Brewing, Pairing, and Understanding Coffee at Starbucks Coffee College

If school was like Starbucks Philippines Coffee College, I’d go back and attend classes everyday. Imagine a 4-course meal for coffee and food pairing each class. Who needs recess right?

Starbucks Philippines Coffee College is about familiarization of  unique nuances of coffee and how it brings out the flavors in savory dishes. I didn’t know coffee can be paired with steak, or chicken, or salad. I’m used to having coffee with cakes and pastries.

The menu was conceptualized by Celine Lichauco, Starbucks Philippines, assistant manager for food with the help of Third Villaflor, Starbucks Philippines, senior learning specialist and in partnership with Chef Booj Supe of Gourmet Garage.

The event was not all about coffee pairing, we were also taught about coffee heritage and how to brew them correctly. I have a French Press Coffee at home and have use it at least once and I don’t even know if I did it right.

I learned that different coffee has different brewing time, but the brewing process are all the same. Starbucks Coffee Masters also demonstrated how to brew using the Pour-Over Cone brew and Chemex. I just found out that you can actually request to have your coffee brewed which ever way when you visit a Starbucks. But not all has the Chemex.

The lunch menu was delightfully paired with the different coffees of Starbucks. The exciting line-up of dishes started off with a refreshing Petite Mesclun and Raspberry Salad paired with Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee. Cold Brew Coffee is balanced and smooth which makes it easy to pair with most food. Since the salad had a variety of citrus notes, this made the Cold Brew even more refreshing.

What I learned is that cold brew goes well with fruits and citrus.

For the entrée, guests were guided to brew their own cup of coffee prior to consuming their dish. The first main dish, a Sous Vide Angus Beef with Almond Gouda Crumbs paired with a cup of Starbucks Kati-Kati™ Blend brewed using the classic coffee press. The Kati-Kati Blend is a medium-bodied coffee originating from Kenya and Ethiopia. When brewed using the coffee press, the citrus notes of the coffee are intensified due to the dark chocolate demi-glace while the gouda cheese brings out the spicy notes of the coffee.

The second main dish was a juicy Grilled Cilantro Chicken with Lime Buerre Blanc which was paired with a Starbucks Reserve® Rwanda Musasa to complement its lemon acidity flavor. This time, the coffee was brewed using two methods; the Pour-Over Cone brew and Chemex. Although the same coffee, both brewing methods drew comparison in flavor and body. The pour-over brewing method is a beautifully simple and accessible way to brew a single cup of coffee with clean, fully developed flavor. With this method, the bright citrusy notes of the coffee were brought out and had a lighter feel.

While with the Chemex combines elegance and function using a pour over method with a beautiful glass decanter. The Chemex amplified the body of the coffee giving it more of dark cherry citrus notes. The coffee also had a bolder and smoky feel due to the grilled chicken flavor.

Lastly, the hearty lunch was capped off with an interesting take on a dessert – Coffee Jelly made from Starbucks VIA® Italian Roast topped with Vanilla Ice Cream. Guests were then given a sachet of Starbucks VIA® Matcha to sprinkle on top of the ice cream. This created a wonderful combination of the boldness of coffee and the goodness of green tea with the sweet and creamy taste of vanilla ice cream.

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Coffee is not just about drinking it. It’s about savoring each sip and enjoying the experience. Every pairing is unique and will take your coffee experience to new heights.” said Keith Cole, marketing head for Starbucks Philippines.

As the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee, Starbucks has always been defined by its ability to showcase its coffee passion, consistently serving each of their customers the best cup of coffee every time for the ultimate Starbucks Experience.

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