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October 23, 2011

Full of Beans - Invited private coffee session with Evelyn Wu 与咖啡公主的私人预约

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77 is Evelyn's Wu's (吳詠琴) nickname, because she is very fond of #7. She is 卓伟民老师's assistant cum FULL OF BEANS' business partner. We call her coffee princess (咖啡公主).

曾拜師美國著名咖啡大師David Schomer及澳大利亞咖啡學院創辦人Gedigo Sabados,世界技能大賽紐西蘭籍裁判Mr. Stephon Pope是台灣目前唯一擁有美國專業咖啡協會(SCAA)受課證書&英國城市專業學會咖啡調配師顧問認證的專業咖啡師,致力於研究及推廣精品咖啡的各個領域-包含咖啡歷史與文化、咖啡杯測、咖啡烘焙、各式咖啡器具操作、花式咖啡製作、高階吧台技術與飲品製作技巧傳授。卓老師目前擔任台北市精品咖啡商業發展協會執行長,並於行政院勞委會職訓中心及多個大專院校擔任專業訓練講師工作,傳授正確的咖啡知識與專業技術,並以創造一個具備趣味、美味、高品味的優質咖啡飲食文化為推廣目標。

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What is the difference between conventional coffee and specialty coffee?
Specialty coffee is the term commonly used to refer to "gourmet" or "premium" coffee. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), coffee which scores 80 points or above on a 100-point scale is graded "specialty". Specialty coffees are grown in special and ideal climates, and are distinctive because of their full cup taste and little to none defects. The unique flavors and tastes are a result of the special characteristics and composition of the soils in which they are produced. -- from Wikipedia

As for FULL OF BEANS, their specialty coffee normally consists of 3 types of beans.

Lessons learned from Evelyn to brew a nice cup of specialty coffee:
1. Select good quality beans, accurately measure the portion and grind it.
2. Good temperature control. Suitable temperature for brewing specialty coffee is 85-90 degC. Timing is also a factor.
3. Maintain a pleasant mood when brewing your coffee.

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A copper flask used for syphon brewing.

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Thermometer to measure the water temperature. Obviously the temperature is not met yet.

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This time around, we had a chance to taste a few featured coffees from FULL OF BEANS, also among the highest rated coffee by Coffee Review. Both the coffee we chose the coffee's beans are grown at highlands about 1500m above sea level. More information of FULL OF BEANS in my previous article.

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Star of Africa 非洲之星
This coffee is reviewed in May 2011 by Coffee Review and scored 93. It has rich, deep-toned acidity, with a plush, syrupy mouthfeel. A hint of dark chocolate and a continued hint of fir. In the finish the opulent sweetness fades but flavor persists nicely. Cool to the max!!!

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Gayo Mandheling 绿宝曼特宁
Gayo Mandheling was reviewed in January 2011 by Coffee Review and scored 94. It has delicate hints of fruits, flowers and roasted nut in the aroma. The first sip will make you tremble, due to its bright-toned acidity, but with a superb long, sweet finish.

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Throughout the tasting I discovered the perfect way of enjoying this cup of Gayo Mandheling... The answer lies inside that small cup of water. Next time when you drink Gayo Mandheling, remember to take a small sip of water after each sip of the coffee. The originally acidic taste will immediately turn into a syrupy mouthfeel!

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Coffee usually goes well with something sweet, especially for ladies, a small piece of chocolate cake or macaron definitely clicks with that cup of espresso. However, drinking coffee is similar to drinking wine, it has to go with the right pairing of food, not necessary has to be sweet stuffs of dessert. You will be surprised how well it can blend with cheese... that's why I am so much indulged in coffee tasting and wine tasting. (Should you read my article on Domaine Chandon in Napa Valley)

A good barista will know how to introduce you the right type of coffee that suits your taste, or even your mood for that day. Sometimes it just as complex as you could ever imagine, taste buds relate so closely with your emotion. Tell the barista the preference to your favorite coffee or acceptable coffee taste. Always start your first sip without sugar or cream to avoid spoiling the pure taste of the brew. Sugar or cream comes later if you really cannot accept the bitterness. Perhaps, a small sip of water is the secret to the sweetness, just like how I found in Gayo Mandheling.

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Some behind the scenes snapshot. I made another new coffee lover friend!
Damn love the role play as a barista, don't you think their apron is cute?

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Thank you FULL OF BEANS for the special invitation!!

Other related articles:
1. Full of Beans Straits Quay Penang - Handcrafted Specialty Coffee and Syphon Coffee http://princesscheryljw.blogspot.com/2011/05/full-of-beans-handcrafted-specialty.html
2. 难以抗拒的精品咖啡 http://www.nanyang.com/node/392359?tid=493


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