I’ll be starting with my review of Starbucks’ new Black & White menu, detailing their stores around 800 Convention Place Seattle, and then introducing you to the best Ninja Turtles fan story you might not have heard of, MNT Gaiden. Because this will be such a long article, the Turtles and the Coffee, will be separate posts. Given Raph’s MNT consumption “habits…” it’s probably better they stay separate 😉
(MNT images taken from https://tigerfog.deviantart.com/, official Deviantart account of the MNT Gaiden comic)
But first we’ll deal with the new Black and White menu from Starbucks and where to find them at con.
https://www.starbucks.com/store-locator?map=47.612837,-122.33318,17z Keep in mind that this link brings up a zoomed in link, and the eastmost Starbucks is the local Roasterie Reserve. The very first one, I believe. And keep your eyes out for 7th & Pike. For quite a few years, it was the only place to get convention-specific drink mixes. But as of 2017, several other stores in the immediate area were also selling these for Comicon and Sakuracon. Even the ones in the City Center shopping complex. Yes, it is a small mall, and yes, they do have multiple Starbucks. I tried to make the options more clear in this pic.
But onto the coffee. It was available in Espresso, Frappacino, and Hot Cocoa varieties. Boasting white mocha, black mocha, and whipped cream topped in crumbled black chocolate like a bow.
Oh, the espresso option. Let’s just get this out of the way, because I’m not sure what to say. The espresso flavor is so strong and so dominant, but then I’m tempted to make some very inappropriate whips & chains humor. But sadly, no fully articulated joke comes to mind, and I’m not sure that this is the proper platform to tell it anyway. So, we all know that as the ongoing weather patterns in any given area change shift, becomes harder or easier to grow certain types of food in certain places. Traditional coffee plantations are beginning to feel the pinch. So your fix is not only going to be harder distribute on account of scarcity, the price will go up, that’s not accounting for how many households the world over waste food because they don’t realize how much is still useful.
So, let’s look at the actual flavor. It’s espresso flavor. It’s still espresso flavor but competing with other flavors. You will notice me later trying to discuss the efforts to describe taste and smells with words for second sound. Well as someone who actually thinks processes his thoughts in sight. So I see espresso is like one of those ships in the new(ish) Battlestar Galactica where it is a long cylinder device with a big ring around the middle. The espresso is long, ongoing, massive and everything else just orbits a small section of it whenever you try to add flavor to it. Which makes espresso a poor choice for specialty drinks and seasonal flavors, because for the most part all you will ever taste is espresso.
(yeah, this is the analogy that my visually oriented mind makes, only with less Legos)
So once you get through all that, how does it taste? The espresso itself is certainly not dull, but I think for once it’s actually working in tandem with the dark chocolate. Although you only get a sense of that through aftertaste in which case the dull shadows of the espresso are finally competitive with the dull shadows of anything else. Whenever you actually drink it it’s pretty much just an espresso otherwise things melt into it, the espresso tastes different.
While I could taste everything at once, or at least all the flavors added at once in the frappe, in the hot cocoa I taste mostly sweet cream with veil of a chocolatey mist, if that makes any sense. I’m not sure how professional food critics do this using sight & sound metaphors to describe smell and taste. Clearly I’m on the learning curve. The little bits of chocolate that form the bow tie in this tuxedo themes drink, the seem to melt the quickest in the Coco rather than the espresso. Plus the flavors balance the best in the Coco.
With the Frappuccino, it tastes like white mocha with a bit of coffee flavor at it. It doesn’t really make the most of the black and white chocolate theme. So I honestly recommend the hot cocoa the most. Not only is it the cheapest, but it also balances all these flavors the best. It does the most with this theme, and it doesn’t on a budget. Plus I wouldn’t recommend Frappuccinos in the cold weather we’re having here. Especially not the cold wet weather. This is definitely hot cocoa season. Espresso just brings you down on a crash too hard.
Next time, onto MNT Gaiden.