I have never been a heavy coffee drinker. People who know me, know that I only like “patweetums” coffee: coffee heaped with sugar or caramel or cream or whipped cream or chocolate or all of them. I am no Lorelei nor Rory Gilmore who love coffee straight from the coffee maker.
So, it was such a learning experience when I joined other food bloggers at the very recently opened Starbucks Reserve at Sapphire Bloc. We were treated to three varieties of rare, exotic and exquisite coffee; the quantity limited only to the batch that they have right now.
First was the Cape Verde blend that was manually brewed using hot water and a coffee filter. Aaron, the coffee master, made sure to wet the filter before brewing to reduce the papery taste. The finished product smelled really great! Let’s just say I panicked for a bit when I was handed my coffee – without any sugar or cream in sight, I made my first sip, expecting a full-bodied taste. However, the coffee master said there should be a fruity finish. Well, let’s just say that I missed that one…
The best part of the coffee tasting though was the pairing: pair the coffee with a specific muffin for the best results. The blueberry muffin was selected for the Cape Verde blend. Although it still failed to bring out that fruity finish I was looking for, I must say that the muffin was the moistest muffin I’ve tasted in a coffee shop. And it’s only available at Starbucks Reserve. Too bad I wasn’t able to get a good photo of it.
Up next was the Malawi blend that Rei, another coffee master, brewed via the Clover brewing machine. She prepared it for us iced and unlike the first Cape Verde blend, honestly smelled weak, compared to the assertive Cape Verde. I also found the coffee to have a higher acidity. So lo and behold when we paired it with the triple chocolate muffin: it was transformed! The pairing was so perfect it softened the edges of the Malawi and brought out its chocolate undertones. It was my favorite!
Using a regular coffee press, the night was capped off by the Burundi blend. It had a rich coffee smell and the granola muffin was its partner. It was my second favorite pairing but personally, the granola muffin overshadowed the blend. It is misleadingly healthy but had this wicked cream cheese center that’s to die for. Really yummy!
Again, these blends are available only at Starbucks Reserve branches, like the one at Sapphire Bloc, for a limited time. When you do try these coffee blends, don’t forget to smell, slurp and pair a muffin for the best experience.
***all photos were taken using iPhone 6