Twenty years ago today, a little coffee shop opened in 6750 Ayala Avenue. It was called Starbucks, a coffee chain from Seattle, and the Makati store was the brand’s third market to open outside North America.
The streets are darker and the holiday cheer is not as cheerful, but there’s one holiday tradition that seems getting stronger: the mad race to collect stickers for Starbucks’ planners. This year, the brand released the designs for 2018 and I have all the details for you!
The holidays are coming up and you know what means: people are starting to collect stickers for Starbucks’ planners! It has become a new tradition and I’m here to tell you what to expect from the coffee chain, from its coveted planners to its handcrafted beverages, food, coffees and tea, and cards!
Filipinos are naturally social and we love to eat, so it’s not surprising that many of our activities and plans revolve around food. This is especially true during the holiday season when friends and family will gather for reunions, dinners, lunches, and brunches to celebrate Christmas. This can be a stressful time for the ones organizing, but there’s a solution: At a set price, groups of friends and family can enjoy the Epic Christmas Feast with Kenny Rogers Roasters!
It’s already September and while I’m writing this in my room past 6PM, I’m actually sweating. I just got out of the shower, the windows are open, and the fan is facing me, but I can feel beads of sweat forming on my forehead and my chest. Whoever said that summer-oriented drinks would be out of place during the -ber months probably hasn’t experienced the heat pressing down on the city.
It’s okay. I’d rather sweat than deal with torrential rain and besides, I’ve found a new remedy: Starbucks just launched two new Teavana variants and it comes in frozen format! The new frozen teas are the Chamomile Tea with Kyoho Grape and Aloe, and the Hibiscus Tea with Pomegranate Pearls.
When Starbucks releases a new line of drinks, it usually complements each other. Last June, it was the Banana Split Mocha Frappuccino and the Irish Cream Coffee Pudding Frappuccino. During the summer, it was the Pop’zel Coffee Frappuccino and the Roasted Marshmallow S’mores Frappuccino. There’s always a theme going on, so I was mildly surprised when their new beverages were complete opposites.
Just recently, Starbucks launched its line of two new beverages: the Açai Mixed Berry Yogurt Frappuccino and the Granola Dark Mocha Frappuccino. Both are equally good but it’s hard to compare since they’re so different.
What I love about Japan is how it treats many occasions as a ceremony. Just take a look at how they enjoy tea and you’ll see how they treat things with respect and give it the attention it deserves. This regard to mindfulness and deference is practiced similarly across the world by Stella Artois in Belgium. To fully enjoy the bouquet of flavor and aroma of its beer, Stella Artois recommends a nine step ritual in pouring.
I love latte art. It’s amazing how baristas can create beautiful images by pouring steamed milk into a cup of espresso. I’ve seen flowers, hearts, and once, a 3D panda. I thought that it’s all just fun and games. It turns out it’s quite competitive and there’s such a thing as the Latte Art Throwdown.
A Latte Art Throwdown is a competition amongst baristas where they have to create latte art given limited time. Participants compete in pairs and the winners go on to the next pairing until one winner is announced. This year, baristas from all over the Philippines converged in Pasay City, where they were judged by a panel of celebrities, including World Barista champion Hidenori Izaki.