On February 3rd, Häagen-Dazs Japan got all pretty and floral when they released two new flavors to commemorate their 30th anniversary: Sakura (Cherry Blossom) and Rose. Floral flavors can be a bit hard for some people to wrap their heads around, and while sakura is quite common in the spring, rose is a bit of a stretch for some.
These 100mL tubs the size of my palm retails at ¥284 each (around $3). The verdict?
Both flavors are ice cream slathered with a jelly-like sauce at the top. When I first saw it, I thought it looked a bit like a sherbet. The sakura flavor is more on the fruity side. Raspberry sauce was marbled into the ice cream, making it taste like a combination of cherry and bubblegum. The cherry sauce on top is a bit sour. The sakura is overpowered by the fruitiness of the ice cream. Regardless, it was really delicious.
The plum sauce gave the rose tub a really gorgeous crimson. However, when I tasted it, I was overwhelmed by the flavor. It reminded me of shampoo and body wash. Since we often connect the smell of rose to thing like air fresheners and shampoo, it’s really hard to associate it with food after knowing it in those contexts for so long. Nonetheless, it was still good—but in a weird way.
The packaging is very pretty, with lots of pink and a light, pearlescent sheen making you feel slightly less bad about spending too much money on too little ice cream. It’s a luxury item, and it wants you to be well aware of that fact. It’s not all flash and shine though, as the ice cream really is a step above your average pint.
On February 25th, Starbucks Philippines released their spring collection. Of course, I was among the first ones in the stores when they opened. I was disappointed that not everything in the original collection is available here, as usual. I don’t know why they limit the designs, though, seeing that so many people buy them.
This is my haul. I bought 10 out of the 12 designs. As you can see, they have a lot of mugs this year.
This year, Korea had two Sakura product line releases. The first was on February 15th, which featured the products other Asian countries will be seeing/have seen. The second one came as a shock to me because they never had their own exclusive designs before. My feelings on Korea also releasing their own local Starbucks Sakura line is mixed. I am happy to have more products on the market, and just a tad bit mad that it could be really hard (and pricey!) to obtain them. Note that they also have the “Asian” release products. They’re so lucky! Anyway, here’s a look at their local line.
I prefer their tumbler designs over the ones in Japan and the rest of Asia. They also have muddlers and coasters. I wish we had these too!
I can’t provide actual pictures this time, since I can’t buy them. I have no connections there whatsoever.. which reminds me that I am looking for someone in Korea to tie-up with so that I can easily obtain these products and provide more information, or perhaps be business partners, or even for trading personally. Please reach me at email@example.com if you are interested!