Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Mooncakes

Legend has it that many years ago, Hou Yi the Archer became separated from his wife Chang Er the Moonwalker after she swallowed a magical pill that made her float to the moon. Four thousand years later today, sad heartless people like us still celebrate their long distance relationship by eating mooncakes.

I cannot help but to be intrigued by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s signature range of mooncakes, featuring specially-made mooncakes with ingredients like espresso, green tea and such.

I happen to pass by the one and only Coffee Bean outlet in Kuching on my way to work every morning that eventually I succumbed to temptations and bought myself a box to try out.

Don’t be fooled by the advertising material stating that it costs only RM32 because RM33.60 is its actual price. I hate it when I prepared the exact change at the counter only to be told I was RM1.60 short because their prices are subject to compulsary 5% govt tax. Dammit, how difficult is it to incorporate the tax DIRECTLY into your menu prices? Not everyone can do differential calculus in their head to calculate how much money a mooncake costs after tax, ya know?

That said, I quite like the packaging of the mooncake. The box is made of wood and it locks into place beautifully by a mechanism featuring the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s logo. The inscription in front is some lame Chinese poetry on flowers falling and how round the moon is.

Here are the mooncakes, chilled and sealed to ‘gerengtee’ freshness. The refrigeration had a side effect of making them hard and flaky, instead of soft and chewy like it should be.

Unfortunately, the mooncakes are disappointingly small. Each piece is only about 75g which makes it about 1/3 the size of your average garden-variety mooncakes.

I picked the ‘Soothing Green Tea Mooncake’ first and took a bite off it. Its looks pretty but the taste is nothing to shout about. The aroma of green tea is there but it was too subtle to detect. Definitely too sweet for my liking.

This is the ‘Mochalicious Mooncake’ and its my first ever taste of a coffee-based mooncake. The whole thing, including its crust, is made with mocha flavouring. Like the green tea variety, the effect was too subtle and the excessive sugar unfortunately somewhat spoiled its flavour.

Next up, the ‘Chocolaty Coffee Crunch Mooncake’. I noticed I hit a hard spot when I sliced the mooncake. Turns out that Coffee Bean had put real whole coffee beans in this one for its crunchy effect. I like it. It starts out with sweet chocolate paste slowly followed by nice aromatic coffee aftertaste to round out the effect. The result was fantastic!

Now here’s my favourite – the ‘Ultimate Espresso Mooncake’! This must be the weirdest mooncake I’ve ever had. Imagine them taking whole espresso beans and blend it into a paste for their mooncake. Its something like that, bitter and all. I took a bite off it and the caffeine effect was like WHOA!
A lot of people probably wouldn’t like this variety, but like drinking macchiato without sugar, eating an espresso mooncake is an acquired taste. Personally, I love it.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s mooncakes are a nice deviation from boring red bean and lotus seed paste mooncakes. Despite it being so expensive, I say its still worth a try if you’re on a lookout for something different this Mid-Autumn Festival. Mooncakes are notoriously high in lard and sugar so just remember not to overdose on them lah.
Otherwise if you eat too much mooncake, your face will also become round like mooncake.

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Thanks, Murphy.
A server failure today brought our project to a virtual standstill. Since we couldn’t do anything till an authorised techie comes in ,for the first time in 2 weeks I actually left work at the normal time of 5:30pm. The bad news is, my team and I are gonna have to stay back till freakin’ 1am over the next 3 days to catch up on lost hours. 🙁

51 Replies to “Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Mooncakes”

  1. I never heard of moon cake relates to the moon walker’s story. But this i learn from primary school:
    “Nobody actually knows when the custom of eating moon cake of celebrate the Moon Festival began, but one relief traces its origin to the 14th century. At the time, China was in revolt against the Mongols. Chu Yuen-chang, and his senior deputy, Liu Po-wen, discussed battle plan and developes a secret moon cake strategy to take a certain walled city held by the Mongol enemy. Liu dressed up as a Taoist priest and entered the besieged city bearing moon cake. He distributed these to the city’s populace. When the time for the year’s Chung Chiu festival arrived, people opened their cakes and found hidden messages advising them to coordinate their uprising with the troops outside. Thus, the emperor-to-be ingeniously took the city and his throne. Moon cake of course, became even more famous. Whether this sweet Chinese version of ancient Europe’s “Trojan Horse” story is true, no one really known.
    cut and paste from

  2. Oh!oh! I’m drooling at the chocolate coffee crunch mooncake! I’ve always wanted to try a chocolate mooncake. >Oh!oh! I’m drooling at the chocolate coffee crunch mooncake! I’ve always wanted to try a chocolate mooncake. >

  3. Good to know that you are back, Kenny. Thot you were in the recovering stage and there will be no post today!
    Try the Baker’s Cottage mooncake – raspberry cheese – it is quite nice…..the yolk is made of cheese.

  4. o.O
    i want the chocalty (how on earth do u spell tat gain?) crunch mooncake..nvr heard of a chocolate monncake b4…haha..
    coffee bean paying u ah? =P

  5. Bro, if they publish the price as RM 33.60 nett, service tax due on the mooncakes from CB to Royal Customs is RM 1.68.
    Of course, plenty of places publish nett prices (inc. govt tax) but that usually means the item price is a little bit higher than the next shop.
    Should try the Haagen-Dazs mooncakes, and compare them with the Coffee Bean stuff.

  6. u r bumming around town when u have measles?!!
    I pity all preggy women who came into contact with u!

  7. Thanks for this review dude. Was contemplating that day if I should buy them. RM33.60 for 4 in a nicely crafted wooden box is value for money i must say. Majority of the mooncakes are now Halal and some with low sugar. So indulge yourself!

  8. Mooncake flavours are getting weirder and weirder each year.
    From chocolates to coffee to tiramisu to cheese to yam to dragon fruit?
    And they’re so darn expensive too. RM8++ (at least) for flour,sugar and oil?
    But they spend loads on packaging though…

  9. There are many legends about how mooncakes came about including the one about the archer, and the one about the Mongols. Spirit Fingers had a good mooncake post recently.

  10. I don’t recall seeing those at the coffee bean here in Singapore. damnit. now you make me so wanna try them.
    weirdest mooncakes i’ve heard over this year are the mixed nuts with ham. apparently they are not new but this is the 1st i’ve ever heard of them? and they’re expensive ok. S$8 for just 1 from bengawan solo. what kind of nuts are in the damn things i also don’t know.
    how is that rash all over your body ah? got go see doctor not? maybe it’s a withdrawl symptom from lack of blogging?

  11. hmmm…
    they should pay you for reviewing magazines and popularizing it!!
    ….some more you had to pay for the mooncakes!!

  12. Gosh. The mooncakes do look seriously tempting. I might try the ‘Chocolaty Coffee Crunch Mooncake’ one. If I can find it in the stores here.

  13. Mooncakes nowadays are really interesting. I really wanna try all those coffee bean ones and also the tiramisu and banana toffee mooncake that we hear so much during tv ads and all. Haha. I wonder if there is a blueberry cheese mooncake. XD

  14. Hmm…5% government tax on certain things is not as hard to calculate as a 9% tax on EVERYTHING you buy in Chicago…btw, the mooncakes sound extremely yummy!

  15. Too bad they don’t have it in SG…I would have like to try the 2 coffee ones…
    Btw, get well soon dude. Hope the mooncakes doesn’t cause more rashes.

  16. Don’t be silly. If Coffee Bean paid me to do this review, why did RM33.60 show up on the cash register? 🙂 I bought the mooncakes myself so I can do a balanced review.
    Then again, I think I am promoting them somewhat. I passed by Coffee Bean on my way to work again today and apparently the mooncakes are all sold out. Dunno if its a coincidence or what lah.

  17. Reading this post makes me hunngry and jealous,i want coffee bean as well but to bad NZ don’t have coffee bean and if there is it will not be selling mooncake as well.. *DAMN*
    oh well.. i guess am stuck here for another Overseas mooncake,*SIGH* i want my Sin Hian Chay (Spelling?) mooncake,the small cute cute one with white bean inside the tube one.. use to be sold for 3 Ringgit,not sure now lah..*ARGG*
    btw,any idea when’s mooncake? this sunday hia?

  18. Kenny, I hope the rash gets well soon.
    The mooncake review is really nice.
    (Dang, I swore I was drooling when I saw the shots….)
    Hmm…I should try it out. I looooveee chocolate…(Thank goodness I’m going to the gym 3 times a week!)
    Oh yeah, have you tried the jelly mooncake? Jelly mooncake is mooncake made of jelly..Tastes best when served chilled =D

  19. WTH??? We are talking mooncake, suddenly pop up racist?? when i saw your title, i thought u condemn racist because others envy chinese got mooncake fev, “bak chang” fev…hehehe…j/k peace…

  20. I like to eat coffee and chocolate favour food…this is quite special and its price is cheaper than other too, only cost rm33.60, may i noe where can i buy? yesterday my dad’s fren gave him one box of tis brand mooncake too but all is those mooncake we see anywhere…i hope to try its taste and tell me where to buy plz, thx~~

  21. Aiyoh, think I should just stick to my original with yolks or snow skin pandan flavour mooncakes!! Hahahahaha~ Happy Mid-Autumn Festival Kenny!! lol

  22. u’d b surprised how much 1 mooncake is worth. Less than RM3! The packaging may cost more than the mooncake itself & imagine the profit…

  23. you know kenny, i loaded this page and went to the toilet, and when i came back i honestly thought i had clicked on HB’s link instead of yours. took me a while to realise it was you.

  24. wahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
    mooncake is freakin cheap…33 bucks oni…………………………!!! gonna ask mom post it to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  25. boring red bean and lotus seed paste mooncakes
    You die now you moon cake infidal! red bean and lotus seed paste >>>>>> wussy tea leaf moon cake!

  26. Ya know, I work at coffee bean and you dont have to pay tax if you say ‘to go’ you know that right? You clearly ordered it for here as it says ‘Dine in’ on the register.