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11 Unexpected Starbucks Menu Items From Around the World

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Although Starbucks is a Seattle-based coffee chain in the United States, it’s grown globally since it opened its first stores outside of North America in Japan in 1996. With more than 23,000 locations all over the world, Starbucks has to cater to local and cultural tastes overseas. Here are 11 bizarre international Starbucks menu items from around the world.

1. AUSSIE BEEF PIE

Starbucks Australia serves up traditional Aussie Beef Pie made with a savory pie crust and quality minced beef. It also comes with tomato sauce for dipping. The coffee chain also offers Yo-Yo Biscuits, which are shortbread cookies with a butter vanilla cream filling and powdered sugar. 

2. RED BEAN GREEN TEA FRAPPUCCINO

The Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino is one of the most popular blended drinks at Starbucks in China and Pacific Asia locations. It’s basically a Green Tea Frappuccino with sweetened whole red beans scooped on top. Starbucks has featured the Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino every summer since 2012, and it can even be paired with a matching muffin.

3. RED BEAN CREAM FRAPPUCCINO

The Red Bean Cream Frappuccino is a seasonal blended drink available at Starbucks in South Korea. It’s made from sweetened condensed milk and Starbucks Frappuccino Roast blended together with ice. The beverage is later topped off with crunchy granola and red bean paste.

4. BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

You can get breakfast with an “American twist” at Starbucks in the United Kingdom. The coffee chain offers two lightly toasted buttermilk pancakes served with your choice of very berry compote or maple honey sauce toppings. Interestingly, Starbucks in the U.S. doesn’t serve pancakes at all. So much for that American twist.

5. HOJICHA FRAPPUCCINO WITH EARL GREY JELLY

While most other green teas from around the world are simply steamed, hojicha is a Japanese green tea that is roasted over charcoal in a porcelain pot. This process gives hojicha its unique color and toasty, creamy taste. Hojicha is poured over Earl Grey tea jelly and blended together with Frappuccino Roast, milk, and ice. Introduced as a seasonal blended beverage in 2012, Hojicha Frappuccino with Earl Grey Jelly is only available at Starbucks in Japan, along with the Chocolate Brownie Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino and Tiramisu Frappuccino.

6. GRILLED PINEAPPLE & CHICKEN TURKISH BREAD

Starbucks Hong Kong offers grilled pineapple and chicken breast with Teriyaki sauce, mozzarella cheese, and caramelized onions served on Turkish bread.

7. MAPLE MACCHIATO

The Maple Macchiato is made with steamed milk, sweet vanilla syrup, and espresso. It’s topped with a criss-cross drizzle of "real Canadian Maple Syrup found from the Beauce-Appalache region of Quebec." It’s only available at Starbucks in Canada, but some people from the U.S. are willing to make the trip up North for the Maple Macchiato.

8. DULCE DE LECHE GRANIZADO FRAPPUCCINO

Starbucks Argentina blends Dulce de Leche sauce and Frappuccino Roast with chocolate chips, milk, and ice to make a Granizado, which is a treat similar to a snow cone. It’s then topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle.

9. THREE MUSHROOM AND EMMENTAL CHEESE ON A VEGAN ROLL

Wake up to a portobello and shiitake mushroom breakfast sandwich at Starbucks in the Philippines. It’s served on a vegan multigrain roll, but also includes emmental cheese, which is confusing and definitely not vegan. Starbucks Philippines also offers a Spam, jalapeño, egg, and cheddar breakfast sandwich served on a rye roll or bagel.

10. ALGARROBINA FRAPPUCCINO

Introduced to Starbucks Peru in 2011, the Algarrobina Frappuccino features chocolate chips, Frappuccino Roast, Mocha, milk, ice, and algarrobina syrup, which is a local delicacy made from prosopis nigra or black carob tree. It’s an acquired taste that is described as bitter instead of sweet.

11. CHRISTMAS PANETTONE LATTE

Nobody really likes fruitcake in the West, but it’s a very popular treat in the East. During the holiday season, Starbucks rolls out the Christmas Panettone Latte in various countries in the South Pacific, such as New Zealand, Singapore, China, and the Philippines. Inspired by traditional Italian fruitcake, Christmas Panettone Latte combines notes of Italian Christmas sauce with espresso and steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and mixed dried apples, oranges, and cranberries. It’s described as having bread and butter flavors mixed with coffee.

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Design
This Concrete Block Makes a Fine Espresso
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Montaag

Have you ever thought your kitchen could use more of a Soviet Union vibe? Do you find the fixtures in abandoned buildings charming? Then the AnZa espresso machine—essentially a coffee maker encased in a concrete block—may be for you.

According to Curbed, the AnZa is part of the art and installation aesthetic dubbed Brutalism, an architectural movement using spare, blocky designs. Moving away from the sleek, shiny appearance of most modern appliances, design firm Montaag crafted a rough block with simple knobs. As post-apocalyptic as it may look, it’s reputed to make a very good cup of espresso. And it’s “smart”: a smartphone app can adjust the brewing temperature to the user’s preference.

A close-up of the AnZa's knob
Montaag

The project’s Kickstarter recently met its $145,000 goal and is now accepting preorders at Indiegogo for $799. You can hoist this subjectively beautiful appliance on your countertop beginning in March 2018.

[h/t Curbed]

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Big Questions
What Is Pumpkin Spice?
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Pumpkin Spice season seems to come earlier every year, but today marks its official arrival, as October 1 is National Pumpkin Spice Day. Before you reach for a cup, drink this in: The flavor can be composed of more than 300 elements—and pumpkin isn’t one of them.

Most recipes include cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and vanilla, but not every incarnation of the concoction is the same, according to a video by food scientist and spokesperson for The Institute of Food Technologists, Kantha Shelke, Ph.D, C.F.S.

So what’s the connection to the season’s most beloved orange fruit? (Yes, pumpkin is a fruit!) Flavor companies also add in skillfully designed compounds that mimic the taste of pumpkin pie. Each chemical is carefully reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and approved at concentrations of about 20 to 50 times the normal consumption level. And even though the full flavor contains 340 compounds, combining only five to 10 percent of those molecules in a mix is enough to trick our brains into thinking, “Mmm, just like Thanksgiving!”

But beware: attempting to recreate the magic in the average kitchen isn't as easy as pie. With only the spices available at a supermarket, the final product will likely taste more like Chai than the seasonal treat on professional menus. “Pumpkin Spice isn’t set in stone,” Shelke says. “Everyone has their secret recipe.”

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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