By Ilana van der Merwe, October 18 2023—
As a humanitarian, I took it upon myself to do the seemingly impossible. Over the span of one week, I tested six different smoothies, all on campus. My main goal: determine a rough outline of which smoothie moved me and which smoothie sucked.
To me, the five most crucial elements of a mango smoothie are as follows: Mango flavour (MF), texture and consistency (TC), cream-to-slush ratio (CS), ingredient quality (IQ) and takeaway cup quality (CQ).
The scoring: 2/2 Being fully achieved.1/2 Being partially achieved; an attempt was made. 0/2 Being ‘don’t expect much’ – and or ‘yikes’.
Just like their cinnamon buns, a Tropical Mango smoothie from Cinnzeo satisfies any sweet tooth. With 73 grams of added sugar, this smoothie really hits the spot during a long study session. Personally, this mango smoothie was one of the best sold on campus. The consistency was perfect; thick but still straw-friendly. The use of lemon juice concentrate in addition to green tea extract prevented this smoothie from being one note like some of its competitors. Cinnzeo has a tendency to be quite busy but trust that the line is worth the wait.
MF: 2/2, TC: 2/2, CS: 2/2, IQ: 2/2, CQ: 2/2
Having a bad day? Stop by the TFDL Good Earth and grab their Mango Oat smoothie, which is gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free; and you can’t even tell. The slush-like consistency makes the smoothie delightfully refreshing. Some may complain that this smoothie isn’t creamy enough, but a heavy drink isn’t always favourable for a student on the go. Thanks to the fact that this café is located within the library, the atmosphere is excellent with ample seating (and wifi).
MF: 2/2, TC: 2/2, CS: 2/2, IQ: 2/2, CQ: 1/2
A classic. A staple. All you need for under three dollars. A Mcdonald’s smoothie doesn’t have an extensively extravagant ingredient list, but it makes up for it with a pretty intense mango flavor. Mcdonald’s is beyond consistent and has the widest operation hours of any restaurant. There is nothing more sophisticated than a Mango Pineapple smoothie through a paper straw at two in the morning.
MF: 2/2, TC: 2/2, CS: 1/2, IQ: 0/2, CQ: 2/2
Yes, a slushy consistency can be preferable, but don’t push it. The Coffee Company’s Mango Smoothie is more like a mango slurpee; tasty but doesn’t fit the bill. The juice blend used in the smoothie is not supplemented significantly by fresh fruit or puree which leaves the drinker wanting more. The Coffee Company by far had the best takeaway cup, but that’s the most it had going for it.
MF: 1/2, TC: 1/2, CS: 0/2, IQ: 1/2, CQ: 2/2
Excellent service? Check. Excellent smoothie? Not here. Although the option for added protein powder is convenient, there is something off about this smoothie’s texture. Each sip feels chalky. Drinking the Mango Magic smoothie was everything but what its name entails. Going in, Jugo Juice had high standards to live up to. Perhaps this one smoothie wasn’t a hit, but with so many other options on campus, I would not return to Jugo to get my Juice.
MF: 0/2, TC: 0/2, CS: 2/2, IQ: 2/2, CQ: 2/2
Brew and Blendz:
I was excited as I waited in line for this smoothie. The anticipation ate at me. I took my first sip, and then another — but I wish I hadn’t. This mango smoothie was just not it. The flavour was off; had I not been the one to order it I would not have known it was meant to be a mango smoothie — maybe apricot or clementine. Also, this smoothie was so thin, almost completely juice. This was the only smoothie I did not finish.
MF: 0/2, TC:0/2, CS: 1/2, IQ: 2/2, CQ: 1/2
Hopefully, this composition of my extensive fieldwork has created a useful source for any mango smoothie lover. I have gone beyond my help of vitamin C this week and found this project to be very rewarding. Café hopping around campus was a great way to meet new people and discover study spots. The University of Calgary has so many local gems, so I encourage students and staff to get out and order a smoothie.