I was surprised to get a phone call from an esteemed Agriculture journalist last night. He asked me why our event is called “COFFEE ORIGINS”. I then explained that the trend in coffee is knowing the provenance or where the coffee comes from. Who grew it. What is the farmer’s name? And so he said “ahhh, no wonder..” and he continued to tell me of his recent trip to Kalinga.
He met one of our exhibitors (from DTI-CAR in Kalinga) last year at the Greenbelt show who apparently booked a huge order worth P700,000 and she has been supplying a bank regularly since then. This is good news. And this is wonderful news for the Philippine Coffee Board Inc (PCBI), the group I am with, who has been at it for 12 years now. We provide free samples of coffee, ready to taste, all week and sometimes for more than 14 days. I remember serving over 10,000 cups over two weeks, many years ago. And this happens only every October.
This year, I told him, we are holding it in Davao because for 12 years it has been a challenge for the Southerners to come over to Manila. I also noticed that sales of roasted beans in Davao have yet to pick up. COFFEE ORIGINS allows consumers to learn about preparing coffee at home and at work. And this is good for all forms of coffee- roasted beans or soluble. People like to taste, and then buy. With any kind of food, tasters or samplers make the sale. NO taste, no sale. So COFFEE ORIGINS will be held in Davao’s premiere mall, the Ayala property called Abreeza. October 13-17 are the dates. Be there and have your fill of coffees from different parts of Mindanao and Cordillera and Cavite as well. All for free.
He also inquired about Coffee tours. So we are holding one in Davao –at the Nestle Experimental and Demo Farm in Tagum on October 18. And one tour goes to our National Coffee Research Center in Cavite with side tours to organic coffee and vegetable farms like ECHOfarms in Amadeo, Cavite on October 25. Sometimes, its these kinds of tours that open the mind of a new farmer, and make one give coffee a chance.
Another activity that gives new entrepreneurs a lot of hope is the coffee retail business. Be it a coffee shop, or coffee retail, a seminar on Coffee Basics and Coffee Cupping may be the thing for you. Learn more about coffee before plunging into the business of selling it. We will hold a seminar at Enderun Colleges on October 11 and will be featuring a Quality coffee grader (or a Q grader in coffee parlance) in the person of Kat Mulingtapang who comes from San Francisco. Kat will come home just for the coffee events of PCBI and International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) of which she is our mentor and “ninang” (godmother).
We have graduates from our courses three years ago Enderun who already operate successful cafes in the metro and are our living proof that taking this course is worth the time and money.
And yes, if you want to farm coffee or wish to switch to coffee from another crop, the National Coffee Summit is for you. It happens on October 15 at Seda Hotel (next door to Abreeza mall) back to back with Philippine Chocolate and Cacao Summit the next day October 16. Cacao and coffee are cousins. And that is why you have Café Mocha- it’s coffee with chocolate. Or why you have dark chocolate as a companion to a good espresso. Coffee and Cacao. Back to back in an educational forum. We have attendees of our summits back in 2009 who now have increased their incomes only by picking up tips from experts at these summits. So this is well worth the whole day investment in time and money, too.
So, there you have it, Mr.Agriculture, our events in October made for everyone who knows there is hope in coffee. And from Benguet to Sulu, we know that we can grow quality coffee and serve a good cup everytime.
There is hope. And all it takes is for people like you to make that move to better coffee. Never settle for less. Always return a bad cup of coffee. Never endure a poorly brewed cup of brown liquid.
There is hope. But we need you to be part of it. Join us in Davao. Or Cavite. It’s something anyone , regardless of age, creed or social class can enjoy. Because coffee is that drink which is the great equalizer. And we must continue to grow it and serve it—right here from our own coffee lands. Visit us or email us email@example.com and www.philcoffeeboard.com.
Yes, there is hope for coffee.