Wednesday, May 4, 2011

However you want it: Starbucks Personalized Frappuccino

Starbucks Philippines recently launched the "However You Want It Frappuccino Blended Beverage" wherein you can customize your Starbucks frap by adding or removing components. Now, coffee afficionados can create a blended beverage that suits their taste and reflects their personality.

Customizing your Starbucks Frappuccino can be done by:
- choosing your milk: regular, non-fat, soy;
- choosing your coffee's strength: regular or decaf;
- adding the special Frappuccino Roast or getting an extra espresso shot;
- adding extra syrup or drizzle;
- doing away with the "calorie-adding" stuff: no whip, sugar-free syrup, etc.

To help spread the word, Starbucks held a blogger event where they launched their new concoctions, the Extra Coffee Caramel Frappuccino Blended Beverage and Soy Green Tea Cream Frappuccino Blended Beverage.
Starbucks Extra Coffee Caramel Frappuccino
Starbucks Soy Green Tea Cream Frappuccino
They also encouraged the attendees to customize their favorite Starbucks fraps -- and actually make them!

(Disclaimer: crappy quality photos from my phone. My camera was "indisposed" that night, hehe!)

Love from Starbucks' marketing dept. assists Jon of Blogger Manila in writing his personalized frap on the Starbucks shirt.
My own beverage: Single Tall White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage
Carmi of Starbucks teaches guests the steps in making the frap.
Yuri of Lost Tsinelas whips up his customized Starbucks frap.
My personalized White Chocolate Mocha (no extra espresso shot, though). Too much whipped cream, eh?
After creating our own personalized frappuccinos, Starbucks served us their new food items that are great complements to their coffee:

Left: Mango Peach Cream Pie. On the plate: Coffee Brownie (made with Starbucks VIA), Five Cheese Turnover, Chicken Galantina and Fontina Cheese on Pandesal, Chicken Buffalo Bleu, Tiramisu Cheesecake (made with Starbucks VIA).
At this point, maybe you're thinking, "I wanna make my own unique frap, but I'm not quite sure how to start." Good thing there's to give you a guide on creating your own frappuccino concoction.

So what are you waiting for? Visit a Starbucks branch near you and order your own customized frappuccino.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thor: Mythology, action, and eye-candy

I'm not much into Norse mythology, but what I know is that some of the days of the week are named after them, with Thursday being the day of the Norse god of thunder.

But that isn't really touched in this Marvel-produced film.

And because I'm also not into Thor as the comic character, I watched this movie without any knowledge of his background, except that his father was Odin, the All-Father and that his brother is Loki, the god of mischief.

The film starts off with a bit of a background of Odin and his sons, Thor and Loki, and how Asgard (the realm of the Norse gods) was in a truce with the Frost Giants. But then, something breaches that truce and Thor, the heir apparent of Odin, went to wage a battle with the Frost Giants, which eventually becomes the reason why he gets banished to Midgard aka Earth.

So here in Earth he loses his godly strength (yet still retains his pride and pumped-up physique) and meets a scientist named Jane. And because he loses his power to even wield Mjolnir, the magical hammer, he begins to cool down a bit and takes the time to mull on his mistakes.

Meanwhile, back in Asgard, as Odin unexpectedly hibernates, Loki begins to claim power and twists everything. Upon learning what his brother has done, Thor sets on to free Asgard from the wicked clutches of his brother.

As part of the precursors to the big Avengers movie, Thor seems to be my least favorite of them all for now, if I compare it to Iron Man 1 and 2, and the Hulk movie. Maybe because Thor has that proud personality or because unlike Bruce Banner and Tony Stark (and even Steve Rogers aka Captain America), Thor isn't a human/ superhuman.

It might also be because the character development seemed to be in too fast a pace. Suddenly Thor is humbled when he can't wield the Mjolnir -- after 2 days of crashing into Earth?

And it's also probably because I felt Natalie Portman was just the distracting eye-candy in this movie. After her stellar portrayal in Black Swan, she's here in the movie acting like a teenager who gets those "kilig" moments when she's in front of her crush. I felt she was under-utilized here, I dunno.

But while there may be some misses in this movie, I kinda enjoyed it because it is part of the pre-Avengers continuity. At least I get some background as to how SHIELD gets to form this super-group and who some of the members are. And Agent Coulson has been getting more screen time since he appeared in Iron Man.

Of course, there's also the so-called Easter egg at the end of the movie. And Chris Hemsworth's muscles.

For much of it's eye-candy and action, I guess the film holds up -- which becomes some of the reasons why this movie is a must-see. Also if you're into the Avengers Initiative excitement. Just don't expect it to be as cool as Iron Man, though.