If you believe the yearly poll by Nikkan Spa! magazine, Dean Fujioka was the Sexiest Man of 2017. He's also a model, an actor, a musician, a DJ, a film director, and an influencer. Internationally, he gained fame for singing the opening song to the 2016 hit anime Yuri!!! on Ice, and those who enjoy film adaptations of manga and anime may remember him in his role as Roy Mustang in the 2017 live-action film adaptation of "Fullmetal Alchemist" and Junichi Katsuragi in last year's "Kids on the Slope."

Now, it looks like we can add "boba tea drink producer" to his long list of accolades...

Dean Fujioka oversees "Dean Tapioca"

To promote his latest EP "Shelly," which comes out on December 11th, the handsome 39-year-old teamed up with Taiwanese-style sweets and boba tea drink chain Taiwan Ten Cafe 台湾甜商店, which prides itself on making drinks with tapioca pearls made freshly on-premises, to supervise a pair of boba tea drinks thematically linked to the two songs in his EP. The two delicious and stylish drinks not only reflect Dean Fujioka's personality but small details such as the paper straws they are served with also reflect his concern for the environment.

"Dean Tapioca": Lovebird Milk Tea

Incorporating a harmonious blend of tea and coffee, the "Dean Tapioca" drink reflects its Chinese name 鴛鴦奶茶 which means "lovebird milk tea." (The characters 鴛鴦 designate Mandarin ducks, symbols of love and fidelity in China, Korea, and Japan).

Dean Fujioka had fond memories of the Lovebird Milk Tea which he enjoyed in Hong Kong (where it was called yūnyēung náaihchà or simply yūnyēung) in his younger days when he worked as a model, so he wanted to introduce this drink to his native Japan. According to Fujioka, the sophisticated taste combining milk tea and the pleasant bitterness of coffee perfectly matches the image of "Shelly," the goddess who can evoke happiness, anger, sadness, pleasure and all the other emotions which sway our fate. Taiwan Ten Cafe adds its signature to this drink with whipped cream topped with nut-crunch and chocolate sauce.

"Dean Tapioca": Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

Mystery surrounds this surprising boba tea drink, which uses the pH-sensitive color-changing butterfly pea flower tea to "magically" create a beautiful blue gradation when poured over a base of lemon soda blended with strawberry jelly. The drink aptly conveys the mysterious mood of Dean Fujioka's song "Searching for The Ghost," with "an alluring charm which draws you in, just like Dean Fujioka himself."

The two "Dean Tapioca" drinks will be available at Taiwan Ten Cafe locations in Japan between November 25th and December 25th, 2019. (Pricing unavailable at time of publication)

Dean Tapioca?

But we've yet to address the blue elephant in the room: Why the name "Dean Tapioca"? As it turns out, after Dean Fujioka jokingly said it when he appeared on a TV show as part of his promotion for the hit film "Kioku ni Gozaimasen" 記憶にございません (Hit Me Anyone One More Time), it went viral on social media. Then, at the urging of lead actor Kiichi Nakai, he introduced himself at a press event as "Dean Tapioca," which prompted director Koki Mitani to turn to him and say: "If they actually make such a drink, promise me you'll try it!" That's when Taiwan Ten Cafe stepped into the picture and the collaboration took shape.


If you buy a beverage at one of the Taiwan Ten Cafe locations during the promotion period, they'll affix a sticker on the cup or a put a custom-print seal over your drink with a promotional image from Dean Fujioka's new EP "Shelly."

Moreover, one lucky customer will be chosen by lottery to receive a special invitational pass allowing the bearer to get free drinks at Taiwan Ten Cafe for a month, from January 15th to February 14th, 2020! To apply, follow Taiwan Ten Cafe's official Instagram account, and simply post a photo with the tags #ディーンタピオカ and #Shelly between November 15th and December 15th. The winner will be informed in a direct message from Taiwan Ten Cafe's Instagram account.

Taiwan Ten Cafe

Taiwan Ten Cafe has the largest sweets and drinks menu of any boba tea specialty shop in Japan. Visit Taiwan Ten Cafe at any of its 6 locations in the Kanto area (3 in Tokyo, 2 in Yokohama and 1 in Chiba Prefecture), 9 locations in the Kansai area (5 in Osaka, 4 in Hyogo Prefecture), or locations in Kochi, Okayama, Toyama and Oita Prefectures.

Shop Links:

Dean Fujioka's new EP "Shelly"

Dean Fujioka "Shelly" special website

Streaming links:

By - Ben K.