Starbucks has released a new line-up of holiday drinks in Japan, inspired by Gingerbread Houses. First up, the Snow Pecan Nuts Frappuccino and Snow Pecan Nuts Latte, both of which came out November 1st. Despite still having a month before Christmas, much like stores back in the States, Starbucks plays Christmas carols. The interior and signage changes to a festive red, with white text reminiscent of snow. A new raspberry-chocolate cake is out for the season.
Avid Starbucks fan I am, I went out on release date to get my fix.
Snow Pecan Nuts Frappuccino
According to the official Starbucks Japan website, the frappuccino is “A dessert-type frappuccino with pecan nuts sauce mixed in to look like the drink was marbled. Nutty white chocolate and caramel powder are sprinkled on top of pecan-flavored whipped cream.”
Like the limited edition frappuccinos before it, the Snow Pecan Nuts Frappuccino comes in a tall size only. watching the baristas make the drink is fascinating – considering all the components that go into making the drink look beautiful. And beautiful it did look. I can see the gingerbread inspiration….but it also could look like it was inspired by s’mores, because of the deconstructed look of the top.
The whipped cream is a distinct soft brown color, with pieces of chocolate on top. The powder on top does give it a distinct gingerbread look. When I saw it, I thought it was pretty, but I expected the chocolate to be pecan brittle (which, honestly, probably would have made it taste much better).
The first sip was strong. A very nutty, artificial flavor. The white chocolate on top was of the crumbly kind – a very chalky texture and a slightly salty taste. The whipped cream fared better. Cream is always good, eh? I could taste the hint of pecans in it.
Mixing the topping into the drink gave it a creamier consistency, but the overall taste was pretty artificial. I could imagine a winter landscape with this drink, but it was just too average.
Lately, Starbucks has been introducing a lot of nut-based drinks…they all pretty much taste the same.
Snow Pecan Nuts Latte
“Imagine fragrant pecan nuts folded in a mellow white chocolate base . This snack image is what inspired our Snow Pecan Nuts Latte。The drink is finished off with a gentle taste.”
Like the frappuccino, the latte version came with a caramel powder-pecan white chocolate top. The topping was delicious – the chocolate, not so much. Because of the temperature of the latte, however, the chocolate melted in and all the flavor and texture was lost. There was a bit more crunch in the latte, but most of the pecan pieces sunk to the bottom in a soggy mess. The latte had a very slight pecan nuts taste.
Lattes seems to always fail because they never retain the flavor they are trying to convey.
It also needs texture!