Monday, June 17, 2013

Coffee Bean Turns 50!

Turning 50 is a momentous event for just about anyone and this does not exclude international coffee brand, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaves (CBTL). 2013 marks its 50th anniversary worldwide while the Malaysian branch celebrates 15 glorious years since introducing locals to gourmet coffee. To introduce its updated menu and its anniversary specials, CBTL invited several bloggers for a food review session at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail outlet.

CBTL 50th birthday cake
People who know me well know that I am a huge coffee-drinker. I need my coffee fix at least twice a day. For their 50th celebration, Coffee Bean has released two limited edition drinks; Rocky Road Ice Blended and rainbow-sprinkled Birthday Cake Ice Blended. That latter is non-caffeinated, making it ideal for children as well. But since I prefer my ice-blended coffee caffeinated, I opted to try the Rocky Road Ice Blended drink. 



Rocky Road and Birthday Cake ice blended.
Rocky Road Ice Blended.
Good for a hot and humid day, the Rocky Road Ice Blended is the drink that will make you go 'Aaaah, that's the stuff....' or 'That hits the spot....' The drink has the combination flavour of chocolate, marshmallow with a touch of walnut for the rocky road goodness. Don't judge its sweetness by how it sounds as the cream and coffee balances out the sweetness of the chocolate, making it was surprisingly quite refreshing and light. Available for a limited time only till July 21st, 2013.


Poppy Citrus Salad.
 Two salad dishes have been added to the menu in the form of the Poppy Citrus Salad and the Chinese Chicken Salad. The Poppy Citrus Salad offers a colourful presentation and burst of flavours due to the blend of fresh orange, onions, cabbage and chicken bacon, drenched in a sauce made of poppy seed and balsamic vinegar. The Chinese Chicken Salad reminded me of the Chinese New Year tradition of Yee Sang that involved tossing the condiments high up from the plate. Like the Yee Sang, this dish comes with crackers for a crunchy bite to match the meaty chicken bits.

Chinese Chicken Salad.

Pesto Chutney Zucchini Burger.
The Chutney Zucchini Burger was one of the more memorable dishes of the day. Spread across its grilled zucchini patty was pineapple chutney that has a citrus kick to the already delicious and healthy meal. Despite it being completely vegetarian, I give this dish a thumbs-up and that says a lot from a ravenous meat-eater.  

Of course, if you needed a good meal to start the day, I would recommended either the Turkey and Melted Cheddar Cheese sandwich or the Egg Club Sandwich as both has a balanced combination of carbs, protein and nutrients. It helped that they are both appetizing to look at and eat and simply oozing with cheese. 

Turkey & Melted Cheddar Cheese sandwich.
Egg Club Sandwich.
Pasta lovers are not forgotten as CBTL has also added this gorgeous Pesto Farfalle to their menu. This simple yet delicious dish comes with bow-tie Faralle pasta mixed with walnut pesto, capsucums, button mushrooms and pine nuts for a nutty flavoring and crunchy texture. Another thumbs-up in my vegetarian book. (I think CBTL has successfully converted me into an omnivore....)

Pesto Farfalle.
Chicken Lasagna.
You can't go wrong with good old Chicken Lasagna and CBTL's version is no different with a fair share of cheese and chicken chunks inside and with ample tomato sauce for you to mop up with. The best part of this dish was that it wasn't too heavy and overwhelming in its core ingredients.

Now if you are planning an office party or a meeting that stretches over lunch, then the Deluxe Canape and Sweet Pickings Party Pack has just the right offerings of finger foods consisting of  smoked salmon topping, ciabatta with herb cheese and avocado, fresh-baked pita stuffed tuna mayo and baguette with egg mayo! The Sweet Party Pack has the biggest strawberries tarts I have ever seen, coffee eclairs, brownies, praline puffs and white chocolate raspberry cake. All you need to do is order 3 days in advance.

Deluxe Canape Sampler.
Sweet Pickings set.
The best tea or coffee times are often accompanied by cakes and this session was no different as we were offered two slices of CBTL's newest cakes, Mocha Cheesecake and Hummingbird. True to its main ingredient, CBTL's Mocha Cheesecake was a good mix of coffee and cheese when, served chilled, could go hand-in-hand with a cup of hot black coffee.

Mocha Cheesecake
The Hummingbird cake was rich with walnuts, bananas, coconut flakes and chocolate chips, all wrapped inside a fluffy sponge cake. Also ideal to be eaten with coffee or tea.
Hummingbird Cake
To wash down the main courses and desserts, tea from a bottle (bottles) was served for us to try. You have the option of sparkling and non-sparkling tea. The sparkling tea consist of apple, berries and lemon while the non-carbonated version offers peach tea, lemon tea and jasmine tea. Whichever drink you pick, you will find that the bottled is not sweet at all and when refrigerated, will provide a cooling beverage on a hot Malaysian day.

Bottled tea, carbonated and non-carbonated.
In conjunction with its anniversary, limited edition CBTL products have been  released to the public. Selected items from the 50th anniversary collection will have 50% of its profits contributed to the Caring Cup Fund.

Limited edition 50th anniversary merchandise.

Tumblers.
CBTL also has many other products ranging from tumblers to coffee machines and  espresso caps for the machines. To find out more, head down to your closest CBTL or click over to their website and Facebook page.

Until then, Happy Anniversary, Coffee Bean and hope for many more years to come!

Happy 50th Anniversary, CBTL!

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