The new offer has sparked heated discussions on social media © Getty Images / Atstock Productions

Starbucks has made a surprising offer for its customers in China to mark the Lunar New Year, launching a coffee beverage flavored with pork.

The new product, dubbed ‘Nian Feng Savory Latte,’ which roughly translates as ‘Abundant Year Savory Latte,’ will be limited to the Chinese year of the dragon, which kicked off on February 10.

According to the product page on the Starbucks China delivery app, the unusual beverage combines traditional latte ingredients – espresso and steamed milk – with Dongpo braised pork flavor sauce and pork breast meat for garnish. It is priced at 68 yuan ($9.45) and is described as having an “interesting” flavor.

“The special New Year’s flavor coffee is well received by customers, and some customers already come to the stores to specifically inquire about the Nian Feng Savory Latte drink,” Jiupai News reported, citing Starbucks China representatives. According to descriptions posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo by the Shanghai Starbucks Reserve Roastery, the drink brings “traditional New Year customs into coffee” and creates “unexpected savory and sweet flavors.”

“Eating meat means prosperity in the coming year,” a post by the roastery reads.

The unconventional offering has garnered much attention and sparked heated discussions on social media, with many netizens speculating on the drink’s taste and purpose. Some expressed curiosity and said it looks “festive,” while others remarked on the high price of the beverage and lightly chided Starbucks for joining the ranks of brands that market “weird flavors” to boost profits.

China is the largest branded coffee shop market by the number of outlets in the world, according to a report by the World Coffee Portal released in December. It is also Starbucks’ second biggest market after the US. However, the company has many competitors in the Asian country, and has been known to pitch unusual flavors to draw customers. Among the newly released festive beverages it also offered a rice-cake-flavored coffee and an almond tofu macchiato.

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