New drink appears in stores without any prior notice.

Starbucks is so insanely popular in Japan it doesn’t really need to advertise its wares, but the coffeehouse giant has been particularly sneaky lately, adding secret limited-edition drinks to the menu without any fanfare or prior notice.

Just over a week ago, they surprised us with a secret Iced Matcha Tea Latte, and now they’ve taken us by surprise yet again, this time by releasing a new Chocolate Tea Cake Frappuccino.

▼ The Chocolate Tea Cake Frappuccino made its surprise debut on 6 June.

Our Starbucks expert K. Masami made the chocolatey discovery on one of her regular visits to the chain, and was surprised to find its appearance was so under-the-radar there were no posters advertising it in-store, and it wasn’t even mentioned on the menu either. The only way she found out about it was via the above display on the cashier’s screen at the counter.

Curious to find out why it was so secret, Masami asked the clerk about it, and they said it was a replacement for the Tiramisu Frappuccino that came out to celebrate the chain’s 25th anniversary in Japan, which was taken off the menu, as scheduled, on 25 May.

It seems that Starbucks is dedicated to ensuring a limited-time Frappuccino is always on the menu at Starbucks, so the Chocolate Tea Cake Frappuccino stepped in to fill the gap until the next big ad-worthy product takes its place. In Masami’s opinion, though, this new Frappuccino is deserving of fanfare, because, for starters, it contains plump sponge cake pieces.

▼ Like the Tiramisu Frappuccino it replaces, this new drink comes with actual pieces of cake inside it.

The milky base contains Earl Grey syrup as the tea component to complement the flavour of cake, and the entire drink is topped with a delicious mound of whipped cream, finished off with a dusting of dark mocha powder.

While the Frappuccino looks like a celebration of chocolate-upon-chocolate flavours, when Masami took a sip, she was surprised to find it tasted like…Earl Grey! The tea notes here were rich and aromatic, and a perfect partner to the chocolate. The sponge pieces were delightfully soft and addictive, bringing everything together for mouthfuls of pleasing, decadent flavour.

Masami recommends stirring the drink thoroughly to create a uniform blend all the way through, so that you get the sweet flavour of cake, bitter notes of chocolate, and the refreshing Earl Grey aftertaste in each mouthful.

As she enjoyed the beverage, she saw that around 90 percent of other customers around her had also ordered the surprise Frappuccino, and they all seemed to be enjoying it as much as she was.

▼ Masami predicts this will be a runaway hit amongst Starbucks customers.

According to our reporter, this is one of the best Frappuccinos she’s had all year, and while she’d love to see it on the menu year-round, staff say it’s only a limited-time menu item, though the exact sales period has not been decided at this stage.

At 640 yen (US$5.84) each, Masami can afford to treat herself to another one of these again soon, and she might even add a Frappuccino that tastes like Wimbledon to her order while she’s there!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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