Can’t let the sakura have all the springtime fun, right?
Starbucks may have the highest profile of any American coffeehouse in Japan, but it’s not the only java provider from the U.S. to set up shop here. Los Angeles-based chain The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf also has a handful of locations in the country, and it’s about to roll out two new beverages exclusive to Japan that combine the flavors of matcha green tea and strawberries.
This spring, we’ve been seeing sakura strawberry treats pop up here and there, including at Starbucks with the sakura strawberry Frappuccino, and we’re tempted to think the pink coloring associated with both ingredients is the reason it’s become a trendy pairing. Matcha and strawberries, though, are two things we haven’t seen together so often, and while one Kyoto confectioner was recently offering matcha chocolate-covered strawberries, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s new matcha strawberry latte is the first time we’ve come across such a combination in drink form.
Served hot, the matcha strawberry latte starts with a matcha tea base to which steamed skim milk and vanilla are added, giving it some creamy sweetness without turning it oily. It’s topped with whipped cream and strawberry sauce with bits of the fruit in it, plus crumbled graham crackers.
With the days becoming warmer as we get further into spring, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is also ready to whip up a chilled version of the beverage, the matcha strawberry ice blended drink.
The hot version is priced at 620 yen (US$5.50), while the ice blended variant is just slightly more at 670 yen. Both go on sale March 15 at all Japanese Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations, and will be available until mid-May.