"Zen Chill" Smoothie at Berripop Frozen Yogurt

"Zen Chill" Smoothie at Berripop Frozen Yogurt

I'm in the mood for milkshakes even in chilly weather and would probably drink them every day if they didn't contain so much pesky saturated fat. I've tried Coldstone's low-fat "sinless" shake, but won't make that mistake again as white-out probably has a more pleasant taste than that concoction.

Although I'm not a huge fan of frozen yogurt, I decided to see if a Berripop smoothie might be a healthful but tasty alternative.

I associate these hip frozen yogurt joints with long lines, but on a day when the temperatures dipped below freezing, the location I visited was almost deserted. While the clerk mechanically wiped down the already spotless counter, I debated between the "Caribbean Cool" (soy milk, yogurt, mangoes, pineapple, banana) and the "Zen Chill" (soy milk, yogurt with green tea macha powder), ultimately choosing the latter because I remembered hearing great things about Berripop's green tea yogurt.

But it turns out this particular Berripop, at 2071 Westheimer, doesn't carry green tea frozen yogurt, so the clerk suggested making the smoothie with the tangy "original" flavor. "And," she suggested, "You might want to add in some sort of fruit or topping because if you don't the smoothie will just taste like unsweetened green tea."

Hmm. That's not the best advertisement for a product I've heard, but I appreciate the insider advice.

So I requested some strawberries, which turned my smoothie from pale green to a grainy beige. "This baby isn't going to melt anytime soon," said the clerk as she handed me the smoothie. "It's so damn cold."

So I took only a few preliminary sips (mmm, creamy and definitely tart) before leaving it in my car while I was in seminar. I figured since it was colder outside than in my refrigerator, the smoothie would stay fresh for at least an hour.

When I returned, the smoothie had completely separated into two layers: a liquid, pale-yellow base and a gray, milky top. I drove home, emptied it into a separate container, and shook it vigorously in an attempt to return it to its original integrity. I took a few more sips. Tasteless except for a few hints of strawberry.

Fine, so I'm a colossal moron for thinking the smoothie would stay fresh in my car. And maybe also for believing a Berripop smoothie isn't as processed as your average Whataburger shake. I'm still grossed out by the emergence of those two mystery strata. Next time I'll drink my smoothie right away.

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