Oh, Starbucks Japan. Is there ever a season goes by where I don't wish I could just teleport into one of your jazzy, dark woodgrain cafes in Tokyo? No. If you've never browsed through the Starbucks Japan website, I recommend it - you'll see that they list dozens & dozens of interesting pastries, savouries, Frappuccinos & coffees. Things like maple biscuits, banana cream pies, and an awesome looking sausage & cheddar bagel. Apparently offered as part of the general menu, but I'm specifically looking for seasonal bits. Starbucks Japan doesn't let me down - after all, it's Spring!
Yes! The Sakura season always brings about a Starbucks cherry blossom item or two. This year there is a lovely looking cake, and a variation on the usual sakura flavors in the drinks - this time, there is also hints of caramel & chocolate. I think it looks great, but I can't help but wonder how well-balanced it could be with so many different flavors competing for attention. I think caramel & cherry blossom could go really well together, but the chocolate is a bit strong so I wonder how it works. Can't make it to Starbucks Japan? Well...can you make it to a convenience store in Japan, somehow?
Congratulations if so, because that means you can try out this refrigerated insta-latte with sakura & added strawberry flavor! Thing is, I think this one sounds best of them all, haha. I hope to someday be in Japan during the Spring so I can not only try these special sakura menus, but also see the absolutely beautiful cherry blossoms that bloom then. The problem is, it's also the most expensive time to travel to Japan. Whoops!
Starbucks Singapore is no slouch in the Asia-Pac region, as evidenced by the amount of limited edition offerings they've put on at the beginning of 2015. This awesome raspberry truffle mocha is shared between them, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.
Takes me back to that Christmas where the UK got dark chocolate cherry mocha as a limited edition - that was so lovely, it's a shame they never have brought it back. Well, if you miss fruity & chocolatey coffees all you have to do is visit Singapore! May I also throw a big ol' bone to what must be the delicious Honey Vanilla Macchiato. I love honey lattes from Tully's in Japan, so this is probably much the same!
Starbucks China gets in on the seasonal act with a few different celebratory Chinese New Year drinks. A spicy mocha, a chestnut macchiato, and the one I'd like to highlight: the Peach Blossom Tea Latte!
That sounds right up my street, sweet & milky with whipped cream on top. I like the difference between the whipped cream imagery between this one & the raspberry truffle mocha - the tea latte looks delicate (a gentle plop, if you will) & lightly whipped, whereas the raspberry mocha has a proud, firm whipped cream topping. Get this - you can also get the Peach Blossom Tea Latte in Starbucks Canada.
Starbucks USA isn't really going wild this season, but that's to be expected - I don't think I ever remember an exciting spring release in Starbucks America. It might've been when the fruity blended Tazos came out or something, but who cares about those?
The latest drinks are Tiramisu lattes & Frappuccinos, and a Caramel Flan latte & Frappuccinos. Now I gotta bit of a beef with the Caramel Flan one because that, to me, just sounds like caramel. I'd love to know if there is any legitimately different taste, so I'd try it. The Tirimisu one, however, sounds quite nice with a mascarpone flavor...dunno if that would actually have a strong taste, either. Also, they pale in comparison to the overloaded Japanese versions of those same flavors from last year, which had actual hunks of those desserts in the drink. Now that would be worth a try.
This sandwich, however, sounds awesome: Bacon, Gouda, and Parmesan Frittata in Starbucks USA.
As much as I like a lot of the food at Starbucks (here in the UK, I love the Cheese & Marmite toastie) it really seems to me that it's just not that kinda place you can go & just order food. I'm sure that no one would kick you out, but I can't deal with the judgement of a barista if I actually just want to order lunch.
That being said, they're really promoting a new menu of interesting looking lunches and a couple of awesome new baked goods - and they're launching the 'Starbucks Evenings' menu in the UK (first location is Stansted Airport) so maybe Starbucks is positioning itself to be seen as more of a dining option in addition to just coffees? I'm down with that!
The things I'm most looking forward to trying at Starbucks UK are the Nutella Cookie & the 3 Cheese Toastie.
You can expect a review of at least one of these (and it will definitely be that Nutella Cookie...) very shortly! The Nutella Cookie is a lightly spiced cookie filled with Nutella. What's not to like? The 3 Cheese Toastie is mascarpone, red leicester, and cheddar. Truffle-infused mascarpone, no less. That would be one indulgent lunch, haha - *cracks knuckles* and I'm just the woman to eat it.
Writing this round up of Starbucks across the world made me very hungry & sleepy.