A hanami cherry blossom viewing like no other.

Spring has finally arrived in Japan, which means the annual blossoming of the sakura trees isn’t far away, and here to help us celebrate is Starbucks, with its second and final sakura release for the 2024 hanami season.

There are two new cherry blossom drinks in this release, the Hanami Matcha Cream Frappuccino and the Hanami Blonde Latte, and they’re joining the first two drinks, the Hanami Dango Frappuccino and the Hanami Sakura Cream, which were released on 15 February.

▼ That means there are now four sakura drinks to choose from on the menu.

The latest release was added to the menu on 1 March, and our Starbucks expert K. Masami was on the scene to try both drinks as soon as they became available. However, seeing as the new Frappuccino uses a Matcha Frappuccino base, and contains the same blend of sakura sauce as the first set of drinks, she could imagine what it might taste like, having tried both these things previously.

So she asked staff to recommend a good Frappuccino customisation to add some extra interest, and they told her:

“Omit the vanilla syrup, add more matcha powder for free, and add a hanami dango topping, which is only available for a limited time now, for 110 yen (US$0.73).”

▼ So that’s what she did, while adding her preferred soy milk to both the Hanami Blonde Latte (“花見ブロンドラテ”) and the Hanami Matcha Cream Frappuccino (“花見抹茶クリームフラペチーノ”) for an extra 50 yen, plus tax.

When she received her Frappuccino, it had what she describes as “an improved sense of luxury” compared to the first set of drinks, largely due to the beautiful contrast between dark green and pink that reminded her of a cherry blossom tree.

▼ The pink flakes of sakura-flavoured fiantine (thin crepe) on top are designed to look like fallen petals.

Taking a big sip of the drink, Masami likened it to a Haagen-Dazs matcha ice cream, due to the extra shot of matcha, which gave it an intense and luxurious green tea flavour. It was absolutely divine, and a perfect partner for the slightly sweet cherry blossom sauce, which was hiding out at the bottom of the drink.

The hanami dango pieces, which were the star of the show in the first sakura Frappuccino released in February, did a great job here as well, providing a chewy texture that was irresistible.

▼ The texture makes it feel feel like you’re eating a matcha-flavoured dango sweet.

It’s amazing that these hanami dango pieces can be added to any drink on the menu while the sakura Frappuccinos are being sold until 12 March, and Masami highly recommends trying them while you can.

▼ For Masami, the combination in this drink was better than the first, and the Blonde Latte was equally delicious.

Regardless of which sakura drink you order, you won’t be disappointed, as Masami has thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. And don’t forget you can enjoy them in a sakura mug with a cherry blossom doughnut on the side too!

Photos ©SoraNews24 
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