We've all heard about Starbucks' secret menu and how one can virtually order anything and have it custom made, but Starbucks is also known for creating unique seasonal beverages, which are often available only for depressingly short periods of time, and in select locations worldwide. Hunting for them is hard, but it gets easier once you know exactly what you're looking for and are able to time your travels accordingly (though I am by no means recommending that you plan your trips around Starbucks' product offerings!... or am I?).
Without further ado, here are ten seasonal Starbucks drinks around the world that will make you want to pack your bags and hop on a plane immediately (keep in mind many of these aren't actually available right now, so a time travel machine might also come in handy!).
10 Sakura Blossom and Strawberry Frappuccino (Japan - Spring)
It's spring, which means that the beautiful yet fleeting cherry blossom season in Japan has begun. In honor of the iconic flowers, called 'sakura' in Japanese, Starbucks has created a ravishing Sakura Blossom Frappuccino. The beautiful pale pink beverage is infused with cherry blossom petals and sprinkled with pink strawberry-flavored white chocolate shavings to resemble the carpet of delicate petals that covers the ground when the blossoms fall. The drink can also be purchased in latte form, and can be paired with an equally scrumptious-looking sakura-themed cake. While these items were only available in Japan from mid-February to mid-March, a similar drink has been released at participating Starbucks stores in the United States. It isn't quite as exciting as the Japanese original since it's essentially just a Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino with extra matcha powder, but it's only out from March 15 to March 20, so if you live near any of the locations that sell it, you still have a few more days to give it a try!
9 Summer Berry Panna Cotta Frappuccino (Hong Kong & Singapore - Summer)
Last summer marked the launch of a new drink in certain Asian countries: Starbucks' Summer Berry Panna Cotta Frappuccino, made with a layer of panna cotta pudding topped with blended mixed berries, whipped cream and a berry drizzle. The panna cotta component has got to be the most exciting part of this unusual drink, which may or may not be available again this coming summer. Those who aren't partial to berries can also partake in a dark mocha version of this frosty beverage!
8 Fruits-on-top-yogurt-Frappuccino (Japan - Spring/Summer)
Starbucks has been testing out yogurt frappuccinos in different countries over the years with flavors like banana, red berry, and mango passion fruit, but Japan just decided to do its own thing last year and invent a yogurt frappuccino to top them all! Called the Fruits-on-top-yogurt-Frappuccino, this refreshing summery drink was only available from April to June in 2015, and had four distinct layers: a base of crushed almonds followed by a yogurt frappe layer topped with fruit jelly and whipped cream. Starbucks Japan actually put on a fashion show during the launch of this product, with models dressed as each of the frappuccino's distinct components.
7 Lúcuma Crème Frappuccino (Peru - Summer)
Here's another gorgeous summer frappuccino, and this one's only ever available in Peru. Lúcuma is a tangy fruit native to the Andes, and this cool summer beverage was created to celebrate that special ingredient. It launched sometime in 2014 and has been a hit ever since.
6 Lemon Vanilla Creme Frappuccino (United Kingdom - Summer)
There have been several versions of lemon frappuccinos, including a Lemon Bar Crème Frappucino in North America, but this one really seems to be taking it up a notch. The Starbucks UK website describes this tart treat as "A blend of refreshing lemon sauce and vanilla syrup, topped with whipped cream and lemon drizzle, and finished with a Cookie & Meringue topping", and it's apparently only available in the UK and a handful of other European countries, though similar drinks have also cropped up in other countries like Japan. Starbucks is, after all, known for making many variations on a theme.
5 Pumpkin Spice Latte (North America - Fall)
We're all familiar with this one, but it's too big not to include on this list. Every fall without fail, North American Starbucks starts serving up this sweet treat. The Pumpkin Spice Latte, or "PSL" for short, consists of a regular latte with a few squirts of pumpkin-spice flavored sauce for that characteristically autumn flavor. Despite controversy about its calorie and sugar content, the PSL continues to be a comforting fall classic year after year.
4 Frappula Crème Frappuccino (North America - Halloween)
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you – this is probably the coolest-looking Halloween drink to have ever been made by a coffee chain! An obviously vampire-inspired beverage, the Frappula Frappuccino was available across North America for only a few days before and after Halloween (and by a few, I mean like 4-5. blink and you'll miss it!). Though the ingredients are simple – just some frozen mocha sauce, white chocolate creme and raspberry syrup – the striking presentation doesn't fail to impress. This isn't Starbucks' first Halloween drink, and it hopefully won't be the last!
3 Christmas Punch Tea (Mexico - Christmas)
After Halloween comes Christmas, and Starbucks did a pretty good job at honoring diverse Christmas traditions around the world by adding this Ponche Navideño or Christmas Punch Tea, a common holiday beverage in Mexico, to its regular range of Christmas products. Made of hibiscus tea with apple, guava, cinnamon and brown sugar, this drink is warm, fragrant, and, you guessed it, only available in Mexico around the winter holidays.
2 Peach Blossom Flavored Tea Latte (China - Chinese New Year)
There are always plenty of Christmas drinks at Starbucks, but China has also come out with a special beverage for the Chinese New Year using Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and an aroma of peach blossoms (a flower that symbolizes love, beauty and longevity). This delicate Peach Blossom Tea Latte is garnished with whipped cream and peach blossom sugar crystals. It is generally available from mid-January to early March, as the Chinese New Year typically falls somewhere between those dates. Surprisingly enough, Canada also jumped on this peachy bandwagon and started serving the latte in Vancouver and Toronto to celebrate the Year of the Horse in 2014. It was back by popular demand in 2015 for the Year of the Sheep, but doesn't seem to have made it onto the menu in 2016. Fingers crossed that it will be available again next year!
1 Pistachio and Rose Mocha (Europe, Africa & Middle East - Winter/Spring)
This one's new to the party, and it's only available in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Created just a few months ago in early 2016 as part of a new wave of seasonal beverages, the Pistachio and Rose Mocha, consisting of "espresso and steamed milk, blended with mocha sauce and a twist of pistachio and rose [...] topped with pistachio and rose infused whipped cream and a dusting of pistachio macaroon crumb" (Starbucks UK), couldn't sound any more delicious if it tried. Keep an eye out for this stunning drink if you're about to travel to any of the places where it's currently being sold.