I couldn't even begin to tell you what Pokémon Go is. I never got into it during the 2016 summer of nose-to-phone zombies walking around the streets. But today, I downloaded Pokémon go — five months after it was a big thing (is it still a thing?). I didn't get it because I got a sudden urge to play. No, no. I got it for Starbucks.

coffee, tea, pizza, beer
Marina Nazario

Starbucks and Pokémon Go teamed up to unveil the first big US partnership of the game. Pokémon Go transformed 8,000 of the 11,100 US Starbucks locations into gyms. And not the fun kind of gyms. Gyms are where players restock on Pokéballs (which is not a type of sushi, if that was your first thought like me). 

The partnership is a win-win for both brands as this will drive more people to the coffee chain, while it might restore the craze of the game. Key word, might. This morning, Starbucks released a limited time Pokémon Go Frappuccino at select locations. And I was determined to get one. 

ice, strawberry, chocolate, milk, cream, smoothie, milkshake
Marina Nazario

I download the app and begin walking around NYC. My phone keeps buzzing and there are strange creatures popping up in front of me. I tap on them and then the creature appears in real life on the street. It's kind of cute, I don't want to capture it. So I keep walking. He can live.

My head is buried in my phone and I'm furiously tapping on the screen, praying for a miracle. I tap on something that's a gym, but this dude pops up on the screen and tells me I need to get to Level 5 before I can do anything at the gym. Are you f*cking kidding me? I have to get to Level 5 before Starbucks becomes a gym? Fine. It's on.

Marina Nazario

I start capturing creatures and breeze through the levels. Jigglypuff is the worst though. I'm having a hard time capturing him and I cmme to a complete halt on the street — noticeably swiping my finder across the screen until I get him. You suck, Jigglypuff. I keep walking and don't really know where I'm going. A few times, I almost trip and fall down one of those cellars on the sidewalk. This game is getting annoying. 

I look up from my phone to gather my bearings and a Starbucks is right in front of me. I see rays of sunshine beaming all around it. I never got to Level 5 because I don't have the patience to get there and it's freaking cold. So I don't know what Starbucks looks like as a gym. But I do know what its Pokémon Go drink looks like.

I get to the cash register and look at the employee helplessly. I really don't want to say my order out loud. It seems lame. 

"I'll have a Pokémon Go Frappuccino," I mumble to the lady.

"Pokémon Go Frap? Oh, that came out today! It's a special recipe, not like the other fraps," she told me excitedly. "I've never had it so let me know how it tastes!"

You got it. After I place my order, I watch the barista make the limited time frap. She told me that she never made it before and takes out a fancy book to look up the recipe. A customer, who was watching this whole scene, asks me how I know about the new Pokémon Go drink — as if I unlocked some hidden gem within the game. To be honest, I completely forgot about the game once I stepped into the Starbucks. Whoops.

ice cream, cream, ice
Marina Nazario

The uncreatively named Pokémon Go Frappuccino is a vanilla bean frap mixed with raspberry syrup and freeze dried blackberries, topped with whipped cream. It tastes like a milky, vanilla frap with a very tiny dash of berry flavor. Almost non-existent. I think it's just added for the color. Forbes speculates that the raspberry and blackberry emulates the berry items in the game...in order to catch new customers. It's just a theory.

The drink is only around "while supplies lasts" and we still don't know if the 8,000 Starbucks locations set up as Pokéstops is permanent. It's rumored that there is some big Pokémon announcement to be made around Christmas. But this new Starbucks drink is a good enough present for me. Cheers.