Coffee Tasting 101

"Everything is better over a cup of coffee". I agree to this statement 100%. I quote from Gayle Forman's book If I stay, "There are two types of people in this world: those who like real coffee, and those who like froufrou drinks with ridiculous names." I for one is very much guilty with that category of those who like froufrou drinks with ridiculous name. Hahaha. I had zero interest about coffee. I just found it bitter. That's why I go for the frappuccino or anything caffeinated over ice.

Being a former barista in the world's number one coffee shop, I have learned how to be passionate about coffee; knowing its origin, flavor profile, different brewing methods, food pairing, and whole lot more! Starbucks does not simply sell coffee, but they will give you that superb experience in each handcrafted beverage that they make.

(the famous green apron)

La Marzocco Espresso machine-- where the magic begins..

In the Starbucks culture, a way of salutation during a meeting, event, etc., is conducting coffee tasting. 
A certain coffee blend will be experienced through four simple steps; smell, slurp, locate, describe.

Today, I asked one of my closest friends, Ela, a coffee master, to conduct a coffee tasting with one of the reserved coffees. 
Some Starbucks branches are called 'Starbucks Reserve Stores' for they cater reserved coffee beans. These coffee beans are cultivated and grown by coffee farmers and made available for a certain time only. 

Starbucks Burundi Procasta

The brewing method we chose for today's blend is the pour over method. Pour over method emphasizes the coffee flavor because the thick paper filter sits flush against the walls of the server, and the water flows through the grounds more slowly and sits longer time than other brewing methods.

Initially, you must place the coffee beans in the designated container depending whether you're getting a tall, grande, or venti.

Different brewing methods entails different grind for the coffee beans. You can tell your barista the type of brewer that you have at home, and they will grind the coffee beans accordingly. The grind could be coarse or fine depending on your brewer. Grind is an important key before brewing your coffee because the right grind and brewing method will bring out and extract the full flavor of your coffee.

Smell. We appreciate the aroma of the coffee through this method called cupping. In this manner, we get to differentiate the different aromas of coffee-herbal, floral, earthy, citrus, etc. With Burundi Procasta, it has a lemony aroma.

Slurp. We have this saying at Starbucks, when you slurp, the louder the better. A louder slurp allows the coffee to spread through the entire palette.

Locate and Describe.
In locating and describing, there are three components that make up a coffee's flavor profile. Namely, acidity, body, and flavor.

-acidity- all coffees are acidic. But when we say 'acidity' in terms of taste, it is the tingling sensation that one may feel in the sides of their palette.
-body- this one pertains to the fullness, creaminess, or heaviness that you feel at the back of your palette
-flavor- this component is greatly influenced by the coffee bean's origin (Asia Pacific, Africa, Latin America), and the processing method used. 

Burundi Procasta's flavor profile:
Flavor: Lemony and black tea florals
  • Acidity: Medium
    Complementary flavors:
     Lemon pound cake and spiced cake
Our coffee best goes with this carrot cake muffin sprinkled with cinnamon powder to give that extra spice yet balancing its sweetness.

BURUNDI PROCASTA "Given a chance to lend a helping hand, what would you do and why? Here at Starbucks we believe in the concept of helping and building each other to achieve success. And the coffee we are about to explore embodies those things. Presenting STARBUCKS RESERVE BURUNDI PROCASTA. Back in 2012 a couple of bussiness partners started the Procasta washing station, helping the small lot farmers by subsidizing fertilizers, milling their coffees to encourage farmers to focus on quality, in order to get a better price for their hard work. The couple also supports in building infrastructures like bridges and roads to help export their coffee. And by just smelling this cup of coffee we can truly appreciate its uniqueness Each sniff greets my nose with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.. Starbucks really amaze me with its beliefs and advocacy when it comes to improving our community, not just the farmers but all of us who make a living out of coffee. After all it is what our main mission says is to inspire and nurture human spirit; one person, one cup and one neighborhood at at time."
-Ms. Ela, Starbucks Barista, Coffee Master

Starbucks Reserve Store, Sapphire Bloc, Ortigas, Pasig City

kea ortega

1 comment:

  1. This looks interesting! I once attended a crash course on how to use espresso machines, but I haven't practiced in a long time because I don't have the equipment naman. Haha! I did consider working part-time for Starbucks too, but I don't seem to have that free time now :(

    xx, The Diary Queen