March 30, 2014 Coffee & Company

Where in the World? Unique Starbucks Beverages, Food and Merchandise from Around the Globe

There’s no debate about whether the glass is half empty or half full at Starbucks® stores in Japan. Cleverly-designed mugs always look full, even when they’re empty.

Japanese design studio Nendo has created a series of coffee mugs with images of an Americano, Caramel Macchiato or Latte on the bottom, outside the cup. Turn the empty mug over and it looks like it’s filled to the brim with a delicious Starbucks beverage.  The mug collection, now sold at Japan Starbucks® stores, is a visual reminder to be optimistic.

The cup trio is one of the ways Starbucks collaborates with global and local teams to reflect the company’s passion for coffee while paying respect to traditions around the world. That local relevance includes: a popcorn muffin in Mexico; a new Made in the USA mug in select Starbucks stores in America; Canada’s Maple Macchiato; Cherry Shortbread White Chocolate Mocha in China; and Luxury Hot Cross Toast in the United Kingdom.

Muffin Palomitas

Imagine a muffin with a tasty caramel filling and popcorn topping. Starbucks Coffee Mexico has such a treat, inspired by a recipe students created. More than 100 college students from the Centre for Advanced Studies of San Angel participated in a challenge to create a product for distribution. The price of ingredients, cost of manufacturing, and creativity were all factors for the judges. Students, between the ages of 19 and 20, submitted 40 recipes in the bakery category. From the eight finalists, a team of food developers from Starbucks Coffee Mexico picked the Popcorn Muffin as the winner. It’s now sold in select stores.

“The launch of ‘Muffin Palomitas’ shows that young people are full of innovation and motivated to implement their creative ideas,” said Sarai Jimenez, spokesperson for Starbucks Coffee Mexico.

Born in the USA

Innovation and creativity are also behind a new Made in the USA mug. The town of East Liverpool, Ohio used to be called the “Pottery Capital of the World.” In the late 1800s it had nearly 50 pottery factories. Today only two remain and one was on the verge of closing a couple of years ago until businessman Ulrich Honighausen reached out to Starbucks to create a mug branded “Indivisible.” The first coffee cup, created as part of a collaboration American Mug, appeared in select Starbucks® stores in 2012. 

Honighausen has since opened American Pioneer Manufacturing in restored ceramics factory in New Waterford, Ohio. The small business has over 20 skilled craftsmen who delicately mix the raw materials, create the molds and hand glaze the mugs, one-by-one. The latest coffee mug made especially for Starbucks, is a symbol of possibilities for Honighausen. The coffee mug, featuring the familiar Starbucks Siren logo, is part of the company’s ongoing mission to help create jobs in the United States.

“It is a collaboration of shared values between a small company with a dream and a large company with vision and purpose,” he said.

O Canada!

Farmers north of the U.S. border contribute to a Starbucks® beverage found only in Canada. The Maple Macchiato pays tribute to the country which produces 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup. The handcrafted Maple Macchiato consists of layers of vanilla, steamed milk, an espresso shot, and Maple topping made with real Canadian Maple Syrup found from the Beauce-Appalache region of Quebec.

Cherries for China

China has a one-of-a-kind beverage with the Cherry Shortbread White Chocolate Mocha. The description is as mouth-watering as the coffee drink, which combines white chocolate mocha sauce and cherry flavored syrup over steamed milk with espresso. It’s topped off with whipped cream and swirls of cherry sauce. There’s more. It’s garnished with shortbread crumbles.

Hot Cross Buns

Our spin around the globe ends in the UK where Starbucks customers will find a modern version of hot cross buns.  The classic treat is made with juicy sultanas, citrus peel, mixed spices and cinnamon. The bun is glazed and finished with a cross and called “Luxury Hot Cross Toast.”  It’s traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada, but now is popular all year round.

Each month, we'll feature distinct Starbucks offerings around the world.  The next time you travel, observe specialities offered in local Starbucks stores and tell us about your favorites.

For more information on this story, contact the Starbucks Newsroom