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food test (may): starbucks, tokyo bubble tea, chez karine, sbc

Published June 26, 2014 by ladyemelye

a little bit late, but here is what i sampled for the month of may. 🙂

 

starbucks: banana mango frappuccino and spinach tart

banana mango frappuccino - grande (php 170.00)

banana mango frappuccino – grande (php 170.00)

this is a combination of starbuck’s mango passion fruit juice + milk + 1 whole banana.  yep… 1 whole (dole) cavendish banana.  this is a perfect drink for the summer season.  there’s the sweetness of the mango and banana, a hint of tang from the passion fruit and creaminess from the milk.  i wouldn’t say it is the healthiest of the drinks (just count the calories involved), but it is a good alternative to the other coffee based drinks.

this isn’t always be available though.  once your starbucks of choice has ran out of bananas, they won’t be serving this drink for the day.

**you can also order other variants of these — the banana raspberry and the chocolate banana (which they have formally launched as a new flavor)

spinach tart - php 95.00

spinach tart – php 95.00

i have always liked the variety of food items that is available at starbucks, and this one is definitely a good choice.  this consists of a puff pastry with a creamy filling consisting of spinach, onions, garlic, mushrooms and cheese.  it is filling enough for a snack (or lunch even – if you eat that way).  i like that the pastry is buttery and flaky (although a little messy to eat) and that the flavor of the filling has just the right balance of spinach and cheese.

 

tokyo bubble tea:  sakura milk tea

sakura milk tea - php 145.00 (medium)

sakura milk tea – php 145.00 (medium)

in time for the cherry blossom season, tokyo bubble tea launched limited-time products which are sakura inspired.  being very fond of this flower, i just had to try this.

sakura milk tea is a combination of vanilla, green tea and cherry blossom essence.  it also comes with their signature bubbles which are sweet and chewy.  i ordered this at 50% sugar level, and the sweetness was perfect for me.  this is a drink i would not get tired of. plus its color looks really nice and dainty. 😉 too bad, it was just available until the end of may.  hope it comes back next year.

 

chez karine: macarons and vanilla royal pudding

i have read many good reviews for this shop, so when i was at the serendra area, i dropped by their store to sample some of the sweet goodies they have.

vanilla royal pudding - php 110.00

vanilla royal pudding – php 110.00

from their site: soft set custard pudding with dark caramel at the bottom.

i like that this dessert is not too sweet and you can taste the subtle flavor of vanilla in the custard.  to fully appreciate this, you must ensure that you get both the caramel and the custard in each bite.  plus points for the packaging.  acording to spot.ph, you can actually collect your used jars and once you have 7 pcs, you can exchange it for a free glass of iced tea.

macarons (box of 7) - php 385.00

macarons (box of 7) – php 385.00

flavors i got: pistachio, red velvet, dark chocolate, speculoos, black sesame, mint chocolate and strawberry.

the macaron size was standard (?) in comparison to others that i’ve tried.  it was crunchy and chewy at the same time.  there was a generous amount of filling in between that you would get a nice dose of flavor.  you can really tell and differentiate each of the flavors.  of those that i tried, my favorite would be the black sesame and the red velvet.

 

seattle’s best coffee: caramel heaven

caramel heaven

caramel heaven

i availed of one of the coupons which i got from my sbc 2014 dream journal, and i got a caramel heaven javakula.  it is a mix of coffee and caramel, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with sugar crystals.  i like the flavor of caramel, so this drink is easy to like.  it was just a little too sweet for my taste.

i wish sbc could come up with something new, since they have been offering caramel variants lately.

 

and that’s what i had for may. 😀

new flavors at seattle’s best coffee

Published January 30, 2014 by ladyemelye

after all the holiday flavors, seattle’s best coffee released this week two new offerings: the pretzel macadamia and the caramel toffee.

new flavors! (taken from the sbc website)

new flavors! (taken from the sbc website)

these flavors can both be ordered as hot mocha or iced blended javakula.

since the sbc branch near my office was having a buy one take one offer, our team took advantage and bought some coffee before we had our weekly team meeting.

buy one, take one!

buy one, take one!

what i ordered was the pretzel macadamia javakula.  from their facebook post: “it’s deliciously infused with chocolate macadamia and caramel syrup than topped with whipped cream.  finally, it’s sprinkled with orange candy beads and comes with a pretzel candy!”

pretzel macadamia javakula

pretzel macadamia javakula

this is what i got at first.  when i asked the barista where is my pretzel, he apologized and told me that they ran out of the candy pretzels, but that i could choose another topping if i wanted to.  i chose brownies. 🙂

pretzel macadamia javakula with brownie toppings ;)

pretzel macadamia javakula with brownie toppings 😉

i liked the nutty flavor of this drink.  the caramel syrup gave the drink it’s sweetness, although at the end, the sweetness was a little bit overwhelming, maybe the drink was not mixed too well.

would i order this drink again? chances are very high.  but i think i like this as a javakula rather than a hot mocha.  hope i will get to try the caramel toffee next time.

2014 sbc dream journal

Published January 2, 2014 by ladyemelye

since 2007, i have been collecting stickers to claim the starbucks planner.  but there was a change in direction this year.  i decided to get the 2014 sbc dream journal.  here are my reasons: 1) i transferred to a new job and the nearest coffee house is sbc 2) the christmas drinks in sbc are more interesting while the ones in starbucks were a repeat of the previous years, and my favorite dark cherry mocha did not return 3) the starbucks planner this year looks a lot like the starbucks planner last year.

the mechanics are almost the same with every coffee house offering their planner.  you have to complete 18 stickers. 8 of which should come from the christmas drinks, while 10 stickers can be from any other drinks that you order.  i tasted all of the christmas drinks (gingerbest, roasted hazelnut, cookies and mint, eggnog frost), and i would say that my favorite is the gingerbest followed closely by the roasted hazelnut.  with the help of my generous manager and co-workers, i was able to complete my stickers before december.

here is how the planner looks like and some of it’s features:

the 2014 sbc dream journal

the 2014 sbc dream journal

i got the grey one.  it has a soft leather cover and a magnetic lock.

the cover page

the cover page

calendar for 2014 and the  music cd

calendar for 2014 and the music cd

the planner included a cd of different songs, which are mostly acoustic versions.  i love the “chill” feel of the songs and have copied it into my phone.

coaster + monthly artwork

coaster + monthly artwork

monthly calendar

monthly calendar

journal/notes portion

journal/notes portion

instead of the usual dated planners, what you have here is a monthly calendar at glance wherein you can note of your appointments, holidays or special occasions.  the main portion is more like a notebook where in you can write your notes, to-do’s or whatever you want to, and you will not be limited by the date.

bookmark

bookmark

post-it notes

post-it notes

sbc menu

sbc menu

monthly coupon freebies

monthly coupon freebies

what i like about their monthly coupon freebies is that i know that i will be able to use them all.  the coupons include free upsize, price discounts, free drinks and food (without any required purchase), buy 1 take 1, plus a free sticker for next year’s planner! 🙂  unlike the ones in starbucks which usually includes discount/freebies for purchase of coffee beans or merchandise which i normally don’t use at all.

stickers!

stickers!

the planner also includes these cutesy stickers.  wonder where i’ll be sticking them. 😉

overall, i think the planner is great and useful. plus the additional “features” are really nice.  i do hope i get to maximize the use of my 2014 sbc dream journal. 😀

 

 

 

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