IMAG1285 Bags of coffee - 28 July 2014As many readers of this site know, the East Olive Way Starbucks has regular coffee seminars, every other Monday evening, at 6:00 PM. They are free and open to the public. I always hope that I will see you there!

Tonight, Coffee Master Megan G. and Coffee-Master-In-Training Lindsey walked us through tasting and pairing for two coffees:

Untitled-1 Brazil Screen Cap 28 July 2014Starbucks Reserve Brazil Fazenda Apucarana – This is a limited Starbucks Reserve coffee. It’s available until supplies run out. You’ll find it in any Starbucks Clover – Reserve location, or online at


Untitled-2 Breakfast Blend - Starbucks store screen cap 28 July 2014Starbucks Breakfast Blend – This is a core Starbucks offering, widely available. You’ll find it inside Starbucks stores, online at, and you’ll find it at some grocery retailers. By the way, I highly recommend that you read this previous article on a little history behind Breakfast Blend. It’s been in the Starbucks coffee lineup since 1998.


Megan and Lindsey walked us through the four steps of a coffee tasting. About seven people turned out for the East Olive Way coffee tasting.

I have a weakness for an excellent “smell” photo. Here are Megan and Lindsey smelling the coffee:

IMAG1290 Megan and Lindsey lead coffee seminarBoth coffees were prepared via a French Press. We tried the Breakfast Blend first, and paired it with the Reduced-Fat Berry Coffee Cake. This was such an excellent pairing. The coffee cake is quite light and doesn’t overpower the Breakfast Blend. The sweetness of the lemon crumble atop the coffee taste adds just a hint of sweetness to the coffee. The Breakfast Blend has very little lingering mouth flavor or feel to it, and with the coffee cake, it’s finish was very clean.

We had quite a discussion about Breakfast Blend. As it turns out, it’s one of Lindsey’s favorite coffees. I know that I personally spend too little time re-tasting the core coffees, so it was super fun to compare Breakfast Blend with the Brazil. As Lindsey commented, “We’re having a little tour of Latin America.”

Also, in comparing the whole bean side by side, one can easily see that the Breakfast Blend is roasted to a much lighter profile than the Brazil Fazenda Apucarana. Up until the introduction of Willow Blend and Veranda Blend, Breakfast Blend was the lightest coffee in the Starbucks core coffee lineup.

IMAG1294 bags of coffee with whole beans 28 July 2014 East Olive Way StarbucksWe paired a traditional Spanish flan dessert with the Brazil coffee. You can see the food for pairing here. Sorry that it’s a bit blurry of a photo:

IMAG1284 Food pairing 28 July 2014One thing that came up in the discussion of the Brazil coffee is that it’s very full-bodied for a “medium” profile coffee. We agreed that it seemed medium to dark roast. The big flavor profile lingers on your tongue, even after you’re finished. A few people in our group commented that the brown sugar flavors in the flan complemented the coffee, making it seem sweeter. One person called it “custard-y magic.”

I enjoyed the flan quite a bit! It was so delicious. The one thing about this pairing is that I thought the big flavor of the Brazil seemed to overpower the flan a bit. It seemed that everyone got something different out of this pairing!

Have you tried this coffees?

Hope you enjoyed your quick coffee tasting event for these two coffees. Looking forward to your comments.