20 Menu Items From Starbucks Japan We Wish We Had In The US

If you've ever taken a spin through the social media of a brand that's recognized around the world, you may have noticed that there are lots of other products that you can't get your hands on just because you live in a different country. So imagine how shocked we were to see the fabulous summer line-up available through Starbucks Japan. With items ranging from melon-packed frappes to everything matcha-flavored, we decided to track down some of the most mouth-watering items just to see what else we were missing out on.

Starbucks also has six locations worldwide that are like a secret club for people who are really into coffee. Called Starbucks Reserve Roastery, these locations have some pretty incredible items on offer, including specialty cocktails and tasting menus for a wider range of coffees. Search one out if you happen to be in Tokyo, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Shanghai, or Milan. Until then, take a look at some of the delicious items enjoyed in Japan, from the seasonal to the everyday. 

Arabiki Sausage Pie

What we might think of as a pig-in-a-blanket or maybe even a swanky corn dog, Starbucks Japan instead offers an Arabiki Sausage Pie. Whatever it's called, it looks delicious to us. If you're curious about the name, arabiki simply means "coarsely ground" in Japanese, meaning that the meaty interior of the sausage itself is a little more chunky than the typical fine-minced interiors that you might be used to.

Take that smoky, chunky weenie and wrap it in pastry with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and you've got yourself a pretty delicious breakfast on the go. Or lunch, or whenever the craving strikes. We added these to the list simply because the combination of tender puff pastry and smoky sausages can't be beaten.

Banana and Caramel Mocchiri Balls

If you've had the pleasure of experiencing freshly made mochi, you'll know what an absolute pleasure it can be. Mochi is a treasured foodstuff in Japan, a slightly sticky, chewy rice dough that is used in all sorts of ways, from sweet to savory. "Mocchiri," however, is close but not quite the same.

Mocchiri is a word used to describe foodstuff with the texture of mochi, so soft and springy. Starbucks' Banana and Caramel Mocchiri are chewy balls of baked wheat dough, rather than rice, giving them both a longer shelf-life and a more American taste. Filled with a sweet filling flavored with either banana or milky caramel, we think this version of doughnut holes sounds pretty divine.

Cassata Pistachio and Berry Cake

Just take a look at the gorgeous image, and it should be obvious why this tasty confection made the list. A cassata is a Sicilian specialty that has a long-debated history, but don't let that deter you from trying it at least once. The combination of pistachios, cinnamon-flavored ricotta cheese, raspberries, and, in this case, brioche dough is irresistible, no matter who whipped up the first beautiful airy layers.

Starbucks Japan has partnered with Italian bakery Princi, based in Milan, to start offering true Italian delicacies like the cassata cake but in a hand-held, grab-and-go size that pairs perfectly with an afternoon coffee. The cake is meant to be enjoyed in warmer weather and is served cool rather than at room temperature for an icy effect.

Clostata Mango Tropicale

Another delectable sweet from Starbucks Japan's partnership with Princi, the Clostata Mango Tropicale is an ode to the stunning taste of mango. Seriously, don't even bother looking for this one if you're not absolutely in love with mango. For those of us that are head over heels for the juicy stonefruit, this dessert sounds like a dream come true.

Consisting of five layers, each more mango-packed than the last, the Clostata is layered into a delicate coconut sponge filled with mango in all different iterations and textures. Sliced fresh mango covers the top, under which you'll find both mousse and gelée that combines both dried and puréed fruit. Topped with raspberries, just for a touch of something tangy, this truly is a standout dessert.

Coffeeade Cool Lime

Coffeeade is on our list of must-tries for a few reasons, not least of all because it's made with clear coffee. Are you confused or excited? We're both, honestly. Last summer, Starbucks Japan offered Coffeeade — a combination of iced coffee and citrus juice beverage — in its Tokyo Roastery location for a limited summer run. The response was so great that every location in Japan would be carrying the Cool Lime version this summer, giving us no end of jealousy. Two additional flavors, Orange Delight and Lime Mint, will be available at the Roastery location.

So what is it, anyway? Starbucks has been pretty tight-lipped about the process, but the company does state that it uses a special brewing process that removes the color while leaving the flavor and aftertaste of coffee behind. Lime juice is then added to the clarified coffee, producing a zippy little citrus refresher with all the caffeine you crave.

Gaburi Summer Peach Frappuccino

Peach is a huge flavor hit in Japan, so the appearance of a specialty drink every summer that focuses on the sweet, juicy fruit is no surprise. This summer, Starbucks introduced the Gaburi Frappuccino, highlighting the first sweet and succulent bite of that summer-warmed stone fruit. Gaburi is the Japanese word used to emphasize an enthusiastic or emphatic bite, like when you finally score your first peach of the season.

Chunks of fresh peach are dropped into the cup first, followed by whipped peach frappe poured on top. All that before being topped with peach-flavored whipped cream, which sounds like heaven to us. We're already drooling, to be honest. Since the introduction of peach frappuccinos in 2015, this summer's version sounds incredible. 

Hojicha Latte

If you've never tried hojicha, you might be in for a delicious surprise. A recent addition to the regular menu in Japan, the hojicha latte is perfect for someone looking for a gentler green tea latte. In the Starbucks preparation, foamed milk is added for even more lushness. While you can get it warm, an iced hojicha latte delivers refreshment without being overpowering yet still works as a perfect pick-me-up in the summer heat.

Hojicha is a type of green tea that goes through a step of roasting, whereas green tea does not. This gives hojicha a brownish hue and a milder, smokier flavor with deep notes of cocoa. It also has less caffeine and a less bitter aftertaste, making it a perfect option for someone looking for a less intense experience. We can highly recommend the sweet and smoky tea for your lower caffeine days. 

Matcha White Chocolate Scone

While matcha tea isn't new here, North Americans still aren't using the flavor-packed, antioxidant-rich powder in baked goods as we could be. This is a shame, seeing how well it works with flavors like chocolate (especially white), strawberries, and anything vanilla (for instance, take these chewy matcha and white chocolate cookies. But before you dive headfirst into everything green tea, here's our 5-step guide to buying real matcha.

Starbucks Japan knows a delicious combination when it sees one and has been offering these scrumptious-looking Matcha and White Chocolate Scones on the year-round pastry for some time now. A perfect sweet breakfast or mid-afternoon slump breaker (with an icy coffee, is our suggestion), these vivid green baked goods seem like a delicious choice.

Melon of Melon Frappuccino

This particular icy drink looks like it's going to be the headliner of Starbucks Japan's summer menu. The Melon of Melon Frappuccino has gotten lots of publicity on all the company's social media channels, outshining all the other offerings. A big seller last summer, Starbucks brought the tasty melon-based frozen drink back but with even more fruit than before. The combination of cantaloupe and honeydew melons makes for a gorgeous layered drink, topped with pale green, honeydew-flavored whipped cream.

The bright green appearance of the icy drink screams summer to us; this is definitely one of the items we wish we could get our hands on stateside. Just the thought of honeydew-flavored whipped cream is enough to make us salivate.

My Fruit Frappuccino

This particular addition to the summer line-up makes customizing an icy, fruity-filled frappuccino a dream come true. The My Fruit Frappuccino lets customers play a bit of choose-your-own-adventure style menu tinkering to come up with their perfect icy cold summer beverage. Chunky or creamy, rich or refreshing, customers will be able to forge their own frappé path, building their drink one step at a  time.

Starting with the flavor, customers are able to choose from grape and peach (shown here), mango and pineapple, or the ever-popular strawberry. Next, they can pick from the texture of the fruit used, ranging from blended fruit to whole fruit chunks or the most delicious-sounding whipped cream fruit. Using whole fruit (meaning skin and all) and milk, the frappuccino deliver intense color, flavor, and ice-cold creaminess.

Nakameguro Way

With only six locations worldwide, Starbucks Reserve is a special experience for anyone who really, really loves coffee. The location in Tokyo offers a number of specialty items, including both coffee cocktails and spirit-free coffee-based mixed drinks. The Nakameguro Way is our pick from their list of mocktails, although we were hard-pressed to choose just one. 

Served in a coupe glass with a layer of heady foam, this beverage sounds like the way to go if you're seriously into depth flavor served with a side of bitter notes. Cold coffee concentrate gets served with a foamy topping of tonic and the classic Italian soda, chinotto. Definitely not for anyone who craves something super sweet; it sounds like this mocktail will perk you up instantly. 

New Tokyo Fashion

One of Tokyo Reserve's alcohol-based offerings, the New Tokyo Fashion is, obviously, a play on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail. To bring it up to date, Starbucks adds a twist of Japanese heritage by serving it with a pickled sakura leaf to highlight the cinnamon notes of the coffee and whiskey used. Served over a perfect sphere of crystal-clear ice, the New Fashion retains the elegance of the cocktail it riffs on while giving it a modern Japanese twist.

The Tokyo Roastery is located in the Nakameguro district and has been serving cocktails for a while, but the unique boozy drink menu gained even more traction after a collaboration with AMBUSH fashion in 2022. Since then, the menu has expanded to include even more unusual coffee-house finds, including the super trendy Negroni sbagliato, matcha tea fondue, and shakerato offerings.

Okayama Peach Apple Cream Oolong

The drop-dead gorgeous Okayama Peach Apple tea drink, made with oolong tea and a healthy dose of plant milk foam, has us seriously reconsidering our summer travel plans. Made with Starbucks oolong tea, the drink takes on the interesting addition of apple peach syrup to add flavor and color.

Not only that, the icy sipper gets garnished with plant-based foam made from a combination of oat milk and whipped rice cream. This menu item looks ultra-refreshing without being too sweet or thick, perfect for those sweltering days exploring Okayama prefecture, known for its superb fruits (peaches in particular) and the city's mascot, Momotaro (the Peach Boy).

Okayama Peach Apple Cold Brew

Need a little more va-va-voom? The Okayama Peach Apple Cold Brew is made with Starbucks' slow-steeped black tea. If you want to try making this one at home, we suggest using loose-leaf tea to elevate your drink, whether you're going for iced or hot, giving you more flavor and a deeper finish. 

This particular beverage takes cold black tea and adds more of that tasty Okayama peach apple syrup and a slug of lemonade for an amped-up, citrusy version. It's then topped with tasty fruit chunks for an energizing sip on the go that's full of sweet fruity flavor, tangy lemon, and rich black tea. 

Pepper Nitro with a Jerky Twist

Here's a beverage that calls out to us, just for the garnish alone, although the entire concoction sounds pretty tasty. If you're unfamiliar with nitro cold brew, it's not just super strong cold coffee. In fact, nitro cold brew is infused with nitrogen as it gets poured, giving it tiny bubbles and a creamier, sweeter mouthfeel. If you have more questions, read this before you order Starbucks nitro cold brew.

The Tokyo Reserve Nitro Cold Brew pours the frothy, foamy cold java into a large draft glass and adds a healthy dose of malted fennel pepper syrup to add a licorice herbal note, along with a little kick of spice. The topping, however? A honey crema, which sounds amazing, showered with crushed red peppercorns and topped with a skewer of beef jerky.

Red Bean Butter Sandwich

While you might question the appeal of this one, hear us out. Adzuki (or azuki) beans are traditionally used in an enormous number of Japanese desserts, and there must be a reason why, right? First, the tiny red bean is pretty good for you, but it actually has a pretty appealing taste, too. Sweeter than what you might expect, the bean filling comes in two textures — creamy or coarse. In this bean and butter sandwich, Starbucks goes with the smooth texture (called koshian) for ultimate appeal. 

The combination of soft, chewy bread filled with a mild and slightly sweet bean paste is one thing, but the addition of a little salty butter makes this protein-packed breakfast one that we'd love to try. 

Salted Vanilla Roll

Another regular menu item is these adorable rolls. Much like a cinnamon bun, they look like regular pillowy, yeasted-raised baked goods. And while cinnamon rolls are offered in Japan, the salted vanilla flavor has our attention, even though it might be just too cute to eat. Match your snack with a lemony iced tea for maximum flavor (lemon and salt are a classic Japanese combo) and feel your day brighten considerably.

Japanese sweets are often tempered by the addition of something bitter, like green tea, or a touch of lemon or salt. The hint of saltiness and the water-hued blue sugar call to mind an afternoon on the ocean, making this sweet treat perfect for a quick summer snack while strolling the beaches on Okinawa or a waterpark in Hokkaido.

Seasonal Sakura Offerings

Sakura season (the few short weeks in early spring when the cherry blossoms are out) is a huge event in Japan. Festivals and special events are on everyone's calendar, and the tradition of taking part in "hanami," getting together in public parks with family and friends to view the blossoms while sharing a snack, is enjoyed by many Japanese citizens.

To celebrate this, Starbucks Japan launches a new menu every year, specifically using cherry blossom themes and flavors. In 2023, the menu featured a special sakura latte flavored with strawberry sakura sauce and topped with white chocolate and silver pink sugar and a frappuccino decorated with crushed strawberry macarons. Strawberry is a perfect pairing for cherry blossom, so many options include fresh berries or a swirl of sauce.

Setouchi Lemon Cake Frappuccino

A tasty summer addition, the Setouchi Lemon Cake Frappuccino might be more of a dessert but likely one of the more refreshing dessert-drink hybrids on the Starbucks menu. Made exclusively with lemons from the Setouchi region, this frappuccino relies on the higher-sugar content and mellowness of that particular citrus to keep things bright yet not overpowering.

Expertly blending tart lemon with a milky base, Starbucks Japan has also added a few touches to bring a true cake-like feel to this drink. A sprinkle of lemony-flavored yellow pearl sugar and a sweet lemon drizzle garnish the whipped cream topping, while crispy pieces of freeze-dried lemon peel throughout upgrade the frappuccino to a dessert-quality bevvie.

Yuzu and Citrus Lavender Sage Frappuccino

A final frappuccino, this sunset-colored beauty is made from a combination of Starbucks' own blend of apple, pineapple, sage, lavender, orange, and yuzu peel tea, combined with the ultra-refreshing pulp of juicy citrus. Blended with ice and served with a topping of ruby red grapefruit jelly, this particular beverage sounds like a tangy, herbal delight.

Many of Starbucks Japan's frappuccinos are made with tea and fruit instead of coffee; these tasty refreshers appeal not only to our summer thirst but also to our social media-loving sides who can't think of a better post than a selfie sipping one of these at Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. But honestly — we'd settle for any of these snacks or beverages this summer.