Food | Feb 14

Sip into Spring: Starbucks Unveils New Sakura-Inspired Brews

TOKYO, Feb 14 (News On Japan) - Starbucks Coffee Japan has announced the release of two new beverages, "Hanami Dango Frappuccino" and "Hanami Sakura Cream," available at Starbucks locations nationwide (with some exceptions) starting from Thursday, February 15, encapsulating the Japanese cherry blossom viewing experience.

This year's SAKURA series is themed "CHEERS to SAKURA." In anticipation of the cherry blossom season, where everyone enjoys toasting under the full bloom of sakura, Starbucks has crafted a lineup of beverages that reinterpret the Japanese cherry blossom viewing experience in their own unique style.

The "Hanami Dango Frappuccino" is a limited-edition beverage that, for the first time in Starbucks Coffee Japan, features tri-colored dango (rice dumplings). The body of the Frappuccino is a blend of soy milk, a white bean paste flavored sauce reminiscent of hanami dango, and a sakura strawberry sauce, creating a gentle Japanese-inspired sakura flavor. Topped with whipped cream and crispy sakura-flavored feuilletine, it evokes the image of falling cherry blossoms.

Upon taking a sip, the flavor of cherry blossoms is immediately evident. The strawberry element of the sakura strawberry sauce is subtle, merely highlighting the cherry blossom taste, which is the dominant note. The tri-colored pink, green, and white dango, developed with particular attention to the size of the grains, are used both at the bottom and as a topping of the Frappuccino. The chewy dango pairs perfectly with the sakura flavor, offering sweetness while the soy milk base ensures a clean aftertaste. Fans who eagerly await the annual springtime sakura beverages will surely be satisfied with this flavor.

As you drink, the volume of the beverage gradually decreases, allowing you to enjoy the texture of the dango that fall from the top or remain at the bottom at any point, which is another aspect of the product's thoughtful design.

The "Hanami Sakura Cream" is a hot beverage topped with whipped cream and sakura feuilletine, based on gently steamed milk blended with Spring Blossoming Flavor Syrup and Caramel Flavor Syrup, evoking the scent of various flowers blooming in spring.

The Spring Blossoming Flavor Syrup provides a pleasant and colorful fragrance, reminiscent not only of cherry blossoms but also of a variety of other flowers, while the warm steamed milk helps the aroma to bloom. This hot beverage, which enhances the atmosphere of a spring in full bloom, is recommended even for those who are not usually fond of sakura-flavored drinks.

In addition to the beverages, food items such as a chewy sakura donut are also being introduced. Moreover, the "Sakura AR" content, which has become a regular feature of spring and is now in its fifth year, allows customers to enjoy augmented reality (AR) experiences using their smartphone camera functions.

This year, the "Sakura AR" includes three types of AR content: "Full Bloom! Sakura Tree AR," which brings a cherry blossom tree into view when the camera is pointed at it; "Gift AR," which reveals cherry blossom designs and a Bearista when the camera is pointed at a special Starbucks card envelope; and "Dancing! Bearista AR," which allows users to customize the Bearista's outfit and make it dance a cute dance.

The "Dancing! Bearista AR" allows users to choose from a variety of shirt colors, hats, glasses, tumblers, and mugs to customize the Bearista's outfit. With approximately 920,000 possible combinations, users can create their favorite color coordination.

"Sakura AR" content is available for a limited time and can be enjoyed without the need to download any special app, using just the camera function of a smartphone.

The Hanami Dango Frappuccino® is available in Tall size only, priced at ¥678 for takeout and ¥690 for in-store consumption. The Hanami Sakura Cream (hot) is priced starting from ¥540 for a Short size to ¥668 for a Venti® for takeout, with a slightly higher price for in-store consumption.

These products will be available at Starbucks stores across Japan (excluding some locations) from February 15, 2024, to March 12, 2024, with the possibility of temporary shortages or early sales termination.

Source: modelpress


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