After months of pining for the Korea-only limited edition release, Starbucks customers in Japan finally get to enjoy the delicious puddings too.
With outlets around the world, Starbucks is always looking for ways to please its clientele in different countries. From incredible buildings that take inspiration from local architecture to specially made cakes celebrating cultural festivals, the global coffeehouse chain is overflowing with genius ideas, and their latest release is one that’s got everybody smiling in Japan, especially since it’s something customers have been wanting here for almost a year. In fact, the company was so aware of the demand for the new item in Japan, they didn’t even spend any money advertising it, and sat on the product’s press release until the day it became available.
▼ A handwritten sign in stores was the only way customers knew the product would be arriving in Japan.
The product is called the “Starbucks Purin”, which is modelled on the Japanese purin, or pudding, that resembles a soft crème caramel custard dessert. Ever since it was released in Starbucks stores in Korea in February, Japanese customers have been pining for a taste of the dessert after seeing photos of it on social media accounts. Our Japanese-language reporter Masami was one of the people waiting for the pudding’s arrival in Japan, and on the morning when it was released, she was one of the first to get her hands on the sought-after sweet.
▼ Available in two varieties, milk custard and chocolate, Masami picked up one of each to try.
Part of the appeal of the puddings is the gorgeous Starbucks cups they come in. The varieties available in stores now are the plain green-and-white (right) and the Starbucks Red Holiday Cup (left), which is limited to the Christmas season. On the side of each cup is a message like “Have a Good Day”; “Good Luck”; and “Thank You”, appearing in the same handwritten style used by Starbucks baristas on the store’s takeaway cups.
▼ Under the lid of each cup is a plastic seal with the name of the famous global coffee chain.
▼ Inside the cute, palm-sized cups are shiny mounds of custard pudding, just begging to be eaten!
While Japanese purin is known to have a slight wobble, the Starbucks version was noticeably firmer than usual. This gave it a thick, creamy texture, which was still wonderfully smooth, allowing it to melt in the mouth like a good pudding should.
The chocolate pudding had the same thick texture as the milk custard pudding, only this one looked more like a decadent chocolate mousse.
Digging deeper into the puddings revealed the beautifully sweet sauce underneath. The light flavour of the milk custard went wonderfully well with the bittersweet caramel sauce, while the double dose of rich chocolate had a depth of flavour to satisfy the cravings of any sweet-tooth. The small serving sizes were perfect due to the luxurious richness of the delicious desserts.
With Christmas just around the corner, now is a good time to try the new lineup of festive drinks from Starbucks too. The coffee chain’s Gingerbread Latte (410 – 530 yen [US$3.90 – $5.03]) and Crispy Gingerbread Frappuccino (500 yen) are wonderfully sweet and spicy, perfect for warming up in the cool weather that’s suddenly descended upon Japan.
The new Frappuccino might be served cold, but the nutmeg and gingerbread syrup it contains will transport you to a cosy spot by the fireplace, conjuring up images of presents under the tree and the wait for Santa’s arrival at Christmas.
Whether you’re after a festive drink or a taste of one of the new puddings, which retail for 320 yen each, the popularity of these items mean it’s best to stop by Starbucks soon to avoid missing out. While the company is yet to announce whether the puddings will become a permanent part of the menu, the holiday drinks will be on sale until 25 December.
[ Read in Japanese ]
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[ Read in Japanese ]