Starbucks—the global chain based in Seattle, Washington—is the largest retail coffee company in the world. With so many Starbucks stores in countries worldwide, the brand can be credited with making the coffee house an international fixture. Founded in 1971 by American entrepreneur Howard Schultz, who took his inspiration from Italian espresso culture, Starbucks currently operates 30,000 locations worldwide in over 77 countries.
While Starbucks is famous for its standardized hot and cold coffee beverages, what you may not know (until you've visited a location while travelling internationally) is that the beverage menu is not the same in every country. The company conducts research about the unique culture of different countries where it operates, so it can offer beverages that appeal to local tastes. What that means is—even if know your local Starbucks menu off by heart—there's a whole world out there (literally) of Starbucks beverages you haven't tried.
We surveyed the countries with the greatest concentration of Starbucks stores, to bring you details on surprising Starbucks drinks you won't find in the United States.
In Canada, a country with British origins, Starbucks appeals to local tastes for toffee and caramel, along with the True North's famous maple syrup. Canada also has a large Asian population that embrace drinks with tea-forward flavors.
With its rich, buttery candy flavor, the Toffee Mocha puts an extra-delicious spin on the standard Starbucks hot mocha (a blend of coffee and hot chocolate) and is a great way to warm up during freezing winters.
Blossoming Rose Tea Latte
While Canada is known for its cold weather, it also experiences hot summers and this sweet Starbucks iced tea latte is a popular way to cool off. Brewed tea is blended with steamed milk, sweet rose syrup, and a blingy topping of sparkling pink sugar.
Black Sesame Tea Latte
This uniquely delicious drink looks like a coffee-based latte, but is made with bold black tea. This is steamed with milk and blended with a rich, nutty-tasting, black sesame sauce. It's all topped with decadent black sesame praline candy bits for a sweet and crunchy finish.
Specialty drinks at Starbucks Mexico feature native ingredients that are sourced locally.
Mango Yogurt Frappuccino
This fruity iced frappuccino contains no coffee, so it's great for kids or adults avoiding caffeine. It's an vibrant milkshake of fresh yogurt, mango puree, and milk.
The name means "Christmas punch," and this tea-based beverage is inspired by the one served at Mexican family holiday gatherings. It can be ordered either hot or iced and includes hibiscus tea, apple, guava, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
In tea-loving China, Starbucks offers an extensive menu of tea-based drinks featuring regional ingredients, along with variations on popular coffee drinks.
Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino
This drink transforms the green tea sipped all across China into a creamy, iced frappuccino and adds a scoop of sweetened red bean kernels on top.
Black Tea Latte
Apricot White Chocolate Mocha
Apricot flavoring adds fruity flair to this White Chocolate Mocha designed especially for the Chinese market. It's boosted with rich cocoa butter and cocoa powder, blended with steamed milk, and finished with sweetened whipped cream.
The Japanese Starbucks menu includes customized tea and coffee drinks, including some that appeal to Japan's fondness for American diner culture.
Sakura Blossom Latte
One of the most iconic Japanese Starbucks menu items, the Sakura Blossom Latte is inspired by the famous cherry blossoms that bloom each spring. It's a hot, creamy, sweet, pretty, pink drink flavored with cherry blossom petal sauce and white bean paste. It's topped with a crispy rice cracker and a drizzle of strawberry chocolate sauce.
Matcha has become synonymous with Japan. This lovely, light green tea latte is made with blended matcha powder and frothy milk for a unique flavor that balances sweetness and bitterness.
American Cherry Pie Frappuccino
The American Cherry Pie Frappuccino is like a decadent dessert in a cup. This chilled, cream-based blended coffee drink is filled with whipped cream, includes cherry syrup and cherry compote, and is topped with a dome of actual pie on top.
Jellies, tropical fruits, and sugary-sweet cold drinks are popular at Starbucks in tropical Thailand.
Triple-Coffee Jelly Frappuccino
If you've tried bubble tea, you can imagine this iced coffee drink with chewy pops of jiggly jellies suspended in the liquid. Coffee jelly cubes are layered at the bottom of the cup, then topped with coffee frappuccino, espresso-infused whipped cream, ice cubes, and ground coffee "sprinkles."
Peach Cloud With Jelly
This sweetened iced tea beverage begins with the special Emperor's Clouds Mist green tea, which is blended with sweetened peach juice, and filled with floating peach jelly cubes.
Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccino
In South Korea, Starbucks offers creamy hot and cold coffee beverages including ingredients that may not be as familiar to American audiences.
Jeju Honey Peanut Latte
This popular, nutty-tasting hot coffee beverage starts with rich dark Starbucks espresso. This is blended with local honey and steamed milk infused with peanuts from Jeju Island, a popular South Korean beach resort destination.
Happy Cheese White Mocha
That's right, cheese. This special Starbucks holiday drink sold in South Korea during the Lunar New Year tops a standard hot mocha with cheese-based whipped cream, and a miniature Swiss cheese round.
Served hot or cold, this oatmeal-based latte with a crunchy grain and berry cereal topping is a popular, healthful Starbucks menu item here.
Tea-based drinks are the norm at Starbucks locations in Taiwan. The sub-tropical climate also calls for plenty of frosty beverages.
Iced Black Tea With Ruby Grapefruit and Honey
This popular iced tea beverage combines traditional black tea with tart red grapefruit juice. Honey is added for a touch of extra sweetness.
Iced Shaken Green Tea With Aloe and Prickly Pear
Sounding like something that would feel soothing on a sunburn, this blended iced tea beverage pairs brewed green tea with cooling diced aloe, and sweetened prickly pear syrup.
Iced Matcha and Espresso Fusion
With half-matcha tea, half-espresso, and a splash of milk, this cold blended drink has plenty of caffeine for an energy boost on hot days. It also has an ombre appearance that makes it totally Instagrammable.
Indonesians enjoy their coffee and the Starbucks menu in this country reveals a national predilection for sweet and crunchy treats.
Salted Caramel Mocha Crumble
Available hot or iced, this decadent drink is made by blending mocha espresso with toffee nut syrup, and topping it with sweetened whipped cream, caramel sauce, and a crunchy mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt.
Orange Honeycomb Crunch Frappuccino
No coffee is used in this Frappuccino that is said to taste like a liquid Creamsicle. Real cream is blended with a sweet orange syrup, and topped with fluffy whipped cream, crunchy orange honeycomb candy, and a citrus drizzle.
Chestnut Mont Blanc Latte
This dark, nutty, delicious, hot coffee beverage would make a warming Christmas tipple. It starts with a classic latte (made with espresso and steamed milk), and adds chestnut syrup for flavoring, and espresso whipped cream on top.
Milky dark coffees, and sweet blended drinks, are popular menu items here.
The Ristretto Bianco is a standard Starbucks menu item in this coffee-loving country. This hot coffee beverage with espresso and steamed milk is similar to an Italian latte but includes an extra shot of ristretto (a more highly-concentrated espresso coffee) for extra boldness.
Chocolate Cream Chip Frappuccino
For chocolate lovers who would rather drink dessert than eat it, this sweet and creamy Frappuccino is an excellent option. It is much like an American mocha, but with extra chocolate chips in the blend. It is topped with a cloud of whipped cream, and drizzled with mocha syrup.
Dessert-like drinks are popular at Starbucks coffee houses in the rainy and chilly U.K.
Creme Brulee Macchiato
Inspired by the upscale restaurant dessert, this indulgent warm beverage begins with a base of creamy custard sauce, which is blended with sweetened whipped cream, and topped with ribbons of sugary caramel.
Butterscotch Brûlée Latte
Creamy and comforting, this luxurious blend of espresso, steamed milk, and caramelized butterscotch sauce sounds like a comforting way to fend off cold weather.