In the spring of every year, all of the Starbucks stores in Japan start selling sakura (cherry blossom) flavoured beverages and food. These beverages have been sold every year since 2001 to coincide with the cherry blossoms blooming in the spring. This tradition is the company’s way of incorporating traditional Japanese culture into their products. The sakura flavoured drinks are only available in Japan in the springtime and not in any other country in the world.
These sakura lattes and Frappuccinos both come in cups decorated with sakura flowers. The non-coffee latte is topped with sakura flavoured caramel sauce and white chocolate shavings. The drink itself is sakura flavoured white hot chocolate. The Frappuccino is also topped with sakura flavoured caramel sauce and white chocolate shavings and the drink is a sakura flavoured chocolate Frappuccino.
The Sakura Chiffon Cake is made with actual sakura flowers and leaves. The cake is topped with whipped cream and a sakura flower.
The drinking utensils sold in the SAKURA line this year were separated into two parts to represent how the cherry blossoms go from being small saplings to fully fledged flowers. The products show the two different sides of the cherry blossom.
The first part of the SAKURA product line from Starbucks was the freshly bloomed sakura theme. With soft pinks and yellows, the tumblers and mug cups were designed to represent the newly bloomed sakura flowers with an overall gentle image.
The second part of the SAKURA products was the fully bloomed sakura theme. With bolder colours and stronger brush strokes, the tumblers sold in part 2 represent the beautiful and powerful cherry blossoms that are in full bloom.
Cherry blossoms are a large part of traditional Japanese culture not only for their natural beauty but for their flavour. It is only natural that one of the most popular coffee shops in Japan has sakura flavoured products. The SAKURA series from Starbucks can only be found at Starbucks in Japan so if you have the chance to visit Japan in the spring, I highly suggest dropping by a Starbucks and trying out the products for yourself!