Pork-flavored coffee is Starbucks' hit in China

Starbucks is banking on this unusual combination with a new drink launched in China for the Lunar New Year. Called the Abundant Year Savory Latte, the brand describes it as having an "interesting" taste.

The drink combines Dongpo Braised Pork Flavor Sauce with espresso and steamed milk, with additional pork sauce and pork breast meat toppings, according to the Starbucks delivery app.

According to the app, the price of the drink is 68 yuan ($9.45).

Photos of the drink, posted on Chinese social media Weibo by the Shanghai Starbucks Reserve Roastery, show a drop of dark red sauce on top of the latte's foam - with a square piece of skewered pork resting on the rim of the cup.

"Eating meat means prosperity in the coming year," the bakery wrote on Weibo on February 5, days before the start of the Lunar New Year.

She adds that the drink brings "traditional New Year's customs to coffee" and creates "unexpected savory and sweet flavors." The latte is available at Starbucks Reserve stores nationwide.

Lunar New Year is one of the biggest annual holidays in Asia. During this period, people all over China return home to celebrate with their families. Government figures show that a total of 474 million journeys were made within the mainland during this year's season.

Although the food served at New Year's holidays varies from region to region, braised pork is a common sight. Named after the ancient poet, artist, and statesman Su Dongpo, Dongpo rou is a dish made from braised pork, granulated sugar, soy sauce, yellow wine, and other spices.

The result is a richly flavored and extremely tender piece of pork that can easily be broken up with chopsticks.

According to a World Coffee Portal report published in December, China is the world's largest branded coffee market, overtaking the United States last year.

In 2023, Starbucks will open 785 locations in the country. China has long been one of the most important drivers of Starbucks' growth, being the second-largest market in the world and the company's largest foreign market./BGNES