Fancy yourself a coffee connoisseur?
Well, you will be amazed at what more you can discover and learn about your favorite brews at the UCC Coffee Academy.
Located at Uptown Parade in Bonifacio Global City, the academy culls eighty-five years of UCC Japan’s coffee expertise, from crop cultivation, procurement, research and development to roasting and processing, creating a coffee culture and serving the precious cuppas to coffee lovers.
Key to imparting these coffee knowledge is its use of an interactive Japanese method. Aside from lectures and presentations from knowledgeable instructors on various areas of coffee production, preparation and appreciation, students also benefit from hands-on learning experience. Here, students can expect to learn to learn to value the quality of a good coffee bean, from where, by whom and how it is sourced, how it is prepared and served to bring out its best qualities, and how those qualities are evaluated and ranked by coffee experts worldwide.
Together with my fellow foodies from #WeLoveToEatPH, I went through an extremely condensed crash course on Coffeeology: Coffee Fundamentals from Farm to Cup at the academy.
UCC Coffee Academy Head Instructor Robert Francisco took our group on a journey of coffee discovery. Having authored the book A Coffee Journal as an effort to support local farmers, he holds the local coffee industry very close to his heart.
Assisted by another UCC Coffee Academy instructor Joems Lichangco, Instructor Francisco gave our group a customized coffee preparation and appreciation workshop which includes brewing at home, tasting and – my favorite – latte art.
Here are some tips I picked up along the way:
The ratio of coffee to water is important for product consistency: use 20 grams of coffee to 300 grams of 92 to 93 deg C water.
Always pre-heat your equipment – drippers, filters and catchers – by slowly pouring a bit of hot water on them. Washing the paper filter, in particular, removes any papery or bleachy taste that can mar the flavor of the coffee.
Pour the first 40 grams of water on the ground coffee to let it “bloom.” The hot water allows the gas from inside the ground coffee beans to escape and the flavor to be extracted. This process is called blooming because the ground coffee seems to bloom or expand with the water it absorbs. After twenty seconds, you can already pour the rest of the water.
Freshly brewed unsweetened coffee may taste sour because coffee actually is acidic but not strong enough to curdle milk nor bring about acid reflux. What triggers acid reflux is the caffeine. Here’s a tip: eat something buttery like cake to line the stomach walls before drinking coffee to weaken the acid reflux.
Coffee has various aspects for consideration during coffee tasting. These include aroma (how it smells), flavor (how it tastes), body (how it feels in your mouth), finish (its aftertaste) and roast (whether the beans are lightly or darkly toasted). To draw out these aspects, here’s how to taste your coffee:
Step 1: Smell your coffee.
Breathe in your coffee’s fragrance. Much of the nuances of coffee’s flavor are contributed by its aroma.
Step 2: Slurp your coffee. Slurping allows more of the coffee to cover different areas of your tongue letting you identify more flavors.
Latte art is made with steamed milk poured into coffee with variations in the speed and height of pouring.
It is important not to heat the milk to the point of being frothy. Otherwise, you will lose the silkiness of the milk that makes good latte art.
Whether you’re a foodie who wants to explore more about coffee, a barista-in-the-making or an entrepreneur looking to enter the coffee business, you can discover everything you need to learn at UCC Coffee Academy.
UCC Coffee Academy is located at 3rd Floor, Uptown Parade, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For more details or to get a listing of the courses available, visit its webpage or call +63 966 531 1843.