Starbucks Is Experimenting With Pork Sauce Coffee

In celebration of the Lunar New Year, Starbucks released a new coffee drink in China called "The Abundant Year Savory Latte." According to a Starbucks spokesperson, the latte "blends the flavor of Dongpo braised pork to create a salty and sweet taste that is a traditional celebration of Lunar New Year." The espresso and milk beverage is garnished with a drizzle of the braised pork's red-colored sauce and a skewer of pork.

The Abundant Year Savory Latte is available in China's 25 Starbucks Reserve stores for a limited time while supplies last. Retailing for 68 yuan or $9.45, the drink has several cultural references steeped in legend for Chinese communities who observe the 15-day festival. The red color of the drink isn't just for the 'gram, it represents the decorations used to scare away the monster named Nian and can be found on celebrants' clothing, decorations, and envelopes containing money given to the youth.

The pork ties into the meat-heavy feasts of Lunar New Year that are meant to bring you prosperity in the new year. Dongpo pork is a traditional Chinese dish dating back to the 12th century. Cubed pork belly is slow-cooked in a sweet and savory sauce containing rice wine, sugar, ginger, and soy sauce. The tender, braised meat turns red in the thick sauce, making it a fitting dish for the holiday and a delicious garnish for coffee.

How Starbucks is celebrating the Lunar New Year

A sweet and savory pork latte isn't the only menu addition Starbucks launched this February in China. Until February 26, or while supplies last, customers have two more macchiatos, a mocha, and an additional latte to celebrate the "Year of the Wood Dragon." 

Select Chinese Starbucks locations released the Cocoa Raspberry Flavored Mocha, an espresso beverage sweetened with cocoa and raspberries that's available hot or iced. Inspired by a traditional Shaanxi snack cake, the chain also added the Red Date Rice Macchiato. China's traditional almond tea influenced the flavors of the Nafu Almond Macchiato, and the popularity of the country's black sesame rice balls encouraged Starbucks to create the Black Crispy Latte.

Enjoy the new beverages in a reusable cup and receive $0.10 off your order at participating stores. Plus, Starbucks Rewards members will receive 25 bonus stars towards free goodies. You can bring in any old (but clean) cup or shop from Starbucks' newly released Lunar New Year merchandise. The limited-edition collection includes a 24-ounce cold cup bedazzled in iridescent dragon scales, a 14-ounce dragon-shaped mug, and a 12-ounce tumbler featuring a dragon atop a wishing tree. The drinkware retails between $16.95 and $22.95 and is only available while supplies last.