Looking back on the year that was with some of Japan’s best limited-edition beverages.

It’s been a great year of new limited-edition Frappuccinos at Starbucks in Japan, and our reporter K. Masami was fortunate enough to try all of them.

So when it came time to look back on the year that was, these icy beverages immediately came to mind, and out of all of them, five stood out as being the best.

So let’s take a look at the five she’s crowned the most delicious for 2023, along with the reasons why they were so outstanding.

5. Strawberry Merry Cream Frappuccino (released 1 November)

“This Frappuccino had a strong acidity due to the strawberry, but it was also sweet enough to create a great balance of flavours. It felt more like a sweet than a drink, yet it was extremely luxurious, thanks to the white chocolate flavoured mascarpone cheese whipped cream topping.”

4. Gaburi Peach Frappuccino (released 12 July)

“Peach Frappuccinos are a summer staple in Japan but this one takes the cake. It was simply delicious, with a clean finish and refreshing aftertaste of juicy peaches. I opted for a citrus pulp customisation, which turned out to be a great idea as it added a hint of bitterness while increasing the flavour. I really hope this one will appear again next year!”

3. Gaburi Watermelon Frappuccino (released 9 August)

“To be honest, when I first heard about this one, I didn’t have high expectations for it, but it surprised me in the greatest way. The dragon fruit and kiwi fruit worked really well with the watermelon to create an incredibly delicious beverage.”

2. Hojicha Mochitto Milk Frappuccino (released 26 December)

“Just released a few days ago, this beverage stands out for its chewy gyuhi rice cake bits and cream daifuku flavoured sauce, which makes it feel like you’re drinking a daifuku sweet. Perfectly timed for New Year, when it’s customary to eat lucky foods like daifuku, this is one drink I’ll be having at least a couple more times while it’s still available.”

1. Opera Frappuccino (released 3 February)

“This drink made a lasting impression on me as soon as I laid eyes on it. With chocolate glacage sauce and gold powder, this was the best out of all the Frappuccinos in terms of luxurious looks, and the flavour turned out to be superior as well, with almond milk and a dash of coffee creating a sense of refinement.”

In looking back at the year’s Frappuccinos, Masami noted that this year appeared to be all about technique over looks, with less flashy decorations compared to previous years. It was an interesting progression in the evolution of the chain, and now Masami can’t wait to see what the green mermaid has in store for us next year!

Photos © SoraNews24
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