The Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room always has a few beverages that are seasonal, exclusive drinks. New to the Roastery, right now you'll find the Undertow, the Honey Rooibos Tea Latte, and the Mole Mocha.
The Undertow has been around for a long time, unofficially, as an off-the-menu Starbucks drink. When done correctly, it's about a 4 to 6 ounce beverage, with cold milk on the bottom with espresso shots floating on top. In the Starbuckian world, I've heard a lot of people order it with vanilla syrup or even white mocha sauce on the bottom (or pre-stirred in with the milk). You don't use very much syrup because it is a small drink.
At the Roastery, this beverage is espresso over cold half-and-half milk with Madagascar vanilla syrup. It's of course very delicious, but as with a number of the things at the Roastery, it does feel a little spendy to spend $5.50 on a small beverage that will be gone in a few gulps. Well, that's my humble opinion. Everyone is different in what they can afford, but I do think that the Roastery is an expensive proposition for most ordinary, non-partner customers. Reasonable minds may differ.
Here's the Starbuckian version of the same thing:
Next up is the Honey Rooibos Tea Latte at the Roastery:
This was my favorite of the three! It uses a Rooibos tea, which is sourced by Teavana, steamed with a sweet honey malt syrup and whole milk. It's a sweet, delicious treat.
Last up, we have the Mole Mocha:
Mole sauce is traditionally used in Mexican cuisine. The touchstone of mole sauce is that it uses red pepper (and/or chili peppers) in a sauce combined with dark chocolate. Often there's some cinnamon in a traditional mole sauce too. The idea of a mole mocha is definitely not new. Lots of people like mole sauce! It's even been suggested on My Starbucks Idea before! (If you like the idea of a mole mocha at Starbucks, you could go vote up this link here.)
This wasn't my favorite, though I think most people will love this beverage. I normally don't order any mochas at all at Starbucks anyways. The truth of the matter is my first love is just a cup of black coffee. Despite my saying all of this, the mole mocha at the Roastery did have a wonderful chocolately-spice kick and I think most people will love it.
The Seattle Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room is located here in Seattle at 1124 Pike Street. There is also a plan for a Roastery in New York in the works.