Starbuck’s Archie’s Crunch Red Hat Frappuccino Review

Starbucks drinks are always very social media worthy. They recently launched their Holiday season specials, with a classic Archie’s comics theme. Out of these the very awesome looking Red Hat Mocha Frappuccino is now re-Christened as The Archie’s Crunchy Red Hat Mocha frappuccino is an Instagram-worthy drink that is almost too cute to drink {almost}. The strawberry and chocolate mocha combine classic flavours with a cute “hat” made of whipped cream, strawberry drizzle and chocolate whip. If that isn’t enough to make you run to Starbucks with your Starbucks card, then what will.

The drink is available in Hot, Iced or Frappuccino versions for those of you who don’t believe Starbucks has a winter! Something for everyone. They’ve also brought back their classic wintertime drinks like the Toffee Nut Crunch {a hot favourite}, Vanilla Nougat Latte and the Mocha Praline. Now, my favourite of theses has so far been the Archie’s Red Hat Mocha Frappuccino which is a perfect blend of milk, smooth coffee, decadent mocha, a generous amount of vanilla whipped cream topped with a chocolate whipped cream hat and strawberry drizzle and finished with crunchy graham crackers.

I gotta tell you that they keep bringing out stuff and I keep changing my favourite drink everytime a special comes out. So while my go to order is their Caramel Frappuccino – which is awesome by the way – this one really hits the spot. I’ve had it 3 times now and I just love it. I hope to get it a couple of more times before they take it off the menu.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee & What Is The Difference Between Cold Brew & Iced Coffee

What is cold brew coffee and how is it made? What is the difference between cold brew and versus iced coffee?

#1 | HOW IS COLD BREW MADE? 

Coffee grounds (usually coarse) + water (cold or room temp) + time (8 to 24 hours) = most cold brew. Cold brew coffee is usually made by steeping coffee in water for a number of hours at cold or ambient (room) temperature. This slow, low temp brew makes cold brew taste very different from hot brewing the same type of coffee beans: mild chocolate and mellow, low acidity fruits are common flavor notes. We tested this for ourselves, and you can read our findings in our blog, “Cold Brew Taste Test: 5 Coffees, Hot vs. Cold”.

Cold brewing – or in many cases ambient temperature brewing – uses time in place of temperature to ensure extraction. Cold brewing can take between 8 and 24 hours, depending on who you ask and what your target cold brew taste is. Cold brew coffee is also often made as a concentrate which is then diluted – or “watered down” – to taste from there. So, while pour-over coffee and most drip coffees have a brewing ratio of about 1 to 16 coffee to water (ex: 20 grams of ground coffee brewed with 320 mL of water), cold brewing is usually done with less and with a wide range of possibilities to suit different tastes.

#2 | COLD BREW VS. ICED COFFEE

Iced coffee used to mostly be just what it sounds like: normal brewed drip coffee or espresso to which one adds ice. It was not — and maybe still isn’t — uncommon to watch a barista or diner employee simply take some coffee from batch brew, throw some ice in it, and call it “Iced Coffee”.

“Flash chill” or “flash brew” coffee is a more recently popularized innovation on iced coffee. These “flash” methods take two steps to increase the quality of iced coffee:

  1. reduce the ratio of water to coffee to account for the added ice that would otherwise dilute the coffee, and
  2. cool down the hot-brewed coffee immediately by brewing directly into the ice-filled vessel.

Cold brew is slow-steeped for longer periods of time. It differs from iced coffee, which has been hot brewed specifically to extract those additional layers of flavors and other natural coffee compounds that don’t get extracted much or at all in cold brew.

What’s Your Preferred Warm Drink As The Temperatures Drop?

Warm Beverages: What’s your preferred warm drink as the temperatures drop? Is it tea, hot chocolate, or perhaps a spiced latte?

Well since I was very young, I have been a coffee drinker. Most of my 47 years on this earth. I started off with tea when I stopped drinking just milk (flavoured or otherise) and by age 8 I started getting tea. However within a couple of years I had moved to coffee and I can safely say that I have a love affair with coffee and prefer drinking it.

Until this year I usually only drank coffee and very rarely did I drink tea. Like maybe when I went to a friend’s house or a relative’s house and they made tea, I’d drink it. And yes at times I have enjoyed an iced tea. One of my favourite drinks is a peach ice tea, which is really very delicious and I’ve also had just regular ice tea and honey ice tea. But since this year I have been drinking less coffee and more tea.

So I usually have 3 coffees in a day sometimes 4 – so now I have 2 teas and 1 coffee or maybe even 3 cups of tea on the weekends. But at the office I tend to drink 1 more coffee instead of a tea since I prefer their coffees to their tea. On a cold day I would prefer to drink a hot coffee.

Prompt from November Journaling: 55 Writing Ideas, Topics, And Prompts To Inspire You

Tim Hortons Fall Menu Seasonal Items

The rise of pumpkin-themed drinks is all over the months of September-October-November. Even though I am late by 2 months, as Tim Horton’s launched their fall menu at the beginning of September, it’s never too late. Also while the winter dread is real, so is the eager anticipation of fall. It looks like that is also the case over at Tim Hortons, as the brand unveils its fall menu items and beverages. The Tims Pumpkin Spice Lattes are available at all locations. It can be ordered as hot or iced. They feature espresso, steamed or ice-chilled milk, pumpkin spice flavour, and whipped topping with some cinnamon sugar.

The Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew and the Pumpkin Spice Iced Cap are the new arrivals on the Tim Hortons’ fall menu. The coffee chain also has introduced a new bakery item called the Dulce Apple Fritter Dream Donut. It’s the same apple fritter that you know and love, doused in cinnamon sugar, with a filling of dulce de leche. Their Pumpkin Spice Muffin makes its return.

Starbucks India Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

IMG_20230908_184740

Oh yeah! I love the fall/autumn specials. Granted we here in this part of the world do not have a fall season they way they have it in North America or Europe but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino Blended Beverage is a delicious drink that captures the essence of autumn. It’s a concoction of Frappuccinos’ velvety texture and comforting pumpkin pie spice flavors. The aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves transports you straight to a cozy fall day.

The cup before me was a sandier colour than a regular coffee Frappuccino. Almost a pinkish hue. The texture is thick and creamy. It’s sweet but not sickly, the autumnal flavours, such as the pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and caramel burst through with every sip. It’s a very pleasant and tasty concoction, that doesn’t get boring. The coldness, added sweetness and texture make it very distinguished from the regular Latte version. It might be too cold for some but I like it a lot.

It’s September And Officially Pumpkin Spice Season

Ah yes September! When the leaves start to change colour and it looks so beautiful and then they fall – well not really where I live but I can see them nonetheless. Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte goes on sale August 24th in the U.S. and Canada, as it does each year when the nights start getting longer and the fall winds gather. But this year it was slightly earlier than usual. Starbucks India will also see the seasonal favourites come out to the delight of their patrons (as of now, I don’t see them on the menu).

Tim Hortons’ too have brought out their seasonal specials for their customers on AUg 29th. Tims customers across Canada can now try a new Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew, and a Pumpkin Spice Iced Capp. Offered either hot or cold, the lattes are made with freshly brewed espresso, frothy steamed or ice chilled milk, and delicious pumpkin spice flavour and are topped with whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. As for the new Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew and the Pumpkin Spice Iced Capp, both come with a pumpkin spice twist. Once again, they haven’t yet arrived in India but they will. I am not worried since most of India does not really have a falll/autumn season. Just like most of of us do not really have a winter season.

For Starbuck It’s the coffee giant’s most popular seasonal beverage, with hundreds of millions sold since its launch in 2003 in the US alone. In the year ending July 29, U.S. sales of pumpkin-flavored products reached $802.5 million, according to Nielsen. Starbucks tested the Pumpkin Spice Latte in 100 stores in Washington, D.C., and Vancouver, British Columbia, that fall. The company quickly realized it had a winner and rolled it out across the United States and Canada the following fall.

Unplanned Going To The Office & A McDonald’s Visit

I had to go to the office for a couple of hours yesterday even though I was off. On Friday night I got to know about something that I had missed and that it was due on Monday. I wasn’t sure how I managed to miss this and hence I just had to go in on Saturday. So I woke up at 7 am, an hour later than I usually do for this shift and got ready by 10 am post having a shower, a shave and breakfast. I booked an Uber a little after that and reached the office by 10:45 am.

IMG_20230722_140016

Most of the people from the night shift had already left by then and I only saw a handful of folks slowly making their way out of the elevator. I went in, put my bag and phone away and grabbed a work desktop on the 5th floor production floor and plugged in my laptop as well. I logged in and started on the 1st of 8 tasks. By 11:45 am I wanted a coffee but instead got a cold boost & banana smoothie, which did not taste all that well. I was feeling a bit hungry so I had a small bite to eat but I was saving room for lunch.

I had finished 3 tasks by then and got back to finishing the remaining 5 tasks. 3 of them were done very quickly, much to my surprise and I knew that I would finish much earlier than I expected. I was done by 1pm and then closed everything after making sure there was nothing else left. I was done at the front door 20 minutes later and booked a cab, which took over 20 minutes as there as a traffic block near the office. I got my cab and then headed to the McDonald’s in Vytilla.

IMG_20230722_135552

I haven’t had an McDonalds in over 7 months, maybe almost 8. I haven’t been to a McDonalds since before the pandemic lockdowns. I wanted to go in and it was a busy afternoon for them. I ordered a new burger that they had, a Piri Piri Spicy McChicken and some 6 nuggets with a regular mocha frappe. Now I have never had any coffee from McDonalds other than a cappuccino before this. And I love their cappuccino. This one is really good as well. I enjoyed that with my burger and nuggets. Even though the place was noisy and crowded, I enjoyed my lunch and then came home to change, put on the ac as it was a hot day and slip between the sheets to watch Ace Ventura : Pet Detective.

Coffeeshop Chains In My City

Cafe Coffee Day : This is an Indian chain and the biggest in the country. They have been around for quite a few years and have 5 in the city. 1 in Lulu Mall, 2 on MG Road – the OG near Shenoys and the one near Medical Trust hospital, the big one on Kaloor-Kadavanthara road and 1 on Pathadipalam which I have never seen.

Costa Coffee : This British owned coffeeshop chain started in Cochin back in 2012 when they launched their little open air shop on the ground floor of Lulu Mall. They now have just 2 in the city, one in Lulu Mall & the other in Center Square Mall.

Starbucks : Starbucks is the latest entry in the city having established in India a few years ago. Currently we have two in Kochi – the first one started in Lulu Mall in late 2020, and around 8 to 10 months ago they opened one near Holiday Inn on the bypass.

We will soon see Tim Hortons come to the city but that will be in 2024 (I hope).

I Am A Grande Boy

It’s time to accept it, I am a basic bitch! Hehehe, I am a Starbucks Grande boy. The last couple of months has seen me going to the Starbucks in Vennala, which I think is their newest outlet in Cochin, several times. Usually after work and when I need a sweet pick-me-up after the working day is done and if I have time, I will head to that particular Starbucks and order me a frappuccino and let the sweet liquid take the day’s toil away fro me.

And their Caramel Frappuccino is my current favourite drink. These Starbucks Caramel Frappuccinos are delicious and despite the sweet caramel, overall it isn’t overpoweringly sweet. I love the combo taste of caramel and whipped cream. Considering its name, it’s has an obvious caramel-like taste. CheatSheet describes the taste of a Caramel Frap to be “the perfect blend of sweet and salty,” thanks to the mix of sweet Frappuccino Roast syrup and salty caramel syrup. Since a general consensus about the Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino is that the drink is not for people who don’t like sweet beverages, it comes as no surprise that a Caramel Frap has A LOT of sugar.

It’s ok to have it a few times in a year but I wouldn’t want to go to Starbucks on a daily basis for frappuccinos. But when I feel that craving, I will definitely try to go to one of them and enjoy a sweet beverage in the evening.

Some Fun Facts About Cappuccinos

A cappuccino is a classic espresso and milk drink. It starts with a bottom layer of one or two espresso shots, with a second layer of steamed milk on top, followed by a thick layer of foam which gives it a luxurious velvety texture.

Originated in Italy, cappuccino consist of 100–140ml of fresh whole milk, expertly frothed and poured in equal measures of liquid and milk foam over 25–30ml of espresso contained in a 150–200ml cup at a temperature of 60°–65°C.

  1. Inspired by a “Capuchin friar” named Marco D’Aviano, cappuccino frequented a Viennese coffee house at the end of the 17th century.
  2. The quality of your Cappuccino depends on the quality of the espresso, as espresso is the essential element of a cappuccino.
  3. Cappuccino is originated from Italians and is now the most consumable espresso-based milk coffee across the world.
  4. In Italy, people only drink cappuccino during breakfast time.
  5. Italian engineer Achille Gaggia patented the first modern espresso machine in 1938, making today’s Cappuccino.
  6. Cappuccino usually should be one-third of milk foam, one-third of milk and one-third of coffee.
  7. Classic cappuccinos earlier being served with elements sprinkled are ginger, cinnamon or cocoa powder.
  8. The correct temperature for a cappuccino shouldn’t be more than 65-70 degrees. This is the perfect temperature for getting a lovely silky milk texture and the natural sweetness of protein in the milk.
  9. The person who makes an excellent cappuccino is known as a “Barista”. It’s an Italian term for coffee maker.
  10. Every year, the world championship for the best cappuccino happens in London.

Hanging Out Drinking In A Grande Life

What’s your favorite hideout or hangout spot, and why do you like it?

I haven’t had a hangout in a long, long time. Covid being the biggest reason ever plus my illness. Now I have a hangout that I enjoy being at even though, it’s expensive as heck. I am talking about Starbucks. Specifically the one at Vennala.

I have been aching to have some frappucino or ice cappucino or cold brews. And last week I walked in twice to enjoy a little bite in the evening and a grande. After such a long time I as in a cafe. And it was the first time I was in a Starbucks since 2015! Yes I have ordered a few cups via Swiggy or Zomato but it’s a different experience to go in and order it yourself and get the fresh frappe set on your table and to enjoy the ambience and sip slowly.

Sitting there the two time last week, munching on a croissant and sipping my coffee, I did feel good and relaxed after my work had ended. It is a nice feeling. Ofcourse it’s not light on the wallet and therefore I cannot do it often but once in a month or so, I can enjoy myself in a cafe.

Prompt from 87 Blog Post Ideas That Will Never Fail You (2023) at Blog Tyrant

My Guide To Saving Money On Coffee

My guide to saving money on coffee is to not order these suckers. Done! Genius right? Nah, mainly because of the pandemic, I do not go out to eat much. Though I did go for a few outings from June 2020 till April 2021, from May of 2021 I have rarely gone out to eat. I think just a couple of times. And in all this time I have not gone out once for coffee.

However I did not go to get a coffee with the sole exception of my first afternoon out at a cafe in Ravipuram with my cousin in June 2020. Since then none but I have ordered a large frappe or cold brew a few times from either of Starbucks, Costa Coffee or Cafe Coffee Day. Usually it is a large or in Starbucks case, I should say either a grande or a venti. But I think I have probably only ordered 12 to 15 times in these past 2 plus years.

So I guess that is the way to do so. Besides they are really expensive anyways, with the exception of CCD which I think are more reasonably priced. So hardly going out and ordering a large coffee once every 45 days or so, you save a lot more money. And just make it at home. All that will change when finally Tim Hortons will expand to Cochin. I have been eagerly waiting for this for over 2 decades. They started in India last year and will probably come down south by July or August I think.

Prompt from 100+ Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Will Love at Macy Michelle

Got An Arsenal Jersey Designed Coffee Cup From Jersey Kart

I think I have mentioned it perhaps once or twice on this website, but I have a thing for collecting coffee mugs. Or tea mugs as I now drink tea as well. I always look for coffee cups that I can have and keep in my collection, ones which nice logos – either they come that way or I can customize them. I think I have 7 coffee mugs at the moment that only I use and these are all that I have bought just for myself. Of these 5 are customized.

IMG_20221223_125938

So I was scrolling though the Facebook app on my phone when I saw an advert for Jersey Kart. Jersey Kart is a website & app that sells football jerseys & shorts (club & national), banners, balls and mugs. I wanted to get the Arsenal mug which is a coffee mug with the current style of Arsenal home jersey design on it and you can either get a player’s name and number on the other side or get your own name and customized number on it. So I did order mine on December 1st and it was scheduled to arrive on Dec 10th to the 12th.

IMG_20221223_132301IMG_20221223_132243

However they ended up having some problems and did not communicate it to me. Their customer care leaves a lot to be desired. I had to send multiple messages on Whatsapp and email before finding a phone number and the guy said that it was delayed but that it would reach me by the 24th. I got it yesterday and opened it. It’s not bad but it doesn’t look as good as I thought it would turn out to be.