7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL CUPPING

Here are some of the things I consider to be crucial elements for a successful cupping: PROTOCOL Follow a protocol. Working with a guideline ensures consistency and fairness. Examples of protocols for judging specialty coffees are the Specialty Coffee Association protocol and the Cup of Excellence protocol. For commercial coffees, a number of customized protocols… Read More

THE BEAUTY OF BEST PRACTICES

Women are beautiful—which also explains why we love beautiful things and keep them like that. The secret to making this beauty last can summed up in two words: best practices. I learned about the importance of best practices from the Asian Productivity Organization, a regional intergovernmental organization that promotes productivity to achieve sustainable socioeconomic development.… Read More

WOMEN IN COFFEE

Yes, they are the women in coffee. And it’s a growing tribe. The local chapter of International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) welcomes more women into the fold, as Princess Kumala Sug-Elardo urges the women of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to join the Philippine chapter. She has touched base with women from Basilan and… Read More

THE ART OF THE TRADE

Coffee is an important commodity in the world economy, accounting for trade worth approximately US$16.5 billion in 2010, when some 97 million 60-kilogram bags (5.8 million tons) were shipped. This is according to The Coffee Exporter’s Guide (3rd edition), produced by the International Trade Center. In this arena, the Philippines has yet to make an… Read More

THE NEIGHBORHOOD MUSE

“Be inspired—find your muse.” This was the idea that spawned two coffee concepts by Jackie Arceo and Julia Sevilla—women who want to make a difference, one cuppa joe at a time. Local Edition and Writer’s Block both offer the best locally produced coffee, but each one has its own unique sensibility. Aside from their love… Read More

CIVET COFFEE BRINGS HOPE TO THE CORDILLERAS

Near Mount Magallaya in the heart of the Cordilleras are forests where Kalinga warriors once hunted for wild boar and deer. Today, coffee farmers now search the forest floor for droppings of the civet cat, also called alamid or musang. The cats, who thrive in this environment, will eat the choicest coffee berries growing in… Read More

THE CHAIR IS A WOMAN

I first met Selima Depolio two years ago, when PCBI brought some jute sacks for Atok Arabica Coffee Growers Marketing Cooperative (ACOGMAC), the cooperative where she belonged. We asked then ACOGMAC chair Dick Evasco to round up the women so we can teach them the proper way to process their coffee. Why women? Because we… Read More

GRIT AND GRACE

After more than two decades writing for local and foreign publications, Ross Harper Alonso decided to be a robusta coffee farmer. So, in 2012, she and her husband purchased raw farm land near Mt. Malarayat in Lipa City, Batangas. The romantic side of living on a coffee plantation certainly appealed to them. They bought 4,000… Read More

PURPOSE AND PASSION

Karen Blixen is one of literature’s more famous coffee farmers, having managed an estate in Africa and writing about her life there under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen. Indeed—in the era leading up to coffee’s ascent as a valued commodity—while many men may have had their names and faces documented for all to see, women have… Read More