I Checked Out the Coffee Experience Bar at the Latest Starbucks Store in Davao City

Since the official entry of Starbucks here in Davao City in 2011, they now have a total of four stores which are located at Abreeza, SM Ecoland, and SM Lanang Premier shopping malls. The fourth and most recent one is built along F. Torres Street (right next to Coco's and DavCon) which officially opened to the public a couple of weeks ago. In case you don't know yet, this is the very first standalone store Starbucks has setup in the region.

Aside from being the very first store set up outside of a shopping mall, this particular branch also features its first Coffee Experience Bar where a customers' brewed coffee is prepared and served, complete with demonstrations, right in front of them by one of Starbucks' Coffee Masters. And to be honest, I never knew that Starbucks has this unique service offered through a few select of their branches (all are located in Manila) until the official opening of this new store down here. So I was interested to see what it's all about and what makes it unique among its competitors and its own regular services/products. Then yesterday, I had an opportunity to pay them a quick visit and try it.

At this branch, Starbucks offers three different brewing methods through this Coffee Experience Bar and those are called Siphon, Pour-over, and Chemex (learn more here). Before visiting this store, I watched a couple of videos on YouTube to see what exactly they are so by this time I already have a little bit of idea before actually showing up at the Starbucks F. Torres branch. Among the three, the one that really caught my attention was the Siphon method, and this is what I tried.

Of all the available methods at this Starbucks store, the Siphon is the most instagram-worthy and interesting experience since it uses cool equipment all throughout the process. Siphon method uses halogen lights to generate heat for and through the water and for the movement of the coffee through the chambers as explained by our Coffee Master of the day named Joachim. Once the water reaches boiling point at 100 degrees Celsius, it creates a vapor pressure that pushes water upward to the top glass where the coffee is being brewed afterwards. Then once done brewing, the coffee is filtered back down into the glass carafe. And it is poured into your mug ready to be drunk.

At this point, the boiling water had gone up to the top glass and the Coffee Master Joachim is adding the ground coffee to brew. Also while he is doing all the preparation, he is giving us quick background on how this particular coffee is being made such as from where they harvested and how the roasting process is done together with what kind of taste to expect from its coffee.

I really did not know how precise their preparation was in making every coffee they serve. Everything is accurately measured from the amount of heat to be applied to the glass containers, how much water is needed, how many stirs they should do every certain number of minutes before the whole coffee hits a particular temperature. If these all are not followed properly, it may affect the overall taste and experience of consuming the coffee. Coffee Master Joachim really knows what he is doing and is very expert in all-things coffee.

As I previously mentioned, after brewing the coffee and the liquid's temperature goes lower, the coffee is automatically filtered back down to the lower glass as shown in the image above. It's kind of amazing to realize and witness that it involves tons of physics stuff in just preparing a mug of coffee through the Siphon method. Thanks physics for existing! hehe

And here it is! Poured into the mug and ready for me. The coffee's aroma was all over the place already by this time which made me so ready to drink the coffee. Joachim told me that it is best to drink coffee without any add-ons such as sugar or creamer, and of course I followed him and took a sip immediately. And to be honest again, I liked it. I didn't know what kind of sorcery he did there but the coffee was just perfect to my taste. Right before this experience, I always drink coffee with sugar and creamer added, but now, the case is no more especially when I am having a Starbucks brewed coffee. If you have not tried it, I think you should especially if you are one of those coffee enthusiasts like me.

At the time of visit, there were two coffee bean selections available, the Sumatra and Kenya Single Origin. But Joachim said they change them every now and then. For this visit, I had the Kenya one. These coffee are not ground until the Coffee Master starts the preparation, which assures you that you will have them fresh straight from their container.

I will definitely return and try the other brewing method through this Coffee Experience Bar by Starbucks.

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