Starbucks introduces two indulgent beverages this February 2017

The Heart Month of February will see two indulgent beverages from Starbucks, the return of the Starbucks Tribute Blend, and more.

Starting February 21, enjoy the flavors of the Tahitian Vanilla Macchiato and Valencia Orange Cocoa Cappuccino.

Tahitian Vanilla Macchiato offers a twist on the classic pairing of vanilla and coffee. Its floral aroma and mild sweetness pairs perfectly with the roasty coffee and complemented by a layer of velvety steamed milk. It is then topped with Starbucks signature espresso and finished with vanilla bean specks and vanilla drizzle in the classic double crosshatch pattern.

Tahitian Vanilla Macchiato
Tahitian Vanilla Macchiato (Short, PhP 155; Tall, PhP 165; Grande PhP 180; Venti, PhP 195)

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Starbucks 2017 kickstarters: new Starbucks cards, food, beverages, and more

2017 is starting out with a bang. The Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day are not far away. Starbucks kicks off  the year with its Starbucks 2017 kickstarters —  eye candy items like new Starbucks cards, merchandise, and delectable new food creations as well as beverages. Read till the end because there is a Valentine’s promo as well.

Starbucks Reserve Card

The very first Starbucks Reserve card to be offered in the Philippines is coming out on January 9 and will be available ONLY at Reserve stores for an initial load of just PhP 300. The card features the Starbucks Reserve logo and wordmark against a sleek black background. CLASSIC! And a sure collectible too!

Visit this link to see the list of Reserve stores:


Starbucks Reserve card

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Starbucks’ Autumn Dash of Adventure brings new beverages, food items and an awesome Starbucks Card

Autumn is a time of change as leaves start falling in preparation for winter and eventual rebirth in spring. This is also the time when Starbucks comes out with its autumn offerings and hold your breath because here are their adventurous offerings for beverages, food items and a really awesome Starbucks Card that you should collect.

The Starbucks Anniversary Collection

The very first Starbucks opened in 1971, 44 years ago. In celebration of its anniversary, Starbucks launched several items as an anniversary celebration.

Below is the Starbucks Anniversary Blend created in 1996 to commemorate Starbucks’ 25th anniversary. Paired nicely with it is the bronze and silver Starbucks tumbler.

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A new gustatory experience – Starbucks international coffee and food pairing

White wine with fish. Red wine with meats. That’s the standard way of pairing wine with food, right?

But recently, some of us sat down to a food tasting lunch paired with — Starbucks coffee blends!

The Starbucks team, combined with the Spanish restaurant Tapella put up a gastronomic menu interspersed with 4 different coffee blends.

Choosing the right coffee blend to go with a particular dish is very important, we learned. Most of us in the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia, according to Starbucks, are in the developing stage. Not everyone is well educated in coffee. We probably go to Starbucks, order our favorite beverage, then walk out without really paying that much attention to the blend or how it is prepared.  But that is a good thing, they say, because it leaves so many possibilities for us to be educated about coffee. And yet in emerging countries, like Europe, people know their coffee. They order a double shot of espresso, want their coffee black, and specify other add-ons to go with their favorite drink.

Let me digress first and tell you about the latest Starbucks coffee blend.

Creating the New Asian Blend

For the longest time, while some blends could be identified with certain regions (e.g., espresso is identified with Europe), there was no blend identified with Asia. This time, Starbucks launches the Asian Dolce Latte, strong and smooth, with an Asian twist. Double shots of the premium dark-roasted Starbucks Espresso Roast give the latte its distinct flavor complemented by a dolce sauce created just for this blend.

Tip when drinking Asian Dolce Latte: DO NOT STIR! Drink it as served and you will get a better coffee experience as you savor the flavor and texture of each of the layers of the latte.

Here’s something you should also know. If you are not happy with how your beverage is prepared, Starbucks will gladly prepare a new batch for you to get it right.

Making double shot espresso

Espresso in 3 layers

Did you know that there is actually a bad espresso shot? Yes!

A good espresso shot is poured by the espresso machine into glasses within a desired range of time and has 3 distinctive layers. The espresso must be poured into the beverage before these 3 layers dissolve and combine. If the layers are allowed to combine, drinking it leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth – a sign of a bad espresso shot. The people at Starbucks said that they always want a perfect espresso shot and will be willing to replace any beverage to ensure the espresso shot is perfect each time.

Both Asian Dolce Lattes are similarly made although the iced version comes with a generous heaping of espresso whipped cream and a dash of espresso dusting. The two variants will be available until May 14, 2013.

Now back to our gastronomic lunch paired with Starbucks coffee blends…..

Starbucks decided to do something different this time around by letting us try what a 5-course Spanish cuisine would taste like when paired with different Starbucks coffee blends. The Starbucks team actually sat down in the initial stages of planning for this event and tried different coffee blends with the Spanish dishes to find the perfect combination. They were looking at matching blends that would complement and not overpower the dishes being served. The result was this outstanding Spanish lunch…

Appetizers (or Tapas) paired with Tribute Blend

Starbucks’ Tribute blend is a spicy and full-bodied blend with berry and dark cherry notes. It is a returning blend and is a combination of beans from Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, Africa and Colombia.

Left: Bruchetta on Tomato Salad on Slice of Baguette topped with Goat Cheese and Herb
Right: Chorizo Spread on Slice of Baguette, topped with Manchego Cheese

Tomatoes found on the bruchetta went well with the berry and cherry flavors of the Tribute blend. In addition, the strong spicy taste of the chorizo spread was complemented by the full-bodied blend.

Soup and Salad paired with Asian Dolce Latte

Cold Tomato Soup topped with Vegetables (left) and
Grilled Mixed Peppers Tower of Salad (right)

The strong and sweetish Asian Dolce Latte complemented very well the soup and salad combo.

Main Course with Colombia Blend
The Colombia blend is a smooth, balanced coffee with a nutty flavor — just the right touch to go with either the fish or chicken dish which served as our main course. I naturally chose the fish dish which turned out to be a great choice because it came served with Paella!
Cod Fish cooked the Viscaina Way

Paella for Cod Fish with the other main course in background
(Moorish Chicken drizzled with Almond Sauce on Bed of Couscous)

Dessert and Espresso Shot
What better way to pair this yummy dessert duo but with a strong espresso shot made perfectly. The sweetness of the Creme Brulee and the Mille Crepe is mellowed by the strength of the espresso.

Europeans can have wine with their dishes. As for us Asians who drink coffee more than wine, we can stick with our coffee preferences knowing the right blends can go hand in hand with fine dining.


Asian Frappuccino Blended Beverages and more at Starbucks

In my last Starbucks event we were asked to guess what the upcoming Asian Frappuccino blended beverages would be. Many guesses later, it’s finally here — the Starbucks’ versions of the now popular milk teas in the country – Hojicha Tea Jelly Frappuccino and the Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino.

Hojicha Tea Jelly Frappuccino

Hojicha, a kind of Japanese roasted tea, is combined with Starbucks’ Tazo Earl Grey tea-infused jelly in the Hojicha Tea Jelly Frappuccino. You get to taste the nutty and toasty hojicha i addition to the earl grey jelly bits.

Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino

The Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino is a blend of whole kernels of red azuki beans and matcha. Matcha is one of the best green tea forms in Japan and is finely milled so that you get that matcha flavor together with the sweetness of the azuki beans.

Both frappuccinos go for PhP 155 (tall), PhP 165 (Grande) and PhP 175 (Venti).

And that’s not all. Starbucks introduces a line of new food items – their second new batch for 2012.

Green Tea and Berry Cheesecake (PhP 140)

Green Tea and Berry Cheesecake has blueberries sitting on a crispy walnut crust. It’s topped with white chocolate ganache curls. My cheesecake girl is sure to go for this first.

Purple Yam Cake with Macapuno and Red Bean (PhP 110)

The Purple Yam Cake with Macapuno and Red Bean sounds like a combination of Filipino desserts. You’ve got 3 layers of purple yam chiffon cake with macapuno strips and red bean mixed into it. Between the layers are purple yam buttercream icing with sprinkles as an added touch on top.

Beef and Mushroom Pie (PhP 95)

Pie lovers will go for the Beef and Mushroom Pie – beef strips, sliced mushrooms, carrots and fresh mashed potatoes inside a flaky, buttery pastry crust baked to a golden brown.

Bacon and Cheese on Italian Country Bread (PhP 150)

Bacon and Cheese on Italian Country Bread is for the open-faced sandwich lovers. It’s a cheesy mix of 6 cheeses: Gruyere, Emmenthal, Provolone, Mozzarella, Feta and Cheddar) mixed in with crispy bacon strips.

Chicken Parmigiana Wrap (PhP 150)

Chewy pita bread filled with chicken breast fillet, sliced eggplant and drizzled with Italian tomato sauce and grated cheese is what Chicken Parmigiana Wrap is all about.

Lastly, there’s a new roast blend out. The Three Region Blend combines beans from three coffee-growing regions: Latin America, Africa/Arabia and Asia Pacific. It’s herbal, lemon and current notes all in one.


Starbucks Christmas Offerings 2011 are spelled M-O-R-E

Watch out on November 3, 2011. Starbucks will be bringing to you their Christmas food, beverages and Christmas blends and I can say that it’s MORE and MORE this year.

This year, Starbucks is coming up with — guess how many?


That many.

I asked Celine Clemente, Starbucks’ person in charge of whipping up all the delicious food offerings – why 15? Celine said that they really wanted to give a wider array of food items spanning breads, wraps, cookies and dessert. Okay, I’m not complaining about that, hahaha…

So are you ready now for a mouth-watering trip? Here goes…


Pecan Butterscotch Twirl (Php 85)

Pecan Butterscotch Twirl is a light and flaky spiral roll stuffed with stuffed with cinnamon and creamy vanilla pastry cream filling. On top are sprinkles of roasted pecans drizzled with butterscotch sauce and white chocolate.

Hazelnut Stollen Bread (PhP 65/slice, PhP 595 whole)

Hazelnut Stollen Bread, as you can guess from the name, originates from Germany. It’s a German festival bread popular during Christmas but not only in Germany but throughout Europe. It is a sweet yeast bread with toasted hazelnut paste balanced with raisins on the insides.

S’mores (PhP 70)

S’mores are made of a buttery graham crust. When you bite into it, taste the gooey melted marshmallow cream and dark chocolate topped with chocolate ganache.

Triple Decker Cheesecake with Snickers
(PhP 130/slice, PhP 1250/whole)

The word “triple decker” to describe a cheesecake is enough to make me say “I want!”. The Triple Decker Cheesecake with Snickers is loaded with chunks of my favorite Snickers bar in a chocolate cookie crust topped with a chocolate fudge icing and roasted chopped peanuts.

Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
(PhP 110/slice, PhP 950 whole)

The Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is served warm from the oven. It’s your chocolate chip cookie baked into a cake then topped with thick chocolate mousse illed with mini chocolate chip cookies. When you take this in a Starbucks branch, they can put a dollop of whipped cream on top and drizzle it with their very own Starbucks caramel drizzle.

Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Roll (PhP 50)

The Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Roll is a crispy, crunchy outer crust with a slightly chewy and soft center. Sun-dried tomatoes and basil were added to this French roll as a flavorful twist. While Starbucks serves this with butter and jam, I prefer just putting butter on it because the jam overwhelms the bread’s taste too much. But again, that’s just me. Others prefer adding the sweet jam to it.

Chicken Alfredo Turnover (PhP 90)

A light, buttery and flaky crust is what you see with the Chicken Alfredo Turnover. It’s filled inside with moist and juicy chicken breast cubes marinated in Italian seasoning then sauteed in Alfredo sauce. This is best served warm.

Texas Chicken BBQ Wrap (PhP 140)

Strips of fried chicken breast fillet, tossed in barbecue sauce with Texas-style salsa, grated cheese and sour cream wrapped in soft, chewy tortilla is what Texas Chicken BBQ Wrap is all about. This is best served warm.

Glazed Ham with Apricot Spread on Multi-Grain Bread (PhP 140)

This was my favorite of the non-dessert offerings – Glazed Ham with Apricot Spread on Multi-Grain Bread. Slices of glazed ham and creamy mozzarella cheese with tangy and sweet apricot dressing is inside a crisp, crunchy and soft center multi-grain bread. Serve it up warm too.

Turkey & Chicken with Apple Stuffing on Whole Wheat Walnut Bread (PhP 140)

The whole name describes already what Turkey & Chicken with Apple Stuffing on Whole Wheat Walnut Bread is all about. Turkey and chicken breast make for a healthy stuffing and apple stuffing with cranberry spread add to its flavors. I loved this one too.

Chocolate Toffee Nut Loaf (PhP 55/slice, PhP 495 whole)

Chocolate Toffee Nut Loaf is a rich, moist and dense chocolate loaf frosted with chocolate icing and topped with crunchy toffee.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie (PhP 55)

The White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie is big, chunky, chewy and crunchy all rolled into one. It’s got chunky, white chocolate, fresh roasted walnuts and chopped dried cranberries.

Peppermint Brownie (PhP 75)

Fudgy, chewy, chocolate brownie and creamy smooth peppermint cream cheese filling topped with chocolate ganache – that’s Peppermint Brownie. To give it a Christmas-y look, it was finished with white, red and green chocolate drizzle.

 Gingerbread Cookie (PhP 55)

The children will love the snowman Gingerbread Cookie! This is great as a gift. Ginger, allspice and cinnamon combo makes this cookie smell good even before you bite into it.

Chocolate Molten Cake (PhP 120)

Moist, chocolate sponge cake filled with dark chocolate and caramel truffle – that’s the Chocolate Molten Cake. It’s served warm, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with Starbucks caramel sauce.

Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha

This is the new beverage offering this Christmas – Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha. Starbucks’ signature espresso is combined with freshly steamed milk and white chocolate then topped with whipped cream, a tart cranberry drizzle and crystallized cranberry sugar.

Peppermint Mocha

My favorite Peppermint Mocha is back! Warm espresso, steamed milk, bittersweet chocolate and peppermint make a yummy combination. Topped with whipped cream and red sugar sprinkles.

Toffee Nut Latte

Toffee Nut Latte seems to be a favorite among most of my friends. It has the rich, buttery taste of sweet toffee combined with toasted nuts, blended with smooth espresso and steamed milk. It’s likewise topped with whipped cream and toffee-flavored sprinkles.

Christmas Blend (PhP 500)

The Christmas Blend is a full-bodied coffee combining Latin American coffees with the mellow smoothness of Asia-Pacific coffees. Aged Sumatra beans give it its spicy notes.

Christmas Blend Espresso Roast (PhP 500)

This Christmas Blend Espresso Roast is made from Sumatra and aged Sumatra coffees combined with beans from the Bella Vista F. W. Estate in Tres Rios, Costa Rica. It’s roasted in Starbucks’ signature Espresso Roast to give it an intense flavor and spicy finish.

VIA Ready-Brew Christmas Blend (PhP 495)

Instant coffee in the Starbucks tradition is the VIA Ready-Brew Christmas Blend. No need to grind beans. This one comes straight out of the pack and into your coffee mug, ready to be mixed with hot water. 

On November 3, head out to your favorite Starbucks branch. I already know which ones I’d like to try first.

Which ones are you trying out first?