Can there be a more perfect partner for coffee than a doughnut?
Next week, break free from those Monday blues of yours and head to your nearest Starbucks. Beginning April 12, the coffee chain will be serving Top Pot Doughnuts at selected stores and then cascaded nationwide.
Aside from the brand name which forms a type of anagram (as a wordsmith, those things pop out at me), Top Pot specializes in what they call “hand-forged doughnuts,” a term coined by owners and brothers Mark and Michael Klebeck: defined as “made the old-fashioned way,” with a minimum of automation. The emphasis on the hand-forged technique and the deep-fried delights’ exceptional quality made it a natural partner for Starbucks’ hand-crafted specialty beverages.
Top Pot and Starbucks have forged (again, that word) an alliance since 2005 when the latter was made available at all company-owned Starbucks locations in western Washington. That accomplishment was further topped in April 2008 when Top Pot Doughnuts were offered in all company operated stores in the US and Canada.
Now in April 2010, Top Pot Doughnuts are being made available in Manila in three varieties. The Glazed Old Fashioned Doughnut is Top Pot’s flagship product, the original classic inspired by a 1920s recipe. Cakey as opposed to fluffy, every bite relays a soundtrack of crunching sugar, an affirmation of its crumb ”“ sturdy and with integrity, all afloat on notes of nutmeg and vanilla.
If the above be an angel, then I consider the Chocolate Old Fashioned Doughnut the delicious devil. Vanilla’s counterpart in looks and taste it is, save for those dark chocolate overtones that ride a crest of vanilla and somewhere in there, a molten chocolate ripple ripping flavor and wreaking havoc on my tongue. What a trip!
It’s clear that these doughnuts are unlike those previously made available locally. The cakey-ness of the doughnut makes it more malleable, allowing those grooves and pleats to be hand-forged (starting to love that term); the resulting appearance of which evokes comparison to a pudgy pinwheel or pleats on a pie crust. Very cool, however way I look at it.
The final variety to be made available on April 12 is the Apple Fritter. Reminiscent of funnel cakes, I imagine that these are made in the same way: the apple-pocked dough is coursed through funnels into hot oil thus appropriating those craggy peaks. It’s in these whorls and whirls that the cinnamon latches on to, its heady scent perfumes the tender crumb and sugar coating. With each bite, there’s an itty-bitty, giddy oil-rush ”“ a prelude to the sticky caramel-y bits that brush up on the tongue and then sticks defiantly to teeth. I am its prisoner.
The doughnuts, when piping hot, are covered with Top Pot’s proprietary “Air Sped” glaze. In my mind, I picture these doughnuts positioned on the Top Pot promenade, and then on count, are blast-blessed with this somewhat ambiguous-sounding “Air Sped” glaze. There’s no escape ”“ nor do they want one — as the doughnuts face this, their second-to-final fate. Their final fate, naturally, is in my mouth. And there’s no escape for me ”“ nor do I want one — from them.
Top Pot doughnuts served at selected Starbucks beginning April 12, 2010.
Glazed Old Fashioned Doughnut & Chocolate Old Fashioned Doughnut ”“ P55 each
Apple Fritter ”“ P60
**All Top Pot doughnuts served at Starbucks have zero grams trans fat. Sweet!