Spring Has Sprung
the Sakura Jasmine Soy Latte from Tokyo's Starbucks Reserve Roastery

I Tried The Sakura Menu At Tokyo’s Starbucks Reserve Roastery

It’s cherry blossom season in Japan.


No one leans into the vibes of spring quite like Starbucks in Japan. From Feb. 15 to May 9, the coffee giant serves up a bevy of pastel-colored drinks and snacks in honor of sakura season, the Japanese term for cherry blossoms, the country’s national flower.

If you’re a fan of the seasonal offerings at U.S. Starbucks locations, you’ll be thrilled to discover that Japan’s menu goes 10 times harder. During a recent trip to Tokyo, I got to tour the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and test some of the seasonal menu — and TBH, I wish I could have captured the cheerful aesthetic to bring back home with me. From pastries with pink sprinkles to cocktails with actual flowers in them, everything looked tailor-made for Instagram snaps or TikTok recap videos.

Heading to Japan soon and curious whether Starbs deserves a spot in your itinerary? Here’s what I got when I stopped by the Reserve Roastery earlier this month:

Sakura Jasmine Soy Latte & Matcha Affogato

The Roastery, which is located in Meguro City in central Tokyo, has four levels, each with a different theme. The Teavana drink selection is served on the third floor, and it’s curated to match the cherry blossom trees that bloom right outside the building.

Sarah Ellis

I ordered a Sakura Jasmine Soy Latte, made with jasmine tea, soy milk, and vanilla syrup. It tastes similar to a London Fog with a touch of sweetness from the pink sugar dusting.

I also had to try something with matcha, which Starbucks Japan grinds in-store and serves unsweetened, per cultural tradition. Rather than served as a sweet drink on its own, matcha is consumed in its pure, bitter form alongside a dessert — so the Matcha Affogato (a year-round but very springy-looking menu item) marries those ideas by putting the powder on top of vanilla ice cream, which freezes it to create a hard coating. This was definitely my favorite thing I got at the Roastery, and I plan on recreating it at home, albeit with much lower-quality matcha.

The sakura snack I ordered was similar to a shortbread, with pink crepe-like sprinkles that look like cherry blossom petals and a white candy shaving on top.

The rest of the sakura seasonal bev menu includes items like the Sakura Cream Latte, the Teavana Sakura Cream Soda, and the Snow Blossom.

Teavana Spritzer Allure & Sakura Cask Coffee

After touring the first level — which features the main drinks bar, merchandise selection, and an assortment of Italian food like burrata pizza — and the fourth level — a bright, sun-filled lounge and event space — I settled on the second level, where the cocktails are served.

Sarah Ellis

Alcoholic bevs are a special draw to the Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, which are located in New York, Seattle, Chicago, Shanghai, Milan, and Tokyo and each have their own menu of year-round signature cocktails and seasonal offerings.

One of Tokyo’s two spring drinks was in stock the day I came in: the Teavana Spritzer Sakura Allure, made with tea, gin, white wine, lime, bitters, simple syrup, and sparkling fermented tea, garnished with an edible flower and sakura leaf. It was so light and fruity that I didn’t feel like I was drinking a cocktail, which was probably for the best at 12 p.m. when I had a full afternoon planned (not to mention my jet lag).

The other spring cocktail was out of stock the day I came in, but it’s the Spring Blossoming Allure, made with tea, zubrowka (a type of vodka), simple syrup, bitters, sparkling wine, strawberry syrup, and rose liqueur.

I also got the Sakura Cask Coffee from the bar’s signature cocktail list. It’s on the year-round menu but made with sakura bitters for a subtle springtime flair. Served with a Starbucks-branded ice cube and a side of wagashi (Japanese gummies), it also has cold brew coffee, imo-shochu (a Japanese hard liquor), bitters, simple syrup, lime syrup, and grapefruit.

This second drink was way stronger than the spritzer — more like an espresso martini — but I liked that you could taste the tanginess of the grapefruit. This is definitely for someone who prefers a more bitter, spirit-forward cocktail, and it probably isn’t the best move for lunchtime... but at least the caffeine helped carry me through the afternoon.

The best way I can describe the sakura drinks’ common flavor profile is light and slightly floral, like fruity candy or springtime in a cup. Even if you’re someone who never deviates from their black coffee order, it’s worth visiting the Tokyo Starbucks Reserve Roastery for the aesthetics alone. Especially on a cold and rainy spring day, the vibes inside are an instant pick-me-up.