wp-image-772725137.jpg

Enjoy Starbucks Latte Mmm-oments (with a raffle!)

Before anything else, new seasonal lattes are here again! Hot or cold, these 2 lattes are sure to be enjoyable so I’m trying them next time I go to Starbucks.

French Vanilla Latte

The French Vanilla Latte is the first one I want to try because vanilla has always been a favorite flavor of mine. Just imagine the Espresso Roast complemented by steamed milk and creamy French Vanilla sauce with mild custard notes. The beverage is topped with whipped cream, vanilla bean specks and dark chocolate curls.

Dark Caramel Latte

The Dark Caramel Latte is espresso, steamed milk, and creamy dark caramel sauce topped with whipped cream and a custardy caramel flan drizzle.

And there’s more! How would you like a chance to win 30 days of Starbucks Mmm-oments?

How to join: Just purchase a pack of Starbucks VIA® Latte with your registered Starbucks Card and earn a chance to win a one month treat of your favorite handcrafted beverage. You have 3 flavor options:

Mechanics:

  • The Starbucks VIA® Latte Raffle Promo will run from October 15 to 31, 2014
  • To join the promo, customers must purchase any 4-pack Starbucks VIA® Latte using a registered Starbucks Card within the promo period
  • Every valid purchase of a 4-pack Starbucks VIA® Latte will automatically earn one (1) raffle entry. 
  • There is no limit to the number of raffle entries a customer can earn. 
  • There will be ten (10) winners in the raffle draw. Each winner will receive thirty (30) Tall beverage coupons applicable on any handcrafted beverage. 
  • Customers can only win once in the raffle draw. 
  • The raffle draw will be done electronically through a random generator program. The raffle draw will be held on November 3, 2014 in the Rustan Coffee Corporation’s Head Office in Makati City at 5pm. 
  • The winners will be notified through registered mail declaring him/her as a winner. Name of winners will be announced in the Starbucks Philippine Facebook fanpage at https://www.facebook.com/StarbucksPhilippines.
  • All employees of Rustan Coffee Corporation and Rustan Group of Companies including their relatives up to second degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining the promotion.

How winners claim prize:

Mega-Manila winners

Winners must visit Rustan Coffee Corporation (G/F Urban Bldg. 405 Sen.Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City) and look for Ms. Jamie Silva to claim their prize.

Provincial winners

Prizes of provincial winners will be sent through courier.

Important reminders for claiming

  • To claim the prize, the winner must present a valid ID and the verification letter. Claiming period is within 60 days from receipt of registered notice. 
  • Unclaimed Tall beverage coupons after the claiming period will be forfeited. 
  • Redemption period of Tall beverage coupon is valid in all Starbucks stores nationwide from November 4, 2014 to December 31, 2015. 

Per DTI-FTEB SPD Permit #3224, Series of 2014.

wp-image-772725137.jpg

Figaro’s Avalanche of Flavors

Figaro, the first Filipino coffee company, recently introduced us to an avalanche (yes, that many) flavors of iced coffee and cakes. These yummy beverages are available already in any of Figaro’s outlets.

Each of these iced coffee variants costs PhP 130 for the 16 oz. and PhP 150 for the 20 oz.

White Chocolate Mocha Frost

White chocolate mocha topped with whipped cream makes up this beverage. Creamy but not too sweet. Of the four variants I tried, this is the least sweet and actually a bit bland for my taste. Those watching their sugar intake may want to go for this one.

Choco Chip Java Frost

This was my preferred variant because I’m such a chocolate-y person and the chocolate flavoring plus the choco chips just got me. I like the experience of sipping the chocolate while crunching down on those choco chips.

Figaroccino Cookie Crumble

Here’s another fave of mine. Oreo cookies crumbled into bits and used as topping over the iced coffee.
Well, okay, maybe I like the Choco Chip variant more but I think my Oreo-loving kids will go for this one.

Figaroccino Caramel Chip Frost

Because of its caramel chips, this one is more on the sweet side for those with a really strong sweet tooth. Somehow, this tasted like the sweeter version of the White Chocolate Frost with the added caramel sprinkles on top.

Of course, it could not be complete without the dessert combinations.

Carrot Cake (PhP 105/slice)

The Carrot Cake is moist sponge cake with shredded carrots and almond bits mixed into it. Carrot cakes are always a favorite with me.

Orange Coffee Cake (PhP 105/slice)

The Orange Coffee Cake is a soft, sponge cake that has an orangey flavor to it. To add texture to it, Figaro added bittersweet, coffee-flavored crumbs. It’s quite a combination to taste that sweet/sour orange flavor followed by the coffee flavor alongside it. And yes, this one goes very well with a piping mug of hot coffee.

Lastly, we had a choice of chicken or fish for dinner. I went for the Crusted Dory Fillet in Creamy Pesto Sauce with Rice Pilaf and absolutely had no regrets! Not only was the dory fillet tasteful with that crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside texture but the pesto sauce and rice pilaf spelled H-E-A-L-T-H-Y. I loved the touch of mango and cucumber cubes on the side.

Crusted Dory Fillet in Creamy Pesto Sauce with Rice Pilaf (PhP 150)

wp-image-772725137.jpg

Barista for a Night with Starbucks Refreshers…and more

What happens when a blogger is turned into a barista for one night?

She is given a Starbucks cap, an apron and her very own barista badge, that’s what!

And that’s exactly what I got one Starbucks-y night when we were introduced to the latest Starbucks Refreshers as well as to eight (8) new food offerings.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s begin with the beverages.

Starbucks Refreshers

Starbucks is bringing in a new form of beverages. One is called Very Berry Hibiscus Starbucks Refreshers while the other is Cool Lime Starbucks Refreshers.

Very Berry Hibiscus Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
(Tall-PhP115, Grande-PhP125, Venti-PhP135)

Cool Lime Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
(Tall-PhP115, Grande-PhP125, Venti-PhP135)

At first, I thought: Oh they’re introducing juices now in the coffeeshop? But as it turns out, the Starbucks Refreshers are different from the juices in other cafes because this one is still made of COFFEE! You read that right.

Here’s how it’s done.

Green coffee beans

All coffee starts as a coffee cherry with a green coffee bean in the center. These beans are normally roasted to bring out the bold and distinctive coffee flavors. But in the case of Starbucks Refreshers, the caffeine natural found in 100% UNROASTED arabica coffee beans is extracted and made into a flavored beverage base that becomes the foundation of the Starbucks Refreshers

Flavored Beverage Base


And for the first time in Starbucks beverages, REAL FRUIT is combined. In the case of the Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers Beverage, whole blackberries are added while in Cool Lime Refreshers it is, of course, lime!

Instead of serving the beverages directly to us, the Starbucks team decided to make us baristas for a night and actually taught us how to prepare the Refreshers. Armed with my own Starbucks cap, pink apron (my favorite color!), and my very own barista badge, I was ready to make my own Cool Lime!

Take a measured portion of the lime flavored beverage base
Add a slice of fresh lime and some ice. Cover the tumbler. Then shake, shake, shake…

And voila! I made my own Cool Lime Refresher!

Refreshment Tumbler Promo

Here’s a way to get a complimentary Tall Starbucks Refreshers Beverage. Just purchase one of the 16-oz customizable Cold Cup Tumblers (with a flat lid and dome lid) and you get the beverage free. This promo is good till September 10, 2012 only.

New Starbucks Hot Lunch Sandwiches
Starbucks regularly puts out new food items. In fact, they just had a new batch of items a few months back. Sorry folks, those items are gone but there are now new ones that could become your favorites too. Here they are:

Starbucks Deli on French Bread (PhP 160)

A returning favorite, Starbucks Deli on French Bread consists of square ham, florentiner, mortadella, chicken ham, lyoner, meatloaf, beef pastrami, beef salami and emmenthal garnished with mustard, mayo, pickles and chopped onions all inside a soft French bread.

Falafel on Pita Bread (PhP 150)

Falafel on Pita Bread is a Middle Eastern staple street food. Inside the soft, chewy pita bread are crispy falafel patties, grilled sliced eggplant with hummus and yogurt sauce drizzled over it. Vegetarians, this is for you!

Creamy Egg Salad on Whole Wheat Granny Loaf (PhP 150)

I love creamy egg salad in itself or as a sandwich. In this version of Creamy Egg Salad on Whole Wheat Granny Loaf, bits of cheddar cheese, lettuce, dill and a bit of creamy cheese sauce are mixed together to produce this egg salad. Packed between whole-wheat bread, it makes for a very filling (and healthy) meal.

Classic Tuna Dill on Ciabatta Bread (PhP 160)
(Available in limited areas only)

The Classic Tuna Dill on Ciabatta Bread is only available in certain places: Baguio, Boracay, Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Iloilo and Naga. Inside the crusty Ciabatta Bread are tuna chunks mixed with chopped celery and carrots with tangy and sweet honey mustard dressing with a slight hint of dill. These are topped with hard-boiled eggs, slices of cheddar and emmenthal cheese. Too bad this is not available in Metro Manila!

Classic Tuna Dill Melt (PhP 160)
(NOT AVAILABLE in certain areas)

This is the alternative to those in areas where the classic Tuna Dill on Ciabatta Bread is not available. The Classic Tuna Dill Melt is the classic tuna dill salad with slices of hardboiled egg and creamy melted cheese on rye bread, topped with melted mozzarella cheese with a dash of Spanish paprika.

It’s Just Cheese! (PhP 155)
There are people who love cheese so much so here it is. It’s Just Cheese! is just that. All cheese. But it’s not just plain cheddar cheese. This grilled cheese sandwich is a mix of 9 kinds of cheeses: Gruyere, Emmenthal, Feta, Provolone, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Edam, Gouda and Monterey Jack. How much cheesier can a grilled cheese sandwich get?
Roasted Chicken Pesto and Shiitake Mushroom on Flat Bread (PhP 155)

The grilled flat bread looked like huge pieces of thick crackers (not good for me because I cannot bite down on hard crackers with my front teeth). So I am not sure if I prefer to eat it this way as it seems very crumbly to eat. I actually prefer soft bread or tortillas. But taste-wise, the combination of chicken breast fillet tossed with pesto mayo sauce plus the Shiitake mushroom topped with melted Emmenthal and cheddar cheese was just yummy. When you order this, have them serve it up warm.

Zesty Chicken with Bacon Caesar Dressing on Focaccia Bread (PhP 160)

Softly crisped focacia bread becomes the sandwich ends of the Zesty Chicken with Bacon Caesar Dressing on Focaccia Bread. Chicken breast fillet drizzled with a bacon caesar salad dressing and topped with parmesan cheese that has been shaved is what this is all about.

All these lunch sandwiches have been available since July 31.
Starbucks Food Items (Limited Period)
Also available since July 31 but only for a limited period of time are the following:
Rocky Road Cake (PhP 140/slice; PhP 1,495 whole)
It’s not an ice cream. It’s a cake! Rocky Road Cake still maintains that decadent chocolate flavor but this time, the chocolate pudding studded with roasted walnuts, soft marshmallows and chocolate chunks covered in dark chocolate ganache are found in between layers of sponge cakes. The final touch is marshmallows and walnuts on top, drizzled with chocolate. Personally, I prefer this cake version over the ice cream version.

Mocha Silvana (PhP 95)

If you’re a Silvana lover, Mocha Silvana delivers. I always had smaller portioned silvanas so seeing how huge this one was really blew me away. It’s got a mocha buttercream icing sandwiched between two crunchy and chewy meringue cookies. There’s a generous sprinkling of crushed roasted almonds and dark chocolate bits on top to completely cover the silvana. This yummy dessert is so large that for some like me, it’s “to-share”!

Wild Mushroom and Emmenthal Cheese on French Butter Croissant (PhP 120)

Vegetarians, heads-up once more because this is for you. And for anyone looking for something healthy. Wild Mushroom and Emmenthal Cheese on French Butter Croissant combines the meaty, flavorful texture of button, shiitake and portabello mushrooms on a layer of melted emmenthal cheese inside a soft, flaky butter croissant. This is going to be my croissant of choice when I go to Starbucks!

Seafood Po’ Boy Wrap (PhP 160)

Taken from a New Orleans favorite, Seafood Po’ Boy Wrap is fried fish and shrimps and sauteed vegetables drizzled with Cajun sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese, then wrapped in a tortilla. Tortilla wraps have come a long way from just Mexican innards, I think, with this one.

wp-image-772725137.jpg

Starbucks Happy Hour and Customizable Tumblers

The sign says it all HALF-PRICE FRAPPUCCINO BLENDED BEVERAGES. Yay! 
I was told that in some Starbucks branches last year when they had Happy Hour from 12noon to 2pm, lines would be snaking around way past the 2pm cutoff and people would sometimes get served past 3pm.  So this time, Starbucks decided to make Happy Hour from 2-6 pm every Monday from April 30 to May 28, 2012. (Tip: Get in line before 2pm’s cutoff and you will be able to avail of the promo even beyond the cutoff time)
Make your own However-You-Want-It-Frappuccino blended beverages. Decaf or not. Extra shot or two or three of coffee. Want your whipped cream regular, light or none at all? What about your milk – full cream, nonfat? Do you want your syrup flavored with vanilla, hazelnut, mocha or any of the others? And so many more options. I was told that it could go up to about 87,000 different beverage blends if you count the number of combinations you can make with all the available options. Whew!
Times like these, I’m glad the Starbucks branch near me is not near any large office buildings but rather near schools. And school’s out!!! Hopefully, no long lines!
Customizable Tumblers Too!
If you really want to enjoy your blended beverages plus have your order processed quickly, get any of their two new customizable 16-oz. tumblers. The tumblers come with an extra barrel body that you twist off. Mark the inner barrel’s boxes with your beverage preferences using a marker, reassemble, hand the tumbler to your barista, and watch him/her process your order without having to say a word!
Customizable tumblers
Left: Stainless Steel Tumbler (PhP 1,095)
Right – Cold Cup Tumbler (PhP 550)

The Cold Cup Tumbler taken apart
(see the boxes on left where you can write your choices for blended beverage)
Love Fernandez writes his favorite blended beverage options
on the Cold Cup Tumbler
The Stainless Steel Tumblers taken apart
(it comes with a free dry erase marker)
Love draws Whoppie Pie on tumbler
Starting Monday, April 30, enjoy your customized blended frappuccino beverage at half price between 2-6pm and drink it from your very own customizable tumbler. You’re protecting Mother Earth as well by using the tumbler again and again and again (just be sure to use erasable markers instead of the permanent ones).
wp-image-772725137.jpg

Seattle’s Best: Love in the Key of Teas and Cookies

When you hear the name Seattle’s Best, I bet you immediately think COFFEE, right? Guess what. They are doing something new for the first quarter of 2012. Can you guess?

You guessed it. They have a MILK TEA variant! But for a limited time only!

We got to taste both the hot and cold variants. At first, I thought I preferred the cold variant but the hot variant was also good, actually. Their milk tea is a blend of black and green tea infused with caramel for sweetness. The cold variant comes over-ice with red, chewy tapioca pearls.

The milk tea will only be available till early March 2012 so go and get yourself one already.

Cold variant 

Hot variant

For the season of hearts, Seattle’s Best is also offering 4 different heart cookies. Each one can be taken out in its own box if you are planning to give it as a gift to a special someone. There’s a chocolate flavored butter cookie while the three others are classic butter cookie. Each cookie is covered in fondant and has a different design. These cookies are available only until Feb. 21, 2012.

Catch these goodies at the nearest Seattle’s Best outlet near you.