But when Starbucks invited you to a food tasting, how can you say no?
So here's the story. I was invited for the first part of the gathering, but I had something to do that day so I didn't make it. When Ms. Corry (thanks heaps Corry!) as the PR of Starbucks Indonesia invited me again for the second part of the gathering, I was thrilled beyond words. Especially after the great food envy I developed when reading other food blogs' posts like here, here, and here. The event was done at the newest Starbucks store at ANZ Square, UOB Plaza.
I didn't take photos of the venue, but it is so spacious and open. You'll feel relaxed easily there, I'm sure. And they have a cabinet full of cute tumblrs which are very appealing.
The main point of the event is the newly launched Starbucks Christmas Blend, Starbucks Christmas Blend Espresso Roast, Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Christmas Blend, three new variant of holiday drinks, and also the holiday food.
The three new holiday variants are: Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha (Starbucks signature espresso combined with milk and white chocolate, topped with whipped cream, cranberry drizzle, and cranberry sugar sprinkle), Toffee Nut Latte (buttery coffee with toasted nuts, blended with espresso and fresh milk, topped with whipped cream and toffee-flavoured sprinkles), and Peppermint Mocha (combination of espresso, steamed milk, bittersweet chocolate, and peppermint flavour, topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle). These three drinks are only available until 2nd January 2012.
As soon as I arrived, Corry kindly got me a Toffee Nut Latte Frappucino, and I love it until the last drop. It's somehow buttery yet still has some nuttiness, gorgeously creamy and not overly sweet. The best part is the crispy toffee-flavoured sprinkles, which perfected the beverage with sweet crunch.
|Toffee nut latte frappucino|
The smoked chicken mini croissant was the first thing I ate from the table. It's a great appetizer, adequately salty and buttery. The croissant is fluffy too.
|Smoked chicken mini croissant|
The cranberry scones (scones with cranberry and walnut, topped with white chocolate drizzling) seem to call me from the corner of the table, begging to be eaten. They're not mine, so I can't just take them and shove them onto my throat. Luckily, few minutes later Corry came carrying a big plate full of these deliciousness.
|Cranberry scone - IDR 22,500 ($2.4)|
And then the real session started. Ms Ajeng, who absolutely knows what she's doing with her coffee, explained us how to brew coffee properly, using the new Starbucks Christmas Blend Espresso Roast. The coffee beans are a combination of aged Sumatran beans and Bella Vista Coffee beans from Costa Rica.
This coffee is full-bodied and bold, with low-medium level of acidity and spicy flavour. It's way too bitter for me, as I always have issues with bitter coffee. It's aromatic and definitely bold, but from my second sip I could taste a hint of spiciness. Very interesting flavour.
|Clockwise from top left: Starbucks Christmas blend expresso roast, Mbak Ajeng explaining things, pouring the perfectly brewed coffee, mini coffee shots|
The scones provide a delicious antidote to the bitter and deep Espresso Blend. 'Every bite is a surprise, you'll never know if you'll get the cranberry or the walnut', Corry commented about this exquisite snack. The scone is not overly sweet, just enough to offset the bitterness form the coffee. Full of cranberry and walnuts, this one is a must-try.
|A tray full of cranberry scones|
Here comes the 'main' course. The holiday beef and egg bagel is actually onion and cheese bagel, filled with sliced smoked beef, scrambled egg, slathers of mayo, lettuce, cheese, and caramelized onions.
|Holiday beef and egg bagel - IDR 30,000 ($3.3)|
Every components work very well, the bagel is not hard to bite, the fillings are simply stunning. Salty, sweet, cheesy, creamy, and satisfying; I declare this as my favourite of the day.
|The bagel innards|
Raspberry Temptation is there to tease everyone who's in diet. Consisting of three layers of raspberry jelly, cheese butter cream, and vanilla sponge cake; it's really hard to refuse this pretty looking dessert. The first bite is full of sensation, as if each of the layers explodes one by one in your mouth. The first sensation comes from the raspberry jelly which is sour and refreshing, and then comes the super rich cheese cream, and finally the humble vanilla cake, which is rather soggy because it soaks the raspberry liquid.
I would love this cake more if only the cheese cream is a bit less rich. A lot of foodies chose this one as their fav, yet I cannot do the same thing.
|Raspberry temptation - IDR 28,000 ($3.1)|
The third cup of coffee is distributed, this one is hot Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha. I super heart the cranberry jam on top, it adds more fineness to the coffee. The mocha itself is not bitter and creamy.
|Hot cranberry white chocolate mocha|
We almost didn't have the chance to try these two sinful desserts that day, as an accident had occurred to the delivery man. Luckily, he arrived just before we leave, and we prepared our stomachs (and cameras) for more food once again.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake (sweet butter cake filled with cheese mouse and strawberry chunks, topped with whipped strawberry cream and strawberry jam) offers a sweet ending to our gathering that day. The butter cake is delicious and quite crumbly, perfectly paired with the adequately rich cream cheese. The strawberry whipped cream is tangy, and the strawberry jam with real strawberry chunks just adds more decadence. I actually prefer this one than the Raspberry Temptation.
|Strawberry cream cheese cake - IDR 25,000 ($2.7)|
It has a brother, the Blueberry Cream Cheese Cake. It's no different than his sister, just the type of berry used.
|Blueberry cream cheese cake - IDR 25,000 ($2.7)|
And look what's inside the goodie bag. Gosh this is insane. Two cranberry scones, one FULL jar of cranberry oatmeal cookies, Starbucks coffee beans, media kit CD, and vouchers for free drinks at Starbucks. Also because we didn't finished all of our cakes, I take home a slice of Raspberry Temptation and a Blueberry Cream Cheese Cake. Score!
|What's inside the goodie bag|
Don't even start me on these cranberry oatmeal cookies. They are chewy, tasty, and extremely addictive. Totally recommended, but I've warned you!
|Cranberry oatmeal cookies|
I actually never tried any of Starbucks' food, as I usually only get their drinks. If I knew their food are this tasty, I won't ever hesitant to buy some.
Oh BTW, this was my first time meeting the other food bloggers and I'm so glad I did it. The others that joined me were Urukyu (who is truly lovely), Umi (who is really friendly and funny), and Daniel (who seems to know every area in Jakarta, and maybe even the people in Jakarta). It's really nice meeting them and I hope there's more foodies gathering in the future. Thank you for Starbucks Indonesia for the invitation.
Irene's Getting Fat! attended Starbucks Holiday gathering 2011 as a guest of Starbucks Indonesia.
STARBUCKS ANZ SQUARE
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 8-10