As you might know, I am a
little bit of a HUGE coffee addict. Lucky for me, we have a Starbucks right in the center of the area we are staying in Japan. The other day it was so nice outside that I went for a walk and decided to give myself a special treat of an iced coffee, which I only get when I deem the weather warm enough.
When I walked into Starbucks that day (Feb 23, 2015) I was surprised to see signs indicating that a special time of year was upon us in Japan. There was a special drink menu and everything, all of Sakura season, which is the blossoming of the cherry blossoms.
I walked out with my iced coffee and sandwich in a cute special edition cup and bag and I knew I had to research a bit more. I discovered that Starbucks releases special edition drinks, food, and drink ware every year around this time to celebrate Sakura season. Pretty cool! Even cooler: this is only in Japan. No where else in the world can you go and enjoy this special seasonal menu. I immediately decided I would be getting a mug and trying the beverage.
Photo from Starbucks.jp site
This years offering comes in the form of a Frappuccino and a latte and they’re titled something like “Cherry Merry Latte” and “Caramel Sakura Latte/Frapp.” I got the short (smaller than tall) latte. I was slightly disappointed to learn that there was in fact no real coffee in this beverage, so I would have to find a caffeine kick elsewhere. The taste is somewhat difficult for me to explain. It has a milky, white chocolate base, is quite sweet, and has a delicate sakura flavor. I think it hits the tongue more floral at first, and then the aftertaste of the cherry flavor I know sets in lightly. There is definitely a sweet caramel element to the drink as well. It’s very creamy and comforting, but I didn’t taste anything truly spectacular.
All in all, I give the latte a solid “meh.” It wasn’t bad, but it was definitely not my favorite. I am glad I had the chance to try it though simply because I am a big Starbucks fan and I wouldn’t have the chance to try this anywhere else in the world.
The thing I was most excited about was getting a special Sakura season mug to take home. Apparently the products come out in waves. The top photo is the first set of products released on Feb 15, and the second photo contains some that were released yesterday. I’ve also seen a few other products not pictured here. I bought the white and pink mug in the first picture. It’s perfect for a big old cup of tea 🙂