When customisations go to the extreme end of the menu it can turn up some unexpected surprises.

Customising Starbucks drinks is all the rage these days, with customers creating their own personalised dream beverages by playing barista with the ingredients .

All these customisation options got our reporter Mariko Ohanabatake thinking about whether there might be a customisation so extreme it would have the potential to annihilate a Frappuccino. What if, rather than adding or swapping the ingredients in a drink, you subtracted them all? Would that even be a drink the baristas would make?

To find out, Mariko popped by our local branch of Starbucks, where the staff have gotten used to our unusual requests, and decided to put her customisation idea to the test with a Vanilla Cream Frappuccino, priced at 539 yen (US$4.68). This is one of the simplest drinks on the menu, essentially containing only milk and vanilla, so she chose to customise it with the following:

・ No Whipped Cream Topping
・ No Syrup 
・ Non Fat Milk 

With so many “nos” in her customisation, Mariko dubbed it the “Nothingness Frappuccino“, and she was relieved to find that the friendly staff had no qualms about making it for her.

▼ Despite taking ingredients out of the mix, Mariko’s Nothingness Frappuccino cost the same as the Vanilla Cream one.

In order to really assess the flavour of the Nothingness Frappuccino, Mariko decided to buy the regular one (right in the photo below) as well.

Starting off with the regular Vanilla Cream Frappuccino, Mariko found it had a distinct vanilla aroma, and the sweetness of milk was clearly pronounced in the flavour. The smooth whipped cream added even more sweetness to the mix, creating a drink that was incredibly dessert-like.

On the other hand, the Nothingness Frappuccino looked less exciting by comparison without its whipped cream topping. The non-fat milk made the whole thing seem more watery, and with the syrup also gone, Mariko geared herself up for a very bland, weak-tasting drink.

However, contrary to her expectations, the Nothingness Frappuccino tasted insanely sweet and it still had a vanilla scent. It wasn’t slightly sweet, it was really sweet, and Mariko had to look at the customisation sticker to check she’d ordered it without syrup. Sure enough, the sticker said “Non Syrup” but it was so sweet Mariko began to wonder if the chain actually uses sweetened vanilla milk in all their Frappuccinos, even their non-fat milk ones.

The Nothingness Frappuccino had a thinner texture and tasted lighter than the regular Frappuccino, but Mariko was confused by its inherent sweetness. This is certainly not what she had been expecting from a Frappuccino that had been customised out of itself, and she began to concede that it might be impossible to make a Frappuccino taste like nothing, no matter how many ingredients you subtract from it.

Perhaps the only way to really order a Nothingness Frappuccino from Starbucks is to follow the lead of our reporter Mr Sato, and simply order a cup of plain, hot water from the chain. If you think about it, that really is the ultimate stripped-back version of a Frappuccino.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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