June 23, 2015

Starbuck's Coffee Seminar featuring Kape Vinta

There are a lot of everyday things and food that we use and take every day that most of us don’t have the time to take notice of. One example is coffee, which has been people’s best friend in the mornings for centuries now. But have you ever thought of giving attention to what is going on, the history and the nitty-gritty details behind your favorite morning drink before you chug it down?


I was enjoying my favorite Iced Café Mocha while reading my emails and browsing through my social media  in one of the branches of Starbucks when a staff approached me and asked me if I want join the Coffee Seminar they are having inside the store. I hesitated at first and then she told me it will only take 20 minutes or so. I thought to myself I can spare 20 minutes so I gave in.

In the Coffee Seminar, the Coffee Masters Nikko and Eccies introduced the Kape Vinta blend of Starbucks.

But before going into the details of the Kape Vinta blend, they first narrated to us the history of coffee in the Philippines and the ups-and-downs of the coffee farming industry in our country specially in Batangas and Cavite. Btw, the famous Kapeng Barako is actually called Batangas Liberica coffee.


In 1998, Starbucks launched the Kape Vinta blend which celebrates the Filipino coffee tradition and culture. The coffee beans of this blend is not pure Filipino but are farmed in Bukidnon. The design of the stamp and packaging of the Kape Vinta features a yellow rising sun, the horizon which is red, the blue sea which a Vinta (local Mindanaoan type of boat with a brilliantly colored sail) floating over it. If you would take a look of the whole image, it is a representation of the Philippine flag as well. The design of the packaging was created by one of the renowned Filipino artist Mario “Malang” Santos. Oh yes, it is a “Malang”, and his paintings are greatly revered so everytime you buy your pack of Kape Vinta it is as if like you already bought a Malang creation.

The coffee masters also passed around two cups of coffee beans, one was filled with fresh coffee beans and the other was filled with roasted coffee beans. They asked us what is the difference between the two and we told them we really couldn’t say. So the coffee masters returned the cups to us and told us to check if the fresh ones looks a bit oily, and true enough, the fresh beans looked like they were lightly coated with oil while the roasted ones were matte. This coffee oil is called “caffeol”.


Before we taste the Kape Vinta, the coffee masters first taught us how to properly enjoy coffee by knowing how to drink it (even if it’s still quite hot) and how to enjoy it with without adding anything to it by pairing it with food that best complements a specific blend of coffee. So how to do it? First you do the “cupping” then the “slurping”. You should always smell your coffee before you taste it. Do this by cupping cupping your hand over the mug, hold it close to your nose and inhale. When tasting coffee it’s important to slurp it. This sprays the coffee across your entire palate and lets the subtle flavors and aromas reach all the tasting zones of your mouth. So we smelled by cupping then slurped, we were all surprised that our tongues were not scalded even if the coffee was still quite hot. I personally don’t like hot coffee because I hate waiting for my drink to cool down before I can enjoy it. This time I know how to enjoy hot coffee.

They also served the Kape Vinta with a Danish cinnamon bread; we slurped the Kape Vinta then took a bite of the bread and slurped again. The earthy taste of the coffee become more distinct afterwards, this is so because this blend is best paired with cinnamon. The Kape Vinta smelled a little bit like mushrooms but in a beautiful aromatic way. Afterwards we compared it with the Kenya blend and that is when we tasted the distinction between the two.


Starbucks Kape Vinta blend is full-bodied and mellow with earthy flavors  compared to the Kenya that has tell-tale citrus flavors (which is great if with ice btw). But I love my coffee to be strong and bold so I prefer the Kape Vinta and of course it is Pinoy.


It was also relieving to know that whenever I buy a handcrafted beverage from Starbucks , a part of the money I paid for it goes to several charities which is a corporate responsibility of Starbucks. Their coffee is also priced quite higher than others besides that they use Arabica coffee, they buy the coffee beans from farmers at a premium price, when the farmers sell it say at PHP  1, Starbucks pays the farmers PHP 3. So don’t feel too guilty if you sometimes treat yourself with a Starbucks drink.

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  1. I'm a new barista in starbucks and searching for info about kape vinta, and i found this very informative. thank you so much! great job.

    1. jerevysarmientoApril 04, 2016

      Hi Renzie,me too i found it very informative. I am also a barista in Starbucks and this will definitely help me in my coffee tasting on our store meeting. Good job to the writer!

  2. Thank you Renzie and Jerevy!

  3. Hi jene
    I am so thankful that I clicked on your site and found this topic. I am from Canada and working in Starbucks. I`m going to present this Kape Vinta from the philippines on friday for my Coffee Master Certification. You`re the best Jen. Thanks a million!


  4. Good job jen.. Allow me use this to my coffee tasting. Ty :)

  5. Good job jen.. Allow me use this to my coffee tasting. Ty :)

  6. Thank you so much for this!!! <3


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