Starbucks Japan Banana Brûlée Frappuccino

Starbucks Japan Launches Exciting New Banana Brûlée Menu

It’s already easy to get jealous of all the different international Starbucks drinks that we can’t get in the United States, but the coffee chain’s new banana products in Japan have the added bonus of being good for the environment. While Starbucks is always rolling out new flavors, both here and abroad, the company has also made sustainability a big goal this decade, with commitments to cut its water usage, carbon emissions, and landfill waste by 50% by 2030. This effort has recently borne fruit in America in the form of new cold cups that are being rolled out this year, but in Japan, the effort has taken a slightly tastier form. Starbucks Japan has announced a new line of “Banana Brûlée” treats, including two bakery items and a Banana Brûlée Frappuccino, which makes use of bananas that had previously been going to waste.

Starbucks Japan says in a press release that its new line will utilize three million “mottainai bananas.” Mottainai is a Japanese term that refers to regret over waste, and the bananas in question are perfectly good fruits that would have normally been tossed out due to conditions like damaged skin, which do not affect the flavor at all. The mottainai program in Japan, which has been run by Dole since 2021, produces bananas in the Philippines and normally has 20,000 tons of “substandard” bananas that go to waste each year.

Experience the sweetness of banana and texture of rice flour

Starbucks Japan Banana baked goods

Starbucks Japan’s Banana Brûlée Frappuccino is the first of the products using the mottainai bananas, and will combine a banana puree with a light burnt caramel flavor for a combination of bitter and sweet flavors. The base of the drink is a banana pulp sauce, which is mixed with almond milk and topped with the Frappuccino’s signature whipped cream, caramel sauce, and brûlée chips for a little crunch in each sip.

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The two bakery goods joining the Starbucks Japan menu are a roll cake and a muffin, both made with rice flour for a chewy texture that is popular in many East Asian cuisines. Both products use mottainai banana for all of their banana flavor, including the dough and banana chips. The Banana Rice Flour Roll Cake also features a plant-based whipped cream filling that is only lightly sweet to complement the already sugary banana flavor. If you happen to be in Japan or are lucky enough to be vacationing there soon, the sales window for the Banana Brûlée line will be from May 29 until July 9. And for the rest of us, we will just have to hope the Banana Brûlée flavor proves enough of a hit for Starbucks to consider bringing it across the ocean.

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