Limited-edition drink celebrates milestone anniversary in style, with a nod to the local dialect. 

Back in August 1996, Starbucks opened its first store in Japan in Tokyo’s Ginza district, followed soon after by its first store in West Japan on 28 November, 1998, at the Umeda Hep Five shopping and entertainment mall in Osaka.

With this year being the 25th anniversary of the first store opening in Osaka, Starbucks is celebrating with a special Frappuccino called the Osaka 25th Meccha Yokubari Creamy Matcha Frappuccino (Osaka 25th Very Greedy Creamy Matcha Frappuccino).

Limited for sale at 144 stores in the prefecture, the drink is a new take on the Meccha Matcha Frappuccino released in the region to celebrate the 20th anniversary five years ago. Devised in collaboration with local staff as an anniversary project that aims to showcase the special charms of Osaka, the name incorporates a bit of Osakan slang — “meccha” (pronounced “metcha”) means “very” in the regional dialect — and contains twice as much green tea powder as a standard Matcha Frappuccino.

While it’s very matcha, it’s very avaricious too, as the matcha sauce is combined with white chocolate-flavoured syrup and fresh cream for added richness, while the topping contains whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and matcha powder. The variety in the toppings is said to express the “Here, have this and that!” service spirit that’s unique to Osaka.

While Tokyo and Kyoto are known for valuing refinement in their culture of omotenashi (hospitality), Osaka prides itself on a more casual and friendly style of relaxed generosity, which this drink aims to encapsulate.

The generous spirit of the region continues with another anniversary special, limited to four Starbucks Tea & Cafe specialty stores in Osaka Prefecture.

The Wasan Mitsu Matcha Frappuccino

Wasan Mitsu is a combination of Western refined sugar and Wasanbon, a fine-grained Japanese sugar that’s been in production since the 1770s. This mixture imparts a refined sweetness to the matcha, and though the chain’s Tea & Cafe stores already have a Wasan Mitsu Matcha Frappuccino on the menu, staff have devised a special customisation for the anniversary celebrations that sees it being topped with vanilla ice cream, hojicha (roasted green tea) powder and freeze-dried strawberries.

The customised Tea & Cafe Frappuccino is priced at 962 yen (US$6.37) for takeout and 980 for drink-in customers, while the Very Greedy Creamy Matcha Frappuccino is priced at 687 yen for takeout and 700 yen for drink-in. As always, these exclusive offerings are only available for a limited time, on the menu in Osaka from 15-28 November.

Source, images: Press release
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