Are you ready for gummy bears? Gummy Pandas (Blackberry Hibiscus and Apricot Green Tea) are starting to popping up at Starbucks stores all over. Actually, to be clear these are "Gummy Pandas" not gummy bears. The Bissinger's Gummy Pandas are considered a vegetarian item because they use tapioca syrup and cane sugar. I've heard it said that the blackberry gummy pandas pair well with Starbucks Willow coffee. Today (May 26, 2015) I went to a coffee tasting, pairing the apricot gummy pandas with a coffee from Costa Rica. (The apricot gummy pandas were paired with Hacienda Alsacia coffee from Costa Rica - I mention this Costa Rican coffee in this article here.) The partners I talked to mentioned the the gummy pandas have been a surprise pairing option, perfect for coffees where you want to pair food to bring out the citrusy notes in a coffee.
One of the main reasons I want to mention the Gummy Pandas is that they seem to be a surprisingly good new pairing option!
The Krave Beef Jerky seems to be limited to stores in Southern California. If you've seen the Krave Beef Jerky at Starbucks stores outside of Southern California, let me know!
The Krave beef jerky is yummy too. It says "sweet chipotle" on the bag but just so you know it's not at all spicy. The chipotle spices, such as paprika, spices, and chili powder are all very mild.
I spoke with Maggie Jantzen, (an official Starbucks spokesperson at the Seattle headquarters) and confirmed that the Krave Beef Jerkey is (or was) part of a test. Maggie said that she could "confirm these were tests in the Los Angeles area." I saw them in areas of Orange County, so I think it's select stores in both counties. I think the Gummy Pandas started out as a test but ended up in numerous stores.
Let me know what you think of these treats. Have you had the chance to try them?