It’s all about fortune and fun for the first New Year of the Reiwa era.

It’s been a busy time at Starbucks in Japan. No sooner have we licked our lips after trying limited-edition drinks inspired by Santa’s boots, the first bite of a Christmas cake and the instant the Christmas tree lights are turned on, we’ve wound up here, ready to treat our taste buds to another new beverage for the holiday season.

Called the Adzuki Kinako Warabimochi Fuku Frappuccino, the new drink contains adzuki (sweet red beans), kinako (toasted soybean flour), warabi mochi (a jelly-like confection made from bracken starch) and fuku (good fortune). Well-timed for the New Year holiday period, when people in Japan enjoy traditional food and partake in rituals and customs to invite fuku into their lives for the upcoming year, the new beverage is actually a first for Starbucks as it contains glutinous pieces of warabi mochi.

These warabi mochi pieces mimic the glutinous mochi rice cakes that are traditionally displayed and eaten during the New Year period. As mochi has been known to kill people during the holidays every year, Starbucks is sticking to the safer type of mochi for their new beverage, which is less dense and more jelly-like as it’s made from bracken starch instead of sticky rice.

The warabi mochi gives the drink a delightful jiggly texture, which Starbucks says is irresistible and unlike anything they’ve ever created before. As warabi mochi is traditionally served with a generous coating of kinako soybean flour, this ingredient is also included in the drink to recreate the authentic flavour of the Japanese sweet.

With a faint hint of coffee and a topping of freeze-dried adzuki red beans, this drink presents a new take on the traditional sweet, amping up the Japanese flavours for a very unusual and very decadent dessert drink.

Joining the Adzuki Kinako Warabimochi Fuku Frappuccino will be the Azuki Kinako Fuku Latte, which contains the same ingredients as the cold beverage, only without the warabimochi pieces. With more milk and adzuki sauce mixed through it, this hot beverage presents a warm and comforting take on traditional New Year flavours.

Both drinks will go on sale from 26 December until 16 January, or until stocks last, with the Adzuki Kinako Warabimochi Fuku Frappuccino available in a tall size only for 590 yen (US$5.40) and the Azuki Kinako Fuku Latte available in Short through to Venti sizes for 450-570 yen.

Source, images: Starbucks Japan
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