Coffee house chain is now four for four with its pudding lineup.
While the signs may say “Starbucks Coffee,” the Starbucks menu has expanded far beyond cups of java. For example, if you’re in Japan, using Starbucks as a pudding parlor is just as viable an option as going to it because it’s a coffee house.
Starbucks Japan began selling pudding last November, starting off with milk custard and chocolate flavors before adding matcha green tea to the lineup on April 1. Now, less than a month later, there’s a fourth member of the Starbucks family: banana and chocolate.
We’re not sure if it’s a result of good karma stemming from his recent efforts to become a kinder, more thoughtful person, but our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun is in the middle of a streak of good luck. First he avoided losing a bet that would have forced him to get a yakuza-style makeover, and then he drew the coveted assignment to taste test this banana chocolate dessert. So on launch day, April 28, he swaggered into the local Starbucks branch and procured the pudding.
Seated with his treat, P.K. popped the lid and saw a smooth expanse of banana pudding waiting for him to dig in with his spoon.
He took a bite, and his taste buds were greeted with a rich, creamy banana flavor. Starbucks’ pudding is a bit on te firm side, so it doesn’t immediately melt in your mouth, but this firmness lent it a premium, satisfying feel.
However, to get the complete experience, you’ll have to dig down to the bottom. In Japan, pudding, or purin as it’s locally called, often comes with some kind of sauce, adding a dash of intriguing complexity to the flavor. In the case of Starbucks’ banana chocolate pudding, there’s a layer of chocolate sauce at the bottom. Once P.K. reached this strata, he swirled the two components together, scooped up a spoonful, took a bite…
…and quietly gasped “Daaaaaaaamn that’s good,” to himself, having been moved to mild profanity at how well the banana and chocolate flavors complement one another.
Like all of Starbucks pudding flavors, banana chocolate is priced at 320 yen (US$2.90), making it an affordable indulgence, as long as you don’t end up having to put too much change in your swear jar when you’re done eating it.
[ Read in Japanese ]
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[ Read in Japanese ]