Travel the globe to cross these drinks off your Starbucks bucket list
Though the chain started with a single store in Seattle, Washington, these days, Starbucks is something of a coffee hegemon, with more 24,000 Starbucks stores in more than 70 countries from New Zealand to Azerbaijan. But Starbucks' extensive global presence doesn't mean that every store looks the same or even offers up the same menu. There are dozens of different Starbucks drinks around the world, each tailored to reflect the region's tastes and preferences. So sure, you might be able to recreate a facsimile of these special drinks Starbucks serves abroad when you're back home, but more often than not, these unusual Starbucks drinks flavors are unique to the international locations.
Starbucks is also big on matching its menu to the season. If you go to the same Starbucks in a far-flung, foreign location at different times of the year, you might find different options, so not all of these drinks are available right now. If nothing else, the constantly changing menu is even more of a reason to get out there and go on your own trip around the globe, so you can cross as many of these unique Starbucks drinks off your bucket list as you can. (It'd be like Pokémon Go's regional exclusives, but with Frappuccinos and cold brew instead of Mr. Mime and Tauros—gotta drink 'em all!)
No matter what your end game is, here are eleven Starbucks drinks from around the world that'll make you want to grab your passport.
Brigadeiro Frappuccino (Brazil)
Brigadeiro is a Brazilian dessert, similar to a truffle or a bonbon, that's made with dark chocolate, condensed milk, and butter. That kind of sweet treat is a perfect match with coffee (especially since Brazil is one of the sources of Starbucks coffee beans), According to Starbucks, the Brigadeiro Frappuccino is "a blend of coffee, chocolatey chips, white chocolate sauce, mocha sauce, classic syrup, milk and ice" that's served in a cup that's drizzled with brigadeiro sauce. Whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles are optional but highly recommended.
Fruit Jelly Yogurt Frappuccino (Asia Pacific)
Throughout the Asia Pacific region—which, in Starbucks terms, includes Taiwan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam—you can get a Fruit Jelly Yogurt Frappuccino in either mango or strawberry. It's a almost like a parfait, served with layers of yogurt and sweet cubes of jelly, a popular dessert item in lots of Asian countries.
Cherry Blossom Frappuccino (Japan)
Springtime is cherry blossom, or sakura, season in Japan, so every year since 2010, Starbucks in Japan has been offering a version of the Cherry Blossom Frappuccino in celebration. In 2016, selected U.S. stores were able to try the once-exclusively Japanese treat for the first time—but if you really want a full range of sakura Starbucks drinks in the spring, like a Sakura Blossom and Strawberry Latte, you're going to have to go to Japan.
Lúcuma Crème Frappuccino (Peru)
There are more than 70 Starbucks in Peru, all of which serve the Lúcuma Crème Frappuccino. Lúcuma is a fruit that's native to Peru, with an orange flesh that some people say tastes somewhere between caramel and a sweet potato. It's a common ingredient in smoothies, so it's kind of a perfect fit for this blended Starbucks beverage—and totally unique to this South American country.
Sunrise Apple Juice (Korea)
Another older summer special drink from Starbucks was the Sunrise Apple Juice, served in Korea. It's made by combining apple juice, as the name suggests, with double-strength passionfruit tea. The result is a drink with layers, like a sunrise—hence the name.
Orange Honeycomb Crunch Cream Frappuccino (Thailand)
Last summer, Starbucks launched a Orange Honeycomb Crunch Cream Frappuccino in Thailand. It was flavored with orange sauce and topped with whipped cream and actual pieces of honeycomb crunch.
Pistachio and Rose Mocha (Europe, Middle East, Africa)
This pistachio and rose mocha was a special winter drink, available only in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, that launched earlier in 2016. Mocha sauce and a rose and pistachio syrup is swirled with steamed milk and served with espresso, and the whole thing is finished off with pistachio and rose whipped cream and a sprinkling of pistachio crumbs.
Cinnamon Horchata Frappuccino (Mexico)
Horchata is a sweet, often rice-based drink that's commonly found in Mexico—so it should come as little surprise that this Cinnamon Horchata Frappuccino was actually created by employees in Mexico, inspired by the traditional drink. According to Starbucks, this Frappuccino is "a blend of rice, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and a hint of coconut."
Churro Frappuccino (Latin America)
Another drink inspired by Latin American desserts is the Churro Frappuccino. This drink is made by blending cinnamon dolce and white mocha syrup, then topping with whipped cream (as most Frappuccinos are, to be honest). It's finished off with a dusting of cinnamon, just like a churro, though unfortunately for the churro enthusiasts among us, the churro itself is not included.
Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew (United States, Canada)
The vanilla sweet cream cold brew is only being served at Starbucks in the United States and Canada. It's made by topping the brand's cold brew coffee (which is different than iced coffee) with a dollop of housemade vanilla sweet cream that slowly drips down to the bottom.
Nitro Cold Brew (United States)
Nitro Cold Brew is actually a very rare Starbucks offering—not only is it exclusive to the United States, it's only available in select stores in nine American cities. To make nitro cold brew, you take traditional cold brewed coffee, infuse it with nitrogen gas, which gives it a smooth, creamy texture and a foamy head, kind of like a beer. A barista serves it from a tap, and the need for that extra equipment is probably why you won't find this Starbucks drink just anywhere.