Lazy Blue Sunday: Raining Too

Lazy Blue Sunday: Raining Too

It is raining in Seattle.  I actually get so relieved when I hear sound of the rain.  This one tiny little thing has been bothering me for a while so I decided to have a very lazy Sunday.  Pajama all day Sunday.  My quality life however can’t be affected so I had:

Starbucks Kenya


Almond Cherry Pie from Seattle’s finest, High 5 Pie


And Ginger, my overweight Chihuahua


So I have to say, I still had a lovely Sunday.  I stayed inside all day but I am not regretting a bit. It is raining in Seattle.  I kind of like it too.

Luner New Year: Komodo Dragon

Luner New Year: Komodo Dragon

On morning of Chinese New Year, what is the appropriate way to wake yourself up?
Komodo Dragon, of course. Komodo Dragon is one of Starbucks’ core coffees. Rich, deep, dark. Also earthy spicy and kick. It will take you to Southeast Asia somewhere. You will feel like you are wondering around in the forest hearing these exotic birds and animal crying.

This coffee does not have any association to Chinese New Year but it is nice to start the day taking a trip to where you have not been to, by drinking Komodo Dragon. Happy Lunar Nee Year, everyone.


Meet Riley: Starbucks Flat White Expert

Meet Riley:  Starbucks Flat White Expert

Archie is a beer snob. He also is a coffee snob.  Other than those 2 departments, he is not snob.  Before we became friends, I was already a coffee snob.  Starbucks coffee, really?  It’s a chain just like McDonald, right?  That was our attitude before I actually started working for this company.  I have to admit espresso drinks are not my favorite.  Well, usually.

I have been working here a little over a year and I haven’t gotten tired of coming in to the smell of coffee yet.  It makes me happy every friggin’ morning.  Like I wrote before, coffee fixes everything.

Flat White; creamy micro-form steamed milk poured over two ristretto shots of espresso (Casi Cielo beans).  Ristretto shot is a smaller, more concentrated serving of espresso.  This drink has more intense espresso flavor.  Yes, if you are a Starbucks hater, I highly recommend to give it a try.  I hear it a lot, that Starbucks espresso drinks are too milky and they only taste milk.  I hear this all the time from Archie.

Riley is shy, lovely, cute and an experienced barista at Starbucks store on the 8th floor.  When she called my name when my flat white was ready, she was smiling ear to ear and said, “Mimi, look!  I made a heart (latte art for flat white is usually a white dot) for you.  Happy early Valentines’ day”  I was actually able to hear excitement and pride in her voice.  It was nice, such an amazing moment to share with Riley on Friday morning about 6:30am, on the 8th floor of Starbucks office building.  So, I snapped this photo right at the counter.  She got so excited when I told her that I was going to write about her in my blog soon.

My coffee snobbish attitude is slowly diminishing due to this kind of moment.  Also Archie had one the other day and he even said, “hmm, it is not bad at all.”  That is huge.  Just one short flat white might make your day and you might have a really nice surprise.

If Riley can make you one, even better.

Coffee Fixes Everything?: Starbucks Reserve® Sumatra Peaberry Lake Toba does

Coffee Fixes Everything?:  Starbucks Reserve® Sumatra Peaberry Lake Toba does

My morning was interesting.  Well, it was not interesting, it was actually bitter start.

Coffee.  Yes, coffee is needed for this kind or morning or any kind of morning.  Our office building has a few Clover® machines. The very first thing I do every morning is to go to 9th floor and make myself a delightful cup of coffee.  No sugar or milk is added in order to taste pure whole beans.  One of perks of working on a coffee team for a coffee company is the opportunity to taste millions of different coffees.  My favorite is Starbucks Reserve® Ethiopia Sun-Dried Yirgacheffe™ because this coffee gives you BAM!! blueberry smell when you open the bag and nice semi-sweet chocolate flavor.  What a romantic combination.

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Anyway,  Starbucks Reserve® Sumatra Peaberry Lake Toba,  I detected light acidity in the back of my tongue and very mild and smooth bitterness spread in my mouth slowly.  This coffee also has a bright fruity note and some sort of herbal note.  I was trying to think of a good description and finally figured it out.  It is green apple (!) for fruity flavor and cedar wood for herbal note.  This is such a charming combination of note and flavor.  Sumatra Peaberry Lake Toba has juicy entry and silky/smooth finish even though beans from Sumatra are very bold, almost chewy.  Because of the chewiness and density, I usually do not like Asian coffee, however, Sumatra Peaberry Lake Toba is the very first Asian coffee that I ever liked.  When enjoying this coffee, I was picturing myself sitting on swing in lightly humid but comfortable morning in early summer and enjoying sunrise.  I almost could see the moon fading and the sky turning from purple to deep pink to orange.

How can I carry on with the bitter morning start all day after this lovely cup of coffee.  You simply don’t.

I am a firm believer of this.  Coffee fixes everything.

1970 Hacienda Alsacia : First Crop

1970 Hacienda Alsacia  : First Crop

Floral, fruit, chocolate, sweet & sugary, nut, grain, roast, spice, savory, herb, earthy, vegetal.

What do you think I am talking about?  These words are commonly used to describe flavor of coffee.  You can dig deeper if you want to.  For instance, let’s talk about coffee tastes like “chocolaty.”  Chocolaty could be categorized “cacao nibs,” “dark,” “bakers chocolate,” “bittersweet,” “cocoa powder,” milk chocolate” and so on. To be a coffee nerd, it is so fun to try to get those flavors by sipping a cup of well made coffee.

So now, this coffee.  This whole bean coffee is from Costa Rica and is grown by farmers in Costa Rica on the first coffee farm Starbucks has ever owned, Hacienda Alsacia.  As a photo of this coffee bag indicates, this is the first crop and they were only distributed to Starbucks employees this year because they did not produce enough beans to introduce to global market.

I am lucky enough to get to taste this delicious coffee.  I will try to describe Hacienda Alsacia as a certified coffee master (completely subjective however)

Balanced and medium soft body coffee with subtle notes of clementine.  Juicy, smooth, vibrant and clean and it taste a slight cocoa.  This would accompany well with citrus fruits such as clementine or orange, semi-sweet or dark chocolate and roasted walnuts.

Scratch that.  It does not matter, just enjoy (perhaps next year’s crop).