Building Coffee Knowledge at Starbucks Interactive Experience in Hong Kong
A cup of Starbucks coffee is the result of a long voyage starting with farmers picking coffee cherries from trees and ending with masterful brewing by highly-skilled baristas.
Through March 29, Starbucks is hosting a Coffee Experience Journey at Cityplaza – one of the largest shopping malls in Hong Kong – to give coffee enthusiasts the opportunity to learn and experience coffee and the path that it travels before arriving in Starbucks® stores.
“Our work goes far beyond the coffee counter. We want to share with the public exactly how our coffee is made and our in-depth knowledge from years of experience,” said Norbert Tan, executive director, Starbucks Hong Kong and Macau. “It’s this plus our passion for everything coffee that is and has been critically important in defining the unparalleled Starbucks craft.”
The Stages of Coffee
The Coffee Experience Journey is a series of workshops that will highlight four key stages of coffee:
Uncovering the Origins of Coffee - In this section of the journey, a virtual presentation of Starbucks coffee farms will be featured, showing coffee growing on trees, being picked and de-pulped. In addition, customers will have the opportunity to rake coffee beans on a simulated coffee drying bed.
Roasting and Blending - The Starbucks Roast is not a time, temperature or color, but rather a philosophy of helping each bean reach its maximum potential. Customers will have a chance to blend three recommended single origin coffees to create a perfect match according to their tastes and take the blend home for free.
Understanding the Fundamentals of Brewing - Starbucks helps unlock the full potential of coffee for the perfect cup every time, with four basic fundamentals of brewing – the right proportion of coffee to water, different grind levels, clean water at the right temperature and freshness of coffee. During special coffee workshops, Starbucks Coffee Masters will demonstrate how different brewing methods such as a French press, pour-over, and siphon, stimulate different tastes. In addition, a coffee cupping class will be offered to help customers learn how to describe the aroma, acidity, body and flavor of coffee.
Savoring the Taste of Coffee - Customers will learn how to taste and savor coffee similar to the sampling of wine. From complex flavors to special characteristics, this experience will demonstrate how to get maximum satisfaction from coffee. Starbucks Coffee Masters will lead coffee tastings to demonstrate how to smell, slurp, locate flavors on the tongue and describe coffee characteristics.
“We started out with the idea to create a truly immersive bean to cup experience that our customers would never have seen before,” added Tan. “Great care has been taken to make it an authentic experience which is both informative and fun.”
Art Inspired by Coffee
During the Coffee Experience Journey, there will be an exhibition of more than 100 iconic Starbucks white cups, hand-drawn by Starbucks Hong Kong partners and local art lovers who were inspired by coffee and the local community. Local artists Carmen Ng, Jack Lee, Jane Lee and Pucky will also share their talent and passion for art on the company’s cups. In addition, artwork created by Stefan Kuhnigh from Germany and Liv Buranday from the Philippines will be on display.
Coffee grounds will take on new life during Coffee in Your Life workshops that demonstrate how to create soap, sachets and tie-dye with coffee as well as how to plant using coffee grounds. These classes show just how versatile coffee is and how it can be used for many purposes from composting to household chores.