New dessert beverage lets you enjoy a uniquely Japanese taste without having to sit around in the same chain you have back home.

So when you come to Japan, you’re likely to encounter something I like to call the Starbucks dilemma. On the one hand, the Seattle-based coffeehouse has become such a major part of the cafe scene in Japan that it has a constantly rotating menu of delicious, Japan-exclusive items, which we expats here at SoraNews24 believe is one of the great things about living in the country.

On the other hand, as tempting as Starbucks’ only-in-Japan matcha green tea mocha and Pink Medley Tea drinks may be, odds are you didn’t fly all the way to Japan to sit in a branch of the same chain that has multiple locations in your home town. And yeah, you could just get one to-go, but Starbucks’ pricing really does include a built-in premium to cover the cost of those stylish interiors, making takeout orders kind of a waste of money, and time, if there’s a long line of locals going through the lengthy verbal process of ordering custom-made coffees. Finally, as tasty as Starbucks’ sweet drinks are, they’re also pretty filling, and you probably want to save some room for all the other great food and drink Japan has to offer.

But there’s a solution to all these conflicting desires coming soon, with Starbucks’ Sakura Caramel Milk with Mixed Berries.

The petite and pink dessert beverage is a cup of creamy milk seasoned with cherry blossom and rich caramel flavors, with pulpy bits of berry stirred in. At a size of 180 grams (6.3 ounces), it won’t leave you too stuffed to continue your culinary conquest of Japan, and at just 219 yen (US$1.99), you won’t feel bad about not soaking up Starbuck’s in-house atmosphere as you sip it.

As a matter of fact, you couldn’t drink this while planting yourself on a Starbucks sofa anyway, since the Sakura Caramel Milk with Mixed Berries is available exclusively at convenience stores, which in Japan also means extremely speedy clerks who will ring you up and have you back on your sightseeing course in no time at all.

The Sakura Caramel Milk with Mixed Berries goes on sale February 13. Oh, and if you decide you do want to spend some time at a Starbucks branch in Japan (like maybe the gorgeous one that opened in Kyoto last summer), we can help you pick out something from the in-house Japanese menu too.

Source: Starbucks via Japaaan
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Starbucks

Follow Casey on Twitter, where green tea Frappuccinos completely changed his mind about Starbucks.