Coffee, an age-old beverage that has become a daily part of our lives, was given the proper highlight at the ‘The Art of Coffee’ tour held last September 15-16, 2017 as part of SM Aura’s ‘Art in Aura’ campaign. Different foodie personalities and bloggers were invited to join in a guided coffee tour around different SM Aura establishments who would like to share to foodie bloggers different coffee experiences: coffee tasting, coffee art, coffee making using different brewing methods, coffee art, coffee and liqueur pairing, among others.
As a correspondent of WhatToEatPH, FoodFlings.PH was able to join the coffee tour which started off by meeting all the other foodie bloggers and the SM Aura organizers at Cibo.
Cibo is a modern Italian Café restaurant by Asia’s 2016 Best Female Chef Margarita Fores. Cibo serves Italian dishes, desserts and great coffee using Italy’s Favorite coffee, Lavazza. The foodies were treated to their choice of Lavazza coffee (I chose Cappuccino, how classic of me) and a generous slice of their delicious Tiramisù Croccante, a coffee-flavored Italian dessert but theirs was some sort of frozen type and has a crunch (a definite must-try!). Cibo uses 80% Robusta and 20% Arabica beans for their coffee, which makes it a great balance of bitterness and acidity.
Cibo also recently celebrated their 20th anniversary (congrats!)and the foodies were introduced to their new creation, hand-crafted chocolates from Davao single-origin organic cacao. Available in 4 unique flavors: Milk & Honey, Sea Salt, Rosemary (can you believe this? How creative!) and Chili Pepper.
Next stop was at the Ueshima Coffee Co. Mentore Café or more commonly known to us as UCC. UCC is known as one of the oldest coffee shops in Japan and a pioneer of third wave coffee. The foodies were lectured on the different types of brewing, from mildest to strongest: Syphon, Pour Over, Water Drip, French Press and Espresso. (better go directly to them and watch how they make coffee for these are so cool to watch!).
The most exciting part and the first time I have heard of is the ‘coffee & liqueur pairing’. Shown here is Amaretto with Brazil No. 2 coffee . The taste of the coffee flavor seems intensified and that liqueur certainly adds a different flavor and brings that coffee to a whole new level. UCC also served Bailey’s with Sumiyaki beans ( I love this one!) and Sambuca with Guatemala SHB.
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf was our third stop (CBTL as me and my friends call it). This Southern-California born has been around since 1963 serving us carefully selected top 1% only Arabica beans from the world’s best growing regions and delectable gourmet food. The foodies were asked to choose among Cappuccino, Mexican chocolate and Café Mocha for their drink and blueberry cheesecake and double decker new your cheesecake for the dessert. As always, CBTL never fails to deliver great coffee and not to mention, even greater food and desserts that you must all try.
While at the CBTL, we noticed that there was an workshop. We learned that CBTL and SM Aura teamed up to bring young artist, Tin Bejar, to host a floral illustration workshop called ‘Coffee & Florals’ where coffee lovers drew floral patterns using coffee, how I wish I joined that workshop.
Final stop was at the Grind Bistro + Café, offers USDA hand-made beefburgers and other bestsellers exclusive to their SM branch and top of the line sweets and beverages that make up for a very sophisticated dining experience.
We were served with great coffee and some of their brownie and lemon squares. Sir Paolo Wong, General Manager of Bean and Barley Group, then showed some techniques on coffee-making. On how ground coffee should be measured and weighed perfectly and how does the big coffee thingamajig machine produces that perfect espresso. The output was the beautiful espresso which can be the base of their different delicious coffee drinks.
As the day came to a close, we had bellies filled with luscious coffee and different kinds of pastries, sweets and cakes, imagine all of us being very hyper because of the caffeine kick that we had. It was both a tummy-filling and learning experience for all of us.
Coffee has become an essential go-to drink for most us during times of low energy, sleepiness, or wanting a simple after-meal, it is nice to know that we can expand our knowledge of art and coffee in this event. Coffee is just a simple drink but come to think of it, there’s a lot of love and passion that goes into making it to one of the most versatile drinks that we know today. Thankful to @whattoeatph for this opportunity to even love coffee more, to the next level that is. I was even inspired to make my own Art Of Coffee – art. The one you see above. [@foodflings.ph]