11 Unexpected Starbucks Menu Items From Around the World

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Although Starbucks is a Seattle-based coffee chain in the United States, it’s grown globally since it opened its first stores outside of North America in Japan in 1996. With more than 23,000 locations all over the world, Starbucks has to cater to local and cultural tastes overseas. Here are 11 bizarre international Starbucks menu items from around the world.

1. AUSSIE BEEF PIE

Starbucks Australia serves up traditional Aussie Beef Pie made with a savory pie crust and quality minced beef. It also comes with tomato sauce for dipping. The coffee chain also offers Yo-Yo Biscuits, which are shortbread cookies with a butter vanilla cream filling and powdered sugar. 

2. RED BEAN GREEN TEA FRAPPUCCINO

The Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino is one of the most popular blended drinks at Starbucks in China and Pacific Asia locations. It’s basically a Green Tea Frappuccino with sweetened whole red beans scooped on top. Starbucks has featured the Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino every summer since 2012, and it can even be paired with a matching muffin.

3. RED BEAN CREAM FRAPPUCCINO

The Red Bean Cream Frappuccino is a seasonal blended drink available at Starbucks in South Korea. It’s made from sweetened condensed milk and Starbucks Frappuccino Roast blended together with ice. The beverage is later topped off with crunchy granola and red bean paste.

4. BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

You can get breakfast with an “American twist” at Starbucks in the United Kingdom. The coffee chain offers two lightly toasted buttermilk pancakes served with your choice of very berry compote or maple honey sauce toppings. Interestingly, Starbucks in the U.S. doesn’t serve pancakes at all. So much for that American twist.

5. HOJICHA FRAPPUCCINO WITH EARL GREY JELLY

While most other green teas from around the world are simply steamed, hojicha is a Japanese green tea that is roasted over charcoal in a porcelain pot. This process gives hojicha its unique color and toasty, creamy taste. Hojicha is poured over Earl Grey tea jelly and blended together with Frappuccino Roast, milk, and ice. Introduced as a seasonal blended beverage in 2012, Hojicha Frappuccino with Earl Grey Jelly is only available at Starbucks in Japan, along with the Chocolate Brownie Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino and Tiramisu Frappuccino.

6. GRILLED PINEAPPLE & CHICKEN TURKISH BREAD

Starbucks Hong Kong offers grilled pineapple and chicken breast with Teriyaki sauce, mozzarella cheese, and caramelized onions served on Turkish bread.

7. MAPLE MACCHIATO

The Maple Macchiato is made with steamed milk, sweet vanilla syrup, and espresso. It’s topped with a criss-cross drizzle of "real Canadian Maple Syrup found from the Beauce-Appalache region of Quebec." It’s only available at Starbucks in Canada, but some people from the U.S. are willing to make the trip up North for the Maple Macchiato.

8. DULCE DE LECHE GRANIZADO FRAPPUCCINO

Starbucks Argentina blends Dulce de Leche sauce and Frappuccino Roast with chocolate chips, milk, and ice to make a Granizado, which is a treat similar to a snow cone. It’s then topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle.

9. THREE MUSHROOM AND EMMENTAL CHEESE ON A VEGAN ROLL

Wake up to a portobello and shiitake mushroom breakfast sandwich at Starbucks in the Philippines. It’s served on a vegan multigrain roll, but also includes emmental cheese, which is confusing and definitely not vegan. Starbucks Philippines also offers a Spam, jalapeño, egg, and cheddar breakfast sandwich served on a rye roll or bagel.

10. ALGARROBINA FRAPPUCCINO

Introduced to Starbucks Peru in 2011, the Algarrobina Frappuccino features chocolate chips, Frappuccino Roast, Mocha, milk, ice, and algarrobina syrup, which is a local delicacy made from prosopis nigra or black carob tree. It’s an acquired taste that is described as bitter instead of sweet.

11. CHRISTMAS PANETTONE LATTE

Nobody really likes fruitcake in the West, but it’s a very popular treat in the East. During the holiday season, Starbucks rolls out the Christmas Panettone Latte in various countries in the South Pacific, such as New Zealand, Singapore, China, and the Philippines. Inspired by traditional Italian fruitcake, Christmas Panettone Latte combines notes of Italian Christmas sauce with espresso and steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and mixed dried apples, oranges, and cranberries. It’s described as having bread and butter flavors mixed with coffee.

Turn Your LEGO Bricks Into a Drone With the Flybrix Drone Kit

Flyxbrix/FatBrain
Flyxbrix/FatBrain

Now more than ever, it’s important to have a good hobby. Of course, a lot of people—maybe even you—have been obsessed with learning TikTok dances and baking sourdough bread for the last few months, but those hobbies can wear out their welcome pretty fast. So if you or someone you love is looking for something that’s a little more intellectually stimulating, you need to check out the Flybrix LEGO drone kit from Fat Brain Toys.

What is a Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit?

The Flybrix drone kit lets you build your own drones out of LEGO bricks and fly them around your house using your smartphone as a remote control (via Bluetooth). The kit itself comes with absolutely everything you need to start flying almost immediately, including a bag of 56-plus LEGO bricks, a LEGO figure pilot, eight quick-connect motors, eight propellers, a propeller wrench, a pre-programmed Flybrix flight board PCB, a USB data cord, a LiPo battery, and a USB LiPo battery charger. All you’ll have to do is download the Flybrix Configuration Software, the Bluetooth Flight Control App, and access online instructions and tutorials.

Experiment with your own designs.

The Flybrix LEGO drone kit is specifically designed to promote exploration and experimentation. All the components are tough and can totally withstand a few crash landings, so you can build and rebuild your own drones until you come up with the perfect design. Then you can do it all again. Try different motor arrangements, add your own LEGO bricks, experiment with different shapes—this kit is a wannabe engineer’s dream.

For the more advanced STEM learners out there, Flybrix lets you experiment with coding and block-based coding. It uses an arduino-based hackable circuit board, and the Flybrix app has advanced features that let you try your hand at software design.

Who is the Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit for?

Flybrix is a really fun way to introduce a number of core STEM concepts, which makes it ideal for kids—and technically, that’s who it was designed for. But because engineering and coding can get a little complicated, the recommended age for independent experimentation is 13 and up. However, kids younger than 13 can certainly work on Flybrix drones with the help of their parents. In fact, it actually makes a fantastic family hobby.

Ready to start building your own LEGO drones? Click here to order your Flybrix kit today for $198.

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When Al Capone Ran a Soup Kitchen During the Great Depression

Al Capone: Public Enemy #1, soup kitchen proprietor
Al Capone: Public Enemy #1, soup kitchen proprietor
The Paris Bureau of The New York Times, National Archives and Records Administration // Public Domain

Four years after gangster Al Capone took over Chicago’s leading crime syndicate, he had raked in over $40 million—around $550 million today. The money came from illegally selling booze during Prohibition; bottles were distributed to more than 10,000 speakeasies and brothels in a vast bootlegging network across the Midwest.

Capone’s alcohol distribution was unlawful, but to many Americans, the man’s work was heroic. He claimed he was just a businessman giving the people what they wanted—and what the people wanted more than anything in the 1920s was liquor.

But Capone’s role as an Italian-American Robin Hood didn’t stop there. As he orchestrated criminal activities behind the scenes, Capone simultaneously launched a program to provide milk to Chicago school children and donated huge sums to local charities.

It was the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, however, that spurred Capone to his greatest work of philanthropy. Almost overnight, the American economy collapsed into the Great Depression. Banks failed, businesses shuttered, and millions were suddenly unemployed and hungry. Hundreds of soup kitchens popped up around the country. One of them belonged to Al Capone.

No Questions Asked

Men line up at Al Capone's soup kitchen during the Great Depression
Men line up at Al Capone's soup kitchen during the Great Depression.
The Paris Bureau of The New York Times, National Archives and Records Administration // Public Domain

When Al Capone’s soup kitchen opened at 935 South State Street, in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, in mid-November 1930, hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans were out of work. By the following year, 624,000 people—or 50 percent of the Chicago workforce—were out of a job.

Capone’s charity had no name, just a sign over the door that advertised “Free Soup, Coffee & Doughnuts for the Unemployed.” Inside, women in white aprons served an average of 2200 people a day with a smile and no questions asked. Breakfast was hot coffee and sweet rolls. Both lunch and dinner consisted of soup and bread. Every 24 hours, diners devoured 350 loaves of bread and 100 dozen rolls. They washed down their meals with 30 pounds of coffee sweetened with 50 pounds of sugar. The whole operation cost $300 per day.

The soup kitchen didn’t advertise its connection to Capone, but the mobster-benefactor’s name was connected to it in stories printed in local newspapers like the Chicago Tribune and The Rock Island Argus. Those who were down on their luck, though, apparently had few qualms about eating from the hand of Chicago’s worst crime boss. Often the line to get in to the kitchen was so long that it wound past the door of the city’s police headquarters, where Capone was considered Public Enemy #1, according to Harper’s Magazine. The line was particularly lengthy when Capone’s soup kitchen hosted a Thanksgiving meal of cranberry sauce and beef stew for 5000 hungry Chicagoans. (Why beef and not turkey? After 1000 turkeys were stolen from a nearby department store, Capone feared he’d be blamed for the theft and made a last-minute menu change.)

Capone's Ulterior Motives

Capone’s efforts to feed Chicago during the darkest days of the Great Depression weren’t entirely altruistic. It wasn’t even originally his idea, but that of his friend and political ally Daniel Serritella, who was elected to the Illinois state senate in 1930. Nor did Capone invest much of his own money into the operation. Instead, Deirdre Bair writes in Capone: His Life, Legacy and Legend, he bribed and extorted other businesses to stock the pantry. In just one example, during Seritella's 1932 trial for conspiring with grocers to cheat customers [PDF], the court discovered that a load of ducks that had been donated to Christmas baskets for the poor ended up in Capone’s soup kitchen instead.

Perhaps more than anything, Capone opened his soup kitchen to get the public back on his side after he was implicated in the 1929 Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. In that murder spree, Capone's associates were believed to have assassinated seven men, five of whom hailed from the rival North Side Gang, inside a Chicago parking garage—though no one was ever prosecuted. Harper’s writer Mary Borden distilled Capone's double-dealing when she described him as “an ambidextrous giant who kills with one hand and feeds with the other.”

Capone’s soup kitchen closed abruptly in April 1932. The proprietors claimed that the kitchen was no longer needed because the economy was picking up, even though the number of unemployed across the country had increased by 4 million between 1931 and 1932. The diners who had attended the kitchen daily were forced to move on to another one.

Two months later, Capone was indicted on 22 counts of income tax evasion; the charges that eventually landed him in San Francisco’s Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Though Capone vowed to reopen his soup kitchen during his trial, its doors stayed shut. By the time he was released from prison in 1939, a raging case of syphilis had rendered Capone mentally and physically incapable of managing his own life, let alone that of Chicago’s once-dominant crime syndicate and the soup kitchen that softened his gangster image.

Capone died in 1947, but his larger-than-life legacy lives on. His soup kitchen wasn’t so lucky. The building became a flophouse, and in 1955, Chicago authorities deemed it a fire hazard and shut it down permanently. Today, only a parking lot remains at the site of Chicago’s most notorious food pantry.