About a month ago, shortly after Costa Coffee opened in BGC, I had the opportunity to attend the Costa Coffee Masterclass conducted by Gennaro Pelliccia (pronounced as JE-NA-RO). Gennaro is Costa Coffee’s Master of Coffee… and he’s Italian. Unlike other coffee chains, Costa Coffee uses only one blend — the Mocha Italia. It’s a closely guarded secret originally created by the Costa brothers when they started the brand. It’s Gennaro’s job to make sure that the taste is the same as it was back in 1971. If you’ve tried any of Costa Coffee’s coffees, you’d know that each cup is the perfect blend of sweetness and acidity.
So anyway, Costa Coffee BGC was setup classroom style for the Costa Coffee Masterclass.
The attendees each got a Costa Coffee Masterclass Kit.
Inside was an apron, a nametag, a cupping spoon, a paper cup, a pencil, and a notebook.
Here with foodies Mrs. Awesome Planet, Jin Loves To Eat, and Shoot First Eat Later for the Costa Coffee Masterclass. I don’t bump into them all that often because I don’t attend too many food events.
So anyway aside from the Costa Coffee Masterclass Kits we all got 3 types of ground coffee beans laid out in front of us — Colombian Arabica, Kenyan Arabica, and Indonesian Arabica. We were all set for our coffee cupping session.
Event host RJ Ledesma interviewed Gennaro for a bit. He came across as a really down-to-earth guy, he shared that he started out as a barista at Costa Coffee.
Gennaro’s job at Costa Coffee is so important his tongue was insured by Costa Coffee for GBP 10 million back in 2009. Gennaro explained it’s kind of like David Beckham insuring his legs or Bruce Springsteen insuring his voice.
So anyway, guided by Gennaro, we uncovered our coffee grounds.
He asked us to take in the aroma of each.
Then he started pouring water over the coffee grounds.
A barista came to our table and started pouring hot water (not boiling) into our bowls. We let the coffee sit for 5 minutes. Using our cupping spoons, Gennaro taught us how to “caress” the coffee and skim the coffee. Then we were told to slurp the coffee to get a taste and then spit it out into the paper cup provided because it’s not meant to be ingested. Ummm… good luck with that I think I swallowed a great deal of coffee with every try. I liked Colombian Arabica best as I felt it had the most balanced flavor. I thought Indonesian Arabica tasted and smelled like burnt wood. I don’t like dark roasts so the smoky bitter kind of coffee isn’t really for me.
Gennaro’s job is far from simple. He told us that if he was scheduled to have a cupping session, he had to undergo certain level of preparation… like for example, he can’t just eat whatever he wants.
At the end of the cupping session, Gennaro invited us to go on over to the coffee machines set up in front so we can make our own drinks.
Thank you Costa Coffee Philippines and Coffee Master Gennaro Pelliccia for an educational afternoon! Although I would probably suck as a Master of Coffee, it was pretty fun *trying* to be one for a few hours.
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