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Starbucks launched a pork-flavored coffee in China. It costs $10 and is dividing people.

Starbucks launched a pork-flavored coffee in China. It costs $10 and is dividing people.
  • Starbucks has launched a pork-flavored coffee in China.

  • Its biggest competitor in the country famously has a cheese-flavored latte.

  • Starbucks' drink costs $10, and even the company says the taste is "surprising."

If you think Starbucks' olive oil-laced coffee is as divisive as it gets, the coffee chain's latest offering in China might just change your mind.

The Seattle-based coffee giant recently rolled out a pork-flavored latte in China for the Chinese New Year season that started on February 10.

Starbucks' Reserve Roastery in Shanghai announced the pork-infused offering in a post on its verified Weibo microblog account on February 5, promoting the beverage as a coffee "integrated with traditional New Year customs."

The limited edition beverage, whose name translates into "Abundant Year Savory Latte," is pictured with a slice of skewered pork perched on top of the mug. Its official English name is the "Lucky Savory Latte."

Starbucks China's pork-flavored latte for Chinese New Year 2024.
Starbucks China's pork-flavored latte for Chinese New Year 2024.Starbucks China

Starbucks said the coffee is a combination of espresso and "Dongpo pork" sauce, referring to a braised pork named after a famous 11th-century poet. Steamed milk is added to the beverage before it's drizzled with more pork sauce.

The special edition beverage is priced at 68 Chinese yuan, or $9.50, at Reserve stores in China, according to local media.

The pork-flavored coffee has gone viral on Chinese social media — mostly because people were wondering if it's for real. But it is, and reviews are mixed.

One user on Xiaohongshu, China's answer to Instagram, said the latte looks strange but was unexpectedly delicious with an "intriguing sweet and salty flavor" that combines the aromas of meat and coffee.

Another Xiaohongshu said it was disgusting. They said it tasted like fermented bean curd mixed with a sweetener — although the piece of pork was quite tasty, they said.

A third user said they were pleasantly surprised by the savory taste of the coffee.

Well, even Starbucks describes the flavor as "surprising."

The Starbucks beverage is far more expensive than rival Luckin Coffee, which can cost as little as $1.40 thanks to aggressive discounts.

Competition between the two coffee chains is intense. Sales of Luckin Coffee overtook Starbucks in China in the second quarter of last year.

Luckin Coffee, too, boasts unique coffee concoctions, including "Big Cheese Latte," "Watermelon Pink Latte," and "Yuanyang" — a coffee-and-tea combination that originates in Hong Kong, Business Insider reported in November.

Read the original article on Business Insider