Few things come and go as fleetingly as Japanese cherry blossoms, or sakura. These harbingers of spring blossom from Japan’s national tree, and, after a short week or two of gracing us with their beauty, they fall to make way for much less attractive green leaves.
Perhaps the love Japanese people have for gentei (limited offers) has roots in their love for this pretty pink flower. And one of the most loved gentei has got to be Starbucks’ sakura collection.
Each year, just before the real deal starts blooming, sakura-flavored drinks and sakura-plastered mugs and cups show up in Starbucks stores across Japan, often selling out within weeks (ah the cruelty of impermanence!). This year, Starbucks is going full force with a bigger, bloomier line of products, on sale from today.
Celebrate transience with Starbucks sakura-flavored drinks
Glowing up for 2019, Starbucks is coming out with not one but two sakura-flavored drinks this spring. The limited-edition frappuccino and latte are inspired by sakura in full bloom. Slap those two terms together and you get “Sakuraful” — the official moniker for these seasonal delights.
The Sakaraful (try saying that ten times in a row) Latte mixes creamy milk with strawberry and sakura flavors and is topped with strawberry chocolate shavings representing fallen petals. The Sakauraful Frappuccino has sakura-strawberry sauce at its base, which resembles cherry trees in full bloom when mixed. With sakura and strawberry jelly also in the drink, it’s sure to be an explosion of taste, color, and texture — albeit brief.
The Sakuraful Frappuccino will be available from February 15 to 27 and costs ¥580, only available in size Tall. The Sakuraful Milk Latte will be available from February 15 until March 19 2019, and costs ¥440-¥560 for sizes Tall to Venti.
Go extra and drink your Sakaruful Latte from a sakura-emblazoned mug
Also from today, Starbucks will begin to roll out its two sakura-themed drinkware collections, each with an alluring concept befitting the poetically fleeting nature of gentei.
The concept behind these two collections is based on sakura at two times of day: the first in the early morning, and the second in the afternoon. The first collection, represented by the Japanese kanji character 凛, meaning “cold” or “dignified,” features cool, blue-and-pink color themes with the concept of “sakura in the translucent light of early morning,” according to Starbucks’ press release published on Feb 7.
And just as afternoon follows morning, the second collection will follow the first and start on February 25. This collection is represented by the character 陽, meaning “sunlight,” and is decorated with warm, coral-pink blossoms representing the concept of “sakura in the warm sunlight of the afternoon.”
Both of these collections mainly feature drinkware, but there are also unprecedented additions to the product line this year. It seems that Starbucks is aiming to monopolize the entire aesthetic of “writer cuddling up in a blanket, sipping a warm Starbucks beverage™,” judging from their stationery sets, lap blankets, and an unnecessarily vast array of tumblers.
We haven’t seen such a massive and expansive sakura collection from Starbucks before. Is there really a demand for it? We’ll see once the products go on sale, depending on if they end up on Yahoo Auctions for two to three times the cost of the original products like they have in previous years!
Where to buy them and find out more
If you can’t wait to get to a store to claim your sakura-themed drinkware or other goods, you can get them at Starbucks’ online store. For detailed pricing info about this year’s sakura product line, check the official press release here.