A journey to the magical blends of Starbucks
Yesterday I was invited by Starbucks to their head office for an ‘engaging event’ [as per the invite title] and absolutely had no clue as to what was in store for me. I was both curious and excited, curious because I was invited to the head office and not a branch, and excited because well it had to do with Starbucks coffee which I have loved since oh well since as far back as I can remember.
Anyways Starbucks head office is located within the Al-Shaya head office complex in Shuwaikh, which to tell you the truth resembles in size like a mini mall. It’s huge and while you foray your way to the destination you come across various sub-sections of the numerous brands from clothing to food n beverages popping out of every corner. As I was guided through various passages and floors and finally to basement within a basement, I was taken aback by a familiar sight. There in 2 levels beneath, amidst innumerable cubicles lay a complete Starbucks branch, with all the furnishings, deco, baristas, and ofcourse coffee. Lucky b….. was the first thought that struck my mind about the employees working there. Then it hit me that this is a training center for Starbucks. And its there where we were to participate in an engaging event.
The event began with the management of Starbucks giving us an insight of the Starbucks and details of its operations within Kuwait and GCC. We moved on the main event which was to show us how to do a basic tasting of coffee and show us how Starbucks was changing the way it prepares coffee. The session was split in two parts with one part that showed us how to make a great coffee Starbucks style. We all were individually invited to prepare cappuccinos and espressos with our preference of ingredients, ofcourse with the assistance of baristas. Below is a small video where the barista prepared my favourite drink the cappuccino.
The coffee that was served just bowled me over. It’s the best tasting coffee ever to come out of Starbucks for me so far. And there is a reason behind this, the technique. Starbucks has sort of come out with an ingenious way to prepare the milk, and mix it with the base coffee extract that it just blends in with this amazing and luscious velvety texture. There is absolutely no need for sugar and as you sip into your coffee you can feel that creamy frothy mixture full of deep rich flavors going down. An absolute charm and satisfying experience of enjoying good coffee.
The second part of the event led us to the ‘aroma labs’ to show and explain to us the origins of coffee beans from the three main regions of the World. Starbucks sources its coffee beans from Latin America, Asia Pacific and Central African countries. Each of these regions gives a distinct taste and aroma to the coffee.
Coffees from each of the planet’s three main growing regions have distinctive characteristics:
- Latin American coffees tend to be clean, familiar and friendly, with flavors reminiscent of nuts or cocoa.
- Coffees from Africa/Arabia are extraordinary and enticing, with floral aromas and flavors of berries and citrus.
- Coffees from Asia/Pacific tend to be bold and assertive, full-bodied with earthy and herbal flavors.
With the ‘aroma labs’ session over, we moved back to the training center for QnA session with the marketing team and the management. Overall the event gave an eye opening insights into how a usual cup of coffee comes from its roots to our cups, it also gave me an opportunity to appreciate the effort and work that goes behind a good cup coffee.I am glad I was able to attend the event and look forward to more such events, not only from Starbucks but others as well. Sort of helps us understand things a bit better.