We spill the tea on Starbucks’ new limited-edition beverages. 

As we head into the hot and humid days of summer, our Starbucks cravings are turning towards lighter, more refreshing beverages, and the green mermaid is answering the call with a new trio of summer teas.

On sale from 22 June, the summer teas range in price from 470 yen (US$3.44) for a small Yuzu Citrus and Tea and a small Strawberry and Youthberry Tea, and up to 610 yen for a Venti-sized Double Matcha Tea Latte.

All three beverages are said to be irresistible for tea lovers, but our Starbucks pro K. Masami only had enough room in her heart — and belly — for two of them, the Double Matcha Tea Latte and the Strawberry and Youth Berry Tea.

Starting with the matcha-flavoured beverage, Masami found it hard to look away from the beautiful swirls of creamy green created by the matcha liquid, which is poured over the icy milk just before it’s served.

It doesn’t take long for the matcha to permeate throughout the whole drink, transforming it into a lovely, bright, fresh green hue. Upon taking a sip, Masami realised they weren’t kidding about this being a double shot — the flavour of the powdered green tea was much stronger than anything she’d ever tried in a matcha-flavoured Starbucks drink before.

While it was strong, it was still delicious and well-balanced, creating a harmonious blend of flavours on the palate. This is definitely a delight for matcha lovers, but by the time she’d finished it, Masami was glad she hadn’t ordered all three teas, as the caffeine from the double matcha shot had already delivered a jolt of stimulation to her nervous system.

▼ Time to try the Youthberry.

Youthberry is a citrus white tea blend that’s filled with antioxidants but it contains less caffeine than green tea, which was good news for our already caffeinated Masami.

The Starbucks Youthberry tea blend contains white tea, pineapple, mango, hibiscus and apple, so it already packs a good punch of flavour on its own. However, this new summer beverage combines the Youthberry blend with strawberry, apple puree and quince juice, adding even more flavour to the mix.

Masami had previously tried the Youthberry blend on its own and always felt it was missing a flavour like strawberry to counteract its natural tartness. So she had high expectations for her first sip, and she’s happy to say she wasn’t disappointed.

“This is the flavour I’ve been waiting for!”

This bright beverage was perfectly balanced in its sweet-yet-tart flavour profile, and it was so easy to drink Masami felt as if she could order another one. She had to remind herself that it was already late in the afternoon and she did have to get back to work, so she slurped up the last of its fruity goodness and made a mental note of the end date for the drink’s limited-time appearance on the menu, which is 1 August.

Masami will definitely be back before then to get another taste of the Strawberry and Youthberry beverage, and perhaps she’ll be able to try out the Yuzu Citrus as well. Matcha lovers will be pleased to know that while these two drinks are only on the menu until August, the matcha tea will be available all the way up to 25 December, by which time we’ll be sipping on the Christmas Frappuccino, which is hopefully even better than last year’s American-inspired edition!

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