East Olive Way Starbucks: Join In on a Coffee Seminar & have a Flat White.
Tonight (December 29, 2014), I went to a coffee seminar at the Starbucks at East Olive Way in Seattle. I attend regularly, even though they don’t always turn into blog articles. I want to spotlight these events again: These coffee events are open to the public and free to attend. You’ll usually find coffee seminars every other Monday evening, at 6:00 PM, though if possible, call ahead and confirm that there will be a coffee event. Once in a blue moon, their schedule adjusts and changes for new seasonal coffee offerings and to accommodate staffing changes.
The address is 1600 East Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122. The phone number is (206) 568 – 5185. I hope to see you there!!
Tonight, Coffee Master Megan walked us through a pairing of the Panama Los Cantares and Panama Carmen Estate paired with the Raspberry-Lemon Yogurt Parfait. I previously wrote a detailed article on these coffee here, so I won’t spend too long now on them. Our group thought that the Panama Carmen Estate was the better pairing with the Raspberry-Lemon yogurt, and that in both cases, the yogurt brought down some of the acidity of coffee and enhanced the lemony aspects of the coffee, though more so with the Carmen Estate. The granola pieces brought out the praline sweetness in the Los Cantares.
Tonight was the first night I broke out my new “Field Notes” booklet to make my coffee notes in. This is a small journal, perfect for coffee tasting notes, sold at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. (Just as an aside, I believe the Roastery is still increasing its staff. There is information here on how to apply to be a barista at the Roastery.)
If you look carefully at the pairing suggestions, on the back side of the Field Notes booklet, you might laugh a little. Apparently, tonight’s coffee from Panama would pair best with a lazy afternoon and fast-pitch softball. Who knew that a coffee from Peru pairs best with shoe shopping? 😉
Also tonight, I ordered a flat white to enjoy. A “flat white” is a whole milk latte, made with ristretto shots, an extra shot of espresso, and finished with either latte art or a dot in the center. Espresso drinkers in the Starbucks UK market have been drinking flat whites for quite a while now.
Beginning January 6, 2015, you’ll be able to order a “flat white” by calling it a flat white, as opposed to a “tall, add shot, ristretto shot, whole milk latte, with latte art or dot.” In fact, when you pick up your beverage at Starbucks, you might want to take off the lid and take a look at it – look for beautiful latte art!
Have you ever tried a “flat white”?
And I did want to call your attention to the regular coffee events in Seattle! I hope to see you at East Olive Way Starbucks someday!
It truly is a shame that these coffee tastings do not occur in other parts of the country. I often wonder why SB does not put clovers in every store although I realize between considering the area, the size of the store, the particular store sales, etc. it is not possible. But having more clovers would certainly open up possibly more coffee seminars. Also, I wonder once they bring the Teavana teas into the SB stores whether they might do tea tastings?
@CD – I admit I looked at the Field Notes and saw the city where it was printed and IMMEDIATELY thought, ‘that’s Denise’s city!!’ — I had considered doing an entire article just on the field notes booklet and not mentioning anything else, but then since I’d just been to the Panama tasting, it made sense to write about everything.
@Purple1 – I wish I knew why more stores don’t have regular events. It’s impressive that East Olive Way has maintained regular coffee seminars for years!
East Olive Way has a famous national blogger who attends almost every seminar and writes cool stuff about them. No other location has that thrill! Which might be why places who start seminars rarely continue them. Also most District and Store Managers have never been to East Olive Way and might find it harder to appreciate the concept and its value.
A flat white sounds amazing! I guess I need to get better at my latte art! I plan on working regular tastings in for my coffee master program starting next week! We don’t have a clover at my store, so french presses and pour – overs will be our methods. Thank you for sharing as always!
Kurt – You make a valuable point. I wouldn’t call myself a “famous national blogger” (LOL), but you touch on a real issue. Usually, when I see stores begin regular coffee tastings/ seminars they fizzle out. Some of the problem is the issue of visibility. How does the store get people to come to their coffee seminars? How do you make it known to a wide audience, in a permanent way that you’ve got coffee education available to the public?? I’ve seen people come to East Olive Way because of reading it here – the extra element of visibility for the store helps. There’s more to it than that, but partners who are passionate about coffee don’t necessarily have an easy means to market the fact that their stores have regular seminars. Of course, it is just as important (if not more important by a long shot) that partners have that drive to maintain coffee events. There has to be a crew of partners who are interested in it, and if one partner leaves, someone to pass on the torch to. Well, and the store location and design makes a difference. An small office tower Starbucks that has people rushing in and out of it during their work day is less amenable to coffee seminars than perhaps a neighborhood store with a perfect space for it.
@Kurt – I have to mention one more thing – It is great if district managers and store managers can spend more time visiting these kinds of coffee events. On the Monday night tastings, we do sometimes see DMs and other partners drop by from other stores. But I think there probably are DMs who just don’t have the experience of a store that does very regular coffee seminars – One thing East Olive Way is working on is trying to have some guest partners do it from other stores – like being a hub for coffee tastings within their district.
The next coffee seminar will be Casi Cielo – They were thinking of maybe moving it up to next Monday to move it up to be more close in time with the launch of Casi Cielo. I hope some readers can join me for Casi Cielo!
@purple1, two stores near me are now Clover stores. They are so much more cramped behind and in front of the counter that I feel sorry for the partners working in those conditions. I’d never even consider asking for anything from the Clover because the barista having to make the Clover beverage has to squeeze tightly into the same area the other person is that is trying to make regular drinks. It’s a horrible set up. The store closest to me should never have been given a Clover. There was no room for Christmas merchandise except some of the cards and coffees. There is another store further from me than these two that was built to have a Clover and is huge with a fireplace, etc. That’s the only way to do that properly. Lots of room is a must to make it a good experience for partners and customers alike.
Melody, I have to ask, what exactly are ristretto shots?
Thanks Melody – I miss some of the special merchandise Starbucks used to carry, like the books and cards from Seattle-based Compendium (live-inspired.com) and even the TCHO chocolates. It was nice to see them carrying something from Field Notes.
Hi Becky E! I’ve been meaning to come back to you on this thread. A ristretto shot of espresso has less water in the actual espresso shot. It makes for a slightly smaller, more coffee intense (some would say) espresso shot.
I’ve been hearing rumblings about this flat white… I’m not sure how it’ll taste but I suspect it might be quite tasty with a few pumps of vanilla syrup…
@Sherry C – Totally agree! I too will likely be ordering a few flat whites add vanilla!
I wonder will the flat whites be available in Tall-Grande-Venti as opposed to just short in other markets? They’re really great though!
famous national blogger?
famous INTERNATIONAL blogger!!!!!
Starting on January 6, I expect the Flat White to be my go-to Starbucks order! I frequently order these from speciality coffee shops, and I was excited to hear the news that they would be available at Starbucks this year.
From what I’ve read in the materials, we are promoting the Tall size of the flat white, but it is still orderable in Grande/Venti. Also, ristretto (I think) can be summarized into a shorter, more intense shot with less water. The shot count is Short and Tall: 2 and Grande and Venti: 3. It’s also made with whole milk, as opposed to 2% which will help in creating the microfoam necessary for latte art.
Admittedly, I am a stickler for standards and always use a spoon to make my drinks, even the cappuccinos. So I’m afraid my free-pouring and latte art skills are not adept at preparing this drink. I’ve practiced just a bit (with 2% no less so I’m really just fighting an uphill battle) and can make a semi-recognizable dot.
I must also say I’m both relieved and surprised that the flat white is the only featured beverage for Winter 1. The caramel flan latte from last spring was tremendously successful in my area and I know people will be disappointed it isn’t returning. (Thankful, neither is the Vanilla Spice Latte. Ick.)
Well, on second thought, we are “featuring” the other core espresso beverages (doppio, americano, cappuccino, etc), but not like “featured seasonally” kind of beverages like the PM, PSL, or MCCF. Also, the Starbucks Double Shot is returning to the menu boards. This one I’m not exactly thrilled with because this drink is so labor and time heavy….There’s supposed to be a new recipe for it which I am excited for because I’ve never been sure that I’m making it correctly in the first place!
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Shout out to Field Notes – a great Chicago company!