Next week Starbucks Japan are launching a new project called Japan Wonder Project which will explore traditional Japanese flavours and tell the stories behind them.

There’s no doubt that Starbucks Japan understand how much clout they have with tourists seeking out the fabled cherry blossom and matcha Frappucinos, but this project aims to help young Japanese people also rediscover traditional Japanese flavours and aesthetics. It will take the form of goods and food as well as beverages.

The first offering will be a ‘Kaga Bo Hojicha Frappucino’.

Hojicha is a type of Japanese green tea, the leaves are roasted over charcoal turning the colour from green to a reddish brown. The process of roasting green tea leaves was first performed in Kyoto and the tea still enjoys great popularity today all around Japan. Specifically the tea used for this Frappucino, kaga bo hojicha is made from roasting the stems rather than the leaves.

Rather than go for an already popular green tea like matcha, Starbucks wanted to showcase Japan’s various delicacies and the rich stories behind them that the world have yet to take note of, and that even some Japanese people won’t know about.

In the case of kaga bo hojicha, it was first drank during Meiji era year 35 (1902), when tea was too expensive for common people to drink. They devised a way to drink tea made from the stems of the tea plant that were discarded and it became very popular, loved for its light flavour.

Starbucks add their own twist on this traditional delicacy for the Frappucino, incorporating white chocolate cream and jelly made from the kaga bo hojicha.

The promotional Instagram post for the drink makes some not so subtle references to Japanese culture.

The drink will be available from 30th May. To keep an eye on how the project develops you can follow the official Japan Wonder Project Instagram.

By - Jess.