Is it worth stopping by Starbucks this fall?

With the weather getting cooler, it’s beginning to feel like autumn in Japan, and over at Starbucks, it’s beginning to taste like autumn too.

This year, the coffeehouse chain is blessing local customers with a seasonal harvest, in the form of two new limited-time beverages: the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Yaki Imo Brûlée Frappuccino.

▼ “Yaki imo” translates to “roasted sweet potato”

Our resident Starbucks expert K. Masami was first in line to try the new drinks as soon as they were released on 21 September, and she couldn’t resist trying the Frappuccino first.

▼ By this stage, “Frappucino First” should really be Masami’s tagline.

Yaki imo is one of those flavours that screams “autumn!!” in Japan, and this Frappuccino sings its praises from the very first sip. The sweet potato brûlée sauce and brûlée chips create a sweet, creamy, crunchy start to the drink, easing us into the party of potato flavours below.

Inside, a caramel-flavoured sweet potato syrup dances with ice and milk, allowing the yaki imo to glitter and shine on the palate. From all angles, the spotlight remained firmly on the sweet potato at all times, but the clever addition of caramel helped to make it taste like a real crème brûlée dessert.

It was sweet, filling, and delicious, but for those who prefer a more warming start to the season, the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte will be happy news.

Despite being an autumn staple at overseas locations like the U.S., the Pumpkin Spice Latte only appeared in Japan last year after a 15-year absence. It’s proven to be popular enough to warrant a return this year, and the now-familiar cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg flavour profile makes for a delicious start to the season.

▼ Both drinks make it worth stopping by Starbucks this season, but for Masami, it’s the Frappuccino that stole her attention.

The Frappuccino will be on sale while stocks last until 18 October, priced at 668 yen (US$4.69) for in-store customers and 680 yen for takeout. The Pumpkin Spice Latte will be on the menu until 31 October, in short through to Venti sizes, priced from 501 yen to 640 yen.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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