Sunday, October 14, 2012

I love Coffee.

Hello! So a while back, I went for the Starbucks Coffee Seminar at Capital Tower. I saw read about it on the Starbucks Facebook and though...


So a while back, I went for the Starbucks Coffee Seminar at Capital Tower. I saw read about it on the Starbucks Facebook and thought it would be fun to go to. And also because I am obsessed with coffee. Like I truly am. My whole family loves coffee. In fact, this is what was delivered to my house yesterday.

It's the Nespresso Pixie! Yes yes, I can see you thinking, "So what it's just a coffee machine. Big deal. Doesn't mean that you LOVE LOVE coffee." HAH. And this is where I go "It's our second one."
Here! My old friend the Citiz.

Yes so! I was on Facebook and saw this seminar and thought it'll be interesting. So Bernard and I signed up for it. And it was really quite fun! We learnt many things - like how to taste and describe coffee, the different methods of brewing coffee and also what the apron colours in Starbucks mean!

And these Starbucks people, omg they are so cute. They even gave us little note cards to write stuff on it.
HOHO and I obviously paid more attention in this coffee drinking seminar than I ever did in any class that I took in my whole 14 years of education. Either I have a slight case of ADD, or I am, really smart. Anyway! Let me show you the notes I took for the steps to taste coffee!
Yes this is my handwriting. I have a flair for penmanship, inhaling caffeine, and also wasting my life away on Twitter.

Yes so smelling and slurping the coffee and then locating and describing the experience are the essential steps of coffee tasting. These are, funnily enough, very relatable to real life.

Have you ever been in the MRT and tried to hold your breath simply because the guy next to you smelt like he hadn't heard that soap has been invented? No? You must be rich then. Okay, have you ever gone into walked past Abercrombie & Fitch? The first thing that hits you, is the scent - the strong overwhelming, you-must-be-anosmic-to-work-there smell of "don't come near me".

Yes, smell is always one of the things we tend to detect first. Like the examples above, this can be bad. But in other cases, this can be good! Like how you can smell Famous Amos cookies before you turn the corner and see the shop!

So when you get a cup of coffee, the first thing you must do, is to sniff at it. You're supposed to cup your hand over the mouth of the cup and take a deep breath. And here's the first cup of coffee I sniffed!
As you can tell, it's not full. You're supposed to start with only half a cup. According to the coffee expert, some coffee drinkers have big noses, and giving them a full cup might scald their noses while they are taking whiffs of their coffee.

So what you do next, is to make yourself heard. Like if you are standing near a smelly man in the MRT, you can go "Wah, someone is VERY SMELLY!!! DON'T KNOW HOW TO BATHE AH?!" and hopes that he hears you and gets the hint. But as most of us are chicken more inclined to social media than talking, we usually tweet something along the lines of "omg. there is a smelly guy near me. last warning."

With coffee, you do the same thing, You slurp it loudly. As loudly as you can. Okay and that's where the analogy ends, because the next step is to let the coffee slosh around your mouth so that you can get the full flavour of the coffee running down your tongue. Yeah. We wouldn't want that with someone's BO.

Okay, so if complaining about the smell isn't enough to disperse it, maybe you want to locate the source of the smell. Like, find the smelly person and shoot him a glare.

With coffee, you locate the experience by talking about the body. The longer the taste lingers on your tongue, the heavier the body. Conversely, a coffee with a light body doesn't leave a lingering after taste in your mouth.

The last step involves you bitching to your friends about the smelly guy. Using analogies and similies and idioms. Like if I was talking to Nessie, "Omg this guy in the MRT. He is smellier than the smelly guy in your office."

So Nessie will know that, this smelly smell is really bad as she can relate to the smell on a personal level.

So likewise with coffee, you must draw it to a personal experience so that others can relate to it. "This coffee reminds me of a warm summer breeze blowing in the beaches of the Maldives." Or, "This coffee reminds me of the crackling fires and the scent of cinnamon during Christmas." Or, "This coffee reminds me of going back to work, because this is what I consume to stay awake." The Starbucks coffee expert said that these statements are all perfectly fine, as drinking coffee is a personal experience.

Personally, most cups of coffee remind me that I need to sleep more.

And here are some other fun things that we did at the seminar!

I made a Iced Vanilla Latte with Starbucks house blend of VIA (their instant coffee mix which consists of grains so fine that they can dissolve in cold water). Here's what you must do!

First you go to Starbucks and get one of them shaker things.
And then you fill it up with 2 parts milk. Carefully. Like how I am doing here.
And this is me looking pleased with myself after filling it up with 2 parts milk.
Then you empty the 2 sachets of VIA into the milk.
And then you pump in 4 full pumps of Vanilla syrup.
And then you fill it up with ice.
And then you shake it. And I do not look very presentable while I was shaking the shaker. So here's a picture of me after I was done with the shaking! (I am aware that many innuendos could have been made and so I tried to keep it as innuendo free as possible).
And I poured it nicely into 2 half cups. Good job to me!
We drank the coffee with apple slices drizzled in caramel sauce. "Food Pairing", they called it. The apples reduced the acidity and the body of the coffee, and also served as my fibre intake for the day.
During the seminar we were also shown how to use the Pour Over Cone Brewer. It's supposed to give a very intense taste to the coffee. You have to put 5 scoops of coffee into the cone shaped cup at the top, pour 450 ml of water over the grinds, and wait for the liquid portion to drip down below.

Like this!
And what's left in the cup ends up looking like molten lava cake.
Yum yum. We were given almonds to eat with the coffee. The almonds made the coffee easier to swallow as the taste didn't linger in our mouths so much. (And also made us happy as they tasted really good).
The last thing we did was to learn how to use the French Press.
It's quite simple to use. Just add water to the coffee grinds, wait for 4 minutes and then press the thingy.
And each of us brought home a goodie bag with 12 sachets of VIA, a $10 Starbucks card and some badges. WHOO! Free caffeine! I LOVE STARBUCKS FOREVER.
Okay and now I am going to sleep now. Goodnight and may coffee be with you forever.

❤ Jac.

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