As the heat of summer is really turning up, lots of coffee shops here in Korea are adding new and interesting iced drinks to their menu.
Starbucks Korea is no exception to this trend, and they have a new promotion, the Turn Up Your Summer menu.
The menu includes three new drinks (of which only two were available at my local location) and some cakes and sandwiches.
When I entered Starbucks, I saw the new merchandise that they are selling to go hand in hand with the Turn Up Your Summer promotion.
The one I liked the most was the animal themed mug, with a giraffe head on the lid of the cup.
The menu boards showed the new drinks that are available.
The first one that I could buy was the Sea Salt Caramel Cold Brew.
And then there was also the Raspberry Pop Shaken Tea.
There was a third with the new food items as well.
I placed my order for the two drinks and waited for the baristas to finish making them.
When I got the tray, the two drinks did look quite nice.
The Sea Salt Caramel Cold Brew had a nice pattern from the Sea Salt Foam (really just cream), and there was a nice rim of caramel around the outside of the glass.
The Raspberry Pop Shaken Tea looked nice too and had real bits of raspberry inside the cup.
I decided to try the Sea Salt Caramel Cold Brew first.
You could taste the salt in the caramel if you sipped at the edge of the cup, but it was often overpowered by the cream and the cold brew coffee in the bottom. The drink was pretty sweet, but the coffee added some bitterness to the drink so that there was some contrast. I found that the cream really didn’t add very much to the drink, although it did make it a bit sweeter.
Next, I tried the Raspberry Pop Shaken Tea.
The Starbucks website says that the drink is a perfect blend of sweetness and sourness. However, I found that the drink was quite bitter, and almost tasted like medicine. I found it quite disappointing, and there wasn’t any raspberry flavour to the drink at all, unless you were able to fish out a bit of the fruit that was inside the glass.
I think the most disappointing thing was all the ice that was in the glass. I’ve written about this before with Starbucks, but it seems like the problem is getting worse. The Raspberry Pop Shaken Tea was almost 70% ice, and it feels really bad given that the drinks are so expensive. Also, if you order a hot drink, it is full of liquid, but not the iced drinks.
Overall, I was quite disappointed with the Turn Up Your Summer drinks that I tried. I hope that Starbucks Korea will be able to come up with some better items for their next promotion.