This December, Starbucks will celebrate its 20th anniversary in the Philippines, so I guess it’s safe to say I’ve been a Starbucks drinker for two decades now. Its holiday drinks have always been the sign for adult me that Christmas is around the corner. This year also marks the 15th anniversary of its planner promo, so yes, my planners for at least the past decade or so have been from Starbucks. I’ve even gotten my fiancé in on the Starbucks planner craze. It’s not so hard to collect the 18 stickers required to get it anyway, since I drink Starbucks coffee so frequently.
As I’m sure you’re dying to know, today, November 2, marks the first day of Christmas season in Starbucks, and with it come the holiday beverages, food items, planners, and Starbucks Cards that we’ve been waiting for all year. Read on for everything you need to know about them—including some gift ideas for Starbucks lovers and what drinks will get you the coveted Starbucks 2018 planner (and how we’re all in for a treat this year)!
Christmas Tree Peppermint Dark Mocha, Frappuccino and hot versions
My personal favorite holiday drink has always been Starbucks’ version of Peppermint Mocha, and this year’s version has an interesting twist: the Christmas Tree Peppermint Dark Mocha. Decadent dark mocha is topped with green tea whipped cream and finished with glittering sprinkles of green and red candies, just like a Christmas tree when lit up. It’s so pretty and Instagrammable, although since I’m not a fan of whipped cream (even the green tea version), I’m skipping that and just asking for my candy sprinkles. The first time I tried it, I instantly downed two Tall cups of the Frappuccino version.
Vanilla Nougat Latte, Frappuccino and hot versions
I haven’t had the chance to try it yet as of press time, but I’m also curious about the Vanilla Nougat Latte. Inspired by the classic nougat confection, this beverage is said to be made with the rich taste of French vanilla (custard-like and slightly floral) and nougat. There’s also the returning favorite Toffee Nut Crunch Latte, which has the combination of toffee nut syrup, velvety steamed milk, and espresso shots, topped with whipped cream and toffee nut crunch toppings.
Toffee Nut Crunch Latte, Frappuccino and hot versions
These eye-catching, delicious, and festive beverages will surely be a part of everyone’s holiday season. Available in iced, Frappuccino, and hot, as well as coffee-based and cream-based format, each beverage costs P160 for Short, P170 for Tall, P185 for Grande, and P200 for Venti.
2018 Planners & promos
As early as today, November 2, you can already start collecting stickers to get your hands on the much-awaited planners. One sticker is awarded for every Starbucks handcrafted beverage purchase. You must accumulate a total of 18 stickers (nine from your purchase of any of the holiday featured beverages and nine from your purchase of any Starbucks Core Handcrafted Beverage except bottled ones) to redeem one Limited Edition Starbucks Coffee 2018 Planner. Just present the Starbucks Christmas Traditions Promo Card to the Barista upon purchase to get the corresponding number of stickers.
A combination of up to two promo cards will be allowed, provided that the nine featured plus nine core beverages have been purchased. Every purchase of a handcrafted beverage using a Starbucks Card will be awarded one sticker and one Beverage Star.
You’ll love this year’s planners. The designs highlight the Kape Vinta Card, and you can choose from the blue and green hues reminiscent of the calm of the season and the warm orange and purple version that is as festive as the card it frames. Encased in leather sleeves, both designs give off a classic look. Inside, there are plenty more surprises, such as a stencil ruler and a cleverly-designed calendar that can be folded in the shape of a cup. All planner sets are available in regular and mini sizes.
In keeping with the Christmas spirit and the habit of ‘giving good,’ Starbucks will start sending cheers with its biggest present to coffee lovers: A year’s worth of coffee for lucky customers with the Starbucks 2018 Planner.
Kape Vinta Card
Twenty winners will bring home a year’s worth of Starbucks Grande handcrafted beverages and 20 more will receive a month’s worth of Grande handcrafted beverages of their choice. All you have to do is activate the special edition Starbucks Kape Vinta Card, which is exclusively released with the Starbucks 2018 Planners, with at least P300 and register the card to a My Starbucks Rewards account during the promo period (January 1-31, 2018) to earn a raffle entry.
There will be two draw dates (January 19 and February 9), with a total of 20 winners per draw that will be announced on January 22 and February 12 respectively. Winners of Starbucks for a Month will be credited 360 Beverage Stars, equivalent to 30 complimentary Grande handcrafted beverages with up to two add-ons each; winners of Starbucks for a Year will receive 4,380 Beverage Stars equivalent to 365 complimentary Grande handcrafted beverages with up to two add-ons each. Whew, that’s a lot of Starbucks drinks! Keeping my fingers crossed I’m one of the winners! (One complimentary Grande handcrafted beverage with up to two add-ons is equal to 12 Beverage Stars.)
Holiday food items
Rocky Road Cookie
With 18 Starbucks beverages you need to drink to avail of the planner, you must know what food items to pair them with. My personal favorites from this year’s new holiday food items are the Rocky Road Cookie (P65), made of decadent dark chocolate cookie filled with marshmallow, nuts, and chocolate chunks (it’s definitely the most delightfully chunky cookie I’ve ever tried, it’s almost like a chocolate bar!); the Belgian Chocolate Strawberry Cake (P140/slice and P1,250/whole), which is basically chocolate sponge cake layered with creamy milk chocolate and luscious strawberry cream, finished with chocolate frosting; and the Christmas Ham, Egg White, and Edam Cheese on Croissant Bun (P150), filled with slow-roasted Christmas ham, fully herbed egg white omelet, and Edam Cheese on buttery flaky croissant bun. Hey, what’s the holiday season without our favorite berries, Edam Cheese, and chocolates, right?
Belgian Chocolate Strawberry Cake
Christmas Ham, Egg White, and Edam Cheese Croissant Bun
Click through the gallery for the new and returning favorite food items you can enjoy this holiday season and perhaps serve during your holiday feast.
Holiday gift ideas
From holiday drinks and food to your 2018 planner, it seems Starbucks has already got you covered, but we have yet to get to the items perfect for Christmas stockings, too! Gift-hunters can take their pick from the exclusive collection of curated merchandise.
For coffee lovers, there’s the whole bean bags of the returning Starbucks Christmas Blend (P445), with its sweet and spicy flavors. Rare, aged Sumatra gives Christmas Blend its heart and soul, with rich and vibrant cedary spice notes. This year, Starbucks also offers its Christmas tea pack, the Teavana Joyful Medley Tea (P545).
If you’re unsure what your special someone would like, you can’t go wrong with a Starbucks Card, especially since you have four other designs to choose from this holiday season, besides the Special Edition Kape Vinta Card included in the 2018 planner. The Holiday Tree and Snowman cards depict wintery scenes using cool colors of silver, blue, and greens, and available for initial activation amount of P300 per card.
Snowman and Holiday Tree Card
The Maligayang Pasko card is a market exclusive that’s available for an initial activation amount of P300 per card.
The 2018 Red Cup card matches the physical Give Good cup and merchandise, and comes with a red Kraft sleeve carrier. Get it for an initial activation amount of P1,000 per card
Catch the flavors, cheers, and excitement of Christmas this season at Starbucks. Stay updated on future Starbucks offerings and promos by visiting starbucks.ph.