Vanilla Honey Signage
Vanilla Honey Signage

Since this summer, Starbucks has been testing the waters on two new varieties of Vivanno™:  Mixed Berry and Vanilla Honey.

This test currently is in Sacramento only, and it appears that the first place to break the news was a Sacramento food blog.

This past weekend I had the chance to try the Vanilla Honey and so I wanted to write about it right away.  This has a wonderful cold tangy flavor to it and those who remember Sorbetto might even compare it to the tangy-goodness of the plain yogurt variety of Sorbetto.  Sorbetto, sadly, never made it out of the test phase as reported by Coffee City blog of the Seattle Times.

Sorbetto, just to catch everyone up to speed, was a dessert-like treat sold in a ten ounce size only, and came in two basic varieties Pinkberry and a basic Tangy Yogurt.  It was tested briefly in Snohomish County, Washington, and then launched as just a regional test in Southern California.  And then, it died.  The Sorbetto was a delicious product but expensive for a 10 ounce serving, and required dispensing from a huge machine that looked like a slurpee type machine.  Baristas often said that cleaning this machine was time consuming.  It’s not surprising that Sorbetto died, despite that it was delicious: It was an expensive product right when a recession started, and didn’t appear to fit in with a coffeehouse at all.

The reason I take us back in time to the Sorbetto is that the first thing I thought of when I tried the Vanilla Honey was Sorbetto.  There is an incredible similarity in flavor of the yogurt.  The Vivanno™, like all other Vivanno™, is available only in a 16 ounce size.  My take on this:  Utterly delicious!! I am ready now for this to come to Seattle.  A yogurt and honey flavor is a combo that I really like and I thoroughly enjoy the sweet but not too sweet tangy yogurt flavor of this new Vivanno™.  It doesn’t taste like a dessert either.  The Sorbetto had almost a soft ice-cream texture, but the new Vivanno™has the right texture of a smoothie.  The honey was drizzled on top, and mixed throughout the beverage.  Those customers who like the sensation of drinking extra caramel through a straw in a Frappuccino, will enjoy the fact that the honey is mixed all throughout the drink.  Starbucks also has hit the right balance between the amount of honey and the amount of yogurt.

Please Starbucks bring this one to Seattle and everywhere!  There are no unsightly tall special machines for this item.  It’s truly a smoothie – The barista throws a few things in a blender, and soon there is a delicious treat!