Japanese cherry blossoms give this pink drink a very distinct flavour.

Now that Valentine’s Day is done and dusted, it’s time to turn our attention to the next big event on the Japanese calendar — the opening of the cherry blossoms.

It’s an event that Starbucks heralds every year by adding a limited-time Frappuccino and latte to the menu, and this time, they’re kicking things off with the Sakura Saku Saku Frappuccino and the Sakura Soy Latte.

The Sakura Saku Saku Frappuccino is a play on the words “saku“, meaning “to blossom“, and “saku saku” meaning “crispy“. This crispy texture starts with the strawberry-flavoured macaron pieces scattered on top, which are designed to look like cherry blossom petals.

▼ At the bottom of the drink is a mound of sakura jelly, which contains actual cherry blossom petals.

The main body of the drink is a blend of sakura strawberry sauce, milk, and sakura-flavoured pearl sugar.

The drink really gets you in the mood for the upcoming hanami flower-viewing season, as the pink hues are reminiscent of the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. This hanami party gets even better with the first sip, and every sip thereafter, as the smooth jelly pieces jump out to surprise the palate while the distinct, aromatic taste of sakura spreads softly over the tongue.

The macarons add to the fanfare, making their presence felt with an occasional and much-welcome crunch. The textural accent is just right for the rich blend of milky sakura notes, which are subtle enough to not overwhelm the strawberry components.

As for the latte, this too is spot-on, hitting all the right notes with the hot soy milk complementing the sweet yet slightly tart sakura strawberry sauce.

▼ It looks fantastic too, with its sakura strawberry chocolate shavings and scattering of pink silver sugar.

Our taste-tester K. Masami loved both these drinks, saying they made her feel like spring was truly now on the horizon. She also loved the colourful food items on the menu too, some of which are sakura-related, and some of which aren’t, but they still looked beautiful.

▼ Masami’s beloved prosciutto ham salad wrap has made a comeback so this was a happy day indeed.

An added perk for customers is the chance to play with sakura in augmented reality, which is being offered for free as part of Starbucks’ sakura promotion.

The new drinks will be on the menu from February 15 until 14 March, or until stocks last. And don’t forget to check out the new range of sakura goods available during this time as well, both at regular branches of Starbucks and at the more upmarket Reserve stores, which are slightly more fancy but adorable all the same!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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