Can this Frappuccino capture the flavour of a region famous for deer and the giant Buddha? 

Earlier this month, Starbucks surprised us with the announcement that they would be celebrating their 25th anniversary in Japan by releasing a total of 47 regional-exclusive Frappuccinos around the country, with one sold in every prefecture.

The series, called 47 Jimoto Frappuccino, with “jimoto” meaning “local,” was finally released today, and our Nara-based Starbucks expert K. Masami wasted no time in heading down to her local branch to pick up the Nara-exclusive beverage.

▼ This is where Nara sits in the grand scheme of new Frappuccinos

Each regional-exclusive Frappuccino has been created with input from local baristas, and Nara has been blessed with the Hojicha White Chocolate Frappuccino. This might seem like an odd choice at first, especially considering Nara is known for other local specialties like persimmons and kudzu (Japanese arrowroot), but according to Starbucks, hojicha was chosen because it’s the main ingredient in chagayu (tea gruel).

This tea porridge has a long history in Nara, where earliest records of the dish being eaten for breakfast can be traced back 1,200 years. Tea production in the area has an equally long and esteemed history, which is why hojicha, or roasted green tea, was chosen to represent Nara for this special release.

▼ The roasted green tea base is given a matcha powdered green tea topping.

The visuals attached to the drink are somewhat reminiscent of Nara Park, which is home to the prefecture’s famous deer. The matcha topping resembles Mt Wakakusa, located to the east of the park, and the fresh aroma is reminiscent of the grass on its slopes.

▼ As for the actual body of the drink, the pairing of roasted green tea with mellow white mocha syrup was sublime, and thankfully, not like gruel at all.

Nara’s exclusive Frappuccino turned out to be a great-tasting drink, and one that Masami is happy to have represent her prefecture. In fact, the focus on hojicha as a symbol of Nara made her rethink her own preconceptions of the area and she vowed to explore some of the famous tea stores she usually walks past on a day-to-day basis.

There are still 46 other flavours around Japan waiting to be tasted, so why not visit your local Starbucks while they’re on the menu, until 3 August, to see what flavours represent your locality? Like Masami, you might be able to discover a few new things about your area, and view your prefecture in a whole new light!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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