Viva la Vivanno

Akshay Agrawal

Starbucks new guilt-less pleasure reviewed

For starters, it tastes like it might actually be made of real chocolate. Then the banana flavor kicks in as a reminder that this is not just a chocolate shake -it is the new Vivanno Nourishing Banana Chocolate Blend from Starbucks Coffee.

Launched about a month ago, this drink—a pleasant change to Starbucks’ caffeinated menu, though hardly original elsewhere—is aimed at the health-conscious bunch and customers in need of an energy boost from working out, or just a long school day.

The Banana Chocolate Blend consists of one whole banana, bittersweet cocoa, 2 percent milk, and Starbucks’ own whey, protein and fiber powder. Customers can also choose to personalize the drink such as by adding a shot of espresso or asking for less protein powder. At $3.75 for 16 oz, it is perfect as a lunch-on-the-go, packed with 20g of protein, 6g of fiber, 20% of calcium needed daily, and one serving of fruit (the banana) in its 270 calories. It is like a smoothie-coffee without being either too sweet or having the extra caffeine, easily a notably healthier alternative to the hefty Frappuccino blends or the fruity Jamba Juice smoothies (both of which contain more calories). The blend also comes in Orange Mango Banana flavor. If you can get pass the thick texture (which makes it extra-filling and leaves no room for any thing else for a good three hours), it is a refreshing choice the next time you need a sugar or caffeine break. With a name like Vivanno, it is Starbucks pleasure at its guilt-less peak.