If you're ever in Seattle, come join in a free coffee education seminar at Starbucks. There are two Starbucks locations in Seattle that regularly hold coffee events. EAST OLIVE WAY STARBUCKS
The first is the East Olive Way Starbucks, at 1600 East Olive Way, Seattle, WA, 98102, (206) 568 - 5185. East Olive Way holds their coffee seminars every other Monday night, at 6:00 p.m. You should definitely call ahead to make sure that there will be a seminar. They sometimes vary their schedule a little depending on when coffees are released and for a few other reasons.
On Monday, March 24, 2014, I went to a coffee seminar for the newest Reserve coffee: 100% Kona. We tried this coffee both from the French press and from the Clover brewer. Congrats to Marlene and Jordan for doing a great job on this event! We thought that the Clover brought out a little more nuttiness to the coffee. I got a little more floral aroma when it was brewed by the Clover. We tried this coffee with dried fruits: dried mangoes, pears, and plums. The pairing with the dried mangoes was excellent. The brightness of the mangoes complemented the coffee! Try Kona with tropical fruits!
By the way, you can see that Marlene and Jordan had a blast! They wore leis and brought a few extra for the participants.
From the French press, I thought that it had a heavier mouthfeel, and a little more berry and floral notes. Again, the mangoes were the best pairing with the Kona coffee. The other two dried fruits were fun but didn't quite bring out the high note dimensions of Kona.
UNIVERSITY VILLAGE 3 STARBUCKS
The second Starbucks store with regular coffee events is the new University Village Starbucks, located in Seattle's University Village shopping center. Again, give them a call to confirm their coffee tasting schedule. The phone number is (206) 523 - 1718. You'll generally find coffee seminars on Tuesday nights at 6:00 p.m. They do between two or three coffee events a month.
On March 25, 2014, we tried the new Colombia Narino Supremo coffee, which will be available in Starbucks stores beginning on April 1, 2014. We tried it from a French press, and had the fun experience of trying it as a solo espresso shot. It is delicious. I'd love to have it for a doppio con panna. Steph, the partner who held this coffee seminar, got a great conversation going about trying different Starbucks coffees as shots of espresso. As you may recall, Starbucks is testing the Colombia coffee as an espresso option in several different regions of the U.S. Steph mentioned that she's tried Veranda as a shot of espresso and liked it. I've heard it said before that Veranda makes a fine espresso.
When trying the Colombia Narino Supremo from a French press, we paired with salted almonds and banana bread. I enjoyed the almond pairing a lot. I thought the salt actually made the coffee taste a little spicier.
If you like reading about coffee tastings, I hope you'll browse through the category of them here. There are many more to read about!