Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Coffee Jelly Galore

Coffee’s such a staple drink for us Filipinos, with coffee shops sprouting from out of nowhere & the prevalence of numerous 3-in-1 instant coffee available in the market. However, one thing that they haven’t thought of making “instant” is my favorite coffee jelly drink, which…thank God, are now practically available everywhere, from the ever-reliable Fast Food chains to the posh coffee shops around town. Given that I’m such a fan of this cool & sweet drink, I’m giving you a review of some of the coffee jelly drinks that I’ve tried.

(1) Jollibee’s Coffee Jelly Ice Craze @ P 27.00
This is probably the most “pang-masa” coffee jelly drink I’ve encountered. My mom actually swears by it, though I’m not very much of a fan of this drink. Actually, this is more of a dessert than a drink (unless you melt all the ice I guess) since you actually have to spoon it out to eat it. This dessert consists of coffee jelly strips on top of coffee-flavored soft ice cream (I’m not sure if it’s actually ice cream…it’s more of a cream if you ask me) with choco syrup & lots of ice. This is what I don’t like about this dessert. It’s got an excess of ice (like half of the cup is just ice) that doesn’t really blend well with the rest of the stuff. I like my coffee jelly dessert smooth & creamy. This is just rough & “coarse” to the tongue when eaten. However, for just 27 bucks, it is well within everyone’s budget & if you’re not as “difficult-to-please” as I am (and if you’re already at Jollibee), then this will do for you.

(2) Zagu’s Café Latte in Regular @ P 35.00
My all-time-favorite Zagu drink flavor is Café Latte. Despite all the new flavors that have come & gone, Café Latte will always be my number one. But this drink will never be complete without the oh-so-chewy black sago that they creatively call pearls. This drink will surely satisfy your coffee fix for the day & will leave you wanting for more. My only criticism about this is that the pearls are a bit warm at times & when they mix this with the drink itself, the tendency is for the small bits of ice to melt. And since I like my drink with bits of ice on it, this can really be quite a downer. Nonetheless, the drink tastes good & for only 35 bucks, it’s affordable enough for everyone to get a hold of. And for just an additional 5 bucks, you can ask for extra pearls (which I always do) or crystals (better known as Nata de Coco) for a more satisfying drink.

(3) Seattle’s Best Java Jelly in Tall @ P 130.00
This drink is über yummy, I can drink two Grande glasses in one sitting (and be soooper hyper after Ü). Seattle’s Best has almost perfected the art of coffee jelly drinks with this super satisfying beverage that feels like heaven. It’s a bit pricey though, but it’s reasonable enough for those special moments when you’d like to reward yourself for a job well done or when you’ve been given manna from heaven. However, as I’ve said, they’ve almost perfected their coffee jelly drink…almost coz I’ve noticed that the consistency of their drink differs every time I order. Sometimes it’s super smooth & not as cold as you’d want it to be, at times it’s just the right blend with bits of ice that melt like heaven in your mouth. I commend them though for making such great coffee jelly bits that are yummy & would make you feel like you’re on cloud nine. I super love this drink, though I’d recommend that you buy it only on occasions when you’re really craving for it since it’s a bit too pricey (in my standards at least). Seattle’s Best Java Jelly is available in Tall, Grande & Supremo, with prices of 130, 140 & 150 bucks respectively.

(4) Starbucks’ Coffee Jelly in Grande @ P135.00
Starbucks’ version of this yummy drink is similar to Seattle’s Best except for the aroma & strength. Starbucks’ coffee jelly drink is definitely stronger than Seattle’s Best, but its aroma is richer & will definitely satisfy even your sense of smell. This drink is topped with whipped cream as well and is better enjoyed with the cream well-blended with the drink (it makes the beverage yummier). I commend Starbucks for being consistent in making their drink. Unlike Seattle’s whose consistency varies per order (dunno why), the different times I’ve ordered this drink at Starbucks resulted to the same consistency & yummy taste as the one before, so hats off to their team for that. The sizes of their drink is similar to that of Seattle’s (available in Grande, Tall & Venti) however, Starbucks' version of this drink is pricier (they increased just recently), with prices of 135, 145 & 160 bucks respectively, so I’d suggest you reserve drinking this beverage for special occasions (unless you have excess moolah with you). Just a tip: It’s best to buy the largest size available since this will give you more value for your money. Same goes with Seattle’s.Ü Additional FYI though: Starbucks' offer a "more chewy" coffee jelly cubes in their drink, while that of Seattle's lean more on the "softer" side. Plus, Starbucks' has more coffee jelly than Seattle's such that there are lots of coffee jelly bits left even when you've already finished the drink. Don't worry though, they have this green "spoon-straw" that allows you to scoop out the leftover coffee jelly bits so that you get all your money's worth.ü

These are just some of the coffee jelly drinks that I’ve tried in the market. There are a lot more out there & even more to come, I suppose, since a lot of restos & cafes are actually concocting their own blends of coffee jelly drinks since it’s such a hit for us Filipinos. With the numerous coffee jelly drinks out there (I’ve only reviewed 4 but there are a lot more), I’m quite sure that you’ll find one that suits your taste buds & will keep you coming back for more.Ü

Note: The prices posted here are as of January 2006.

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