This year’s hot and cold lineup takes its inspiration from flowers in full bloom.

Every year, as we wait patiently for Japan’s cherry blossoms to start appearing, we wait for another pink-tinged harbinger of spring to arrive…in the form of limited-edition Starbucks sakura drinks.

The global coffeehouse chain unveiled their Japan-exclusive cherry blossom beverages today, and this year the series is being called “SAKURA “Mankai” Moments – Full blooming all around you –“, with inspiration taken from the flowers in full bloom.

▼ “Mankai” means “full bloom” in Japanese, which is reflected in the new “Sakuraful” name used for the drinks.

The Sakuraful Milk Latte is said to represent the moment the petals from cherry blossoms in full bloom dance on the wind as they float down from the trees. The topping contains strawberry chocolate shavings which represent the fallen petals, while the drink itself has a creamy, rich milk base blended with strawberry and sakura for a full-bodied taste sensation.

The Sakuraful Frappuccino is said to represent sakura petals in full bloom reflected on the water’s surface. At the base of the drink we have a sakura-strawberry sauce, which, when blended with the milky base, resembles the reflection of a row of waterside cherry trees in full bloom. The drink also contains sakura jelly and strawberry jelly pieces, which provide an interesting textural sensation, and allow you to play around with creating different hues inside the beverage as you enjoy it.

The Sakuraful Frappuccino will be available in a tall size only, for 580 yen (US$5.28), from 15-27 February. The Sakuraful Latte will be sold in short through to Venti sizes for 440-560 yen, and will be available from 15 February to 19 March.

Source, images: Starbucks Japan