While The Coffee Bean is commemorating the 25th anniversary of Friends – the TV show – with 5 new drinks in the United States, its Singaporean locations are all prepped to celebrate Singapore’s 54th National Day. Singapore’s Independence Day (which is lovingly and officially referred to as ‘National Day’) is on 9th August, and The Coffee Bean has introduced the Palm Sugar Sago Ice Blended Drink to mark the occasion. I’ll call this adventure ‘The One Where I Tried a Palm Sugar Iced Blended Drink’.
When I first learnt about this special National Day drink, I realized that it reflects Singapore’s flavor heritage. Pandan, sago and palm sugar are just some of the few ingredients from a longer list that represent Southeast Asia. The elements that are present in this drink are staples in Southeast Asian desserts, including my favorite Asian dessert – soft pandan pancakes with a sweet desiccated coconut and palm sugar filling!
As usual, I opted for the regular version instead of the coffee-based one – and I’m so glad I did, because those flavors were wonderful on their own without adding a stronger coffee element. From my very first sip, I began identifying layers of pandan and palm sugar. This classic combination is sweet, but not overpoweringly sweet. The pandan-flavored sago (those bead-looking green elements) added a deliciously fragrant touch to the iced blended palm sugar drink in my opinion. Just as I predicted, the drink tastes like an iced blended version of local desserts, especially my favorite one (minus the coconut but it’s close enough)!
Sago, unlike boba pearls, is less chewy, more delicate, and significantly smaller. It’s derived from palm stems, while boba pearls are tapioca-based.
In traditional medicine, Sago is prescribed to cool the body. While my iced blended drink was more akin to a sugar fix than medicine, I certainly felt cooler when I stepped outside in the scorching midday sun. Unlike most days, I didn’t feel like I was about to melt under the powerful rays of sunshine. Not only was the drink delicious and fun to taste, it boosted my energy – literally!
As for the Friends drinks, the closest drink I’ve documented here in the blog is the Chocolate Cookie Crumble drink which supposedly reflects Phoebe’s colorful personality (click here to read that post!). While it isn’t identical to the one in America, you can join the fun too! Imagine Phoebe strumming on her guitar and serenading the coffee-loving patrons with her original (and notable) songs, including Smelly Cat. Better yet, you could play those tunes on your phone while savoring the cookie-filled goodness.