Sunday, July 15, 2012

Starbucks Hoji-what?

The local plebeians have found their drinking pleasure in the conveniently sprinkled milk tea joints all around Metro Manila. I for one am guilty of this menace, and have adopted the milk tea jargon of “no pearls”, “less ice” and my favorite, “zero sugar.”

The last spiel has earned me gawks and sneers that the cashier will certainly mark as the zaniest she has encountered in her front-office life, but if I had the time, I’d certainly have told her, better my decisive and time-saving action than the band of kids behind me dishing out statements that sound like “Ummm”, “Hmmm” and all other rhymes. It seems that it will take her forever to get them to order, unless they head for cover at the nearest McDonald’s. 

Yet again I digress from my feature photo. Starbucks Hojicha.

I have not been to Starbucks for a while, and curious about this Hojicha drink which has been flooding my dreams and consciousness, I’ve decided to finally confront this poster drink.

Resuming an upper class stance, I’ve decided to drop the hoi polloi Moonleaf mindset, put on my best English and go for “One Grande non fat Hojicha Frap with Earl Grey Jelly for J.Anne!” and since it was lunch, that chicken pesto on panini which looked quite enticing in that flat presentation.

The Hojicha came sans the cream, sugoi! But that was the best part out of this hoj-experience. If I were to rename this gloriously presented drink, it would be: 110% Sweet Earl Grey Frap, further sweetened by the Earl Grey Jelly. This is best partnered with something horribly bland and crisp, and I am glad I went for panini than the Oreo Cheesecake that was winking at me from the chiller.

In terms of the tea flavor, the Hojicha is certainly the supreme being that perhaps contains 10 teabags worth of tea which would please the Queen of England. 

Being used to mildly sweetened to bland drinks, the Hojicha certainly blasted my system to hyper-sugar mode—though I needed it at that time, reliving Tom Hanks in his The Terminal experience. Other than this outlier experience, I believe that should I have a tea fix, I would resume to my eternal favorite, the one drink that will never let me down, despite horrendous exams and long drives: Green Tea Frap without whipped cream.

 As for that chicken pesto panini, the actual name escapes my mind. Perhaps my subconscious decided to bury it in my mental oblivion since it wasn’t that spectacular to begin with. I’ve had other better tasting and worth recalling Starbucks sandwiches and this surely isn’t one of them. Filled with chicken, pesto and cheese, it was hmmm-kay but not dream-worthy.

 Especially when it’s something I can replicate at home. 

 But still, I am sure glad I didn’t go for that Oreo Cheesecake or the bathroom would’ve been my destination and not China. 


  1. I'm still not tempted to try this drink. We have that here in SIngapore, too. Just released I think, same time as in PH. It just seems too weird for me. They also have a new one with red beans! Yikes!

  2. If you just want something with tea in it, just go for the green tea cheesecake! Everything else is too sweet, for me, that is (especially those red beans).

  3. same here, mine would be "0% sugar & less/ no ice" :) i can order no ice coz i often bring it home (coz i'm lactose intolerant so i don't drink it when i'm out) so i can still chill it before drinking. i often get it with crystals (or red beans if taro drink) instead of pearls unless i do not have a choice. often times, i order the fruit teas so it won't be milk based.

    i liked that pesto chicken sandwich even if it's w/ pesto-mayonnaise sauce. probably because the mayo isn't too much. i hate mayo kasi! but i still miss my faves-- tomato, mozzarella & basil on bagel and the fruit & nut toast.

  4. Nice to read your blog J.anne. :) I actually liked the Hojicha. I guess its something different from the milkteas-sinkers-sugar level craze. I'm not a fan of the green tea frap, most especially the one with red beans, but it had an interesting taste. Hoping to read more reviews from you! :)

  5. Wow sounds like a Starbucks fan! I love their wraps and salads!

  6. Hi Apples! Glad to hear from you! Hojicha's got some fans but I guess I'm with Team Green Tea. Thanks for stopping by! :)