(Written by Esh)
As all of you may have seen, Donovan (Read his review here!) and I both attended the Starbucks seminar at their 100th outlet next to fullerton hotel. The seminar was held there, which by no mean was a small one. It was huge. And with the view of the singapore river and fullerton hotel, it was equally as scenic.
Now on to the seminar. Gonna keep this one simple and just say what I felt was good and bad about the seminar. Let’s start with all the bad points.
Speakers seem to struggle trying to speak in front of the crowd. By no mean were they nervous, they were comfortable, but yet they seem to struggle to think of words or facts in front of the attendees. In fact, on more than one occasion, some of the attendees were confused and had to clarify as their facts and numbers contradicted the lecture notes.
One of those points, on the use of filtered water, the presenter was wrong! Was a little shocked. But the presenter did admit his own error and did checks to confirm his facts before clarifying with the attendee. Takes a lot to admit his own error in front of like 20 over people and I commend him on his quick response.
Technical issues and boy were there many. First, the laptop had issues playing their video, then there was no audio for that video, then the mics had issues and echos and finally the laptop switched off in between some slides. There should have been a prep where by the staff should have checked all the equipment before starting the seminar. These errors were preventable and actually distracted us a lot. This in my opinion was biggest downside, so much good content and points to take note of, but the technical issues really took us out of it.
Also, it was way too cramp. Seriously the outlet is so big, couldn’t they have dedicated more space for this? All the tables were way too close to one another and would have been hard for people to move about. I am not the smallest person, but neither am I massive. I struggled to get up and move to see the demos. Hopefully in the future a better arrangement can be made to allow for ease of movement and comfort.
Now on to the plus points!
Really engaging and lively speakers. SERIOUSLY LIVELY! Cracking jokes and speaking to all of the audience always. Seriously, they had endless energy, must be all the coffee they were drinking before. In fact one of the speakers, before the seminar, came around and spoke to all those who were already present.Though he had a slight issue with his english, he did his best and really caught me by surprise. He wanted to know what we’re doing at that point in our lives, why we attended, what our favourite drinks were, etc.
They did a really good job at making us feel comfortable at this seminar and it made such a difference. In fact, they started cracking jokes based on this info and really made us feel welcomed and a part of the program. NO MORE MICROWAVING COFFEE!
Good props and demonstrations. They showed the different methods of extracting the coffee, from pour over to press coffee. So you can see how it is made. Better still for the pour over coffee, you could actually do it as well! And for both these methods, you get to try the coffee that comes and really see the difference between the different method. They even bothered to waste beans and make ‘bad’ coffee, either by using water of wrong temperature or made to quickly. It really showed you how bad coffee can be if made wrongly, either being too diluted or too grainy.
Seriously, thumbs up for the level of involvement this seminar had. They even provided the ground coffee for you to feel and smell, beans to compare and cake to match with the brew they were using. All in all was just dumbfounded.
FREEBIES! They gave $15 worth in coffee beans and a $10 credited starbucks card. Seriously, you get $25 in stuff when you attend. You basically only paid $5 for the course itself. Me being the singaporean that i am, i loved that part. Plus free slice of peanut butter brownie. I mean, it definitely made my day!
Didnt break the bank. The whole thing only costed $30 and i did learn quite a lot. About coffee, proper care and making a good cup of coffee. Though it may seem simple, just pour water and add whatever else you want, there is more meticulous care and attention needed if you wanna make it perfect. Useful knowledge and practice in 90 mins for $30, why not?
Consider all the points above, it was seriously good course. Would attend more classes in the future and hopefully they will better prepared. Would really recommend attending the course, just so you understand what goes into your favourite starbucks drinks. This program is only for starbucks card holders and you normally bid for 2 seats. If you have a starbucks card, you probably drink their stuff often enough, why not learn how to make it yourself?
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