The new Japanese chai tea latte, purchased from a 7-Eleven convenience store in Fussa, Japan, on Dec. 28, 2023.

The new Japanese chai tea latte, purchased from a 7-Eleven convenience store in Fussa, Japan, on Dec. 28, 2023. (Kelly Agee/Stars and Stripes)

Starbucks Japan has an enviable corporate ability to market its seasonal products across more than one platform, including the ubiquitous convenience stores found throughout the country.

As an avid Starbucks drinker, I always enjoy Starbucks seasonal drinks in convenience stores because of the unique flavors and cup designs.

This year, the chain is selling a spicy, new, chilled seasonal drink in convenience stores in celebration of the new year, in the Chinese zodiac the Year of the Dragon.

The new drink, a Japanese chai latte, comes appropriately with a taste of fire. It’s a roasted green tea latte with cinnamon and Japanese pepper. The cup is designed with a red and yellow dragon for 2024.

I sampled one recently and discovered a pleasant, subtle spiciness that didn’t overpower the green tea flavor. The drink is 219 yen or $1.55 in convenience stores for a limited time only.

During 2023, the Year of the Rabbit, Starbucks outlets in Japan sold merchandise bearing rabbits, including mugs, tumblers, gift cards and plushies. Prepare now for dragon-clad merchandise to take their places on those shelves.

Starbucks Japan sells seasonal drinks throughout the year at convenience stores including 7-Eleven, Family Mart and Lawsons. Past drinks include a cherry blossom flavored latte for Sakura season, which is celebrated in March and April. That the drink was served in a cup covered with cherry blossoms. For Christmas, the coffee company served up a mocha Frappuccino with white chocolate in a red cup.

The latte is unique because instead of using black tea, which is normally in a chai latte, this seasonal specialty features green tea instead.


Location: Most convenience store chains in Japan

Price: 219 yen or $1.55

author picture
Kelly Agee is a reporter and photographer at Yokota Air Base, Japan, who has served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years. She is a Syracuse Military Photojournalism Program alumna and is working toward her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland Global Campus. Her previous Navy assignments have taken her to Greece, Okinawa, and aboard the USS Nimitz.

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