Three new drinks pay homage to sweet Japanese traditions. 

In Japan, the New Year’s holiday period is the most important event on the calendar, when people spend time with family and take part in customs that include eating traditional lucky foods.

One of the most popular foods eaten during the holidays is daifuku, a sticky rice cake that literally means “great luck“. Now the sweet is bringing a dash of good fortune to Starbucks Japan’s New Year’s Frappuccino, dubbed Hojicha Mochitto Milk.

“Mochitto” refers to the “mochi mochi” (“springy”) texture of daifuku, and because the sweet is traditionally consumed with a side of green tea, that’s the other ingredient in this star pairing. The green tea here is hojicha, a roasted green tea that’s said to go well with milk and cream, the other main ingredients, and there are two types used — a fragrant, lightly roasted stem hojicha and a Starbucks original deep roasted hojicha, developed specially for this beverage.

The Hojicha Mochitto Milk Frappuccino is said to have a chewy texture, thanks to the addition of gyuhi (soft mochi rice cake) pieces, with whipped cream and cream flavoured sauce to replicate the traditional sweet. To finish, it’s topped with whipped cream and a sprinkling of white chocolate powder.

According to Starbucks, the first mouthful will make you feel as if you’re biting into a daifuku, and as you drink it, the hojicha flavour becomes more pronounced, to give you the sensation of drinking tea with your daifuku.

Tea with sweets is one of those great relaxing moments in life, and Starbucks is encouraging us to enjoy this relaxing combination with two other tea-based drinks, the first of which is the hot Hojicha Mellow Caramel Tea Latte (pictured on the right in the image below).

This mellow tea latte combines Starbucks’ original deep roasted hojicha and the lightly roasted stem hojicha with milk, white mocha flavoured syrup and whipped cream for a soft sweetness. Topped with a bitter caramel sauce to provide a rich contrast, this latte allows you to enjoy the taste of two different roasted teas in one warming beverage.

The final new drink coming our way this month is the Strawberry Lavender Tea Latte, a gorgeous and rich tea latte that contains a combination of black tea and milk scented with strawberry, lavender and bergamot. The toppings are whipped cream, honey, and strawberry flavoured powder, with all the ingredients designed to impart a fragrant sweetness that will captivate you with every sip.

The Hojicha Mochitto Milk Frappuccino will be sold in a Tall size only, priced at 678 yen (US$4.73) for takeout or 690 yen for drink-in, while the hot Hojicha Mellow Caramel Tea Latte will be sold in Short through to Venti sizes from 540 to 680yen.

Both drinks will be on the menu while stocks last, from 26 December to 16 January, although the Strawberry Lavender Tea Latte will be around a while longer, from 26 December until 12 March, in Short through to Venti sizes, priced from 520-660 yen.

With three new Starbucks beverages to take us through to 2024, it’s already shaping up to be a very good year!

Source, images: Press release
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!