Thursday, 29 November 2012

Starbucks Mince Pie

I don't drink coffee or tea. Don't like the stuff. Therefore, Starbucks is not a place I visit often and so would not have thought to get a mince pie from there had it not been for my work colleagues mentioning them as a possible contender.

The Facts

I have my doubts whether these are baked in each store like the Greggs mince pies, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. The bag had absorbed a little more of the pastry oil/butter than you would expect as it was a day or so before I got around to eating one of these. Once again, as Starbucks are not required to list any ingredients, I took a little trip to the Starbucks website to check up on the facts. They say these are "A Christmas tradition. Our all-butter pastry shell is filled with mincemeat jam-packed full of sultanas, raisins and plenty of spice: coriander, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, caraway and clove".

These have a whopping 399 calories, 34.4g of sugar and 16.1g of fat. This is not a small mince pie nor a mince pie for the health concious.

First Impressions

This is one of the deepest, deep filled mince pies I have seen. I have high hopes for this one. Avid readers of this blog will know that I've always liked an even filling to pastry ratio, so I'm expecting a very filling and satisfying mince pie here.

The pie looks hand made and has a star on top which appears to be covering a hole. It also looks as though the weight of the star has depressed the top of the pie, which is not a good sign, as it now looks like it is half filled. The dusting of icing sugar on top is a nice touch.

The Bite

I held this mince pie like I was taking a bite out of a burger. Thankfully, it held up well after that bite.

This mince pie is almost all pastry. As you can see in the picture above the lid of the mince pie is by far the thickest and almost takes up half the pie. While the pastry is tasty and crumbly, with plenty of butter, the dryness of the whole thing is disappointing.

With the little mincemeat I could find, I decided to scoop some out to taste in isolation to the overwhelming pastry. The filling is also dry and mostly purée. There is a light scattering of vine fruits but I could see nothing else. In terms of taste, it is quite tangy and pretty sweet. With the copious pastry, the tangy taste and sweetness is diluted if not completely drowned out.


If you have played the cinnamon challenge then you will appreciate how dry I feel this mince pie is. For those that have not played or attempted this challenge, it is where you must eat a tablespoon of cinnamon - that's it. The difficulty lies in just that. The cinnamon sucks all the moisture out of your mouth, instantly, to the point where if you just open your mouth slightly, you get a puff of cinnamon fly out. This mince pie almost has the same affect in your mouth. Unlike the cinnamon challenge, a mince pie is not meant to be like this and you would think with all the tax savings Starbucks have made recently, they would invest in a better mince pie.

"You had me at deep filled."

1.9 / 5

If you have tried this one or any other coffee shop mince pies, let me know in the comments below.