Anime Vice News

Sakura Drinks at Starbucks

Celebrating Spring in Japan...

It may be a long time before you ever see sakura-flavored drinks in an American Starbucks, but the coffee conglomerate’s Japanese branch is rolling out a whole line of sakura-themed drinks, cups and accessories in celebration of spring.

 I don't think it's possible to add any more pink to this set...
 I don't think it's possible to add any more pink to this set...

 Almost looks like red velvet...
 Almost looks like red velvet...

Flowers from the white/pink cherry tree will be available in two new drinks,  the Sakura Steamer and the Sakura Cream Frappuccino, until March.   The former is “a hot sweet sakura-flavoured milk shake topped with foamed milk and freeze-dried sakura petals” and the later contains “sakura powder and sweet red bean powder blended with milk, ice and whipped cream, topped with flakes of sakura-flavoured chocolate.”   There will also be pink sakura biscotti, meringue, macaroons and coffee cakes ( check them out at Gigazine) but, alas, no sakura waffles.

I lived in Singapore for 10 years and it’s been about six years since I’ve been to Asia, but I have strong memories of American food franchise’s Asian-specific promotions.   The image of Ronald McDonald handing out Ang Pao's for the Lunar New Year will never cease to give me a chuckle.   
 
Also, I remember the time my third grade teacher let us do a taste test of various Asian drinks. There were soft drinks from Hong Kong (which was still  had allegiance to England at the time) and China, but the Japanese drinks stuck out to me the most as being especially unusual to a Westerner’s taste buds. There were flavors like “water of chestnut” and a drink basically like carbonated beef broth.  Obviously, sakura’s going to be much tastier option, but news like this reminds me of the diversity of ingredients in Japan.

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics.   Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.

giaon Feb. 15, 2010 at 2:25 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: Someone just posted this tangentially related item on Twitter from Koreatown in New York:
 

It all looks soooo delicious.
Krison Feb. 15, 2010 at 3:37 p.m.
What, exactly, do sakura petals taste like?  That's so strange to me; people eating/drinking flowers.....  There's a confectionery practice of coating rose petals with sugar for pastry decorations.  And I was reviewing some manga recently where they were mixing a martini, and put a pickled (didn't know you could pickle a petal) sakura petal into the olive.  
I know it's just a plant, and we eat leaves all the time in salad....  But for it to be a flavoring element.....  Anybody know what "sakura flavor" tastes like?
constanzadellarosaon Feb. 15, 2010 at 5:59 p.m.
I have tried food with rose petals (rose petal jam), and other flowers are edible too, like certain kinds of daisies and of course artichokes. I'm quite sure sakura petals taste sweet but a little bit acid (thoughthey smell sweet), like rose petals taste.
 This is a very gourmet subject, by the way.
John_Martoneon Feb. 16, 2010 at 1:03 p.m.
@Kris:@
Speaking as someone who has "special taste buds" (lacking smell) I can say that this sounds awesome. Flavor, in these instances, are very much a mental perception. If something looks or sounds particularly awesome, I'm probably likely to mentally embellish on its flavor.
 
They made a point of saying that the the milkshake would be a hot, sweet flavor, so maybe its a sweet'ish leaf?

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