We drink the blossoms designed to look like hanami in a cup.

With winter nearly over, people around Japan are finally getting a taste of spring, as big brands are now releasing their limited-edition sakura-themed products ahead of the cherry blossom viewing season.

One Japan-exclusive release we look forward to every year comes from Starbucks, and this year they’re enticing us with the beautiful Sakuraful Frappuccino and Latte, based around the theme of “mankai“, or blossoms in full bloom.

Our Japanese-language reporter Masami headed out to get her hands on the new beverages as soon as they were released, and when she laid eyes on the menu in-store she felt like spring had sprung, with its gorgeous pink hues and petal-filled images.

Masami ordered the two beverages and settled on a counter by the window to take in the beautiful cup designs.

She decided to start with the Sakuraful Milk Latte, which is available in Short through to Venti sizes for 440-560 yen (US$3.98-$5.07). Peeling off the lid of this one revealed a gorgeous sprinkling of dark and light pink chocolate flakes, which are designed to look like fallen petals.

The pale pink flakes were cherry-flavoured, while the darker ones were strawberry-flavoured, making for a lovely mix of bittersweet notes on the tongue. The heat of the creamy drink made this an incredibly aromatic and flavourful experience, with a pronounced hit of tasty sakura in every mouthful. 

Moving on to the Sakuraful Frappuccino (580 yen), Masami took a moment to admire its appearance, which is said to represent sakura petals in full bloom reflected on the water’s surface. At the base of the drink, the sakura-strawberry sauce is blended with a milky base to resemble the reflection of a row of waterside cherry trees in full bloom.

▼ Like the latte, the Frappuccino also has a sprinkling of pink chocolate petals on top.

Peering inside the base of the drink revealed a generous serving of jelly chunks, which are said to provide an exciting textural contrast to the otherwise smooth and creamy creation.

The sakura jelly and strawberry jelly pieces were absolutely delicious, and when combined with the rich milky base, they created the sensation of eating a sakura-mochi pounded rice sweet.

Masami could not get enough of the jelly surprises, which kept her slurping through the drink until it was completely empty.

According to Masami, both drinks are a fantastic way to ring in the spring cherry blossom season. Pretty, tasty, and fun to drink, the only downside to these is that they’re only available for a limited time.

The Sakuraful Frappuccino will be on sale until 27 February, while the Sakuraful Latte will be on sale until 19 March, which is a few days before the actual blossoms are expected to bloom in Tokyo.

Photos © SoraNews24  
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