Two new beverages pay homage to two great cities with chocolate and matcha green tea.

It’s been 20 years since Starbucks first arrived in Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, three years after the green mermaid first appeared in the country in Tokyo’s Ginza back in 1996. Now, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Starbucks in Hyogo and Kyoto, the coffeehouse chain is giving them each a very special Frappuccino in their honour, chosen from 30,000 local votes nominating the best ingredients to represent each area.

The first Frappuccino captures Hyogo in a cup, and as the largest prefecture in the Kansai region, stretching across the mainland from the Seto Inland Sea to the Sea of Japan, there are many unique and attractive cities that this drink aims honour. The winning ingredient selected to represent them all was chocolate, as a nod to the capital’s port city of Kobe, which has been the entry point for a lot of western sweets in the region since it first opened in 1868.

Called the Hyogo Bari Choco Haitto Frappuccino, this beverage contains a chocolate Frappuccino base with chocolate sauce, whipped chocolate cream, dark mocha powder, and chocolate chips to provide the “bari”, or “crunchy” element to the very rich and decadent dessert drink.

The Kyoto Erai Matcha Matcha Frappuccino is designed to resemble some of the prefecture’s most popular temples with the use of matcha and cream. The lush green colour of the beverage is said to conjure up the image of Saiho-ji, also known as “Koke-dera“, or “moss temple“, due to its beautiful moss garden, while the contrast between white and green inside the cup resembles the stone garden of Ryoanji Temple.

The matcha and dark mocha powder on top represents the green and brown hues seen on leaves in the area during the fall season. Using matcha sourced from Kyoto’s Uji region, which is widely praised for its high-quality green tea, the Frappuccino aims to let customers enjoy different intensities of green tea within the beverage, with the bitterness of the matcha playing off the milky notes in different measures.

Both new beverages will be available in a tall size only for 590 yen (US$5.43) plus tax, and on sale for a very limited time from 12-21 November.

The Kyoto Erai Matcha Matcha Frappuccino will be sold at 33 outlets in Kyoto Prefecture, while the Hyogo Bari Choco Haitto Frappuccino will be sold at 54 stores across Hyogo Prefecture.

Those of us outside of these prefectures will have to make do with the Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino, which is currently on sale nationwide.

Source, images: Starbucks Japan 
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