Starbucks hosted Taste of Craft, a launch event for its Nitro Cold Brew at The Permanent in Downtown Vancouver. The Permanent is a beautiful venue that was transformed into a well-branded Starbucks space, with different levels and features that encouraged interaction and many photo ops. My friend, Vanessa, came with me to enjoy the event.
Upon entering, there was a grand display of white balloons that were hung from the ceiling. One of the baristas informed us that the balloons represent the foam of a Nitro Cold Brew. On the left side of the entrance, a slow motion portrait station was set up where Steve Carty captured guests drinking a Nitro Cold Brew. Further in, there was a bar that was set up to give out variations of the regular Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew. Guests could get a flight of four to try, and the drinks were complemented by the food that was catered by The Lazy Gourmet. To the right of the bar, a wall mural was in progress by the talented Ola Volo. It was a work of art that continued throughout the evening. To the right of the wall mural, a stage was set for a live performance by the lovely Lowell.
Vanessa and I tried a flight of the cold brews and enjoyed nibbling on the appies that kept coming to us from the friendly servers. The four variations of the cold coffee were the Nitro Cold Brew, Nitro Cold Brew with Vanilla Sweet Cream, Regular Cold Brew, and Cold Brew with Vanilla Sweet Cream. Vanessa and I particularly liked the Nitro Cold Brew with Vanilla Sweet Cream. It was very smooth, refreshing and was slightly sweet. I also thought that the Cold Brew with Sweet Cream was just as good. The cold brews without sweet cream were quite strong in flavour, so if you prefer a stronger-tasting coffee, these would be perfect for you. As for the food, some of the appies we enjoyed were Thai Basil Watermelon, Deep Fried Mac & Cheese, Gnocchi and Yam Fries with Chipotle Aioli. All the appies were provided by The Lazy Gourmet and were delicious. However, the more caffeine I consumed, the smaller my appetite became so I ate less, even though the appies kept being offered.
Left to right: Nitro Cold Brew, Nitro Cold Brew with Vanilla Sweet Cream, Starbucks Cold Brew and Starbucks Cold Brew with Sweet Cream
The second level had two different interactive stations, one was by The Cure Apothecary, where guests made a coffee infused face scrub. The face scrub was made with ground coffee, charcoal and Jojoba Oil. All three ingredients were mixed carefully together until it became paste-like. It smelled so good, and a bonus is that it’s a natural exfoliant! The other station allowed guests to make their own DIY terrarium made with coffee beans and air plants. Vanessa and I made our terrariums pop with a little bit of red from a mossy air plant that reminded me of coral. They looked so nice! As we walked around the second level, we found where the DJ was stationed at, and we were able to enjoy the beauty of the stained-glass ceiling. The white balloons underneath it looked like a sea of frothy bubbles from this viewpoint.
We continued exploring the venue and went back to the main floor, but this time, we went further back behind the bar and found another bar that was set up as the Nitro Ice Cream station. Here, guests watched as salted caramel ice cream was formed using liquid nitrogen. The ice cream was scooped into a dark chocolate cup and topped off with a coffee bean. A biscotti dipped in chocolate also accompanied this cute and delicious treat!
After enjoying dessert, we watched as Ola Volo completed the Taste of Craft wall mural, and we listened to Lowell perform beautiful songs for the crowd. We had our 15 seconds of fame when we got our slow motion portrait done by Steve Carty. We waited patiently for our faces to pop up on one of the three TV screens that was showing others guests’ slow motion portraits as they tried a Nitro Cold Brew. To make the wait more enjoyable, we had another salted caramel ice cream. It was SO GOOD that Vanessa and I had to eat it again! Other guests were also waiting for their faces to be seen on the TV screens and when we finally saw our faces, we couldn’t help but laugh, and record it so we can share it on social media.
Taste of Craft was a very enjoyable event. All of the interactive experiences tied nicely back to Starbucks’ Nitro Cold Brew. The artists definitely highlighted “those who are pushing the boundaries of their craft”. There was a good mix of attendees, and the baristas and servers were so friendly. Vanessa and I had so much cold brew that before the end of the night, I could barely take a photo without my hand shaking! But if you’re looking for a refreshing and smooth way to get fueled, try out the Nitro Cold Brew at Starbucks.