I started drinking coffee when I was in high school but it was more of a breakfast ritual that continued until college. Upon joining the corporate world however, my daily consumption rose to noticeable levels that my boss had an item for it in the grocery list JD's coffee! Being largely uninitiated then, I took coffee with unrestrained enthusiasm that two and a half mugs of espresso after lunch, once caused palpitations and had me going home early.
A few years later, the sudden boom in the Manila’s coffee shop industry introduced me to more varieties. I developed a taste for various brands and hatred for others. I also liked the various concoctions like machiatto and Frappuccino but mostl, it was a choice between the classic Cappuccino, Americano and the regular brews with the last one being preferred 99% of the time.
I remember that as I was growing up, a lot of people cautioned against coffee due to supposed health concerns. In this period however, the popular scientific thought seems to point to the other direction. Coffee is now said to bring a lot of health benefits to people and that gave me more reason to continue its consumption. Coffee continues to keep me company in my solitary work station and occasional business meetings. And now, I feel less guilty about it.
Philippine coffee should be going through good times, as this article is being written. There are hundreds of new café's in Metro Manila and more scattered over the rest of the Philippines that failing to gain from it will be a great shame for our coffee farmers. An industry expert once lamented that while the Philippines is blessed as the only country to grow all four main varieties (Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica), farmers grew all four side by side with each other resulting to mutations, growth of crossbreeds and eventually, inconsistent quality.
Philippine coffee should be on its way past that stage. After all, local demand is growing fast. Here's to the farmers and coffee drinkers all over Cheers!