Christmas is always my favorite time of the year, and the festive feeling is usually ushered in by traditions—either personal or shared with my family and friends. Simple elements can spark a glimmer of joyful memories, like indulging in my favorite holiday food and drinks, putting up and admiring Christmas decorations at home, and hearing familiar Christmas carols.
Also among the things that make me feel the Christmas spirit are the sight of those red Starbucks cups, walking into my regular branch’s door into a festive world of red and green, and the warmth of that first sip of Peppermint Mocha. Starbucks has been a huge part of my holidays over the years.
For me, it begins to look and feel a lot like Christmas when Starbucks starts offering its holiday beverages and food, and when I begin collecting stickers for the highly coveted planners. Read on for everything that’s in store for us this holiday 2019 in Starbucks stores all over the Philippines starting November 2.
Starbucks introduces new and enticing flavors that bring the tastes of the season directly to one’s hands. This year, Starbucks brings not one, but two new holiday drinks! The first to be offered is the Wishing Star Dark Mocha (above), a dream come true for chocolate lovers: This rich, dark chocolate mocha gets an added bit of holiday cheer as its topped with a swirl of rich green tea whipped cream and wishing star-shaped crisps that aren’t sweet. It’s not only delicious, it’s Instagram-worthy! Since I’m seven months pregnant, I asked for it as a cream-based Frappuccino, and I still enjoyed it. I can’t wait to try the coffee version after I give birth in January!
Another Instagram-worthy and really pretty new drink (based on the photo I saw) this holiday season is their new version of the French Vanilla Latte that has hints of blue! We’ll have to wait until Dec. 3 to try it and learn more about it.
Of course you’ll get to enjoy comforting sips of your returning favorites, too. You can warm up your hearts with the buttery sweet flavors of the Toffee Nut Crunch Latte (above), with subtle sweet notes of toasted nuts joining shots of rich espresso and steamed milk, finished with whipped cream and a sprinkle of crunchy toffee nut topping. Or you may delight in the minty and chocolatey combination of Peppermint Mocha (below), with its combination of espresso and steamed milk sweetened with flavors of chocolate and peppermint, then topped with whipped cream, mocha drizzle, and candy cane pieces.
All Starbucks Christmas beverages will be available in hot, iced, and Frappuccino blended variants for P175 (Tall), P190 (Grande), and P205 (Venti).
Holly Jolly Bites
Greet the season with a joyful heart by indulging in classic favorites that perfectly go with any Starbucks holiday beverage, like the White Chocolate Dream Cake (P200/slice, P1,800/whole) made of layers of chocolate chip cookie cake crust (which is particularly a delight to bite into), moist butter cake, and smooth and creamy Speculoos mousse, topped with white chocolate cream icing. It’s also adorably decorated with mini gingerbread cookies shaped like Christmas trees. I shared a mini version with my 4-year-old godson and my bestfriend, and they also loved it! It’s decadent and delicious, yet surprisingly not overwhemingly sweet. My bestfriend loved the desiccated coconut sprinkle that gives it that extra touch of holiday festive feels. I definitely recommend this for dessert and to bring to your parties.
Those looking for a savory, meatier pairing may opt for the Chicken Fajita Roll (P125), a tortilla filled with mouth-watering Mexican-flavored chicken breast fillet. Of course, I couldn’t resist indulging in it once again, as it’s consistently good comfort food.
Starbucks also welcomes new offerings in its line-up of holiday treats. There’s the Tomato Mozzarella Panzerotti (P85), made of soft and crispy fried dough stuffed with oozing gooey mozzarella, crushed tomatoes, basil, and onions for something savory. My first impression of it is it’s also a Mexican treat, but I totally get that yes, it’s also rich in Italian flavors. The soft bread is delicious and flavorful, while the savory filling is really satisfying.
For a sweet snack, you can’t go wrong with either the Cookies & Cream Doughnut (above, P75), a soft and fluffy doughnut stuffed with a whole Oreo (a surprise in every bite!) and topped with rich cream cheese frosting and crushed Oreo (it’s not too sweet considering the ingredients); or the Pistachio Crunch Doughnut (below, P75), a light, fluffy, and delicious doughnut glazed with rich dark chocolate and topped with chocolate dipped corn flakes and crushed pistachios for that savory hint.
2020 Planners & Travel Organizers
As a gift for enjoying your favorite Starbucks handcrafted beverage this holiday season, you’ll be rewarded with the 2020 Planners and Organizers! The Starbucks Philippines 2020 Planner and Organizer can be redeemed upon the completion of at least 18 stickers. The promo begins on November 2, 2019 and ends on January 7, 2020. Within this period, customers may collect one sticker for every purchase of any Tall, Grande, or Venti Starbucks handcrafted beverage. Subject to availability, the redemption in stores will be from November 2, 2019 to March 7, 2020.
The 2020 Planners and Organizers come in such ‘Gram-worthy color options. Coffee lovers may opt to get their 2020 Planners either in Berry Pink or Frost Gray. The planner features a hardbound leather cover with embossed details of the Starbucks Siren. It also comes with a pouch, this time made of premium soft suede material (instead of canvas) with a Siren logo zipper pull, so you can conveniently slip your planner inside.
Alternatively, people who are always on-the-go can opt for the Starbucks Philippines 2020 Travel Organizer. It comes in two different color variants, Neo Mint and Coffee. The Travel Organizer consists of several card slots, slots for your passport and mobile phone, a pen pocket, and a mini notebook with three page formats: grid, dotted grid, and plain that are all ideal for every kind of journaling.
Allowing people to customize their holiday items while sipping their favorite handcrafted drink, both the Philippine-exclusive Planners and Travel Organizers come with Starbucks stickers, bookmark, and tear-off Beverage Vouchers that customers can use throughout the year.
What I particularly love about the Starbucks Philippines 2020 Planners and Travel Organizers is how their covers use purely natural substances coming from pre-consumer recycled cowhide fibers bonded by natural latex, which is a renewable green resource tapped from Hevea rubber trees. The result is a smooth, supple, and breathable leather surface that highlights its premium and elevated look. Starbucks sources their eco-friendly materials from leather factories based in Valencia, Spain, with a renowned tradition of artisanal leather tanning methods.
And with the brand’s promise to stay true to supporting sustainable movements, the pages of the planners and travel organizers are produced with eco-friendly papers in a facility certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC is an independent, non-governmental, and non-profit organization that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests.
In keeping with the sustainable practices Starbucks is trying to uphold, there’s also an e-planner promo—the paperless version of their sticker collection promo via their mobile app. Download it to learn more!
Those who collect and love to give (and receive) Starbucks Cards should definitely avail of the Starbucks Holiday Gift Card Collection. Share the love this holiday season with the Maligayang Pasko Card—Starbucks’ very first card made with paper. If you’re worried it might not be durable, don’t be—it’s similar to the material used for Hong Kong’s MTR ticket cards that you take with you everywhere. As part of the brand’s initiative to reduce plastic usage, Starbucks is committed to innovating on eco-friendly materials for the Starbucks Cards, starting with shifting from plastic to paper. You may also get the Snowman Card (pictured below) and the Holiday Tree Card. All Starbucks Holiday Gift Cards are available for an initial P300 activation amount.
The holiday collection of merchandise also celebrates all things merry and bright, with enchanting designs that will appeal to friends and families of all ages—perfect for gifts! It features woodland animals and holiday motifs in a festive palette of red hues, blues, and celebratory pinks and greens. Starbucks also debuts its first-ever holiday-themed reusable cups as well as a Relief Mug featuring icons and landmarks of the Philippines.
This Christmas, Starbucks gives us a one-of-a-kind Christmas experience with such merry and wonderful holiday offerings. Mark your calendars for Nov. 2!