We headed to our local Starbucks branch for the debut of the Bavarian cream-enhanced dessert drink.
Starbucks Japan has pretty equal-opportunity attitude when it comes to choosing seasonal flavors for its Frappuccino blended ice dessert drinks. So while sometimes we’ll get quintessentially Japanese tastes like green tea or cherry blossom, at others Starbucks gives us a flavor that’s unexpectedly unique by Japanese standards, like it did last spring with cantaloupe Frappuccinos, based on a fruit that doesn’t show up too often in the produce section of Japanese supermarkets.
The chain is poised to expand Japanese palates again with the Nectarine Peach Cream Frappuccino, which just went on sale October 3. As a matter of fact, our Japanese-language reporter and taste tester Masami had to stop and remind herself what a nectarine was in the first place, since the fuzz-free peaches are rarely seen in Japan.
It’s hard to think of a more tempting way to get acquainted with nectarines than the new Frappuccino, which starts at 560 yen (US$5.40) and is topped with peach strawberry sauce-laced whipped cream and also features Earl Grey tea-flavored Bavarian cream.
While the Frappuccino itself is a daintily pale pink, the drink actually is packed with strong nectarine flavor and just the right amount of refreshing tartness. The whipped cream adds a luxurious touch, and we recommend stirring it in gradually as you drink, which lets you experience a variety of flavor balances along the way.
Also joining the Starbucks menu on October 3 was the 430-yen Nectarine Peach and Cream Tea, the debut item for Starbucks’ Teavana tea line in Japan. A mixture of Earl Grey tea and the same nectarine juice which flavors the nectarine Frappuccino, the “cream” portion of its name comes from the cream sauce with bits of nectarine and white peach, which imparts a sweetness the Earl Grey politely lets run its course before punctuating the sip with just a touch of bitterness at the end.
And finally, if you’re not craving nectarines, the third addition to Starbucks in Japan is the 390-yen Yuzu Citrus and Tea, an iced tea with a refreshing mix of bitter and tart notes.
All three menu items will be available for a limited time. Given the relative obscurity of nectarines in Japan, there’s no telling when the new Frappuccino and Teavana will be back, so don’t miss your chance to try them for yourself.
[ Read in Japanese ]