A nutty way to celebrate the holidays.

It’s now less than a month until Christmas, which means it’s time for Starbucks to release its second festive Frappuccino of the year, and the flavour of choice is…pistachio.

This might seem an odd choice for the holidays, but the green-white colour of the drink is said to mimic the look of a snow-tinged Christmas tree. Released on 29 November, our reporter K. Masami was one of the first in line to try it, ordering both the Melty White Pistachio Frappuccino (690 yen [US$4.67]) and the Melty White Pistachio Mocha (priced from 550 yen for a Short).

▼ She began her taste test with the Frappuccino.

Though the drink looked simple at first, its taste turned out to be quite complex. The milky base contained a sauce at the very bottom made with white chocolate ganache and shaved white chocolate, creating a remarkably rich body that helped to make the pistachio flavours seem extra creamy.

The well-rounded, gentle nuttiness took Masami’s breath away with its deliciousness, and the Merry Cream topping, made with mascarpone and white chocolate, added an extra depth of flavour to every mouthful.

The mocha, available hot or iced, contains pistachio, white mocha-flavoured syrup, a shot of espresso and steamed milk. According to the barista, this beverage tastes just as delicious when the regular milk is swapped out for soy or almond milk, so Masami tried hers with almond milk for an additional 55 yen.

Masami thinks almond milk is a great partner for espresso, and it turned out to be a great choice for this particular drink, as it brought out the coffee notes while highlighting the aromatic pistachios at the same time. This was a fantastic winter warmer that was just as well-rounded as the Frappuccino, and the Merry Cream topping was equally delicious with the hot beverage.

As an added bonus, a couple of cute Starbucks cards with animal designs were released on the same day, so Masami took the opportunity to snap them up as well.

While the new drinks might not look as festive as some of the releases from Christmases past, like this Santa’s boot, they’ll definitely be a festive fantasy for pistachio lovers, especially if you’ve got time to enjoy them both in one sitting. Both drinks are only available for a limited time, though, so you’ll want to get in quick to try them while stocks last until 25 December.

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