5 unique traits of Starbucks Japan:

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1. Appropriately, short is the most common size. This size does actually exist in other countries too, it’s just a very well-kept secret. It also feels like drinking a latte from a bottle-cap if you’re used to the larger sizes.

2. If the queue is more than five people long, chances are you’ll be handed a menu, plus a complimentary shot of coffee and / or a bit of cake to make up for it. Which beats people looking hassled and yelling at you.

3. Your drink might be green. The fact that matcha frappuccinos haven’t yet been introduced elsewhere is a huge marketing error.

4. The sleeve of your drink is likely to be covered with hand-written messages and pictures, as are the many chalk-board adverts for the drink of the moment.

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5. Your soy allergy will under no circumstances be forgotten.

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And there’s the fact, of course, not unique to Starbucks, that everyone who serves you will be more perfectly made up than I could hope to be on my wedding day, and, judging by their elation at serving you, appear to be on E.

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