Oh hey there!
Yeah, I still have this little spot on the internet for my food musings, and there’s nothing like a bunch of Starbucks Coffee to bring me out of hiding!
Throughout my whole weight-loss journey, the only thing that really stayed constant was coffee. My first question to my dietician was “Can I still have coffee?” The first thing I perfected when eating nothing but meal replacements was my morning “caramel mocha” shake. I think it stems from the fact that a) my whole family loves and drinks coffee and b) I worked for Starbucks for over 5 years in high school and college!
I was lucky enough to be selected for the Starbucks Blogger Program, and a couple of weeks ago, they sent me my “welcome kit”. It was like the first night of Hanukkah all over again!
I received a gorgeous box full of new-to-me Starbucks products, and a couple of classics. Clockwise from the top left:
- Ceramic pour-over set-up
- 12 oz. Caffé Verona beans
- 12 oz. Veranda Blend beans
- 12 oz. House Blend beans
- Starbucks Coffee passport, full of information and space for notes on each coffee (you’ll see more of this in a minute)
- unbleached coffee filters for the pour-over system
- 16 oz. mug from the Starbucks Dot collection
- 2015 Starbucks calendar (in the background)
I immediately started using the Verona beans in my espresso machine for my morning Americano. Caffé Verona is a dark roast, and it’s got almost chocolate notes which make for a truly delightful Americano.
The House Blend beans went to work, and are used on the daily in the automatic coffee machine. There’s a reason this is one of Starbucks’ most popular blends: it’s really perfect! The roast is dark, but not too dark, and not at all bitter.
The Veranda Blend was new to me though. In my years of working at Starbucks, I learned how to properly taste coffee (including a slurp and spit method that is super attractive), and most importantly how to brew a great cup of coffee. Coffee pod users: you’re exempt. But, if you’re someone who brews a pot of coffee, a French press of coffee, or use a delightful pour-over system, pay attention!
To make a truly great cup of coffee:
- Use filtered water. Yes. This matters.
- Grind your beans for the appropriate filter. French press is the coarsest and espresso is the finest. The longer the beans are in contact with the water, the coarser your grind should be.
- Use 2 Tbsp. of coffee grounds for every 6 ounces of water. Yes, that’s a lot. Yes, it matters.
- Don’t use boiling water, but use water that’s near-boiling.
I tried the Veranda Blend beans in my new pour-over set-up, and rather than using my green mug, I used my new mirror-finish travel mug (it’s splash-proof and I’m clumsy.)
I measured FOUR tablespoons of coffee, appropriately ground for a cone-shaped filter in the unbleached filter placed in the pour-over set-up.
Looks nice, huh? It’s also a LOT of coffee grounds. It’s worth it, trust me!
Then, I slowly poured 10 ounces of near-boiling filtered water over the grounds, making sure that all the grounds were covered by the water. Then the wait. ALL the water had to go through the grounds, so I had to wait a whole 90 seconds. Time for artsy coffee photos!
OOOOOHHHH Steam swirls! (I’m still totally a nerd. I know you missed me!) The steaming grounds smelled a bit like toasting almonds, a little like chocolate, and a lot like perfect coffee.
Finally, my first cup of coffee of the day.
I did the slurp method, but I wasn’t about to spit out this coffee. It’s slightly floral, slightly nutty, and nat at all bitter. It has a very bright coffee flavor without being overwhelming.
I decided to use my adorable coffee passport to make a couple of notes:
I gave myself the Veranda Blend stamp (put a bird on it!) and made a few notes so I’d remember that I liked this blend the next time I need to buy beans.
Thank you Starbucks, for including me in the first-ever Blogger Program! I’m looking forward to seeing what else you have in store!