It all looks blooming delicious!

It’s that time of year again, when the days gradually get longer and the buds begin to form on the trees, reminding us that sakura season is just around the corner. And that means it’s time for Starbucks to unveil its first cherry blossom drinks for the season, which this year are…

▼…the Sakura Saku Saku Frappuccino and the Sakura Soy Latte!

As the above image shows, it’s not just the drinks that are blooming this year, as customers will be able to enjoy a side of augmented reality with their beverages.

▼ Simply scan the QR code on your receipt and when you point your camera above a flat surface or the in-store poster, a Bearista bear will appear, amidst a burst of blossoms.

So what’s in this year’s first round of sakura drinks? Well, the Sakura Saku Saku Frappuccino is a play on words that draws upon “saku“, meaning “to blossom“, and “saku saku” meaning “crispy“. This texture is a central feature of the drink, with crispy strawberry-flavoured macaron pieces scattered on top to replicate the crisp new cherry blossom petals.

Sitting at the bottom of the Frappuccino is a beautiful pink mound of sakura jelly, which has been mixed with cherry blossom petals. When stirred into the body of the drink, which is made with sakura-flavored pearl sugar and a strawberry-flavoured Frappuccino, every mouthful will “make your heart bounce” with joy.

▼ The Frappuccino is priced at 678 yen (US$5.17) for takeout, while the latte is available in all sizes, from 540 yen.

The Sakura Soy Latte contains steamed soy milk, which is poured into a sakura strawberry sauce inside every cup. Topped with sakura strawberry chocolate shavings and a dusting of pink sugar, this hot beverage is inspired by cherry blossoms in full bloom to help you look forward to the arrival of spring.

That’s not the only thing we have to look forward to, as the chain has also unveiled this year’s range of sweet sakura treats. Pictured below, clockwise from top, we have:

▼ Sakura Chiffon Cake (432 yen), Sakura Doughnut (270 yen), Sakura and Matcha Doughnut (285 yen), and a tin of sakura and matcha cookies (2,100 yen)

It’s nice to see the actual flavour of sakura playing a big part in this year’s cherry blossom collection, given that it’s been overtaken by berries and cherries in past releases.

The entire range will be available until 14 March, with sales starting on 15 February, the day after we say sayonara to the chain’s chocolatey Valentine’s Day Frappuccino.

Source, images: Starbucks Japan
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