And today in International Treats I Desperately Want, But Cannot Have Because Of Geography, we have this: Starbucks Japan recently launched a tiramisu-flavored Frappuccino. Called the Classic Tiramisu Frappuccino, it combines the custard-y, sponge cake-y, coffee-infused goodness of the classic Italian dessert with the frosty deliciousness of a blended Frapp, making it the perfect treat to enjoy as the weather starts to get warmer. There’s just one problem: It’s not available anywhere else in the world — so if you want one, you do actually have to go to Japan to get it. Que, sera, sera, am I right?
According to Starbucks Japan’s social media pages, the Classic Tiramisu Frappuccino launched on March 20. It’s not the first time a tiramisu-inspired drink has made its way onto the Sbux menu over there, though; a different pair of tiramisu-esque concoctions appeared at Starbucks locations in Japan back in 2013 — and although they were limited time offerings, they were so popular that fans have been attempting to recreate the taste of them ever since. (Might I suggest the Starbucks Secret Menu?)
Now, though, an official version is available once again — although interestingly, it doesn’t seem to be a coffee-based Frapp, despite the fact that tiramisu is known for being, y’know, a coffee-infused dessert. Rather, it uses a custard base, per the Starbucks Japan website — and I do mean actual custard: Its ingredients include egg, just like a good egg custard should. Cheese is apparently also involved; however, lest you get squicked out by the idea of cheese in a Frappuccino, Sora News 24 specifies that it’s mascarpone — a sweet, creamy cheese regularly used in desserts. (The Frapp seems to differ from cheese tea in that respect; the cheese in cheese tea is typically cream cheese, rather than mascarpone.)
Anyway, according to the Starbucks Japan website, the custard base is blended up with coffee-soaked sponge cake (so, hey, at least there’s some coffee in there somewhere, even if drink doesn’t use the famous Frappuccino coffee base!); then it’s topped off with whipped cream and a dusting of dark mocha powder. The result sounds something like a tiramisu milkshake — and, indeed, it’s been quite well-received, according to Twitter:
“It was delicious,” the following tweet reads:
Some have even likened it to mana from the gods:
Heck, and yes.
Alas, though, like so many good things in the world, the Classic Tiramisu Frappuccino is only available for a limited time — and, in fact, that time is almost up: According to Sora News 24, April 10 will be the last day you can get it. The Japanese and Asian news site also reports that it’s only available in one size: Tall. It costs 590 yen, or around $5.30.
But hey, even if you miss the Classic Tiramisu Frappuccino, Starbucks Japan regularly rolls out new, seasonal treats; indeed, two new strawberry Frappuccinos will be arriving on the menu on April 11, right after the tiramisu Frapp departs for the great, sweet unknown. It’s totally clear what precisely goes into the Frapps yet, but they’re being marketed under the name “Strawberry Very Much,” so if you’re a berry fan, they’re sure to please.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Starbucks Japan, fun fact: The Cloud Macchiato that made such huge waves a month ago has a different name in Japan. There, it’s referred to as the Moussed Foam Caramel Macchiato. What’s more, you can also get a few other “Moussed Foam” drinks there, as well — including one that’s exclusive to the region: The Tokyo Roast Moussed Foam Latte, which combines the new cloud foam with the Tokyo Roast coffee made available by the newly-opened Tokyo Reserve Roastery. Yum.
One thing’s for sure: Even if you have a Starbucks on every block in your city, Starbucks stores are not the same everywhere across the globe — and if you’re traveling to Japan anytime soon, don’t knock the idea of going to Starbucks while you’re there. You might just find something you can taste anywhere else in the world.