Elevate Your Tea Experience with New Starbucks Teavana® Beverages!

I usually don’t cover other drinks from coffee shops. Lately though, most of them also want to keep people who simply don’t drink coffee. As someone who wants Cebuanos to experience coffee in different ways, I also consider those people who simply don’t.

Which leads me to sharing to you great news from Starbucks! Starting January 8, they have awesome new drinks from the Starbucks Teavana lineup that will help you elevate your tea experience.

Here they are!

Starbucks Teavana Tea Lattes!

Starbucks Teavana 2018 poster

I personally don’t drink tea that often but I already have a drink that I want to try out! Let me break this down for you:

Oat Green Tea Latte

Starbucks Teavana - Oat Green Tea Latte

This drink has the blend of earthy oats and Starbucks green tea latte topped with a colorful, crunchy granola top. Perfect for those who are looking for a new twist of a fan favorite.

Peach Black Tea Latte

Starbucks Teavana - Peach Black Tea Latte

I didn’t expect this kind of combination from Starbucks. This drink consists of the earthy notes of finely ground black tea and the juicy aroma of peach. It reminds me of the Iced Shaken Black Tea with Ruby Grapefruit and Honey. I feel that the vibe would be similar to that.

Oat Green Tea Frappuccino

Starbucks Teavana - Oat Green Tea Frappuccino

This is mainly the Frappuccino variant of the Oat Green Tea Latte with the only difference being the whipped cream.

The drinks aren’t the only new stuff coming to Starbucks on January 8. Get ready for the new merch!

New Items!

Since the Lunar New Year is fast approaching, the appropriate merch is coming! There’s even a new Whole Bean Coffee pack to watch out for!

From the Starbucks Single Origin Series, this is the Honduras Marcala. I can’t really personally try this since we don’t have a coffee maker at home so I’ll get back to you on that one.

The Lunar New Year mug for 2019 is SO CUTE! Pigs always look so cute in a creative way that it feels natural that this mug looks great!

This one speaks to the Starbucks Card collector in me. This Lunar New Year 2019 Starbucks Card is probably the cutest of the bunch I’ve collected throughout the years! Good thing they kept the P300 minimum load for this because I would wholeheartedly recommend you buy this!

What do you think of the new stuff coming to a Starbucks near you? Are you a tea person? Sound off your thoughts in the comments!

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Live Generously with The 2019 Giving Journal!

I’ve always loved the community aspect of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf here in the Philippines. It makes you feel that you belong to something greater. Nothing else makes you feel that way more than the Giving Journal.

CBTL Giving Journal

For the 2019 Giving Journal, CBTL went for the theme:

 Live Generously.

They wanted to challenge their customers to not just do random acts of giving. They want people to be more generous. Their belief is that generosity should be a lifestyle. As part of that, they set up different kinds of charity events that would inspire us to be more generous!

I just attended one last Saturday, October 27, 2018, and it was really a lot of fun (despite some struggles hehe)! 

We were making pouches for the children from SOS Children’s Villages Philippines! They were all really cute and some of them even helped their partners (we were all paired up with a child). It really goes to show just how good it feels to give back to the community!

Of course, let’s not forget the main reason you guys are reading this.
Here it is!

The 2019 Giving Journal!

Yay! The 2019 Giving Journal!

The 2019 Giving Journal comes in 4 beautiful covers: 2 cork covers and 2 hardbound covers in matte finished and gold foil stamping that comes in black and teal gray colors. I can show you each journal right now!

2019 Giving Journal - Cork Hero Logo
Cork cover with CBTL’s NEW Hero logo!
2019 Giving Journal - Hardbound Black
This one by far is my favorite of the bunch!
2019 Giving Journal - Cork with Imagery Logo
My 2nd favorite 2019 Giving Journal! Really loving the imagery logo 🙂
2019 Giving Journal - Hardbound Light Blue
Loving the symmetry of the arcs here 🙂

Featuring Local Artists!

I am super proud to say that a friend of mine, Aldrin Jake Suan of The Aldrincore, created one of the artworks you’ll see in the 2019 Giving Journal!

Living generously means giving your time, talent, and treasure to others as a lifestyle. 12 local artists put their art and what it means to live generously in the journal. I really applaud CBTL for doing this!

How on Earth Do We Get One??

Simple! Just get a stamp card you see up there from your nearest CBTL stores and get 12 stamps by purchasing the following:

  • 1 Original Ice Blended
  • 1 Tea Latte
  • 1 Espresso Based Beverage
  • 1 Holiday Featured Beverage
  • 8 Drinks of your choice!

This promotion runs until January 6, 2019, so you have plenty of time to collect those stamps! Go to your nearest CBTL store and start TODAY!

Starbucks Christmas 2018: The Blend is the Magic!

Wondering what Starbucks has in store for you this Christmas? Then check out my Starbucks Christmas 2018 preview!

Whenever Christmas draws near, there are some traditions I follow. One of those traditions is collecting enough stickers to get that Starbucks planner! Guess what? It’s that time of the year again!

Introducing the 2019 Starbucks Planners AND Travel Organizers!

Yup! You read that right! For the first time in recent memory, Starbucks Philippines will have the planners and travel organizers! The fun part is that they’re bringing back a cool thing from last year’s promotion: Limited Edition Starbucks Cards! Each planner and travel organizer comes with a Limited Edition Starbucks Card that is different for each design!

You get to choose 1 of these 4 awesome designs (or all of them if you so please haha)!

2019 Starbucks Planners

For the traditional Starbucks planners, you get to choose between 2 designs: Espresso and Cream! The planners have a companion pouch where you can put the planner in!

2019 Starbucks Planner - Milk
 This one’s the Cream Planner with the Siren Red Crown Card!
2019 Starbucks Planner - Espresso
I personally prefer this Espresso Planner + Green Bubble Card for myself but not sure about that!

2019 Starbucks Travel Organizers

For the first time in recent memory, you can opt for a travel organizer instead of the planner! It’ll be smaller than the usual planner, but you can write and scribble anything with it!

Personally LOVING this Teal Travel Organizer + Siren Yellow Hand Card combo!

It contains the awesome pouch, a notebook that you can scribble on, a Limited Edition Starbucks Card, a cellphone holder, and a card holder! Pretty convenient for those who are always on the go if you ask me.

This is the Sienna Travel Organizer + Siren Blue Tail Card.

Note that each planner or travel organizer has a different card design. If you collect Starbucks Cards, you may need to collect ALL OF THESE! Yikes!

How Many Stickers Do We Need?

For the longest time, you needed 18 stickers in order to get a Starbucks planner. It always had to be 9 Christmas beverages and 9 core beverages. This year, you still need 18 stickers but the 9/9 SPLIT IS GONE! All you need to do to get a sticker is purchase a Tall, Grande, or Venti handcrafted beverage!

YOU CAN NOW GET A PLANNER BY JUST GETTING YOUR GO-TO DRINK 18 TIMES!

This is probably the best news I’ve heard since I started collecting Starbucks planners back then. Now I can opt to just go for my favorite drink all the time just to get the planner quickly!

The planner promotion starts on November 2, 2018! Prepare your wallets because you might end up spending for all 4 designs! Hahaha!

What’s Up with the Starbucks PH App?

For those who keep using the Starbucks PH app (like me), we really value its convenience. Despite its shortcomings, I think this is the easiest way to pay and earn rewards from Starbucks!

This year, the Starbucks PH app gains a major superpower: you can now collect your stickers through the app! Of course it’ll be e-stickers but you can see your progress right inside the app! Once you’re done, you’ll be able to claim it by using a code through the app! 

This is an easier way to collect the planner or travel organizer! I’ll surely try it out and will let you know what I think! 

What Else Can We Expect at Starbucks?

Christmas Drinks!


The Starbucks Christmas staples ARE BACK! Peppermint Mocha and Toffee Nut Crunch are back to grace our lives! They also have a new drink: the Snowy Cranberry White Mocha! Sadly, they were unable to let us try the new drink but we can do so starting November 2, 2018! All Christmas drinks are available in Hot, Iced, or Frappuccino.

Foooood!

Starbucks Christmas 2018 - New Food Items!!!

Of course the food items will have a Christmas vibe to it! Some of the new food items are: Baked Cheese Tart, Chocolate Oat Cheesecake, Vanilla Blueberry Cake, and my ABSOLUTE NEW FAVORITE:

THE BAKED BURRITO!!!

As someone during the event said, Starbucks FINALLY has a rice meal! Hahahaha! If there’s one thing you should try in the lineup, it’s this one! It’s not too overpowering so anyone who’d love some rice in Starbucks can try it!

Starbucks Cards!

We’ve had the Starbucks Card in the Philippines for around 5 years and this Christmas is no exception. They brought back the Snowman, Christmas Tree, and a localized Maligayang Pasko Starbucks Cards! Each of these three can be had for a minimum load of P300.

There’s also the annual Red Cup Card for a minimum load of P1,000. All cards shown here will be available on November 2, 2018 as well.

Christmas Gift Ideas!

They also have merchandise to fit the Christmas season! From mugs to tumblers to the Bearista Bear, you’re bound to find a cool gift for your family and friends! All of these will be available on November 2, 2018.

There’s really a lot to look forward to during the Christmas season in Starbucks! Are you guys ready to collect those stickers? Go go go!!!

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Street Bru: The Asian Bru in Cebu!

Aaaaaah. This feels great! After months on hiatus thanks to the burden of my day job and some focus on Utterly Random Techie, I’m back! My search for those small coffee shops in Cebu continues! It starts with this small little coffee shop called Street Bru!

What is Street Bru?

It’s a small coffee shop that’s inspired by the coffee culture in Singapore. Basically, people go to coffee shops there for the coffee itself. This is in contrast with our behavior here in the Philippines where we stay in coffee shops to talk with people or even do freelance stuff or create content.

Unlike mainstream coffee shops, Street Bru keeps their menu small and simple for the most part.

They currently serve three types of drinks: two milk teas and one coffee. At first I thought that they served coffee only. Sometimes you have to realize that there are people who simply DO NOT drink coffee at all! I’m glad that Street Bru offers more milk tea choices 🙂

Drinks!

 

Iced White Coffee

I first tried their iced white coffee. They use Kopi Tarik, which basically means “pulled coffee”. The end result is a smooth yet strong coffee. I personally think that it gradually hits you. It’s not like others that tend to hit you straight away. It’s also kind of sweet (akin to a cold brew) but you can still feel the bitterness of coffee.

Since I wanted to get the full experience, I also tried the Chai Masala!

On the surface, it really looks like ordinary milk tea. It’s only when you taste it that you feel the difference between this and the mainstream milk tea places. It’s also strong, but it’s a more homey and comfy feel than the Kopi  Tarik. This is definitely a more relaxing drink and it’s really for people who don’t drink coffee at all!

Source of all Goodness

The source of all that coffee and milk tea goodness! #StreetBru

I’m glad that places like Street Bru have their own flavor that’s inspired by places that really appreciate coffee (and milk tea) for what it is! I wish they serve a different kind of coffee in the future, but this is enough for what they have right now.

Where Can I Find Street Bru?

It’s just in the middle of Cebu City! Just follow the map up there to find The Joint!

The Joint is where a lot of creative people show their stuff in different ways! There are craft makers, wedding organizers, and more!

Just look at all this stuff! Super cool!

They can also host meetups and small events (for now). When I visited the place, there was a calligraphy workshop going on. The place makes events much more intimate. They can only accommodate around 16-20 people though, but expanding that capacity is on their mind now.

A calligraphy workshop was going on when I visited!

I think it’s a great place to have great coffee, and I’m happy that Street Bru got to be here. It’s a better location for them since there are doctors nearby who really need that cup of coffee!

Thank you so much to Kevin Belleza of Street Bru for inviting me to try out their drinks and the people at The Joint for being such great people to talk to!

They are open on Mondays-Saturdays from 8AM – 7PM!

Follow Street Bru on: Facebook / Instagram

Follow The Joint on: Facebook / Instagram

A Collection of Latte Art.

I haven’t gotten into the groove lately. It feels like I falter more and more when it comes to coffee blogging. Maybe I’m thinking a lot about my tech blog lately. Maybe I’m thinking about expanding my content to YouTube. Who knows? I haven’t visited a different coffee shop last month! All I did was go to Manila and went to a random coffee shop. I just hope I could take a leave from work and just go to multiple coffee shops in a day.

Enough about me, this post is all about the various latte art that I’ve seen throughout the years.

This is merely a basic latte art but I really appreciate all forms of it. This was taken during that 1-day trip (not even overnight!) to Bacolod City just to get my passport renewed! I’m just glad to even get a cup of coffee during that hectic day! Hehe.

The latte art on this Mocha Latte from Fujinoya is really really intricate. Despite how pleasing it looks, it’s really difficult to do. I’ve seen one in action and it really takes steady hands to do something like this. Even a small screwup could ruin the art as a whole.

If the latte from Fujinoya was intricate enough, check out this one from Bicester Cafe! I think this is a swan. It really really looks pretty and way more intricate. Sometimes the best ones really take time, love, and care.

This one isn’t really done by pouring the drink on the cup. There’s an additional step of using some sort of stick to move the chocolate drizzle to show an effect like this. I like how drizzles actually complement to the overall latte art experience.

Here’s another latte from The Pyramid that utilizes the drizzle so well.

Sometimes having a lot going on in the latte art ruins the art itself and sometimes the coffee. Good thing some latte art goes for the simplicity charm like this one from Kanna Coffee and Tea:

Just a simple heart-shaped latte art goes a long way. I also like how clean the heart looks here. It also makes the latte way more photogenic than usual coffee.

This latte art really looks like there are layers on it. It’s from The Sunny Side Café. The outer part of the latte looks like there are powder bits on it but it’s just the drink itself. The heart in this latte art is also full of layers. I kind of like its charm.

Another common shape of latte art is a flower. There are hundreds of variations of flower latte art in various coffee shops. I forgot where I bought this particular cup of coffee, but this latte art is on point. The leaf formation is really flourishing and makes me want to touch it but I can’t because it’s coffee. Hehehe.

Whether it got made in a Starbucks or a little coffee shop just around the corner, it’s really great to appreciate latte art. More than ever, it’s how a barista expresses his feelings while making the art. Most of the time they don’t even do it! It’s a delight to see some latte art once in a while.

Just a Short Coffee Adventure in Manila.

I have something to admit right now. I haven’t really carried on the promise that this blog is supposed to be so far. It’s been really difficult to think of topics for this blog without falling into the trap of relying on mainstream coffee shops. There are just more and more of them popping up recently.

Good thing I decided to hitch a short coffee adventure while I traveled to Manila for 2 days. Admittedly, it wasn’t much either but at least it was a change in scenery. I didn’t actually do much in Manila besides going to a meetup for Utterly Random Techie and Cebu Content Creators.

Anyway, here are the things that I discovered while I was there:

Luna Coffee

First up was the place where I had the meetup! I didn’t really know what to expect since the person I was meeting only said Luna. I thought it would just be a restaurant that had its own spin on food. Turns out it’s a breakfast and coffee restaurant!

If you can see the menu on the picture up there, they serve Filipino breakfast food, egg-based meals, and even waffles! Of course, they serve coffee! Hehe. Here’s a look at what I ordered:

My girlfriend and I got some Smoked Bangus. It’s admittedly lacking for our taste. (So much so that we went to Wendy’s to have another meal! Hahaha!) Now for the main attraction:

Because I am a chocolate fan, I got a Mochaccino (with some free Hopia, probably due to Chinese New Year). I always appreciate a good latte art here and there. This is no exception. I particularly love how there are chocolate spots on the latte art. They really add a personal touch to the art itself. The coffee was just your usual taste. Nothing much out of the ordinary. It had a full flavor though, a taste that mainstream coffee sometimes lacks due to its rushed nature.

If you wanna check Luna Coffee, just head over to their Facebook page!

Later that night, we met up with my sister and had dinner. (Not saying where in case stalkers try to pop up.) Then we went to one of her usual study spots: a Coffee Bean store in Regis Center!

I know, I know! It’s admittedly another branch of a mainstream coffee shop. We didn’t have much of a choice though since we really wanted to go with my sister. Amidst how boring it is, I found one shining star in all of it.

THIS:

I FINALLY got to try Coffee Bean’s Cold Brew Coffee! I almost forgot that they have some in Manila since I got used to it not being in Cebu! Anyway, I got that instead of the drink I was supposed to get (a White Chocolate Dream Latte).

Like most cold brew coffee, they brew it over time than through heat. With Coffee Bean’s Cold Brew, they steep their beans for 20 hours to get the brew that they want. My girlfriend smelled the contents of the bottle and she thought it smelled like cough syrup! Hahaha! (Let’s just hope they didn’t get the bottle from a company that sells cough syrup!)

Anyway, I love the taste of the Viennese Blend Cold Brew. It still tastes quite bitter like usual iced coffee, but it has some oomph. Sadly, it didn’t stop me from getting sleepy. (Don’t worry, I usually still get sleepy even though I drink Cold Brew coffee.) I enjoyed the drink and I hope this arrives in Cebu soonest!

There you have it! That was my short but sweet coffee adventure in Manila. Would you want me to do more of this style of blogging about coffee? Let me know in the comments!

Now, I’m thinking of writing about Abaca Baking Company next. Hmmm.

Quick Coffee Review: Linear Coffee Roasters Cold Brew!

I have to admit, I really love when independent coffee shops get popular. This means that a deep love for coffee in a certain place grows and grows a lot! This is one of my goals when writing here at Coffee Sugbo: to showcase different kinds of coffee shops and their coffee to more and more people.

I started seeing Linear Coffee Roasters when a friend of mine brought some of their White Cold Brew (or #WhiteBrew, as they call it). Being more and more in love with coffee at the time, I had an open mind when it comes to different coffee shops and different ways to make coffee.

When I tried it, I instantly loved it! Being a fan of drinks with white chocolate mixed with coffee, I think it’s a really good mix! With that in mind, I really wanted to try again and find their store so I can buy one.

After a few months of searching, I got the chance to visit Linear Coffee Roasters and bought some White Brew! I’ll be sharing my experience in their store in a future post since I didn’t have enough time inside. I had to hurry up and buy their coffee because I was in a hurry. All I did was buy their Cold Brew.

In case you don’t know what Cold Brew is, it’s basically the same as iced coffee. The difference lies in how they are brewed. Normally, coffee beans are heated up in order for you to brew some coffee. With Cold Brew, it utilizes brewing over time instead of heat. In this way, getting a fresh batch of Cold Brew takes around a day. I know it sounds taxing, but you get a different taste when it’s through the cold brewing process.

Thoughts on Linear’s Cold Brew

To my surprise, there were two variants: their popular White Brew, and the normal Cold Brew. I understand why people gravitate towards the White Brew. It is sweeter than the normal Cold Brew coffee but still retains its coffee content. I honestly love it! I wish I could buy more but my budget couldn’t let me do that!

I also love the fact that it comes in a bottle! With that, I can always bring their Cold Brew wherever I go!

The normal Cold Brew is good too, but I prefer the sweetness of the White Brew. Maybe that’s because my usual drink at a certain coffee shop always has white chocolate in it. (I think it’s pretty obvious by now as to what it is.)

All in all, I really enjoy drinking some White Cold Brew from Linear Coffee Roasters! It only costs P100 per bottle. My recommendation for people who are just getting into iced coffee and Cold Brew, I suggest getting their White Brew. For those who have been drinking brewed coffee, you should get their normal Cold Brew. It’s more bitter and purer than the White Brew, so you get the pure coffee goodness.

If you want to know more about their Cold Brew or their other products, head over to their Facebook page!