Is coffee and pork really as good as they say? 

Starbucks customers in China are now some of the most envied people in the world, as it’s the one place in the world where you can buy the chain’s Braised Pork Latte.

The unusual drink appears to be a limited-edition menu item to celebrate the Lunar New Year, when eating meat is customary. One reporter who tried the beverage in China was shown on a morning news program in Japan saying, “The sweetness of the pork fat matches the bitterness of the coffee”, which made us rethink everything we thought we knew about lattes.

▼ So our very own reporter Masanuki Sunakoma went out and bought two items to recreate the beverage.

According to online images, the drink in China consists of a piece of braised pork on a skewer, which sits across the top of a Starbucks latte.

Masanuki had the two vital ingredients, a piece of kakuni braised pork and a Starbucks latte, but he was missing the dainty skewer. However, as the skewered pork is meant to be dipped or stirred into the coffee, he figured it would be okay to drop a piece of pork in.

Whereas Starbucks China’s Braised Pork Latte retails for 68 yuan (1,421 yen [US$9.45]), Masanuki’s latte cost 447 yen and the pork from 7-Eleven cost 429 yen, bringing his total expenditure to 876 yen, so if this worked out, he’d be getting a relative bargain.

China’s pork latte is said to combine espresso and hot milk with a piece of skewered dongpo (braised pork belly), the latter of which is where Japan’s “kakuni” braised pork comes from, so Masanuki’s version looked to be as close as he could get to the original outside of China. The real thing is reportedly so good it’s already sold out at a lot of stores in China, with customers praising it for its “unique taste” and “rich and smooth texture”.

▼ So how would Masanuki’s version fare?

▼ Well, his face says it all.

▼ Masanuki summed up his thoughts with one simple sentence: “It doesn’t taste good at all“.

Of course, this version of the drink isn’t entirely the same as the official one from Starbucks in China, but Masanuki says it was shockingly bad, even for his palate, which has experienced a lot of weird flavour combinations over the years.

The sweetness of the braised sauce lingered in his mouth in a very unpleasant way, knocking out all the other flavours to make its presence felt. Masanuki couldn’t imagine how the combination of coffee and braised pork could ever be a good thing.

While he wouldn’t agree with comments that “the sweetness of the pork fat matches the bitterness of the coffee”, he can say it has a “unique taste”. Whether or not that taste is a good thing, well, perhaps that’s up to personal opinion, but Masanuki recommends not making your own version of it like he did, lest it turn you off trying this drink for good. Still, he’s hoping it gets rolled out at more Starbucks branches around the world so we can all try the real thing soon!

Photos ©SoraNews24 
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