-free syrups. In general they do more than asked.

What bothered me was a few things: if you're making assumptions. Don't. Do the research yourself.

But what really stuck in my mind when I read this story was all those little green tea leafs we got when we got matchta which said fun facts about green tea. About how great it is. How many antioxidants it contained. It DID purport itself to be "healthy." Made at Starbucks, though, we should know better.

So I guess I can see why she'd be shocked -- but she has no right to think that something so delicious (in her mind) is healthy. Tasty things are rarely healthy. Ok, let's be honest, never.

frapp is crap

Yuck. I'm personally one of the baristas that just can't stand the fact that we even serve frappuccinos, let alone the creme based frapps. They're such a bastardization of the high quality coffee and lattes that we should be proud of serving. If you want a strawberry milkshake, go order a strawberry milkshake at Dairy Queen. And if you think you're getting anything out of that extra-caramel extra-whip caramel frappuccino first thing in the morning besides a sugar rush, you're kidding yourself.

I do concede, though, that it's pretty silly to complain about the ingredients of a drink that is so blatantly bad for you just by looking at it.

As an aside, I've been hearing rumblings that the green tea drinks aren't doing so well and the higher-ups are seriously considering dropping them from the menu. Could it be true? I wouldn't miss them.

I want to sniff the magical delicious fat free fairy dust.


I love this attention to trans-fats. I had a customer ask me what a trans fat was good for and I actually put knowledge from Organic Chemistry in to good use to explain the cis and trans designations to the customer. I also got to explain how your body handles transfats differently. I actually got to use my degree in the workplace!


I'm still lost as to why she said this was a "recently developed" product. It's been on the menu for almost 5 years (it came out when I started working at the bux). Before that, we DID use half and half in frappuccinos (TazoBerry/TazoCitrus and cream).

And, I agree with most other people on here: if it's a frappuccino, then you can almost bet it cannot be good for you. I mean, especially the creme base, due to the fact that a venti STCF has something like 700 calories in it! Gah. Black coffee for me, please...

Annapolis Barista

Every single matcha drink we sell is repulsive, and every time someone orders one I throw up a little in my mouth.

Did this person notice how sweet these drinks are? Of course they are going to be full of sugar and corn syrup and the like.

Magical Delicious Fat-free Fairy Dust is probably my favorite thing that has happened today.


As for the red velvet latte, I've never heard of that one, but there are new red and black tea lattes being test marketed in NJ. They smell like paint thinner and taste the way b.o. smells... mmm delicious...not!


OK lets talk about how some customers are absolutely shocked that we partners talk about customers.
WTF, do they expect us to be smiliing baristas all the time?
No, I am paid to be legendary to you everyday and to serve your beverage with a smile and pretend to care. I am paid to be welcoming, considerate, involved and knowledgeable!


... If she had bothered to look on the Starbucks website, she would've easily seen the nutritional facts concerning her green tea frappuccino(r) blended creme. This knowledge is not esoteric but is in fact for the public to know if they so desire

While the Starbucks.com website does list nutritional info, it does NOT list any actual ingredients. You can only really know the extent of (un)healthiness based on the actual ingredients; the nutritional info grid is for quick reference only.

Regarding the GRTL: I had thought SBUX was using Tazo's Matcha powder (assuming the label on the container I saw was correct, which is likely a big assumption). The Tazo web site doesn't list any particularly noxious ingredient other than sugar.

Is SBUX using some variant of the matcha powder that has something gnarly in it besides the green tea that makes some people throw up a little in their mouth? I'm specifically talking about the powder itself before it's mixed in a cup for a customer's order so nevermind the melon syrup.



Jim, you're right. It's Tazo matcha. Green tea leaves ground up with sugar. Same stuff you can get in Japanese grocery stores to make green tea ice cream or iced green tea Japanese style.

Perhaps Annapolis Barista was being more figurative/colloquial than literal.

It would be interesting to find out how they were made in SBUX Japan as the test market and best seller for a few years running before they came here on the antioxidant craze that went from green tea to pomegranate to rooibos (what? did you really think Starbucks was *setting* these trends???).

I think a lot of partners dislike the GRTL because of the melon. Most people don't eat their fruit warm (cherries jubilee and bananas flambee excepted...) so having a hot fruity drink puts your mind in a state where something just isn't right...

Give the GRTL another chance, just substitute the melon with white chocolate and you'll get an absolutely delicious treat!! Or be a green tea purist and have it sans syrup so you can actually taste the matcha better.


It never ceases to amaze me how many people focus on the insignifigant details and miss the main point. WHO CARES what she called the cream base- I want to know what it is.

As a customer, I DID make the assumption that the Green Tea Frap was not that bad for me - mostly because this is how it is described in Starbucks literature and on the website: "Premium Japanese green tea, lightly sweetened and blended with milk and ice, topped with whipped cream." No, I did not expect it to be healthy, however I did not know it had a cream base - let alone a cream base that was powdered and mixed with milk or water (I don't care which). I drink green tea- I also drink milk- putting the two together doesn't sound like it is going to clog my arteries.

I do feel this is purposefully deceptive on the part of Starbucks. It doesn't take a list of ingredients for me to know the coffee cake, pastries, etc are bad for me - however to withhold ingredients from customers on coffee drinks is with-holding the truth - ie LYING.

Yet another reason to choose another coffee place. Since I have been visiting these boards (thank you Seattlepi for directing my attention to the site, via the "ghetto latte" article) - I have been racking up reasons not to frequent my local starbucks. Artery-clogging food (and now drinks!). check. Questions regarding social responsibility. check. baristas who secretly hate their customers (that's me!). check.


Anything creme base is an indulgent treat. I tell ALL my customers that. Don't let the nonfat milk that is mixed into the CBB fool you.

I lurve the STCF... But I know I can't have more than a sample cups worth or my ass won't fit into my pants. Seriously. It's the devil. It's so damn delicious and horrible at the same time. DAMN YOU HOWIE!!!!!


Lying and withholding information are completely two different things.
If Bill Clinton was asked directly "Did Ms. Lewinsky stick your cock in her mouth?" and he said, "No, she did not to perform fellatio on me." and then later said, "Ummmmmmmm, yes but she didn't swallow so I guess no." I would say that President Clinton did not lie when he said that she did not actually blow him because we all know that swallowing is the ultimate completion.

You don't need the whole ingredient list to figure out that the frappuccinos are bad for you. The nutritional information posted on starbucks.com is sufficent, unless you're lacking in some comprehension skills.


Just to stir things up... I was in a closed room a few months ago and learned that sbux should be introducing cream frappuccino "light" for summer '07. Starbucks is really trying to be more transparent about nutrition and ingredients. As for me, I make it a point to not lie to my customers: frappuccinos are a treat; for every day you need a nonfat latte.

Cappu Cino

All I want is clean shot glasses, timed shots, and smooth velvet foam!!!

If the shot glasses are not clean, then the espresso sucks, if the foam is not perfectly smooth & velvety, then cappuccino will suck. That is the way, I want all of my cappuccinos to be served.

Thank You!
Espresso Man


Sugar is sugar...should be a treat no matter how you look at it, not a necessity! One big issue I have with the dilution of the brand is that Starbucks is no longer something to be savored. Instead, a venti is gulped down with little to no attention paid to the experience.

Oh dear, you mean to tell me that Starbucks beverages aren't actually healthy? I am devastated.

Ingenious! UBB + CBB = Universal CreamY Base! Why haven't I ever thought of that?!

"New white powder"..? "Recently"..? I've been working at Starbucks for almost a year and have been using CBB ever since. I live in Canada btw, so I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt that new things would arrive here later than it would in the states. I'm not even going to talk about the "water" part.

"Probably other frappuccinos"...

I'm guessing she doesn't actually drink frappuccinos often, or much at all. So I don't see why she is so upset...or how she can just read a "Universal Creamy Base" package and call it research...

All joking and sarcasm aside, I see her point, only not so much what a big deal she is making out of it, as if her new discovery was anything shocking.

It's not customers that are irritating, it's ridiculous people. Some people can be both, but it's definitely only the second aspect that make them irritating. It's unfair for people to assume that Starbucks baristas are nasty people just because they dislike ridiculous people. It's human nature, and for people to be critisizing baristas for being frustrated solely because they are baristas makes them just as bad as customers that treat people working in customer service like dirt just because those people are serving them. Which, ironically makes them the people that baristas rant about to begin with!


Current baristas can correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Tazo matcha powder that Starbucks uses for green tea lattes and such have added sugar to it? At least that's what I remember from when I last checked (July '06), can anyone look at the silver package next time they're at work and let us know?

And as for original person saying that she had no idea that there was that kind of "unhealthy" stuff in the CBB base, here's a clue: If it looks and tastes similar to ice cream, it's probably not that healthy for you.

As for the Red Velvet Frappuccino - isn't that a Southern US thing (red velvet)? I'm guessing that if they are being test marketed, that's where it's being done.


So, are we back to talking about the evil corporations trying to trick people into spending their money? And the comment about SB being to cheap to ... have we forgotten that SB is in the business to make money? If you don't want to spend your money at SB, don't. If you want a green tea milk shake, stay home and make one. Personally, I'd rather you stayed home - I wouldn't have to wait in line on all those dumb fraps. Yuck! Too sweet!!

I have to agree with several of the posts here - why would anyone suspect that a frappucinno was a healthy beverage choice? It doesn't even sound healthy.

I think I'll just stick to my unsweetened red eyes. Odd, I order them in Las Vegas and syrup is automatically added, but I go to Tennessee and they only add it if you ask for it. You'd think it'd be reversed. They seem to put tons of sugar in everything in Tennessee.


Venting and whining on here is in regards to mean, bitter customers, customers who think that b/c they don't work a part-time job are better than you. Thankfully 99% of customers are great, but that 1% can make it hard at times to be upbeat and provide great customer service- like a pp said- an anonymous forum to vent frustrations is nice.

But.... if you're reading that the Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Creme is "Premium Japanese green tea, lightly sweetened and blended with milk and ice, topped with whipped cream," then you are looking at the same page on the website that lists nutritional information, about half an inch below the description- so you would see that a 12 oz GTF w/o Whip = 300 calories. This is upfront and let's you know: GEE it's not very healthy!

Doesn't sound very deceptive to me.

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