Baristas in Japan share a secret customisation that totally alters the taste of this new beverage.

In recent years, warm weather heralds the arrival of the Strawberry Frappuccino at Starbucks in Japan, and this year is no different, with the fruity drink gracing the menu again this year for a limited time from 10 May.

▼ The popular beverage is priced at 680 yen (US$5.04).

Pre-sales for customers using the chain’s mobile order and pay system began on 8 May, so our resident Starbucks expert K. Masami was able to get a taste of the Frappuccino before the official release. However, having tried the drink in previous years, Masami was looking to spice things up with a customisation, and when she asked staff for their recommendation, they told her: “Well, there’s actually a way to make it taste like tart.

This was like music to Masami’s ears, so she followed the barista’s instructions to add white mocha syrup (50 yen) and a switch to almond milk instead of regular milk (50 yen) to her mobile order.

It didn’t take long for her to receive her order, and upon first glance, it didn’t appear to look any different to a regular Strawberry Frappuccino.

However, upon first sip the difference became apparent, because the sweetness of the white mocha syrup balanced out the tartness of the strawberries with aplomb. The slightly bitter almond milk also worked to create a rich taste that could be mistaken for a sweet tart crust, creating a sublime flavour combination.

It was a surprising change that totally altered the Strawberry Frappuccino, and Masami was won over by it. In fact, as she got to the bottom of the delicious beverage, she was already devising what she might add to it on her next visit to change things up even more, and by the end she knew what that addition would be: chocolate chips.

The chocolate chip customisation worked a treat on making Masami’s Snoopy Frappuccino even more Snoopy-esque, and strawberries and chocolate have always partnered well on her palate, so she’ll definitely be adding choc chips to her drink next time.

Feel free to give these customisations a try when you’re visiting Starbucks, but don’t forget the Strawberry Frappuccino is only around for a limited time, while stocks last until 31 August.

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[ Read in Japanese ]