The secret ingredient is a beloved Japanese citrus.

As temperatures begin to rise in Japan, demand for light, fruity beverages is on the rise as well. Thankfully, Starbucks is on the ball with what we need, re-releasing last year’s hugely popular Melon of Melon Frappuccino, this time with 1.8 times more melon pulp in the mix.

▼ On sale from 12 April, the new Melon of Melon is priced at 687 yen (US$5.21) for takeout or 700 yen for dine-in.

Having fallen head over heels for the drink last year, our resident Frappuccino expert, K. Masami, was looking forward to sipping on this melon-filled delight again, but this time she wanted to see if she could make it even more delicious with a customisation.

When she asked the clerk for their recommendation, they told her:

“If you add citrus pulp it will become even more juicy.”

As a fan of fruity flavours, this sounded like a dream come true to Masami, so she immediately requested the citrus pulp customisation for 110 yen. Starbucks’ citrus pulp is actually used in the chain’s classic Yuzu Citrus & Tea, so Masami couldn’t wait to find out how this would pair with the green and orange melon components in the drink.

The drink itself looked beautiful with its vivid orange melon pulp and pale green melon whipped cream topping.

Digging into the mix with a spoon, Masami pulled out a delightful blend of milky melon goodness. Placing it in her mouth, she instantly felt the cool, fresh flavour of the fruit wash over her taste buds, but then the tart flavour of yuzu stepped in, adding a familiar Japanese accent for a fleeting moment before departing, leaving a light and invigorating taste in its wake.

▼ Yuzu goes surprisingly well with melon!

The citrus pulp customisation was an excellent choice, and Masami highly recommends it to those who love fruity fresh flavours. Those who prefer a hit of caffeine, however, will want to opt for the Sweet Milk Coffee (priced from 510-640 yen), which also went on sale for a limited time from 12 April.

For Masami, though, it’s the Melon of Melon Frappuccino that stole her heart, just as it did last time, when she tried it plain and dubbed it “one of the most memorable drinks in recent history”.

She did well to resist the vivid trio of sweets accompanying the Frappuccino, but she plans to try them soon, although she’ll have to get in quick because like the Melon of Melon, they’re only available while stocks last.

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[ Read in Japanese ]