Thursday, December 17, 2015

Costa Coffee Masterclass with Gennaro Pellicia

Everybody needs a perfect cup of flat white sometimes, and I am thrilled to know that I do not
have to travel all the way to Eastwood because Costa Coffee now has a branch in BGC.

It was as warm as the wall promised it would be

The place was set up for the masterclass to be conducted by Costa Coffee's Master Taster

The man himself, Gennaro Pellicia, who flew in all the way from London for this special event.
Gennaro started working as a barista at Costa Coffee when he was still studying, and has been 
with the company for 25 years now. His eyes twinkled every time he spoke about coffee. 
I saw a man truly in love with his craft.

 And THAT hanging from his mouth is THE MOST EXPENSIVE  TONGUE IN THE WORLD. 
Yes, Gennaro's tongue was insured for a whopping £10 million, or approximately Php 722 million, 
with Lloyd's of London!!! 

Just to let you know, his tongue beat the following celebrity organs:

Dolly Parton's bosom $600,000
Rihanna's legs $1,000,000
Keith Richard's hands $1,000,000
Madonna's breasts $2,000,000
Heidi Klum's legs $2,000,000
Tina Turner's legs $3,200,000
Kylie Minogue's buttocks $5,000,000
Bruce Springsteen's vocal chords $6,000,000
Daniel Craig's body $9,500,000

I really don't care about all the others, but if this guy's tongue is worth more than James Bond's whole body, I MUST PAY ATTENTION.

Coffee cupping essentials

 Inside the box was a spoon, paper cup for spitting (you're not expected to swallow everything
 like I did. Ooops!), an apron, and notebook and pencil to write down our thoughts.

And of course, food. This was Leslie's ham and cheese sandwich.

We were given 3 single-origin coffees to play with: Columbian, Kenyan, and Indonesian

It is best that coffee beans are ground immediately prior to cupping, and the grinds should remain 
covered with a lid until ready to use.

 First step was to deeply sniff the coffee grinds. You must bury your face into the cup and inhale 
as if your life depended on it. The Columbian smelled of chocolate and dark fruits, the Kenyan
of citrus, and the Indonesian of smoke and burnt wood. It was hard to choose a favorite, 
I loved the unique scent of each origin.

 Next, we poured hot water into the cups, making sure to wet all the grounds and let them
steep undisturbed for 3-5 minutes before evaluation.

Then the most sensual thing happened. Gennaro began caressing the coffee. This process is called "breaking the crust." He caressed the crust ever so gently until it broke and the granules settled to the bottom of the cup. You have to watch this video to understand what I'm talking about.

By putting our faces as close to the cup as possible, and sniffing the foam that ran down the back of the spoon, we were able to appreciate the wet aroma of each coffee.

Tip: It is important to drink water to clear and reset your senses!

Next step was to skim off the remaining granules floating on top. This was done using two 
cupping spoons and a lot of practice! Gennaro cleared his cups in one single sweep, while 
I had to do mine again and again. Lol.

And finally, it was time to taste the coffee. This process required a very fast sipping, almost
sucking action. The goal was to spray the coffee across your palate, coating your tongue and
inhaling the aroma. Do not be afraid to make sounds. And remember, you don't need to swallow!

As a bonus, Gennaro also showed us how to pull the perfect espresso using this Ferrari of a machine

So intense, this Italian guy! When I asked him how he feels about owning the most expensive
tongue in the world, he replied, "It is not easy. It is definitely a commitment. I have to make sure
our Mocha Italian blend remains consistent. It is the secret to Costa Coffee's success."

This perfect cup of flat white proved that Gennaro is doing an excellent job

 The Costa Coffee napkin pretty much summed up the masterclass. 
Meet old friends. Meet new coffees.

I met my old friends Rowena, Rache and Leslie, and we experienced new coffees in new ways.

Thank you, Costa Coffee and Gennaro Pelliccia, for making us feel 
like master tasters for a day!

Costa Coffee Website
Costa Coffee Facebook Page
Instagram: @costacoffeeph

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