Starbucks Frappuccinos were an obsession of mine until I moved to New York and realized just how many other better blended icy coffee concoctions there are in this city of ours. I've been drinking my way through many of New York's offerings, and have narrowed down my favorite espresso-based blended drinks to two places.
First, the Espresso Granita from Joe the Art of Coffee, which we've Sugar Rushed in the past. And second, the version from ChikaLicious Dessert Club, which goes by the name Espresso Smoothie ($3.95). ChikaLicious' creation is creamier and smoother, a delicate sister to Joe's icy, in-your-face blast of sweet espresso. Both are excellent—it simply boils down to preference, in terms of texture and intensity.
If, however, you're looking for chocolate to also play a role, head to the many locations of Financier throughout the city for a Mochaccino ($3.50). They don't use chocolate syrup, but instead tiny shavings of chocolate that are blended straight into the drink, leaving little bits of actual chocolate that melt on your tongue with each sip. It's not so intensely chocolate-heavy as to cancel out any taste of coffee, but this one is more of a dessert, while the drinks from ChikaLicious and Joe's could easily be a daily morning affair.
ChikaLicious Dessert Club
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