Warm up with Starbucks Japan’s new cherry blossom seasonal drinks starting Feb. 15

Photos by Starbucks Japan
Photos by Starbucks Japan

Warm up with Starbucks Japan’s new cherry blossom seasonal drinks starting Feb. 15

by Denisse Rauda
Stripes Japan

These frigid temperatures may have you thinking that spring isn’t really around the corner. Good news, it is! And, Starbucks Japan is helping you think happy, warm thoughts with its new cherry blossom seasonal offerings starting Feb. 15 through March 14.

Cherry blossom season is one of the highly-anticipated times of the year and so are the coffee chain’s sakura-themed goods, drinks and desserts. This year, Starbucks Japan is taking the experience a step further with the addition of Augmented Reality (AR) to animate their drinks using customers’ cellphones.

To use the VR feature, simply scan the QR code found on the in-store poster with your smartphone and it will open the Sakura AR content. Take pics of yourself, your drink and desserts with animated cherry blossoms and a Starbucks Bearista teddy bear.

Beyond the augmented reality, Starbucks Japan is rolling out some real drinks to mark the occasion. Get your hands on a Sakura Saku Frappuccino or the Sakura Soy Latte. According to the coffee conglomerate’s website, your heart will “bounce” with the Frappucino’s ingredients, including a cherry blossom-flavored jelly mixed with cherry blossom petals at the bottom of the layered drink, strawberry blended ice, and a whip cream topping sprinkled with strawberry macaron pieces.

The drink is only available in tall size (starting at 6.90 yen or $6.25), so it might not be as much of a sugar rush as it sounds. The Sakura Saku Frappuccino embodies the colors of the upcoming season and will definitely make your friends outside of Japan pink with envy.

For something a little more subtle, the Sakura Soy Latte, is a hot drink available in tall, grande and venti (starting at 540 yen or $5.10). According to Starbucks Japan, this drink is inspired by cherry blossoms in full bloom and pairs steamed soy milk with sakura strawberry sauce, then topped with “Sakura Strawberry Shave,” which looks like pink-hued white chocolate shavings and “Pink Silver Sugar.”

If the looming sugar high isn’t of concern, then add on one of the cherry blossom-themed pastries to go along with your drink. The coffee giant will add a sakura donut, sakura matcha donut and sakura chiffon cake to its lineup. Sakura and matcha powdered sugar cookie balls will also go on sale in prepackaged cans in the retail display section.

Another coveted Starbucks Japan cherry blossom season release is drinkware. The company has yet to announce what this year’s tumblers, mugs and other sakura-themed items will be, but will launch them during a live stream on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. Japan time.

Like cherry blossom season, the seasonal drinks at Starbucks are only available for a limited time. So, hurry in if you want a taste of spring in your cup and AR blossoms on your phone.

Taste the sakura

Period: Feb. 15 through March 14

More info at Starbucks Japan’s website

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