KUALA LUMPUR, 4 December– ‘Coffee is the common man’s gold and like gold, it brings to every man the feeling of luxury and nobility’ Poet Sheikh Ansari Djezeri Hanball Abd-al Kadir wrote these evocative words back in 1597 as an ode to coffee, and centuries later, we are still as enamoured with this dark delicacy in a cup. As Christmas is nearly upon us, IJM Land thought that the perfect gift for coffee lovers would be to spend a day immersed in all things coffee related, while providing the festive scene for much merriment.
What is the attraction that coffee holds for us, and how can we tell if we are sipping a quality drink? One man who undoubtedly has the answer to these questions is Daniel Liew, the founder of the Barista Guild of Asia and one of just a handful of people who is a globally certified trainer and certified with the prestigious Authorized Specialty Coffee Association of Europe.
300 fortunate members of the public had an invaluable opportunity to meet and learn from Daniel at the recent Good Coffee Day 2.0 which was organised by IJM Land at their ICE Gallery in Pantai Sentral Park which was decked out in Yuletide joy in the form of a Candy House that was as sweet to look at as it must have tasted! And as it is always better to give, then to receive, IJM Land’s Good Coffee Day 2.0 was the perfect opportunity for to share the gift of expertise with coffee aficionados.
During this Fundamentals of Coffee workshops, Daniel took coffee fans through the basics of brewing that perfect cup of coffee, while imparting his vast knowledge on the different coffee growing regions and their varietals of coffee beans in terms of taste and flavours.
The participants were also educated about the parameters that affect the quality of their beverage and received useful tips after tasting exercises helped them distinguish the finer points of their brew. What must have been most interesting to the workshop participants was the personalised guidance from the coffee expert himself about how to correctly utilise manual brewing equipment.
‘There’s something about a cup of coffee that lends itself to conversations and community. Think about the good old days when neighbours might share a chat over the garden wall while sipping their coffee. That’s what we’d like to evoke with this event, that coffee should be enjoyed in a comfortable environment amongst like-minded souls. At Pantai Sentral Park we’re all about this sense of kinship, as evident from our credo of People.Planet.Priority’, explained Grace Foo, Manager of Sales & Marketing for Pantai Sentral Park.
Even if you were not a fan of coffee before, Coffee Day 2.0 would have been just the festive environment to embrace the various facets of the drink. Besides the masterful workshops, there was also a host of coffee-centric activities to keep everyone in the spirit. There was freshly brewed coffee courtesy of Coffex Coffee, but if your tastes veered towards cold brewed coffee, that was available too, thanks to the good folks from coffee2GO.
And what is coffee without the perfect mug to sip it from? It was quite the spectacle to watch Kaleidos Art Tune demonstrate how mugs and handles are skilfully crafted out of clay.
Of course, it wasn’t just all about the drinks, because to complement the dark, rich beverages there were plenty of nibbles to feast on. From the beautifully presented Eva’s Homemade Nougat, to crisp-on-the-outside and fluffy-on-the-inside waffles by Grid & Go and delectable tarts from the skilful pastry chefs at Harold’s Academy, there was enough to satisfy even the sweetest tooth of them all.
And if you were looking for inspiration on what to serve up for an eye-catching finale after a sumptuous Christmas lunch, the cupcake decorating workshop provided handy insights into how to dress up your dessert. Conducted by the glamorous founder of Coffee Jeans & Co herself, actress Tania Zara brought a celebrity shine to the proceedings. Adding a cool mix to the sweet treats, Sketcher Ice Cream, gave visitors a chance to try five different types of fruity flavoured ice-cream.
And if you thought her desserts were works of art, you would have been in for a surprise when the tables were turned by artist Vivian Lees, who created works of art through creative coffee caricatures! Everyone at Good Coffee Day 2.0 was presented with their very own coffee painting by the talented artist, as a memento of the gathering, which made a perfect gift in the spirit of the upcoming Christmas celebration.
To further demonstrate the versatility of coffee, FAWN Beauty Co distributed jars of their all natural, hand crafted Cacao and Coffee Organic Body Scrub to the appreciative crowd. And finally, as it is the season to be merry, the gifts just kept coming from the congenial Santa Claus and Santarina who spread good cheer during their walkabout sessions.
IJM Land’s Coffee Day 2.0 was certainly a fulfilling day and one that personified the sense of community and celebration that Pantai Sentral Park evokes. After all, it was also the poet Sheikh Ansari Djezeri Hanball Abd-al Kadir who said ‘Where coffee is served, there is grace and splendour and happiness’.
*Image Caption: Daniel sharing his knowledge and passion for coffee with visitors at the Good Coffee Day event.