Monday, July 14, 2014

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin - with Coffee Tasting on the Side!

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
Cup of Panama Coffee

 I’m a coffee drinker. Thus, to be invited and be one of the lucky few was a pleasure. It was an afternoon of learning and appreciating coffee, how it was started before we can actually drink it. The difference between the fragrance and aroma, the acidity level and which is stronger, is it the brewed or espresso? All of this happened on a cloudy afternoon sometime last last week at Alessi, Bonifacio Hight Street in Taguig.

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
Eric Conlin 

But first let me tell who Conlin is. Eric Conlin is one of the Q Grader in the country, Philippines. (Well, we only have two!) A Q Grader is a professional cupper certified by the Coffee Quality Institute, an international organization that regulates the system of grading specialty coffee according to its quality. It requires more than just a sharp, defined palate, necessitating a deep knowledge of the entire art of making coffee. With that said, Eric decided to fly to Hong Kong to undertake the Q Grader exam — one of the most difficult tests for anyone in the coffee business. The distinction, however, more than outweighs the cost, and becoming one would help Conlins immeasurably, as Eric would be able to grade their coffee while being able to use his knowledge to educate other people about the craft.

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!

More so, The Q Grader test subjects examinees to 22 trials over the course of six (6) days. From grading different levels of bitter, sweet, and salty; to triangulation tests; to identifying the origin of coffee and preparing your own cups — the Q grader challenges both the skills and the patience of each participant.

Now, Eric is the Chief Operating Officer of Conlins and Alessi Philippines, having helped Harris build the brand in the years that he’s been back. Since then, Conlins has grown and expanded, bringing in high-grade coffee makers from Europe and high-concept household items from Italian design company Alessi. But before that, Eric had been a dog washer, then he managed indoor playgrounds, then he worked in door-to-door sales, going up to random people and asking them to buy whatever he was selling at the time — all sorts of things. Eventually, he began to work in the espresso bars in Vancouver, before finally becoming the manager of a chain of toy stores.

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
Preppin' coffee

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
inside ALESSI store

Coffee cherry is being carefully picked one by one then dries it up by using the natural (sun) or mechanical (machine). A process of sorting the good from the bad comes after. Why they need to sort it out? Well, the bad coffee cherry can affect the taste of the coffee. It has a tendency to make it sour, better or can be more acidic. The process of drying can also affect the taste of the coffee. Thus, being knowledgeable with the process is the key to make a good one. Panama coffee is one of the most expensive coffee in the world with its price of P20,000 per kilo. Well, I was so lucky then that I was able to smell and taste it. Did I like it? Without creamer and sugar, hmm not that much, it has a sour taste at first sip and a bitter after taste and less acidic. But I can say, it is more perfect and I’ll appreciate it more if there’s a bread bun with cheese on the side. Ha-ha. I’m thinking of a great breakfast already. Panama has an exceptional taste.

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
different coffees for tasting - Colombia & Ecuador

Comes next are Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and El Salavador. I like the four coffees, having El Salvador on my top list. For rainy and emotional days, I’d rather have Colombia or Ecuador for their smooth taste, it was relaxing and calming.

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
Preppin' Coffee

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
Yeah, I tried to make one!

Fragrance is the sweet and pleasant smelling such as the smell of a perfume or a flower. For me, the smell that only passed by on my nostrils and can be described by comparing to other things is fragrance. Hence, Aroma is the smell that lingers on me which is a smell from substances like food and spice. When I smell the raw Robusta Coffee, used by Nescafe, it was like an awakening fragrance. But when I tasted it, its aroma awakes my senses right there and then. And if you really wanted to stay awake then I suggest you take brewed coffee as it is stronger than espresso. Espresso is light and less acidity though. For now, espresso for me, please!

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
how it looks like when water is poured. This set of coffee maker, except the coffee, is for only P1,300.

During the coffee master class, Conlin also taught us how to make our own coffee without using coffee maker, what you only need are coffee, dripper with paper filter and hot water. You can buy this mechanical coffee maker package in Alessi for P1,300 only.

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
random design in ALESSI store

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
cute tissue holders and condiments holders

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
Coffee Maker worth P200,00ish

Basically, learning and knowing the right coffee for you is the best thing to make your day productive and energetic. Plus, drinking coffee may lower risk of death and it make your reproductive system happy are just few of the many advantages. Make it a habit! Cheers!

Coffee Masterclass by Conlin with Coffee Tasting on the Side!
Alessi in BGC
 - - -
Alessi is available at the following stores: 

Alessi Concept Store
‡ Bonifacio High Street in Taguig (856-4452)

Conlins Elements Stores
‡ Greenbelt 5 Makati (729.9698)
‡  Trinoma, Quezon City (900-0668)
- - -



bxcrochet said...

That looked like an awesome event. I would love to go and learn about coffee like that.

Michelle F.

Jerome Lupisan said...

Nakakaintriga tuloy kung ano ang lasa ng kapeng P 20000 per kilo.

Becca Niederkrom said...

Wow, this is my kind of class. I love coffee!

glitterrain said...

Interesting. I haven't touched coffee in 4 years now. But I am sure for those who are still clearly in love with it - knowing the inner trick on how to make the best cuppa is a thrill.

Heather Jones said...

Wow! How interesting! I would love to go to one of those as I can't go a day without the stuff!

Kung Phoo said...

What a really cool job he has.. I just know what i like to drink... I would like to have more knowledge then i do now.. Good luck with the grand opening.

Samantha Angell said...

What an interesting presentation! my husband would love to attend an event like that.

Cyndie said...

I loved your recap of this entire event! I love the aroma of coffee and I learned a few things from your post, too!

Stacey Gibbon said...

looks like you had a ton of fun! wish I could go to events like that

Risa Bledsoe said...

I didn't know too much about coffee and all the different kinds until a friend of mine started a coffee business. I learned so much about it. It's almost like wine in all the different types, smells, tastes, etc.

Liz Mays said...

I've never heard about the tie-in with the reproductive system or lowering death risk. That's very interesting!

Don Purdum said...

I'm also a coffee drinker and would love an experience like that. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Paula Parker said...

I really like the clock. I love coffee, nice and strong. Usually unflavored, but pumpkin around the holidays in nice.

Sarah Minnesota Mama said...

How neat! This looks like an awesome event. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic way to spend an afternoon! Tasting coffee!

Rena McDaniel said...

I'm not a coffee drinker at all, but everyone else in my house does. We have to seperate coffee makers. A Kerug and a coffeemaker. I lobenthe smell of it though. This looks like fun.

Rebecca Swenor said...

I love all different types of coffee. This would be a great learning experience. I don't know any of this about the coffee bean. Thanks for sharing.

JaimeLovesStuff said...

Wow! I bet it was an amazing experience. There is so much to learn about coffee!

Rachael Yerkes said...

I always love the idea of learning about the foods and drinks we enjoy. Great post.

Shelley Zurek -- Still Blonde after all these YEARS said...

Your pictures make me feel like I was there. I can't believe there is a coffee that expensive. Not a coffee drinker but it does smell like heaven.

Michael said...

I am soooooo jealous of you! I love coffee!

mail4rosey said...

I love a good cup of coffee. Once you've found the perfect coffee though, others pale drastically in comparison.

Mama to 5 said...

What am amazing experience! I love coffee, this looks so informative!

Kath Rivera said...

Wow! Ang mahal ng Panama coffee. Mas mahal pa pala sa alamid coffee. The concept store looks nice and grabe a coffee lover will enjoy for sure.

Gloriously Made said...

I love coffee and cant start my day with out it!! I have even started drinking some in the afternoons. What a fun class!

Natalie Summers said...

I'm not a coffee drinker, but my husband is addicted to coffee. That's a really cute little shop, with some cute things.

April Decheine said...

I have always wanted to attend an event like that. I would also love to know more about coffee beans. I know there are quite a lot of beauty posts out there about the benefits.

Michelle Christopher said...

I would love a class like this. I am a total coffee junkie and try to learn as much as I can about it.

Brijdeep Kaur said...

Wow, even though I'm not a fan of coffee, I loved reading this.. I mean, somebody taking a seminar like thing for COFFEE.. !! Superb.. And so detailed.. wow.. incredible !! Shared with my hubby too.. :)

Tonya Lewis said...

Coffee Lovers UNITE. I would so love that experience it looks like you had so much fun.

Julie Tucker said...

Being a coffee grader would be an interesting job to have. Good thing we're finding out the benefits of coffee now. I guess I should start drinking it more.

Patranila Jefferson said...

I've always wanted to do a coffee tasting. I love the stuff!

Angele @Shoeboxbegone said...

I'm a bit of a coffee addict so this would have been great! Hope it was great!

Becka M said...

Some great pictures. Look likes a good event. I'm not a coffee drink but last month or so I have been contemplating taking it up.

SunnyToast said...

Coffee is my blood type...this would be heaven for me to experience:) I already tasted the panama coffee and I don't like it...hahahaha..expensive but the taste is not my cup of tea:)

Ay Lin said...

@bxcrochet Yah, it was! Thank you!

Ay Lin said...

@SunnyToast Hahaha! Same here dear!