Coffee education is a journey. Every barista starts somewhere. It was a delight this week to go to some excellent coffee seminars hosted by Starbucks baristas at the beginning of their coffee journey. At the East Olive Way Starbucks, on January 12, 2015, we tried Casi Cielo from the Clover, paired with foods and as an espresso shot. Starbucks partner Steven, a Coffee Master in Training, walked us through this seminar, and it was one of his firsts. Just as a reminder, anyone can come to an East Olive Way coffee seminar -they are every other Monday at 6:00 PM.
Casi Cielo is a medium body coffee, medium roast profile, and a medium acidity also. The aroma has cocoa notes and lemon notes. Steven decided to pair Casi Cielo with the double chocolate and brownie with mocha drizzle, as well as the Evenings roasted veggies with the lemon aioli sauce. This was an interesting pairing! It's unusual to find a savory lemony flavor to pair with Casi Cielo and works perfectly. Steven said he picked this because this brought about the lemon notes to the coffee. The brownie brought out the cocoa notes and cut down the acidity too.
Congratulations to Steven for a great coffee tasting! Steven normally works at the Madison Park Starbucks, but came to East Olive Way for this event. This store is working on a system of having guest coffee masters (and coffee masters in training) available for store seminars.
At University Village 3 Starbucks, I went to a coffee tasting hosted by Tessa. It was her very first coffee tasting! She featured the new Ethiopia Kona Reserve Starbucks coffee, which will be available soon!
The Ethiopia Konga is wonderful. It's medium to dark with an amazing berry aroma, like a berry streusel on top of a berry clover. The mouth feel is almost a bit powdery and it's low acidity. It's smooth and has layered notes of vanilla and cherry. We tried this with both cherry cordial chocolates and a marionberry pie. Both were fantastic. I have to admit that the cherry cordials were so yummy I just wanted to eat them all. The crust of the pie helped bring out the muted vanilla notes.
The Ethiopia Konga was made with the Clover brewer. I asked Tessa why she picked that and she thought that this coffee was a little higher acidity tasting when made via the French press and so she preferred the Clover brewer.
Tessa did a beautiful job! You would have never known it was the first time she's ever hosted a coffee seminar!
You can join in the coffee events at University Village 3 most Tuesdays nights, at 6:00 PM. Call ahead for their schedule.
If you like articles related to coffee education, I would suggest you check out these:
- Starring Patrek! Coffee Master certification - deconstructing Pantheon Blend.
- Coffee from Panama and a great example of comparing and contrasting coffees: Hosted by Leslie from the global coffee department at the headquarters.
- Finding the hidden messages in the Starbucks whole bean coffee.
- Tribute Blend Coffee Tasting led by Jordan at East Olive Way (this coffee comes back soon! :))