New limited-edition drinks have a lot to live up to. 

On 10 April, Starbucks released its first limited-edition summer Frappuccino for 2024 — the Gohobi Melon Frappuccino. This is the third year for the chain to release a melon-flavoured Frappuccino in the lead-up to summer, and this year’s “gohobi” (“reward”) version aims to be the ultimate melon drink, with a luxurious taste that you can reward yourself with after a tiring and challenging day.

Our resident Starbucks expert, K. Masami, has been a huge fan of the chain’s melon Frappuccinos since they were relased, even describing the first drink as one of the most memorable in the history of the chain, so she was keen to try this new beverage as soon as it was released.

▼ The Gohobi Melon Frappuccino is priced at 687 yen (US$4.54) for takeout and 700 yen for dine-in.

The first thing Masami noticed about the drink was the layers, with a blend of green melon juice and milk in the middle and a mixture of orange melon pulp and jelly on the bottom.

▼ Up top, we have regular whipped cream, which was a surprise, considering last year’s melon Frappuccino was topped with melon cream.

The absence of melon cream was a bit of a concern for Masami, who wondered if the plain cream might dial down the melon flavours. However, after trying her first spoonful, she was relieved to find that the drink was still strong on melon, with the plain cream actually working to bring out more of the fruity flavours, allowing the juice and pulp to shine in a way they haven’t before.

Another nice touch was the fact that the pulp was limited to the orange melon component, as opposed to last year’s, which contained both green and orange melon pulp. This gave it a smoother texture that seemed to enhance the flavour of the fruit even more.

Starbucks says their hopes for this drink is that it replicates the sensation of biting into a slice of melon, and they’ve certainly succeeded with that, not only in terms of taste but texture. It was the closest Frappuccino to achieve this fruit-like consistency and flavour, so in that regard, it really is the chain’s ultimate melon Frappuccino.

Masami is always one to push the envelope by exploring new customisations at Starbucks, and when she enquired with staff for a recommended customisation for this one, they told her it would be best to first try it as is. After that, though, they recommend adding citrus pulp for an additional 110 yen for even more fruity flavour.

▼ Another way to make the drink even more delicious is by ordering it with one of the new Malasada Melon Cream sweets on the side, for an extra 320 yen.

Coffee lovers will be pleased to know that the new melon Frappuccino is being released alongside the Sweet Milk Coffee (priced from 510 yen), which has appeared intermittently in the past.

▼ This year, the drink contains a shot of iced coffee, poured over a blend of fresh cream with vanilla syrup and white chocolate-flavoured syrup.

This is another excellent drink that tastes so good you’ll want to drink it on a daily basis. For this one, staff recommends switching things up by switching to almond milk and adding whipped cream for 55 yen each, or adding caramel, chocolate sauce, or honey for free.

That’s a lot of options to keep us coming back for more, but as always, the limited-edition items are only available for a limited time, with the sweets on the menu while stocks last, the Frappuccino in stores until 28 May and the Sweet Milk Coffee sticking around for a little while longer, until 11 June.

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