It’s November, which means it’s the start of the Starbucks holiday season. From November 2 until the end of December, we get to try seasonal drinks and food, collect limited-edition merchandise, and join the race to get the new Starbucks planner. For 2020, the coffee chain is releasing two designs again, and you can choose from the planner and the travel organizer. We’ll be talking more about that tomorrow, and this post will focus on the holiday collection.
Here’s what you can expect for Starbucks’ Christmas season:
Starbucks is releasing one new beverage and will usher the return of two favorites.
The Wishing Star Dark Mocha has rich, dark chocolate mocha, and is generously drizzled with green tea whipped cream and wishing star-shaped crisps. I like how chocolate is the dominant flavor, and the crisps add an interesting texture to the experience. I think this is one of my favorite holiday beverages of all time.
This year will welcome the return of the Toffee Nut Crunch Latte‘s sweet and buttery toffee nut flavors and the Peppermint Mocha‘s chocolate and peppermint flavors topped with candy cane pieces. I love how these drinks have now become associated with Christmas in the Philippines.
All drinks are available in hot, iced, and blended formats in Tall (P175), Grande, (P190), and Venti (P205).
Starbucks is releasing new food items this year, along with some returning favorites.
For sweets, there’s the Blue Velvet Lamington (P85), an Instagrammable sponge cake coated with white chocolate buttercream and desiccated coconut. For something more indulgent, there’s the Belgian Chocolate Cake (P200 per slice / P1,800 for a whole), which is layered with smooth cream Belgian chocolate mousse. Cinnamon-lovers will enjoy the Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake (P200 per slice / P1,800 for a whole), topped with cream cheese frosting and cinnamon powder. Perhaps my favorite is the White Chocolate Dream Cake (P200 per slice / P1,800 for a whole), featuring a chocolate chip cookie cake, moist butter cake, creamy speculoos mousse, and topped with white chocolate cream icing. I love speculoos so I found the mousse tasty.
There are also two donuts this year: the Cookies & Cream Doughnut (P85), which is stuffed with a whole Oreo, and the Pistachio Crunch Doughnut (P75), glazed with dark chocolate and topped with chocolate-dipped corn flakes and crushed pistachios.
I wasn’t able to try this but I’m curious to taste the Raisin Pistachio and the Cookies & Cream Chocolate Bars (P145). They’re perfect for snacking on the go.
This year will also see the return of the Chocolate Crepe Cake (P180 per slice / P1,440 for a whole), a decadent treat that has 17 layers of crepe with Belgian chocolate cream filling. You may also try the Choco Chip Overload Cookies (P85), which has dark and milk Belgian chocolate chunks and chips.
For something savory, you can try the Beef Pot Pie (P120), a flaky and buttery crust with beef stew, or the Roasted Chicken and Turkey on Puglia Bread (P175). This roll has slow-cooked chicken and turkey, thick cranberry sauce, honey-cured bacon, and apple pecan stuffing on Puglia bread. There’s also the Holiday Ham, Egg White and Parmesan on Croissant Bread (P175) and the Tomato Mozzarella Panzerotti (P85), a crispy-fried dough stuffed with gooey mozzarella, crushed tomatoes, basil, and onions. The Chicken Fajita Roll (P125) is also making its return and I’m excited to eat it again!
You can also enjoy the flavors of the season in your own home. For 2019, the Christmas Blend lineup includes the Christmas Blend, the Espresso Roast, and the Christmas Reserve.
The Christmas Blend features rare, spicy Sumatra beans that bring out the taste of smooth cedar. This is available in Whole Bean (P595), Via (P450), and Origami (P425). Meanwhile, the Espresso Roast (P595) has notes of intense caramelly sweetness and herbal spiciness. Lastly, the Christmas Reserve has flavors of sweet mandarin, ginger, and cedar spices for a taste of Christmas.
Planners and Travel Organizers
The Starbucks 2020 planner is one of the things many Filipinos look forward to during the holiday season. This year, the coffee chain is releasing two variants again: two designs for the planner and another two designs for the travel organizer. The planner comes in Berry Pink and Frost Gray, and has a hardbound leather cover and a suede pouch. The inside pages feature a weekly format on the left and a blank page on the right for notes.
This year’s Starbucks travel organizer looks so elegant. There’s a Neo Mint and a Coffee version, and both have a mini-notebook with grid, dotted, and plain formats perfect for journaling. Moreover, it has several card slots, spaces for a smartphone or a passport, and a pen holder.
All designs come with Starbucks stickers, a bookmark, and beverage vouchers that can be used in the store.
Normally, I know right from the start which one I’ll get but I like this year’s designs. I can’t decide between the Frost Gray planner and the Coffee travel organizer, and it’s tougher because I have both! I’m still doing my annual giveaway and maybe I’ll just let the winner choose what he or she wants?
I have more exciting details about the Starbucks 2020 planners and travel organizers tomorrow!
Collectors will love this year’s offering since Starbucks is introducing its first paper card. It’s part of the coffee chain’s initiative to reduce plastic usage, and they are committed to shifting to paper cards.
There’s the Maligayang Pasko card, and the Snowman and Holiday Tree cards. All are available in every store for an initial activation amount of P300.