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Coffee shoot-out results

Posted on Nov 26, 2011 in Featured, Food |

Well, someone commented that matching up the Starbucks Christmas blend against 5 Senses blend is like trying to get the Malaysian football team to play against Brazil or something.Well, a shootout is a shoot-out.

Well, in the end, that may be true. It’s 5 Senses by a 4-0 score (and out of 4 tasters too).

Aroma

Pop open the 5 Senses bag and you get immediately hit with that aromatic caffeinated goodness that coffee is all about. The Christmas blend from Starbucks, well, it has that coffee aroma but it doesn’t hit you in the face so much. Pour the beans into the grinder and it doesn’t offer up much aroma either. Grind up a couple of shots worth of 5 Senses and your kitchen is guaranteed to smell like a coffee shop. 5 Senses 1, Starbucks 0.

Freshness

I can’t say when the Christmas blend was roasted but I managed to pull quite a number of shots with crema on it. This contrasts with many of the other Starbucks coffees where pulling a shot with any volume of crema is close to hitting the lottery or something. It’s fresher than their other coffees but against the 5 Senses is like night and day. A friend whom I’ve given the coffee in ziplock bags labelled A and B commented — pull one shot and you already know which one is fresh and they other not. Again, the score is not pretty. 5 Senses 1, Starbucks 0.

Taste

Guess which coffee tasted over-roasted and a bit burnt? Don’t need to say more do I? All four tasters including myself came to the same conclusion. The Starbucks Christmas blend tastes like burnt Christmas pudding or something. Bitter, burnt flavor was prevalent, hiding the generally spicy flavors that the beans had. After a couple of shots, I had to resort to adding syrup to my coffee which doesn’t bode well. On the other hand, four out of four agreed that the medium bodied 5 senses really had that nutty, fruity smoothness that comes from careful blending and roasting of select beans. Again, it’s a 1-0 score.

Finally, let’s talk economics. a 1kg bag of 5 senses will set you back about RM190.  They’re only a week old from roasting though and compared to the Christmas blend which retails for about RM40 for 250gm bag (or RM160 per kg), the numbers don’t stack up well. For only a few more ringgit (18% to be exact), you get coffee that’s guaranteed fresher, more aromatic and full of flavor. If you’re counting espresso shots, it’s RM2.67 per double-shot for the 5 Senses and RM2.25 for the Starbucks Christmas blend. Knockout!

I know that 5 senses is my Christmas coffee this year and years to come. So much so that I’m getting my bag of Yirgacheffe single origin the week before Christmas. If you don’t agree with me, swing by my place and let me pull you two shots and you’ll taste the world of a difference.

If you’re coming in to our Studio for your photography sessions, I’ve got 5 senses for ya!

 

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