Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pike Place's Starbucks

In tune with Starbucks Philippines' annual "planner/diary craze" allow me to pat myself in the back and brag that I claimed mine in less than 2 weeks. A record breaker of sorts since i started collecting this yearly temptation, and chugging down their brews (Signature drinks included) 6 years ago. Now to abstain from entering this caffeinatedly sinfull java hut for the next 2, 3, 6-months even, while I find a way to lose those excess pounds!

While in the festive mood of talking Starbucks and everything caffein, let me share with you our proud experience of visiting their first branch in Seattle, WA - the iconic Starbucks Pike Place which started brewing "the cuppa joe that launched a thousand more branches" in 1971. This place, or "tourist attraction" if I may, is effortlessly oozing with rich history and is of vital relevance to both the now-titanic brand and the Emerald City. Hands down, it solidified Seattle's reputation as the coffee capital of America.

You literally enter a time warp once there, as Starbucks meticulously kept cadence to the original design - from the hardwoods, furnishings and illumination. Oh, I should also mention that they have a signature blend sold exclusively in that outlet, the Pike Place Special Reserve, which I hoarded and brought back home.

Kid not included...
Literally a souvenir shop!
Scratch off another one from our Coffee Geek bucket list!

The band of four,
mission accomplished!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Black Forrest Latte (Hot & Cold)

Black Forrest is one of the earliest and most popular espresso-based flavor variant used by coffee shops dating back to the  late 90's. It stems from the wave of "drinkable desserts" of that era, with honorable mention going to Tiramisu and Chocolate Mousse.

A healthy, home-made version minus
the whipped cream & garnishing 

Over the years, Black Forrest has either evolved or morphed into many other names (with minimal twist and/or add-on) like Dark Cherry Mocha, Berry Mocha, Mocha Red Velvet, etc., yet the core ingredients consisting of espresso, cherry syrup (cherry brandy/liquor), chocolate syrup/sauce and milk remain.

Here is a cold and hot version of this timeless drink. Pick one depending on the mood you are in, or have both if tummy space permits!

Iced Black Forrest Latte, 12-ounce

Ingredients: Double-shot espresso (30ml per shot), 15ml Stasero Dark Chocolate Sauce, 30ml Stasero Cherry Syrup, 120ml fresh milk

Step 1: In a mixing container combine Double-shot espresso, Stasero Dark Chocolate Sauce, and Stasero Cherry Syrup. Mix well until fully incorporated.

Step 2:  Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice, then pour the Cherry-Mocha mixture into it. Top with whipped cream (optional) and maraschino cherry, and add chocolate shavings for that full Black Forrest effect!

Black Forrest Latte (Hot version), 8-ounce

Ingredients: Double-shot espresso, 15ml Stasero Dark Chocolate Sauce, 30ml Stasero Cherry Syrup, 60ml milk

The do-it-all Jura Ena9 Espresso Machine
Call me spoiled, but this version was simplified thanks to my Jura Ena9 do-it-all espresso machine, with a one-touch LATTE-button. 

With its pre-set feature, one touch of the "Latte Macchiato" button,
it automatically steams the milk for you...

Then dispenses the espresso shot after!

Finished product prepared in less than a minute! 
Garnish this drink whichever way you want, I simply topped this drink with more Stasero Cherry Syrup!

Here's wishing everyone Happy Holidays!!! Caffeinated & Creamy Cheers...