Starbucks has released a new pork latte to mark Lunar New Year, complete with a savory sauce and a chunk of meat resting on top.
The drink, available in about 25 Starbucks brances in China, mixes espresso and steamed milk with Dongpo braised pork sauce.
The unusual combination is garnished with a square slice of pork and has an ‘interesting flavour’ – according to the coffee chain.
The drink, which retails at around 68 yuan (£7.50), is dubbed the ‘Abundant Year Savory Latte.’
Braised pork is considered a staple food during Lunar New Year celebrations. Pork is representative of ‘a rich, prosperous life’, ‘wealth’, ‘strength’, and ‘abundant blessings’.
US coffee chain Starbucks has released its new pork latte to mark the Lunar New Year in China
Dongpo rou is a popular dish that often shows up on dinner tables during Chinese New Year festivities in southern China.
It’s made from braised pork belly, rock sugar, soy sauce, yellow wine and other seasonings, and is named after the ancient poet, painter and statesman Su Dongpo.
Promotional images posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo by the Shanghai Starbucks Reserve Roastery, showed a drizzle of dark red sauce on the latte foam — with a square slice of pork on a skewer resting on the mug rim.
‘Eating meat means prosperity in the coming year,’ the Starbucks captioned the post ahead of the Lunar New Year.
Starbucks Reserve stores across China have vowed to bring ‘traditional New Year customs into coffee’, according to The Telegraph.
The popular coffee chain also reportedly unveiled plans to sell a Red Date Rice Flavor Macchiato, a Fortune Almond Macchiato and a Black Sesame Latte as part of their Chinese New Year menu.
China has the biggest branded coffee shop market in the world, according to a report released by World Coffee Portalhaving overtaken the United States last year.
The drink, available in about 25 Starbucks across China, mixes espresso and steamed milk with Dongpo braised pork sauce
The report stated that China has long been one of the most important growth drivers for Starbucks and the US coffee chain is targeting 9,000 stores in the country by 2025.
According to Chinese tradition, 2024 will celebrate the Wood Dragon, which is said to foster progress, growth and abundance.
In Chinese culture, the Dragon symbolizes talent, power and excellence meaning 2024 is forecast to be a year for change, opportunity and challenges.
The date of Lunar New Year varies slightly from year to year, this year kicking off on February 10.
The dragon is the fifth of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac, which includes the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and the pig.
The unusual combination is garnished with a square slice of pork, and has an ‘interesting flavour’ – according to the coffee chain
The celebration happens throughout Asia, and is a national holiday in South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, North Korea and Taiwan.
Unlike the Roman calendar new year, the lunar new year changes, although it usually falls between January 21 and February 20.
Those celebrating Chinese New Year mark the occasion by buying presents, clothing, food and decorations embracing popular themes such as wealth, happiness and good fortune.
Each of the 15 days has a particular role, and often those taking part in celebrations will abide by the traditional beliefs according to each day.
The first day is often set aside for people to honor the elders within their families, whereas the third day is generally accepted as a bad day to socialize with relatives or friends.
The final day of the Chinese New Year is traditionally marked by a Lantern Festival when people walk through the streets carrying lanterns and light candles outside their homes.
It is tradition to cleanse a house of all ill-fortune and to try to reconcile with others, removing negativity from your life.
Observers of Chinese New Year traditionally decorate with the color red, as it is thought to be lucky.
People often send red envelopes to their near and dears and it is one of the most culturally significant celebrations for China.
It has been estimated that over two billion people celebrate the festival, which is also called Lunar New Year, worldwide.
London has the largest Chinese New Year festivities outside of Asia and thousands of vendors come to admire the colorful processions.