All About Japan

Limited-to-Japan Starbucks Latte & Frappuccino

Cafés Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossom season came early this year, with Starbucks releasing its Japan-exclusive sakura-strawberry flavored latte and Frappuccino. Both drinks are cream-based and contain no coffee, making them purely dessert fare.

One of the most beautiful things about actual cherry blossoms is the way that their petals create a carpet of fallen flowers beneath the trees when the wind blows. Starbucks’ new Frappuccino recreates the effect with a generous dusting of pink strawberry-flavored chocolate shavings.

But the pink color isn’t the only connection to cherry blossoms here, as the drink also contains cherry blossom petals and salt-preserved sakura (cherry tree) leaves. With just a sip, the richness of the cream and tart sweetness of the strawberry chocolate compliment each other well, even as they make their presences felt separately. The best part, though, is the light and refreshing, salty aftertaste.

The list of ingredients is the same for the Sakura Blossom and Strawberry Latte, except that it’s served hot, and therefore doesn’t have the blended ice of the identically named Frappuccino. However, that’s not to say the only difference is that one will warm you up and the other will cool you off. The lack of ice and the extra heat of the latte causes the drink’s sweet, tart, and salty flavors to melt into one another, making for a smoother, milkier taste than that of its slushy counterpart.

A tall Sakura Blossom and Strawberry Frappuccino will set you back ¥550, while a tall latte is a little cheaper at ¥470. Both are available at Starbucks Japan locations until March 15, 2016.

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