New “heart-pounding” beverages promise to get us in the festive mood this winter.

It’s that time of year again, when, in the days just before Halloween, Starbucks reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner. This year, the chain is gifting us with the Strawberry Merry Cream Frappuccino to kick off the 2023 holiday season, and there are some other perks in store for customers as well.

According to the chain, the theme for the festivities this year is “Wish upon a Starbucks Holiday“, and the aim is to make customers’ wishes come true in a number of ways. The first way they’re doing that is with the new Frappuccino, which combines a refreshing bittersweet strawberry sauce with a creamy, vanilla-flavoured body, topping it all off with a special “Merry Cream“, which is a richly flavoured whipped cream containing mascarpone.

This marriage between the three main components is said to encapsulate the mood of the holidays and whisk customers away to a festive world upon first sip, while the sprinkling of strawberry powder and sparkling silver sugar on top of the Merry Cream is designed to match the glistening of Christmas ornaments.

Those wanting a festive winter warmer can opt for the Strawberry Merry Cream Tea Latte, which combines the three flavours of strawberry, Earl Grey tea and Merry Cream. White chocolate-flavoured syrup is added to the Earl Grey milk tea, along with strawberry juice, to give the drink a smooth, mellow sweetness.

The Strawberry Merry Cream Frappuccino will be sold in a Tall size only, priced at 687 (US$4.57) for takeout and 700 yen for in-store customers, while the Strawberry Merry Cream Tea Latte will be available in hot and iced versions, priced from 550 yen for a Short through to 690 yen for a Venti size.

Ticking off another entry on the holiday wishlist, Starbucks has announced it will be implementing its “Be a Santa Donation Program” again this year, in the same way it did last year when the program was first introduced. A portion of sales will be used to donate Starbucks food and items to the National Children’s Cafeteria Support Centre, an NPO that helps to feed young children, and last year, the chain was able to give holiday gifts to 25,500 children in 508 children’s cafeterias in 47 prefectures across Japan, which was equivalent to a 13,658,259 yen ($90,814.70) donation.

▼ You too can be a Santa and bring smiles to children just by purchasing a festive drink at Starbucks this holiday season.

Starbucks Rewards members are also in for a treat, with a special “Wishing Star Tree” campaign. By entering the campaign and purchasing related drinks and products, members will be able to collect stars and complete trees to receive gifts such as smartphone wallpapers, virtual backgrounds, and digital Starbucks cards.

▼ The campaign period runs from 1 November to 25 December, so you have plenty of time to accumulate stars and retrieve awards.

Wrapping up the wishes being granted this holiday season is one final treat — the return of the chain’s ever-popular holiday drinks, pictured below. This range is available in Short through to Venti sizes, with prices ranging from 452 yen up to 680 yen.

▼ Left to right: Joyful Medley Tea Latte, Gingerbread Latte (available hot or iced), and Crème Brulee Latte (available hot or iced).

While the returning holiday drinks above will be available from 1 November to 25 December, the Strawberry Merry Cream Frappuccino and Strawberry Merry Cream Tea Latte will be around for a much shorter time, only gracing the menu from 1-28 November. The festivities won’t end there, though, as Starbucks usually gives us two festive Frappuccinos every holiday season, so watch this space for news of the second instalment, which is due to appear on the menu in late November!

Source, images: Press release
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