Fruit, tea and coconut milk is a winning combination.
After bidding a fond farewell to Starbucks’ recent Christmas and sakura cherry blossom releases in Japan, today it was time to say hello to the global coffeehouse chain’s latest offering, a springtime treat designed to have our taste buds salivating with the fruity flavours of mango and mandarin.
On sale from 15 March, we were there when the doors opened on the debut day for the new Sunshine Mandarin Mango Tea Frappuccino (570 yen [US$5]) and its hot companion, the Sunshine Mandarin Mango Tea (430 yen-550 yen). Impressed by the simple, clean look of the white-and-orange toppings on both drinks, it turns out that this simplicity is actually a perfect complement to the refreshing tea-based flavours hidden within.
After stopping to admire the look of the drinks, the hot tea drew us in immediately, not only because it was a cold and dreary day, but because it captivated us with its deliciously fruity aromas.
The strong fragrance came courtesy of Starbucks’ popular Youthberry tea blend, which contains hints of apple, hibiscus, candied mango, red currants, candied pineapple, açaí fruit and rose hip peel.
The drink was immediately warming, with the tea base giving our taste buds a delightful jolt of fruit. The coconut milk cream topping mellowed out the tart flavours beautifully, while the saucy mango and mandarin-flavoured topping slowly melted into the hot liquid, adding even more of a fruity punch and giving a beautiful fresh aftertaste to the drink.
While the hot tea was smooth, fruity and refreshing, the cold Frappuccino, on the other hand, was creamy and filled with crunchy surprises, thanks to the roasted coconut pieces, which added a fun textural element to the drink.
The first sip took us to summer in the tropics, with the coconut-mango-mandarin blend singing out with tropical flavours, which were exquisitely balanced in every mouthful.
We fell in love with the creamy yet refreshing taste of the drink, but what we couldn’t get enough of was those crunchy coconut pieces, which were sprinkled on the delicious topping and distributed evenly throughout all of its base.
Being tea lovers, both these drinks were an absolute standout for us, and despite only being available for a limited time, from 15 March until 12 April, we’ll probably be back to enjoy them again at least one more time before they’re gone!
[ Read in Japanese ]