For Love of the Bean

26 Feb, 2011

by Julie Ferris

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I had no idea what my lead for this blog could be. I jolted my friends with “Guess what I got to do today?” To my boss I percolated “I need the afternoon off to take part in a very urgent experience.” To my steering wheel, to which I sang on my way over to the Pfister, I brewed “I’m walking on sunshine, whoa-oo-oo.”

But for you, I think I’ll pour it out with just the facts. I. Got. To. Go. To. A. Coffee. Tasting. Today. I don’t know if I’ve made it obvious or not, but I really love coffee, in a problematic please-don’t-speak-to-me-until-I’ve-had-some kind of way.

I walked into what seemed to most to be a conference room, but to me seemed some sort of torture cell. Before us was a beautiful table, pleasant staffers, even a tray full of tasting treats…but no coffee. I felt teased, like a mean, taunting version of Candid Camera. I was sure Ashton Kutcher was around the corner with decaf. You see, I had fasted all day for this. I was asleep on my feet and cranky in my caffeine withdrawals.

Then, Dave, the Starbucks rep started talking. I sat a little easier when one of his first sentences seemed to acknowledge my pain, right there in front of everyone. Some sort of sales mumbo jumbo about how to pick coffee for the new Starbucks at the Pfister and customers this and guests that, then he said “they’ll come to get their favorite fix.” I swear on “fix” he looked right at me. I might have been salivating.

First, as you know, the Pfister is remaking, reshaping its café. I love the café. It’s one of my favorite new morning routines. And, though I love the baristas at my Starbucks, I very much loved the coffee to go that I got at the café. To see it shrouded in protective plastic while it transforms makes me sad, but to hear that post-transformation, a triple grande white chocolate mocha will be part of the big reveal, I immediately came on board with the project.

Then, he did it. Dave poured us our first tiny cup. Immediately the room smelled rich and full. And as I sat there, around a table with others, feeling very confessional about my problem with coffee and seeing the knowing nods of other lovers of bold flavors and dark roasted beans, I felt all warm and fuzzy (and only slightly jittery). I tasted the Breakfast Blend and Sumatrans and learned about where the coffee grows and how it’s roasted until it’s caramel-colored (Oh! To talk candy amid the coffee, this place was heaven). Dave took us on a coffee journey as he talked about the journey my dear beans had been on. I made up words like “roastier” and learned that to love coffee, you have to be a romantic.

The beans come from exotic sounding places in mountains and fields far away. Dave explains geography is a big part of the flavor and about how you fall in love. The roasting is done with care and watchfulness. He even describes how the Starbucks Company brings their product and service to communities through a variety of business models using descriptors like “we’re just dating you” to “oh, now we’re married.” You’re not just a coffee lover, you have to be a lovah to get into this stuff (says the Libra).

I’m a coffee lovah, for sure, and cannot wait to hear the grinding rumble of the espresso beans in the machine, the frothing buzz of the steamer and sit back and watch the amazing reaction on guests’ faces when they, too, get to meet my lover…right there in public, in front of everyone at the Pfister Café.

Coffee Tasting: A little slice of heaven.

As a side note, look to the Pfister Facebook page for some pictures of the experience and opportunities to vote on what the house blend should be!

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About the author

Julie Ferris

Julie is a devout Iowa Hawkeye fan despite her new Wisconsin roots, loves to read and is a sucker for good creme brulee and bad puns.

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