Our Starbucks expert finds a hidden new green tea drink on the menu.

Starbucks Japan is usually pretty open about their new and seasonal drink offerings – especially when it’s cherry blossom season – but once in a while, they’ll sneak something into their menu without making a fuss about it.

Luckily, we have the seasoned eyes of our Japanese-language reporter and Starbucks lover K. Masami to scan the menu for anything new. It was those eyes that recently discovered a new Starbucks Japan and Teavana collaboration item: an Iced Matcha Tea Latte.

▼ There it is, subtly squeezed in above the Yuzu Citrus & Tea drink.

Until now, the only way to get an iced tea latte at Starbucks Japan was to order an Iced Chai Latte, or order a black iced tea with a shot of white mocha syrup and milk (another K. Masami pro tip). Now the Iced Matcha Tea Latte (starting at 440 yen, or US$4.02) is joining the family, but only from May 26 to August 31.

If you’ve ever made a matcha latte on your own before, you might have the same question as K. Masami had when she first read the name: “How do they dissolve the powder?” It takes a lot of skill and hot water to make a matcha latte not taste powdery. Clumps can take away from the whole matcha experience!

▼ Thankfully, no clumps that we can see here.

So as they made her drink, Masami watched the barista in action. While an iced chai latte just involves mixing the chai base and milk together in a Starbucks cup, the Iced Matcha Tea Latte included the extra step of mixing it in the Frappuccino blender.

▼ As you can see, the high-speed blending not only created a nice froth, but it also thoroughly combined the powder with the latte base.

Masami was pleasantly surprised to find that it tasted deliciously unique from the hot Matcha Tea Latte. The cold temperature made it taste more matcha-y than its warmer counterpart, yet it was less sweet as well. It had a smooth mouthfeel that was the perfect balance of bitter and sweet, and its aftertaste was refreshing.

▼ Overall, Masami could picture making this a daily go-to.

If you’re going to try the Iced Matcha Tea Latte before it (sadly) goes off the menu, she recommends getting a Tall size or larger. You’re going to want it, according to her, since it’s so refreshing to drink on especially warm days. Now if only they’d bring back the Chocolate Brownie Matcha Frappuccino as well…

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