Sorry Starbucks Fans, It’s Not Spicy

Starbucks announced the release of their new Chile Mocha for fall and half a million bloggers threw their arms in the air.

WHAT? But, I NEED the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

No, really. People went wild at the news. There was no way that Starbucks could take away their beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte; no one would have it – and certainly not for a Chili Mocha. Who wants that spicy shit?

Then the revelation that the Chile Mocha would only join its sister as an autumnal offering put everyone’s mind at rest. Indeed, a few brave Starbucks fans actually tried the new Chile Mocha, much to their delight. They love that it gives a little kick.

A little is right!

There’s nothing terribly spicy about Starbucks’ new Chile Mocha. It’s basically a regular mocha with a hint (really, a hint) of Paprika and Cayenne sprinkled into it.

In case you didn’t know, Paprika rates at about zero on the Scoville scale. You might get a little more heat from the commercial Paprika spice that was dried and cut with slightly hotter peppers. But, Paprika just doesn’t rate as far as Scovilles go. At max, it might hit 500, though 100 is more likely. That’s barely a fraction of Tabasco which falls on the same scale somewhere between 2500 and 5000 Scovilles.

So far, calling the new Chile Mocha from Starbucks spicy is a wild overstatement. At this point, it’s even questionable whether they could use the word Chile in the title.

But, there is the Cayenne to consider. Cayenne peppers are hotter, ranging between 30,000 and 50,000 on the Scoville scale. That’s not bad. You should be able to feel that heat if you were chopping into a fresh chile pepper.

Starbucks, however, is not adding a full chile, or even a fraction of a chopped chile to their Chile Mocha. They add a sprinkle of dried Cayenne powder, cut up with Paprika (which we’ve already dismissed). That’s not really spicy at all.

A child whose main diet consists of mashed potatoes (made from a box) and mac n’ cheese (from another box) may be able to tell that there’s a little something to the mocha. But anyone else?

If you can feel the heat in Starbucks Chile Mocha, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Reminiscing Mexican hot chocolate

According to Starbucks, the motivation behind their Chile Mocha is an interest in Mexican hot chocolate. Whatever the reason, we understand. Every fast food place in the country has at least one menu item dedicated to chile heads; Starbucks had to fall into line.

And, we’re not saying the new Chile Mocha is bad. If you’re into coffee-Esque beverages, you’ll probably enjoy it. All we’re saying is that it’s not hot at all, well not in a Scoville sense. You might need the warning that the beverage itself is hot, thermally speaking but there’s no need to warn people about the spicy heat in this coffee.


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