Afternoon tea at Starbucks comes with a surprisingly high price tag.

As soon as we heard that Starbucks was now offering an afternoon tea set, we knew there was one thing we had to do before heading out to try it. We picked up the phone, called the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo, the only place in Japan where it was being offered, and asked the staff how many minutes it took for them to sell out every day. They replied:

“On the first day, we sold out in 60 minutes.”

With that information on hand, we knew that in order to be able to try the new set for ourselves we’d have to line up right at the time it became available, if not a little beforehand, to ensure we didn’t make a wasted trip out to the Reserve Roastery.

The afternoon tea set made its debut on the menu on 7 July and is only available from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and only in limited quantities. We set out on 8 July with plenty of time to head to the Teavana section of the Roastery by 1:00 p.m., but when we got there just before sale time, there was already a queue of people waiting to get a seat.

Starbucks truly has some diehard fans in Tokyo, because this afternoon tea isn’t cheap — it’s priced at 4,620 yen (US$42) per person.

Thankfully, we weren’t the only people feasting on afternoon tea for one, because once we were seated, we saw a number of other singles indulging in the experience. And as soon as staff brought our set out to us, we were glad we’d ordered it because, well, look how beautiful it is!

The set comes with a pot of tea — there are threes type of black teas and one type of Japanese tea to choose from — and the one we chose was the Strawberry Mint Oolong.

▼ The hue was gorgeous and the flavour was fruity and refreshing.

The afternoon tea goes by the name “Roastery Pasticcini Flight“, with the Italian word “pasticcini” meaning “small sweets”. While the tea is provided by Teavana, the Roastery’s tea specialist section, the pasticcini is made up of colourful cakes and baked goods from the Roastery’s Princi bakery.

▼ The two-tier tray of sweets was a masterpiece to look at.

The tea set contains the following bite-sized delights (pictured from left-to-right on the top tray in the photo below): Chestnut Cream Puff, Berry and Pistachio Mousse Cake, Dark Chocolate Biscuit, Lemon Meringue

…and on the bottom tray: Rum Raisin Loaf Cake, Vanilla Biscuit, Cheesecake, and Butter Cream and Caramel Pastry.

▼ One of the highlights for us was the chocolate biscuit, which was impeccably made and absolutely decadent on the taste buds.

Every morsel was delicious, and the set also comes with three types of savoury bites: a Polenta Scone with Italian Honey Mascarpone Cream, a Sweet Potato Scone with Seven Spice and Bottarga (salted, cured fish roe) Mascarpone Cream, and a Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese Caprese Sandwich.

Despite being classified as savoury, the scones were still on the sweet side, so the only truly savoury item on the menu was the Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese Caprese Sandwich, which was tasty and delightfully salty.

After polishing off the Roastery Pasticcini Flight, we understood why the afternoon tea set was so popular. It was a wonderful feast for the senses, and it allowed us to feel as if we’d been transported to Italy for the afternoon. Plus, the quality of everything we consumed was far higher than anything you’d usually get at a regular Starbucks, making this a very special treat for Starbucks fans.

The Roastery Pasticcini Flight won’t be on the menu forever, though, as it’s only been released to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Starbucks’ first arrival in Japan. Other festivities to celebrate the milestone anniversary include exclusive Roastery beverages and the release of 47 Frappuccinos around Japan, one exclusive to each prefecture, so there’s still plenty more options to explore on the menu!

Cafe information
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo / スターバックス リザーブ ロースタリー東京
Address: Tokyo-to, Meguro-ku, Aobadai 2-19-23
Open 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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