Valentine's Day

I Tried Starbucks’ Valentine’s Day Cherry Mocha and I Didn’t Love It

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Elisabeth Sherman)

Valentine’s Day, the romantic holiday people love to hate, is almost upon us. If you’re single, it can be a cruel reminder of how alone you are — but things aren’t much better if you’re in a relationship because there’s so much pressure to plan the perfect day with your partner.

Regardless of your relationship status, there’s one thing we can all agree on: You get to eat all the chocolate you want on Valentine’s Day, no questions asked. Starbucks is once again trying to capitalize on our embrace of all things sweet this time of year with the return of its Cherry Mocha, and I had to try it for myself.

My Official Review of Starbucks’ Cherry Mocha

There’s no denying that Starbucks was going for a very specific flavor with this drink and, to be fair, it succeeds: The Cherry Mocha tastes like every Valentine’s Day cliché that refuses to die. The synthetic cherry flavor reminded me of cherry cordials, those small, round chocolate candies filled with cherry syrup. I felt like I was drinking the coffee version of a heart-shaped box of chocolates you get at the drugstore. The sweetness is cloying and not even very fun; sometimes Starbucks sugary drinks taste like you’re drinking dessert, but that’s not the case here. This just tastes like fake chocolate and fake cherries swirled together in a cup.

Now, let me be clear: I have bought one of those drugstore boxes of chocolate for myself and eaten it alone on more than one occasion, so I understand the appeal of these flavors, and I do think some people will sip this drink and not mind the fake cherry flavor. If you’re a fan of that timeless combination of cherry and chocolate, it might be worth trying. However, to others, I think it will be reminiscent of cherry-flavored children’s cough syrup. There’s something almost chemical, even bitter, about it that not even chocolate can cover up.

So if you’re looking for a way to get your sugar fix this Valentine’s Day, you might want to skip the Starbucks line and do what I plan to do: Hit up the candy aisle at the store and fill your basket with all the chocolate your heart desires (and you don’t have to share).