Late this afternoon (January 20, 2013), I dropped by the Starbucks at Fourth and Seneca, in Seattle. Actually, I had just downloaded a new book on my Kindle, and planned on doing some reading. I got some food, Casi Cielo in my January tumbler, and sat down near a window. Shortly after I arrived, the partner on the bar (whom I later learned is Eric) brewed some coffee on the Clover. I saw a bunch of labeled cups, and Eric said to me, 'I'm doing a coffee tasting - would you like to join in?' Eric walked over to the large community table and set up the sample cups. And then he walked around the lobby for a few minutes. By the way, all the while, I was surprised. It was a totally impromptu coffee tasting. And even more surprising, three customers (besides myself) readily jumped up saying they wanted to join in. I have watched customers say "no" to coffee tastings many times! So, I and three customers were lead through a coffee tasting by Eric.
He brewed Guatemala Antigua (the core coffee), Casi Cielo, and Guatamala Finca Medina on the Clover brewer, and then one by one we walked through them, and compared how they tasted. It was a great comparison! One thing that surprised me was that I hadn't realized that the Finca Medina was the darkest roast profile of the three, or so it seemed. The Casi Cielo was amazing - this year's Casi Cielo is perfection. I love the tart, lemony-ness of it. The core Guatemala Antigua is an under-rated coffee! Nice cocoa notes in it.
Thank you Eric for the great coffee tasting! I promised to share more of my day-to-day experiences at Starbucks, and this one counts. And well, I have always enjoyed a good comparative tasting.