The American Cheery Pie specialty drink from Starbucks Japan is in high demand. People love it, as in love it. When I went to the bustling Starbucks on the 2nd floor of Shinjuku station, most people in line wanted the drink. The line stretched down the hall, crowding in front of a store or two.
I just wanted something cold to drink on my way back home, so I opted to finally give the American Cherry Pie a chance. According to a little graph written in faux-chalk board writing, this sugar rush has about five layers to it. The first is a pie dome, which is fastened securely with a ton of whipped cream to stay in place underneath. Then, there is the cherry compote layer, made from real cherries. Under that was a layer of just milk (or in my case soy milk). And finally, at the bottom was more cherry compote.
I actually got this drink pretty quick despite the long line. I sat off the side. Aesthetically speaking, the drink looked exactly like the picture, which meant it looked delicious. I stuck my straw through the pie crust and swirled it around. And there’s where problems start.
See, the soy milk and cherry compote are fine. The mixture of the two together tasted very much like a cherry milkshake, and I was fine with it. But the pie crust, even if you break it up as much as I did, got stuck inside the straw every two or three sips. Honestly, the drink could be a choking hazard with those pie bits, I coughed a few times. It’s a shame, because honestly the actual drink part was perfectly fine on its own.
I noticed other people were having the same issues. At the bottom of everyone’s cups was a mess of pie crust some left over drink. One girl complained to her boyfriend that she should’ve just gotten the tea she usually ordered. A guy off to the side sighed and gave up halfway through, tossing most of it in the garbage.
However, I noticed a group of junior high school girls managed to outsmart all of us dumb adults. Inside of breaking the pie crust and mixing it in, they set the crusts off. As they drank it, they would munch on the pie crust like a cookie. I thought that was the most genius thing ever, and felt a bit ashamed that I didn’t think of it.
As I said before, the cheery drink part in and of itself is fine. More than passable as a sort of milkshake like beverage, but honestly not the best drink I’ve ever had in Japan (that without even thinking too hard probably goes to the cinnamon roll latte in MiuMiu in Shin-Okubo). The pie crust shouldn’t be crunched up with the drink, it’ll just clog up the straws, so eat it separately instead. Honestly, for a specialty it looks really neat, but in the end with the pie crust issue and the so-so OK taste, I would say it’s a bit overly beloved for what it is.
But then again, to each their own. As someone who isn’t exactly a die hard Starbucks fan, for me this was a one time try-out, so I’ll never drink it again. I would say I recommend this kind of drink to fanatic cherry lovers, yet at the same time I guess I could also recommend it to people who want something fruity and cold on a hot day. Otherwise, it’s not something I’d say go run and get right now! I’d just say be prepared for an alright experience, but not one worth repeating.