Recording | Beans, Blends, and Brewing: National Coffee Day with Starbucks

Learn about the subtle craft of roasting, preparing, and tasting coffee in this National Coffee Day demonstration with Starbucks.

Someone pouring coffee into a container

Watch Grey Bryson (they/she), a ten-year Starbucks® partner and Coffee Master, who showcases coffees from multiple distinct regions, each on a different brew method. From the Starbucks Reserve ® store at the Empire State Building ® in NYC, learn how to brew the optimal expression of:

  • Starbucks Reserve® Malawi Sable Farms on Chemex
  • Starbucks Reserve® Sumatra Wahana Estate on Coffee Press
  • Starbucks Reserve® Decaf Hacienda Alsacia for Espresso

Throughout the demonstration, you’ll learn about the subtle craft of roasting, preparing, and tasting coffee. Learn how minor differences in origin and brewing methods can make all the difference in flavor. Hear about the production of coffee and different growing techniques from regions around the world.

Main Takeaways

  • General tips
    • Brew your coffee on a scale:  Brewing on a scale will give you a more accurate and repeatable brewing experience
    • Use a 1:16 ratio:  Take the amount of ground coffee you want to use in grams and multiply by 16 to get the amount of water to use 
  • Brew method: Chemex
    • Filter:  Filters come in a circle or square shape, fold it up to create a triangle. When you open it up there’s going to be 3 ply on one side and 1 ply on the other. Put the 3 side ply against the spout.  Pour some of the brew water over the filter just enough to get it wet and let it drip through. This rinses the filter to remove the flavors from the filter and heats up the brew vessel.  Once all the water dripped down remember to pour out the rinse water 
    • Water temperature should be 195 to 205 F (boil from the stove and let it sit)
    • Bloom water:  The purpose of the bloom is to pour just enough water to allow the gasses to escape, then pour the rest of the water so the majority of the water does its best job at extracting the coffee.  In general you want to use twice the weight of water as the weight of the beans that you are using.  Bloom for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.  If you don’t do the bloom the water will just go through quickly and not pull all the flavor
    • After the bloom pour the rest of the water using slow circular motions
  • Brew method:  Coffee press
    • Coffee press is a full immersion brew – the coffee and the water are brewing together through the entire process.  This maintains all the oils and allows different flavors to show up
    • Tip:  Don’t stir the coffee when you pour in the water unless you aren’t able to coat all the grounds evenly. If needed stir as little as possible, folding the grounds
    • Time:  Time it for 4 minutes from the time you first start pouring the water.  You want that first extraction to be the full 4 minutes otherwise you can end up with an over extracted brew which becomes more bitter
    • Pressure:  When the timer goes off, press slowly especially as you’re getting to the bottom, if you press too hard you can get some of the bitter compound you don’t want to taste


  • Is there a color we should look for during the bloom?
    • No, the color is going to change depending on the roast. During the bloom process you want to look for the foam, if you don’t see foam then your coffee could be stale or if it’s a darker roast it wouldn’t foam as much. 
  • What is the point of a Chemex? Is it for people that want a lighter brew? 
    • Generally, people prefer lighter roasts. The filter creates a clarified brew and brings out flavors that are more distinct and unique. It makes the fruits and floral flavors shine.
  • What are your favorite food pairings for the coffees shown?
    • Starbucks Reserve® Decaf Hacienda Alsacia for Espresso – we pair it with sourdough and portana olive oil, the bread pairs really well because of the similar toast flavor from the coffee and the olive oil goes well with the acidity
    • Starbucks Reserve® Malawi Sable Farms on Chemex – we have a chocolate with citrus zest that pair well with this coffee, the chocolate mellows out the bright flavors and the citrus pairs well with the acidity of the coffee
    •  Starbucks Reserve® Sumatra Wahana Estate on Coffee Press – blueberries or soft cheese, soft cheese will go nicely with the little bit of acidity and the blueberries mix well with the mulberry 
  • What is a Starbucks Reserve store?
    • A reserve store is like a flagship store of Starbucks. There’s the reserve bar and the roastery, the reserve stores carry the single origin coffee and it provides a unique experience. At the roastery you can roast the coffee as well, there’s 6 locations–New York, Chicago, Seattle, Milan, Shanghai, and Tokyo. 


Empire State Building | Starbucks Reserve

Coffee | Starbucks Reserve

Last modified on October 3, 2023