Dear fellow tasters,
It’s almost the end of the year. That means it’s that time of the year again. When Christmas trees are put up, the festivity is felt in the air, and of course when Starbucks Christmas beverages are back for another year. Who doesn’t love toffee nut latte or peppermint mocha? And this year there’s a new drink introduced, the cranberry white chocolate mocha. Drooling as I might be, I hadn’t had a chance to try it until one day an email came to my inbox with an invitation for Starbucks Holiday Gathering 2011, of course with a chance to try the new espresso beverage and other holiday delicacies.
The newly opened Starbucks Tomang outlet was the choice of place for the gathering two weeks ago, not really a traffic-friendly place for a Wednesday after-work hours, nevertheless it did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for the event. Several food bloggers were already enjoying some pastry and drinks when I arrived. I was greeted by the perky Miss Corry Tjong who’s in charge of Starbucks PR and Communication, and offered a choice of toffee nut latte or peppermint mocha for opening drink. I chose the minty bittersweet chocolaty peppermint mocha frappuccino, of course, one of my favorite Starbucks coffee beverage.
The gathering commenced with a special coffee tasting, for us to smell and taste the new Starbucks Christmas Blend Espresso Roast, then pair it with a holiday food. The blend is a combination of the traditional Starbucks Christmas Blend and Starbucks signature Espresso Roast using aged Sumatra and Costa Rica coffee beans to give that full-bodied, intense, spicy yet sweet and caramelly flavor. The food pairing was with the delicious cranberry scone, a new holiday scone variant with sweet cranberry, walnut and white chocolate coating.
Other holiday food for Christmas 2011 was then presented and tasted at the second part of the gathering. I loved all of them and they are as following:
- Holiday Beef and Egg Bagel – The only savory item in the line up, this onion and cheese soft bagel was definitely a winner. Sandwiched in the bagel were delicious filling of smoked beef, herby scrambled egg, mayonaisse, lettuce, cheese and caramelized onion. Super tasty!
- Raspberry Temptation – The best sweet item from the holiday food for me, the temptation is made of layers of moist vanilla sponge cake, tangy raspberry jelly, cheese butter cream, and raspberry jam topped with white chocolate drizzle. Sure to bring a sugary smile to your face.
- Blueberry Cream Cheese Cake – It’s cheese cake and it’s blueberry, deadly combination. Quite delicious if you have a sweet tooth, the sweet butter cake is filled with cream cheese mousse and blueberry, with whipped blueberry cream and sweet sour blueberry sauce on top.
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake – the twin sister of the blueberry one, but with strawberry instead.
The last part of the gathering was the holiday beverages tasting, with a major focus on the new cranberry white chocolate mocha espresso beverage. The combination of Starbucks signature espresso with fresh milk and white chocolate gave me a warm hug-like holiday feeling. The whipped cream on top with cranberry drizzle and cranberry sugar sprinkle added that rich flavorsome festive touch. I felt kind of sad at the end of the joyful gathering. Fortunately, each of us was given a goodie bag with a jar of cranberry oatmeal cookies, Starbucks vouchers and a pack of Christmas Blend whole beans, yay!!! Thank you Corry and Starbucks Indonesia for having me at the Starbucks Holiday Gathering 2011.
It’s a bit early but Happy Holidays anyway!!!
The taster’s notes:
Favorite coffee/food – the bagel, raspberry temptation and of course the cranberry white chocolate mocha