Hanami flower-viewing for matcha lovers.

Starbucks is currently blossoming ahead of the sakura in Japan, with a duo of cherry blossom drinks added to the menu on 15 February. Inspired by the Japanese custom of hanami, or flower-viewing, these drinks were actually just the start of what the chain has in store for us this season, because now they’ve unveiled their second and final sakura release for the year — the Hanami Matcha Cream Frappuccino and the Hanami Blonde Latte.

Like the first duo of drinks, this latest release is a “Cheers to Sakura”, but this time, rather than being an all-pink affair, there’s a splash of green, thanks to the addition of matcha. According to Starbucks, the Hanami Matcha Cream Frappuccino is a beverage that “feels Japanese”, thanks to the subtle cherry blossom and white bean paste sauce that’s been added to a Matcha Cream Frappuccino base. On top is a mound of whipped cream and a scattering of sakura-flavoured fiantine (thinly baked crepe flakes), to represent falling cherry blossoms.

▼ The pink, green, and white hues provide a spring-like colour palette to make you feel like you’re at a hanami flower-viewing picnic.

The Hanami Blonde Latte adds cherry blossom and white bean paste sauce to a classic Starbucks latte made with a light and fragrant blonde espresso roast. Up top is the same scattering of sakura-flavoured fiantine to make you feel like you’re viewing the blossoms.

As always, these special drinks will only be on the menu for a limited time, while stocks last from 1-12 March. Starbucks Rewards members, however, will be able to order the drinks from 28 February, ahead of the general release, either by mobile order or by presenting the receipt barcode from the Starbucks Japan official app at the cash register.

The Hanami Matcha Cream Frappuccino will be sold in a Tall size only, priced at 668 yen (US$4.45) for takeout or 680 yen for dine-in customers. The Hanami Blonde Latte will be available either hot or iced, in Short through to Venti sizes from 530-671 yen.

Customers will be pleased to know that when these two new sakura drinks appear on the menu, the first two drinks of the season will still be available as well, which means we’ll have a total of four cherry blossom drinks to choose from until 12 March. Combined with the extensive range of sakura goods in stores, this is shaping up to be a very beautiful hanami season!

Source, images: Press release
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