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Cafe de Crie chain celebrates its 10th anniversary in a big way.

With the weather heating up, it’s time for Chocolate Mint season to sweep through stores around Japan, where people just can’t get enough of the cooling sensation from this sweet combination.

One of the strongest choc mint products on the market is the Sorbege Premium Chocolate Mint over at Japanese cafe chain Cafe de Crie, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary. To mark the occasion, they’ve boosted the seasonal beverage with a whopping ten times the refreshment of mint, calling it their strongest ever.

But how strong is it really? To find out, our reporter Egawa Tasuku headed out to his local branch when the drink was released on 7 June.

▼ There are two Sorbege choc mint drinks on the menu — the regular, for 650 yen (US$4.65), and the premium, which has ten times more refreshment than usual, for 780 yen.

▼ Egawa also spotted a choc mint coffee jelly in the display case, so he ordered that too, alongside the premium drink.

The two mint items came to 1,260 yen in total, but prices may vary slightly, depending on the store location.

Egawa began the tasting with the item that was said to be the strongest — the Sorbege Premium Chocolate Mint.

It looked absolutely stunning in the cup, with the greenest of minty green ice creams perched beautifully atop a mass of blue-green liquid. This colour palette screams choc mint, and it made Egawa’s mouth water before even trying it.

▼ Taking a sip, Egawa anticipated an immense hit of mint would soon awaken his taste buds.

However, that huge hit of mint never arrived. Sure, it was minty, but it just didn’t feel ten times as minty fresh. Egawa is a diehard mint lover, though, so perhaps his expectations had risen too high after seeing the intense colours of the drink.

He’d definitely place it on the strong side of the mint choc spectrum, but it just didn’t hit the extreme end as he’d hoped. Still, it was an exquisite-tasting drink, and one that’ll appeal to a wide range of mint lovers.

▼ Next up is the coffee jelly.

Egawa had hoped the coffee jelly itself might have some mint hidden inside it, but alas, the mint component was reserved for the ice cream that accompanied it. Still, it looked fantastic, and it was like no other coffee jelly he’d ever had before.

The mint ice cream and coffee jelly were beautifully compatible, playing off each other’s sweetness and bitterness for a refreshing blend of flavours. The mint wasn’t strong here, but it wasn’t promoted to be, so he knew what he was getting with the dessert, and it was a mighty fine way to polish off his minty meal.

Both the drink and the coffee jelly had a classy flavour, displaying a more refined sweetness and balance than other chains known for their dessert drinks. While the mint drink may have fallen short of Egawa’s intense-mint expectations, its still a great-tasting beverage and one that’s definitely worth trying while it’s on the menu this summer.

Related: Cafe de Crie
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