A few weeks back I was contacted by Starbucks and asked to attend a tasting. Being the HUGE Starbucks fan that I am (remember I gave it up for Lent?) I was very excited and honored to be included. I thought that the tasting would be filled with lots of Dallasites, but I could not have been more wrong. There were a total of just three of us plus a Starbucks coffee master and we were treated like royalty!
The main coffee we sampled at the tasting was the Starbucks Reserve Galapagos blend. Now, I had to be up front with the coffee master and I will be with you too. While I LOVE Starbucks I actually rarely, if ever just drink coffee. In fact this tasting was the first time I had an actual cup in years. I am going to go as far to say since high school. I always order some type of espresso based drink and I was really not even sure I would even like this luxury blend...
Well, this was all before I saw he Clover. The Clover Brewing System is a brewing machine that is only installed at a small handful of Starbucks. When the CEO of Starbucks saw this machine and tasted a cup it had brewed he decided he had to buy the company then and there. You can search here to see if you have one in your area....and though I will go into more detail, do yourself a favor and start heading over now.
A Clover brews coffee is a distinctive manor that allows you to more fully enjoy not only the aroma, but the flavor of the coffee as well. For this reason only a handful of Starbucks coffees are brewed on the Clover, they are mainly the Reserve blends. These blends are the best crops of coffee Starbucks comes across.
To achieve this ultimate cup of coffee the Clover uses a vacuum technology and an additional filter.
While the cup of coffee the Clover brews is the best I have ever tasted watching your cup brew is one of the best parts. It is like an event!
I was so impressed by the system that I called my father up (he is our family coffee conesuier) and told him he needed to head to the Starbucks at the Edina Galleria and try a cup that afternoon. He happily obliged and was equally as blown away.
After we watched our cup of Galapagos brew on the Clover it was time to taste it. Now, I am sure all of you coffee drinkers know the proper way to fully enjoy your cup of coffee and how to cool it down, but I did not. However, the coffee master was a good teacher and demonstrated how to suck our coffee in order to enjoy it to the fullest.
It was so interesting to taste the various flavors in the coffee. Even though I have lived in major coffee growing regions of the world I never understood how one could taste cocoa or blueberries in their coffee until I properly learned to drink it. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world! Next time you order a cup before to cup your hand over the mug and then suck it into your mouth (there are You Tube videos that demonstrate this if you want to learn). It will instantly cool your coffee (or I suppose any hot drink you are enjoying) and allow you to fully appreciate the flavor.
Here I am looking demonic....I guess all that caffeine was starting to get to me!
After one cup of coffee we got to enjoy some sweet treats with our second cup of Galapagos Reserve (which was made with a French press so that we could taste the difference). It was during this portion of the tasting that I learned something else about Starbucks. Your local coffee master is trained to help you select coffees to compliment your menu. So, if you are having a dinner party they will gladly help you pick the perfect pairing for your dessert. I guess when I am running in and out of Starbucks this had just never occurred to me. However, I personally found it to be a very helpful tip and one which I will be sure to use in the future.
All in all the Starbucks changing gave me a new perspective on coffee. I have actually been enjoying a cup almost every morning since the tasting! Be sure to look up and see if you have a Clover Brewing System at a Starbucks in your hood and hurry over and order a specialty cup of Reserve coffee if you do! I will be the first to tell you you will not regret it!