S’mores Frappuccino

One of my favorite “unofficial” seasons of the year is girl-scout cookie season. Because my cousin is a girl scout, every year I purchase numerous boxes of cookies that I indulge in about a day or two. However, this year I will have to satisfy my sweet tooth in a different manner since I will spending girl-scout cookie season at State College (where I do not know how or where to obtain girl-scout cookies). Therefore I decided that this season, rather than eating an excessive amount of S’mores, Thin Mints and chocolate covered pretzels, I would eat and drink an excessive amount of girl-scout cookie flavored treats, like the Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino.

The Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino is perhaps one of the sweetest and most sugary drinks I have ever ordered. However, this drink was one of the most treat-resembling beverages I had ever ordered. I mean, what is a girl-scout cookie without an excessive amount of sugar? The Starbucks S’more Frappuccino tastes exactly like what I expected a S’more to taste. In fact, the only thing this beverage is missing from tasting exactly like a S’more is some coconut flavor or coconut crisp toping. Nevertheless, because this beverage has cinnamon dolce sprinkles, one will still taste that sweet after taste S’mores are known for. Also, the beverage leaves one with a nice crunchy element to eat while one drinks the beverage. Even though this drink is essentially what an icy-blended S’more would taste like, I would not recommend ordering it a size larger than a tall (small) since it is, perhaps, the unhealthiest beverage the Starbucks Secret Menu has to offer.

The Starbucks Tall S’more Frappuccino consists of ordering a Java, or Double Java Chip Frappuccino as a base and adding half a pump of Cinnamon Dolce Syrup and half a pump of Toffee Nut Syrup. Unlike other drink that one can pick whether or not to garnish their beverage with whipped cream and treats, such as chocolate sprinkles, the Starbucks S’more Frappuccino has to be ordered with whipped cream and cinnamon dolce sprinkles in order to ensure that the beverage will have a flavor that will contrast the overpowering chocolate flavor. Therefore, when ordering the Starbucks Tall S’more Frappuccino one has to tell their barista to add these elements in order to ensure that S’more flavor to be present in the beverage. However, if one wants to order this beverage in a bigger size, one must increase the pumps of syrup by one half. In other words, ordering a Grande S’more Frappuccino consists of one pump of Cinnamon Dulce Syrup and one pump of Toffee Nut Syrup, and if one wants to order a Venti S’more Frappuccino one has to add one and a half pump of Cinnamon Dulce Syrup and one and a half pumps of Toffee Nut Syrup.

Work Cited:Starbucks Secret Menu. Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino. Np. Nd. Web. April 10, 2015.

Athletics and Sexuality

Today, everyone either receives or exerts some kind of social expectation towards someone else in the community. Women expect their long time boyfriends to propose, parents expect their children to live a happy life, children expect Santa Clause to bring them their most desired toys etc. Regardless of the situation, however everyone is experiencing or has experienced some kind of social expectation at least once. Even though people may experience different types of social expectations, the one thing everyone can agree upon is the fact that the higher someone is in the social stratification latter the higher those social expectations will be. In universities, for example, athletes are perhaps depicted as one of the higher members of the social strata by students and thereby are expected to behave in a certain manner and act a certain way. However, by creating these social expectations most athletes get taken away the right to express their selves and do what they desire.

Statistics depict that 27% of all High School Athletes “come out” and that only 2% of all University Athletes “come out” (Frankel, 2014). The question of why this matter occurs remains unanswered, however many speculate that the number reflected in these statistics are the causes of fear towards social expectations. For example, On April 2014 Rutgers University Basketball Coach, Mike Rice, was fired after a video aired on ESPN show First Take in which images showed Coach Rice verbally and physically abusing the basketball team during practices by calling them names, such as “fags”, and hitting them with the basketball every time a play did not go as planned (ESPN, 2012). The video that leaked to the press caused major controversy not just because physically hurting students is an illegal act by any university staff in the United States, but also because the verbal insults told by Rice were meant to humiliate and degrade the team members (ESPN, 2012). As former NBA player, John Amaechi stated in an interview with Barbara Frankel “college sports are a space where homophobic slurs, physical and psychological abuse are not only accepted, but are also considered normal (Frankel, 2014).” As Amaechi goes on to explain, he decided to come out as gay after he concluded his career because of the “real problem with sports…[is that] they maintain separate behaviors for sports that we would never deem acceptable anywhere else. (Frankel, 2014).”

Link to ESPN Coach Mike Rice Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkeUCZ3qzK0

 Nevertheless, today numerous university athletes appear to be stating their sexuality preferences and are beginning to receive, for the most part, positive responses from their teammates. University of Notre Dame tennis player Matthew Dolley, for example, explained in an interview with HuffPost College what it was like to openly announce his sexuality preference in a team meeting (Brekke, 2014). Dolley states that his teammates responded with understanding and expressed their sympathy and acceptance towards the topic (Brekke, 2014). In fact, Dolley states that one of his teammates went as far as to saying thank you as an act of gratitude in reaction to Dolley’s courage, and that afterwards practice proceeded the team meeting like normal (Brekke, 2014). Another example of such is Fred Hartville, a University of Illinois Gymnast, who told Outsports in an interview that he was originally nervous and scared of thinking he was gay since his family always made reference to his friend, Steve Grand, as “that gay boy. (Buzinski, 2015)” Nevertheless, Hartville goes on to stress on how he began to see himself more in Steve Grand’s character, until one day he decide to hold a meeting with his team and announce that he was, indeed, gay (buzinski, 2015). According to Hartville his teammates and coaches displayed no problem or hate towards Hartville “coming out” decision (Buzinski, 2015). In fact, Hartville told Outsports that his openness strengthen relationship between his teammates and himself. Hartville also told Outsports that the manner in which his teammates carried themselves out in front of him did not change either, in fact, Hatville states that the only change that occurred within his team was the lack of use of the word “gay” and “fag”, which he considers to be positive (Buzinski, 2015).

There is no definite explanation as to why some university athletes experience different situations with their teammates in accordance with their sexual preference. Even though some university athletes experience a positive experience in which their team relationship strengthens and others believe that their sexual preference might repudiate them as an athlete, the basic ground in sports should be an athlete’s sportsmanship, not their sexual preference. The decision to feel attracted towards a certain gender should not determine how you will potentially be treated by your colleagues, and thereby the number of openly gay athletes should be higher than what statistics depict.

Work Cited:

Brekke, Kira. “Openly Gay College Athletes Explain What It’s like To Come Out To Their Team.” Huff Post College. April 17, 2014. www.huffingtonpost.com. April 8, 2015.

Buzinski, Jim. “Gay University of Illinois gymnast inspired by Steve Grand’s ‘All-American Boy.” Outsports. February 26, 2015. Www.outsports.com. April 8,2015

Frankel, Barbara. “Why Are Gay College Athetes in the Closet?”DiversityInc. 2014. www.diversityinc.com. April 8, 2025


Cake Batter Frappuccino

Last week Starbucks was celebrating the 20th anniversary of perhaps their most prestigious, well known and ordered drink – Frappuccino’s. Frappuccino’s were launched when Starbucks first open their doors in 1971, and since then have been a sensation. As part of the “celebration” Starbucks added to their menu a limited edition Birthday Cake Frappuccino, which was only available for the “birthday” week (from March 23– March 30). The Starbucks Birthday Cake Frappuccino was a total hit due to its extremely delicious cake batter flavor and its unique looking pink whipped cream. In fact, the Birthday Cake Frappuccino was such a hit, that I found it hard to believe Starbucks did not leave the beverage permanently in the menu in order to increase their revenue. I mean, who wouldn’t like to drink a cake flavored drink with pink frosting every now and then?

The fact that Starbucks did not decide to leave the item in the menu, and the fact that I (clearly) love coffee got me thinking and decided to do some research on whether or not it is possible to still purchase the Birthday Cake Frappuccino. Fortunately, the Secret Menu does provide a recipe that claims to create a Cake Batter Frappuccino. However, currently, it is impossible to order such since the recipe involves ordering a Vanilla Been Frappuccino and adding one and a half pumps of Hazelnut Syrup (for a Grande, two for a venti), which is one of the seasonal ingredients. In other words, if you wished to order the Cake Batter Frappuccino – the supposed alternative of the Birthday Cake Frappuccino – you would have to wait until the fall in order to get your hands on the Hazelnut Syrup and complete your order. Ordering the Cake Batter Frappuccino though, will not guarantee you the pink frosting that the limited edition Birthday Cake Frappuccino came with.

Nevertheless, the Starbucks Secret Menu Website offers an alternative in order to purchase a Birthday Cake Frappuccino. According to the website certain Starbucks Stores, will let you purchase a birthday cake flavored cake pop (the pink one displayed at the pastry section) and blend it into your Vanilla Bean Frappuccino. The logic behind this recipe lies within the idea of blending your food (like someone who could have chewing or jaw problems) in order to create a birthday cake flavor when mixed with the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino. Personally, I would rather wait until the fall and create my own Cake Batter Frappuccino by adding a couple of pumps of Hazelnut into my drink, but if you ever feel adventurous or some urge to order a Birthday Cake Frappuccino this could always be an alternative. It is important to note, however, that only certain Starbucks locations are willing to blend in cake pops, or any pastry for the matter, with your beverage so remember to ask the cashier if that specific location provides that alternative in order to avoid a $1.99 charge per cake pop ordered.

Work Cited:

Starbucks Secret Menu. “The Cake Batter Frappuccino.” Np. Nd. www.starbuckssecretmenu.net. March 8, 2015.

America’s Food Waste in College Dinning Hall’s


Contrary to popular belief, food waste is not only what remains on plates after a meal, food waste is also what never made it on to a plate in the first place. In fact, if we discard paper, food waste is the single largest material waste in the Unites States (2010 figures). According to The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) American’s waste 33 million tons of food each year[i]. To put it simply, American’s waste enough food to fill up The Rose Bowl every day in the span of one year[ii]. Ironically enough 40% of all food produced in America never makes it “to the plate” since today we discard more food than what we consume, and yet one in every six American’s starves[iii]. One of the greater catalysts of this issue are American Universities and Colleges Dinning Halls, which produce 3.6 million tons of food waste, contributing 2% of America’s annual food waste1.


Most Universities and colleges in America require students who live on campus to purchase a dinning plan, which allow students to dine at any on-campus food hall. Dinning plan’s, or meal plan’s, differ from University to University in pricing and policy. For example, at the Pennsylvania State University student’s can choose in between different “meal plans levels” which depending on the pricing, students will receive points that can be used to either purchase individual meals or snacks, or enter any dinning hall, which functions like an all you can eat buffet. Other Universities, such as Florida International University offer a standard rate plan, which students pay in order to get unlimited access to any dinning hall that function like 24 hours all you can eat buffet. Regardless of the dinning policy implemented by the Universities, however, most Universities and Colleges follow the all you can eat buffet dinning hall characteristics. Because Dinning Halls offer students all you can eat buffets, students tend to grab more food than what they will actually eat which creates a major problem, dinning halls prepare more food than what will actually be consumed by student’s[iv].

Even though a few of American Universities and Colleges and their suppliers, like Aramark and Sodexo, are beginning to take initiatives to decrease dinning hall food waste, through campaigns that display 1 day worth of food waste in the entrance of cafeterias for 30 minutes to create awareness, for instance, “the average college students is still generating 142 pounds of food waste yearly.”[v] Therefore one question is left to ask, what actions can American Universities and College Dinning Halls take to reduce food waste, and yet continue to provide students an array of food choices?

Do Tray’s Make a Difference?

Recently, both Sodexo and Aramark, suggested their clients to remove all trays from dinning halls as an attempt to reduce food waste. According to Sodexo an Aramark, by removing trays from dinning halls, Universities are forcing students to look around a dinning hall and grab only what they will it rather than compelling food plates on their tray iv. Sodexo and Aramark’s suggestions stimulated the University of Main at Farmington to conduct a study, in which they found that, in effect, by removing food trays from University’s dinning halls an institution could reduce food waste by anywhere between 25 to 30%[i].

Additionally, Sodexo also released statements that encouraged Universities to adopt tray-less dinning campus halls policies since it would also reduce water waste by avoiding it’s use in the process of cleaning it’s tray. In effect, Sodexo stated that if universities adopted tray-less policies they could potentially reduce 200 galloons of water for every 1,000 meals served. The University of Main at Farmington found evidence that does not only agree with the statements released by Sodexo, but also released estimates of how much money Universities could potentially save through water savings. According to the study conducted, The University of Main at Farmington found that the annual 288,288 galloons of water that could be saved through this policy would be equivalent to $57,000 worth on savings iv.

A couple of Universities across The United States, including The University of Maine at Farmington, have already begun to implemented tray-less campus dinning halls as a reaction to this finding. Harvard University, for instance, adopted tray-less policies as part of their Clean Plate Club. Through this club, Harvard orders specific foods that students prefer and boxes them as servings, in order to prevent students from accumulating plates of food iv.

How can we deal with the “food scraps”?

Perhaps one of the biggest issues, if not the biggest issue, with food waste in University’s dinning halls are the scraps that are left in the dinning halls buffet after closing. In fact, most of the food left cooked and un touched by students usually remains inside dinning halls kitchens and thrown away before even being displayed in the dinning halls buffets. These “scraps”, are in effect, what contribute to America’s second largest material waste – after paper – since almost half of all food waste (40%) is thrown out in such manner [ii]. Nevertheless, it is important to take into consideration the numerous policies that currently exist that force Universities to throw away food scraps in order to prevent any food intoxication. Depending on the health policies that a certain university is entitled to in retrospect to the State, a University may have to hold itself accountable to either continuously change foods that have been in displaced for a long period of time under buffet flames, three to three and a half hours per see, or “recycle their food” by reusing certain ingredients. For example, a food hall may use the remainders of the salad bar that were provided during lunch may be used to provide a veggie pizza during dinner. However, the “recycling food” process may decrease the quality of food and thereby counteract by creating more waste since students may pot for other choices of food that might hold better quality. Thereby the original “food scrap” that was used to recreate a meal created additional waste and, as a result, rather than providing a solution for the original problem, it created an additional problem.

Perhaps one of the fastest growing organizations that strives’ to solve the “food scrap” on a University Dinning Hall scale is The Food Recovery Network (FRN). FRN is a student-run organization that originated in The University of Maryland in 2011 with the goal of creating awareness of the food waste that University Dinning Halls create by taking the “food scraps” the these dinning halls create every night to local food banks and home shelters once the dinning halls have closed. During the course of four years, from 2011 to 2015, The FRN have managed to branch out to 135 College and University campuses across America and have donated over 688,148 pounds of “food scraps” to the local community vii. To put numerically, The US Department of Education states that there are currently around 4,861 Universities and Colleges from which only 135 (36%) have worked with The FRN, and yet these institutes have manages to donate over half a million pounds of edible un touched “food scrapes” to the community[iii].

Because The FRN, is ran by students it is not costly to the University. In fact, because the FRN is ran by students, the Universities and Colleges that network with the organization is able to save money and in return invest more money in the campus itself. The money that the educational institutions is able to economize is due to the fact that The FRN ensures that all of the food that will be relocated from the dinning hall to the food bank or shelter is done via students – whether it is walking or by car – the fact that the FRN organization develops in the Universities as a club once it has been implemented ensures that this step is taken in such manner. Therefore, as a result, the original money that a University or College had as a budget to ensure the disposal of these “scraps” can be invested in other areas of education vii.

How much food “waste” could Universities and Colleges save through organizations?

Even though 36% of all higher level educational institutions have opted to work with the FRN, there is still a significant amount of Universities (64%) that are most likely dumping food that could potentially help lower areas of the community vii. Even though the amount of Universities that could join forces with organizations such as The FRN is high, the amount of food waste that each of these Universities and Colleges could potentially prevent is even higher, and thereby more significant. According to Recycling Networks, a network company designed to help various institutions and corporations such as companies reduce food waste, a viable formula that could be used to find out how much food waste Universities and Colleges, specifically, produce is the difference between the amount of food provided at the dinning hall and the amount of food consumed by the students v. The University of Miami, for example, has 9,979 undergraduate students who live on campus, to which, if we assume each students eats three meals a day in one school year (52 weeks) that weigh .35 pounds each. In one school year the entire student body at the University of Miami should consume an average of 544,853.4 pounds of food, which means that if The University were looking to reduce its Dining Hall food waste it should prepare slightly more than the estimate (perhaps 200,000 more pounds), but not significantly more (per see 600,000 extra pounds).

Even though estimating the potential food waste will not grant Universities and Colleges a reliable number to work with in order to prevent food waste during one school year since students could always eat somewhat more or less, calculating how much potential waste could be the start of a process that might help University Officials understand the importance of working with organizations that provide more efficient methods of “disposing” food waste than throwing them out. University of Miami, for example, is currently not networking with any organization, like The FRN, that helps dispose food waste in a more efficient manner. However, if the University’s President, Dona E. Shalala, saw the initiative of student’s to help the community save, per see 100,000 pounds of food waste per week, she might decide to enter The FRN community and begin to take The University of Miami daily “food waste” to the Miami Dade Food Bank.


Universities and Colleges across The United States strive to make a difference in the community. Whether it is by research or by educating, all higher levels of education across the nation seek to structure well minded civilians that will one day aid the community through various fields or forms. Yet, these institutions are providing The United States with something else that is, in fact, of less importance: food waste. Because Universities and Colleges are institutions that educate individuals of the importance of doing the good in the world, universities should begin implementing policies and networks that will, in effect, do good in there single communities by diminishing their own rate of food waste. Since food waste is a phenomenon, to which an extend, these institutes cannot avoid because of the lack of reliability in its calculations, colleges and universities should seek to implement policies, such as promoting tray-less dinning halls, or network with organizations, such as the FRN, that provide better alternatives to deal with the potential waste that dinning halls produce.


[1] “Resource Conservation: Food Recovery Resources.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 31 March. 2015

[1] Merrow, Kylie, Penzien Philip and Dubats, Trevor. Exploring Food Waste Reduction in Campus Dinning Halls (n.d): The Campus as a Living Laboratory with Dr. Harold Glasser, 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2015.

[1] “Environmental Issues and Solutions to Current Environmental Problems.” NRDC. N.d. We. 31 Mar. 2015

[1] Davis, Alexa. “Eliminating College Dinning Halls Trays Cutes Water and Food Waste.” New York, NY. October 25, 2008. Web. 28 Mar. 2015.

[1] “Food Waste Etmation Guide.”- Recycng Works Massachussetts. Np., n.d Web. 31. Mar 2015.

[1] Barlett, Peggy F. “Campus Sustainable Food Projects: Critique and Engagement.” American Anthropologist 113.1 (2011): 1001-15 Web. March 25, 2015

[1] “About Us.” Food Recovery Network. N.p. n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

[1] “US Colleges and Universities.” Home. US Department of Education, n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2015


Very Berry-Licious Smoothie

Since it is spring, I decided to blog about the smoothies sold at Starbucks. Technically Starbucks Smoothies are not a “secret” since they are clearly described in the menu. Therefore in order to maintain my Starbucks Secret Menu Theme, I decided to blog about the Starbucks Very Berry-Licious Smoothie, which is indeed part of the Secret Menu.

The Starbucks Very Berry-Licious Smoothie is part of the “healthier” beverages that Starbucks has to offer since it only takes fruits, milk and whipped cream (if wished) to make. Due to it’s abundance in fruit and therefore Vitamin C, the Very Berry-Licious Smoothie would be a nutritious breakfast beverage. To order the Very Berry-Licious Smoothie all you need to ask your barista to do is to fill up your cup with milk until it reaches the first line, then add three scoops of berries (the berries that Starbucks has to offer are a mix of strawberries and blueberries), add five slices of oranges, add an entire banana and, if you wish, top your beverage with whipped cream. However, if you really want to upgrade your drink, you could ask your barista to add The Berry-Hibiscus Teavana Refresher instead of Milk up to the line and that way enjoy a more watery and fruity flavored/based smoothie. Also, by adding The Berry Hibiscus Tevana Refresher as a base you are getting “bonus” fruit for your smoothie, since this specific refresher is served with blackberry. In other words, by using this refresher as a base rather than milk you are adding yet another berry to your smoothie.

The beverage itself was not bad, but it was also not great. To put on somewhat of a “scale”, the Very Berry-Licious Smoothie is not as flavorful and smooth as a Jamba Juice Smoothie is, but it does taste better than the berry smoothie sold at The Mix (The Mix is a market place found at the Pollock Commons). I believe that a lot of the lack of flavor and texture this specific smoothie was lacking of was due to the fact that it was prepared in blenders used to create Frappuccinos, which therefore left my beverage somewhat icy rather than smooth and also because of he fact that I ordered my smoothie with Soy Milk rather than Whole Milk, which might of contributed to subtract that overall creamy-fruity flavor all smoothies have. Furthermore, something that I noticed about this particular beverage (which I’m not sure if all dinning companies at State College do) is that it was based from pre-frozen berries and oranges rather than fresh fruit. Perhaps the lack of popularity of these items, or the cost of maintaining fresh fruit contribute to this, but I strongly believe that the lack of fresh fruit also took away some of that bold fruity flavors smoothies posses. It’s important to note, however, that Starbucks specialty is coffee not smoothies, with that being acknowledged, I think Starbucks did a good job at creating a fruit based beverage.


Work Cited:

Starbucks Corporation. Starbucks Smoothies: The Very Berry-Licious Smoothie. Np. Nd. Web. March 25, 2015.

Professional Career vs. Educational Career

Most college all-star athletes reach a point in their career in which they must face an important decision, whether to stay in college and then enter the draft, or leave college and either be part of the draft as a free agent or sign an offer with a professional team. Regardless of the college or the sport, everyday college all-stars are facing offers of teams, which at times seem more promising than a college diploma that could impact the fate of their educational career. College Athletes, however, sometimes enter Universities with a professional career in mind, like Andrew Wiggens from Kansas University who publically announced he would be leaving to the NBA after completing one year of college. Others, like Tim T-Bow from University of Florida, completed his college career, regardless of the numerous offers he had from professional football teams, and proceeded later on to sign with the Denver Broncos as the number one draft pick.


Logically, as many would think, receiving a college diploma and later on entering the professional athlete life seems like a “smart choice” since a college diploma may serve as a safety net if the professional athlete life fails. However, the monetary background most of these careers promise are tempting since the typical rookie contract usually offers an athlete millions of dollars for a four year contract. In other words, most college all-starts that enter the professional athlete lottery obtain an outrageous amount of money that could last the average American citizen a comfortable life style. Even though to many this life style must seem promising, it seems even most to college al-star athletes who tend to come from a poor academic rigor background or a poor socio-economical class. In the other side of the spectrum, many teenagers today decide to not attend college in order to play in minor leagues, like the single “A” and the double “A” in baseball, with hopes of escalating the latter until they reach the professional life. As Paul Taugh states in his book “How Children Succeed: Rethinking Character and Intelligence”, today children are being educationally unprepared, which has lead to the highest American school dropout rate (Foca TV).


As discussed in First Take, a sport centered debate show hosted on ESPN, many believe that the amount of college athletes that decide to leave school in order to strive a professional athletes career would diminish if college athletes were allowed to obtain sponsorship or if they could have a guarantee that any possible offer would be held until after graduation. In other words, if there was an initial money flow entering to college students through companies, rather than entering to the school’s program, or if professional contracts held some type of guarantee like, like a bank loan. However, as obvious as it may seem, providing athletes with this opportunity would hurt any University or College athletics program and it could also affect the college career of any athlete by either inflating their college career, decreasing the value of their college career or even creating some sort of competitiveness among a sports team.

As silly or outrageous as it might sound, the decision of many college students of ending an educational career in order to initiate an athletic career is usually surrounded by money flow. However, at times, the decision to drop out of college and initiate a professional career is surrounded by a dream that to most all-star college athletes seem possible due to the increasing offers they receive, yet cannot benefit from unless they provide the team with a solid positive response. Then, if college all-star athletes tend to attended colleges that offers them athletic scholarships and later on leave the educational institution in order to pursue a professional career, why do colleges waste so much money in providing athletic scholarships if they run the risk of loosing their all-star after one, or two years, depending on the sport? Perhaps the way organizations like the NCAA should revise the rules and sanctions that restrain athletes from receiving more “sportsmanship freedom” in order to ensure most, if not all, athletes to obtain a college degree that will guarantee athletes an educational safety net.

***All of the Information provided above was obtained from First Take Show that aired on March 17, 2015 on ESPN and from Foca TV’s show titled US Must Focus on ‘Schocking’ Collge Dropout Rate***

Starbucks Slushie’s

This week’s blog is going to be slightly different because instead of uncovering a secret beverage I will be uncovering a secret way of ordering a beverage. Specifically, this week I will be blogging about how you can order any Starbucks cold beverage as a slushie. Unfortunately, this secret only works with cold beverages because in order to transform your beverage into a slushy you will need to ask your barista to blend your entire drink together rather than separately. In other words, rather than adding the pumps of syrup first and blending the ice and coffee separately, all of your ingredients will be added into a blender and served into your cup at the same time.

According to the Starbucks Secret Menu Website, your slushie will come out the best if you order a Refresher as a slushy rather than a Frappuccino or an iced coffee, which makes sense since if you order a slushie made out of a refresher rather than a Frappuccino or iced coffee, you will have a more “naturally”, or citrusy, tasting beverage than f you ordered any sugary drink. However, as the Starbucks Secret Menu Website states, remember to ask your barista to take out the slices of fruit refreshers bring, like lemons or blackberries, before they blend your beverage if you don’t want to have chunks of fruit getting stuck in your straw.

I ordered an Orange Valencia Starbucks Slushie during the summer and I really enjoyed it. The beverage’s texture was really similar to the type of slushie’s I typically purchase at my local fair, but not as grainy, or sugary, as the one’s I purchase from Seven Eleven, my local gas station). The beverages’ taste was not bad, but not extremely tasteful. Perhaps, its because I am used to ordering Starbucks Refresher which tend to be really smooth and refreshing, and by ordering my drink as a slushy I found myself drinking something that left a strange sensation throughout my palet that made me want to have some water rather to quench my thirst (maybe this is more of a personal issue that not everyone might experience with slushie’s).

If I had the opportunity to order another Starbucks Slushie I would follow the Starbucks Secret Menu recommendation and have a Berry Hibiscus Refresher (the one with blackberries) since it’s the one that is the least sugary, and therefore I would not feel the urge of drinking water after having a “light” version of the Starbucks Slushie.

On a brighter note, typically Starbucks Refresher are around 90 calories, therefore ordering your refresher as a slushie will probably be healthier than any other slushie you could find since you are basically having a blended refresher rather than shaken. Additionally, if you order a slushie made out of a Starbucks Secret Menu Frappuccino or any Starbucks Cold Beverage in general you would end up with a unique beverage since I doubt that you will ever run into a shop that sells “Red Velvet Slushie’s”, or a “Pumpkin Spiced Slushyie”

Work Cited:

Starbucks Secret Menu Network. “Starbucks Secret Menu: Starbucks Slushie.” Web. Np. Nd. March 19 2015.

The Starbucks Fruit Punch Refresher

With Spring Break right around the corner I thought it would be appropriate to devote this week’s blog to a summery drink. Therefore, I went into the Starbucks Secret Menu Webpage and found The Starbucks Fruit Punch Refresher. The Starbucks Fruit Punch Refresher has a similar taste to a watery fruit punch/ less sugary Hawaiian Fruit Punch beverage. In fact, I would go as far as describing its taste like a water fruit infusion drink because of the way both flavors mix. Personally, I do not like this texture because I feel that I am teasing my taste buds by forcing them into detecting a taste that is hidden underneath an overwhelming water sensation. It’s kind of asking a baby cattle to describe to you the difference between 2% milk and half and half, it might be able to sense it but because its so used to having milk the particular difference might be harder to spot (I’m not sure if this analogy describes perfectly what I am trying to express).

Even though the way this beverage presents its flavor is not my favorite, the taste itself is pretty good. After a while of drinking the Starbucks Fruit Punch Refresher and allowing my taste buds to get a hang of the flavor, I started to taste the different citrusy and berry-full flavor this beverage had. Out of all of the different flavors I could distinguish, the most prominent one was orange (which is no surprise since the Refresher contains slices of oranges), so if you are a fan of oranges I would highly recommend this beverage. Also, if you are a fan of Green Tea or Jasmine Tea you might enjoy this beverage since, as you will later read, the Starbucks Fruit Punch Refresher is based on the Valencia Orange Refresher, which is a drink made up of infusions of apricots, orange peels, and Jasmine Tea with caffeine extracts of Green Tea (Starbucks, 2015).

If you are interested in ordering your very own Starbucks Fruit Punch Refresher all you have to do is order a Valencia Orange Refresher with a little bit more water than usual and ask your Barista to leave the orange slices inside your drink. Then ask for one pump of Raspberry syrup and one pump of Peach syrup (the amount of pumps of syrup increases by one pump respectively with the size of your cup, this is the amount of pumps needed for a Grande cup).

Unfortunately, I could not find the nutritional facts of this specific beverage because its part of the Secret Menu (i.e. not the official menu), however because the beverage is based on the Valencia Orange Refresher which is part of the “official” Starbucks Menu I induced the potential nutritional facts. The Grande Valencia Orange Refresher contains 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol 2 grams of sugar and 8 grams of sodium. Therefore, if the Fruit Punch Refresher is essentially a Valencia Orange Refresher with extra sugar, my potential estimate, is that it a Grande Fruit Punch Refresher contains about 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of cholesterol, 6 grams of sugar and 12 grams of sodium.


Work Cited:

Starbucks Corporation. “Valencia Orange Starbucks Refresher Beverage.” Starbucks Coffee. Web. March 2 2015.

Starbucks Secret Menu Network. “Starbucks Secret Menu: Fruit Punch Refresher.” Web. Np. Nd. March 2 2015.

I Thought Ariana Grande Was a Font

A couple of nights ago I was scrolling down the home page of BuzzFeed and noticed a post in the bottom left side of my screen entitled “The Ariana Grande Frappuccino.” Millions of different thoughts rushed through my mind that varied from believing that this drink was a spoof to believing that this was another fake post created by a teen to get attention. After several thoughts and a couple of Snapchats sent I decided to run to Starbucks and order an Ariana Grande Frappuccino.

To order an Ariana Grande Frappuccino first you will need to order my personal favorite Starbucks Secret Menu Beverage the “Cotton Candy Frappuccino”, which consists of ordering a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino and adding two pumps of Raspberry Syrup. Afterwards you will need to ask for an extra pump of Mocha Syrup, some Mocha Chips, whipped cream and some drizzled caramel on the top. Please note that this is the order for a “standard” (Grande) Ariana Grande Frappuccino, if you wished to order a larger size you would need to ask for one and a half extra pump of every ingredient per incensement in cup size. As you guys might assume, I don’t want to know what the sugar content or calorie content this beverage contains.

My first impression of The Ariana Grade Frappuccino recipe was not as positive since it consisted in lots, perhaps too many, additional syrups and sugars that made me hesitate. After all, who would want to pay extra money for an item that they won’t like? However, that afternoon I felt adventurous and decided to try it. As expected, the beverage was pretty much drenched in sugars and syrups. The taste, nevertheless, was pretty delicious. The beverage resembles a diet or smoother cookies and crème milkshake texture. I think that the addition of the mocha chips in the beverage causes this since it gives the beverage that sweet “crunch” you find in tiny chocolate chip based foods, like in the Cookie Crip Cereal, or the Bitter Sweet Mint ice cream from The Creamery. I also believe that the Ariana Grande Frappuccino has a very peculiar taste, perhaps almost an acquired taste, since it has layers of different flavors. In fact, the way each ingredient fades in your mouth into the next, leading almost a harmonic burst of flavor reminds me of the way the trident layer gum melts in your mouth from flavor to flavor. Regardless of what I first thought about The Ariana Grande Frappuccino, after I tried it I must admit the beverage is pretty tasty. As BuzzFeed stated in their article The Ariana Grande Frappuccino is a “Disco Techno circus party in my mouth (Brantz, 2015).”

I guess the pop singer was right, now she has one less problem. She no longer has to worry about getting her name messed up at Starbucks.

Ariana Grande Frap

Work Cited:

Brantz, Loryn. “This Is What Happens When You Order An ‘Ariana Grande’ From Starbucks. BuzzFeed. N.p. 23 Feb. 2015. Web. 24. Feb. 2015.

Starbucks Secret Menu. “Starbucks Ariana Grande Frappuccino.: Starbucks Secret Menu. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb 2015.

Dear Tax Payers & Students Thank You For Watching ESPN

Universities across the nation always prioritize athletic scholarships over any other athletics situation that may emerge, and as a student, it seems that Universities also prioritize athletes by upgrading their campus experience by giving them elite treatment in campus commodity (USA TODAY, 2013). As USA TODAY notes “Public Universities competing in NCAA Division I sports spend as much as six times more per athlete than they spend to educate students… (USA TODAY, 2013).” Apparently by increasing University spending on the athletic department, Universities are ensuring athletic scholarships, money grants, popularization and revenue from all of the port related merchandise, games and admiration an athletic department may obtain (Mckay, 2014). Logically, one may assume that Universities create some sort of a cycle in which they “invest” on the athletic department in order to obtain revenue during and after the concurrent sport season elapses (McKay, 2014). However, recent statistics done by the Delta Cost Project showed that from 2005 to 2010 less than a quarter of the 97% of schools made some sort of revenue from their initial investment, yet the school’s increased their investment per athlete by 64% (Guillespie, 2013). How is it then that Universities continue to increase their expenses in the athletics department when the revenues are not exceeding the investments? Or better yet, how can Universities afford to increase these investments if they are not making sufficient money to create a self-financed athletic department?

According to The NCAA 82% of Public Universities use part of Universities budgets, that is tuition, and state tax revenues in order to maintain the athletic department (Guillespie, 2013). As if focusing the educational based money on the athletics department is not cursed enough for students, many Universities across the nation, like The Louisiana State University and The University of Alabama, use University affiliated money to aid foundations and organizations sponsor University staff (GUillespie, 2013). For example, on October 2014 the University of Alabama and the Clemson Tide Foundation helped pay off Roll Tide’s Football Coach, Nick Saban’s, $3.1 million 8,759 square feet house, in which Coach Saban will reside after his retirement (Guillespie, 2013). How is it then, that students that pay $12,475.00 a semester on tuition only get six times less attention by the University than athletes? As an article published in Time Magazines states: “…administrators plead poverty when it comes to resources for faculty… (Guillespie, 2013).” Have sports gone from being embedded in America’s pride to being taxpayers and tuition payer’s worst nightmare?

Even though most Universities have not been so successful in creating a solid economical base for their athletics department, few top sports universities have luckily been able to break even in profits (McKay, 2013). Polls from 2010 and 2011 show that twenty-two of the top 120 Universities of the country manages to obtain some sort of profit, or at least create a self-sustained athletics department. However, as noted by The Daily Bantler, because such a small number of Universities were able to gain revenue a sort of sport, mainly football, hierarchy is forming among the top sport centered universities in the nation (McKay, 2013).

Even though American Universities are best-known world wide by its incomparable education and school pride, many studies show that today Universities are beginning to disperse their money to other areas of the school that perhaps don’t need as much concentration as the Universities perceive. After all, Universities are viewed as a mean to acquire education, whether it is by rights or by opportunity, education should be prioritized and distributed to all students –athletes or non- athletes equally—prep rallies, clubs and sports related programs and department should be handled form second hand perspective (USA TODAY, 2013). As former Professor and Co-Founder of the Coalition of the Intercollegiate Athletes, John Nichols from The Pennsylvania State University states: “the growing reliance by sports departments on University funds can mean in many circumstances one more assistant coach and one less English Professor teaching Shakespeare (USA TODAY, 2013).”

Work Cited:

Gillespie, Nick. “Football: A Waste of Taxpayers’ Money.” Dec 6 2013. Time Magazine. Web. Feb 25 2015.

McKay, Tom. “Upon Further Review, College Football Is a Giant Waste Of Money For Most Schools.” Oct 29 2014. The Daily Banter. Web. Feb 25 2015.

USA Today. “Division I Schools Spend More on Athletes Than Education.” SA TODAY. Jul 14 2013. Web. Feb 25 2014.