Friday, June 24, 2011

My Caffeinated Romance

* Everyone deserves to taste good coffee!!! 

* Drinking good coffee is a experience that should be shared with everyone. The problem is that we define "good" coffee differently. And why is that? Maybe because we have different taste preferences and maybe because we are still generally inexperienced coffee drinkers.

* FYI, coffee doesn't possess a "standard" taste. Meaning there are a myriad coffee blends and varieties that taste very differently from one another. Each is unique, each is special, and each can address a specific taste preference.

* How do we tell this to people? I mean, how does something so beautiful go unnoticed? We've had four coffee workshops at the cafe since summer. And we hold impromptu "Coffee 101" segments at the shop every now and then. If you're lucky, you can just stand there and listen at the counter and then maybe you'll get to sample the stuff we're making. These are the things we're doing to help educate people about the beauty of coffee and the things that people are missing out when going to coffee shops.

* They say that Los Banos is ripe for coffee culture, but in my personal opinion, I think we're still very very young for real coffee culture to manifest. The first thing to do is help people develop a discriminating taste for coffee. The same discriminating taste that ELBI people have on buko pie, chocolate cake, siomai, and to some degree, sisig.

* The search for excellent coffee is not a project, it's a quest. And our baristas at CAnton has this "Fellowship of the Ring" kind of quality in them, one that can embark on an epic quest. Be part of our journey and try starting your own personal coffee journey. It's a long one, I assure you!

June 17 - LB Square Talent Night
* Our barista, Margret Bonita, and photographer, Dan Sta. Romana, represented CAnton in LB Square's first ever inter-stall talent night! They performed two songs with Margret on vocals and Dan on acoustic guitar. We're all very proud of you guys!

June 18 - Cafe Antonio Sessions XXIII: Powered by Isaw Wreckords
* We started late due to some technical difficulties but we also finished early because everything went very smoothly after all the hangups. Thanks to resident bands Segatron and Juniper Face the Corner and to our guest bands, Skyflekes and Riki.

June 19 - Issey's Birthday Party
* Our friend Issey Ronquillo, celebrated her birthday at the cafe with a Monsters Inc. theme. Thanks to all the CAnton friends and family who prepared the food and the decorations. Everyone pitched in and had a great time. The Boys defeated the Girls in our game of charades!

June 20 - Coffee Cupping Workshop with Pinoy Barista
* After a very long time, our friend and barista coach, Lanz Mirondo went back to CAnton and imparted valuable coffee wisdom to our friends and baristas. We cupped 4 single origin coffees (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Ethiopia) from 5 Senses Coffee and the 40 Hands Coffee House Blend. Cupping is a sensory evaluation of coffee, kinda like wine-tasting. Thanks to all who participated, Mervin de Roxas of Chillet and Bean Hub, JC Mendoza of Luca and Tosh Coffee Lab, Chrys Pinol and Kris Reyes of UPLB, and our baristas, Neil Rebua, Joyceann Damian, Margret Bonita, and Jegar El Drey! Thanks once again Sir Lanz! It was a very enriching experience for all of us!

June 29 - Alapaap Travel Guide Party at Cafe Antonio, 5 PM
June 30 - CAS Freshmen Representative Selection with music from Cafe Antonio Sessionistas, Gabes Torres, Pathway, Sweet Symphony, Yield Avenue, Segatron, and Juniper Face the Corner

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

* Happy INDIE-pendence day! Filipinos aren't hardcore nationalists so independence from whom or what, I guess is more of a personal thing for us. Anyway, here's a suggestion to help promote our "love for country": FOOTBALL.
* During one of our idle pensive moments at the cafe, one of our baristas told me that the universe has its way of effin' things up. I guess we all can relate to that. Haha. The idea led us to talk about having our Ms. Universe talk to the universe and plead to give us mortals a break! I guess that's why we have the Ms. Universe Pageant. That's where the world selects its ambassador to celestial and galactic matters. Kinda like Star Wars. Anyway, that was just crazy talk. The kind of conversation you have when you close early and sit helpless against a dark, gloomy, supposed-to-be-Showtime Friday night. Yeah, we have our share of disappointments but that shouldn't stop us from trying. We have something worthwhile here, and it has to be shared!

*  Enough talking in code. Let's go back to the real world.

* Last week was momentous for us because it's our first time to go inside the UPLB Campus as Cafe Antonio and not just as students and alumni. It took us 3 long years to finally properly introduce ourselves to the students of UPLB. In the past we were just like a viral online link that people just click and try out. But now we finally had the courage show our colors to the world! Orange and black riprizint! 

* Thanks to Sir Mark Lester Chico of CDC for letting us distribute flyers and leaflets during the Campus Tour (June 7)  and for allowing us to setup a booth at the Student Union building where we had the opportunity to sell some cupcakes and some iced coffee. CAnton baristas, Ian and Wats were with me the whole afternoon. Special thanks to our friends who visited us during that warm afternoon. Gelo, Dan, John Ron, Calai, and Gabes, thanks!

* The following day was the AlmOSAlan (June 8). It's where the Freshmen get a lot of free stuff from UPLB orgs. It was very early in the morning and it was a rainy, rainy morning. It was raining so hard, the event had to be relocated INSIDE the SU building. Golly, it was like SM Calamba on its first day inside SU that time. We didn't set up a booth in this activity because another coffee shop was sponsoring the event. So we had to go under-the-radar for this one. UPLB orgs, UP Photos and UPLB ComArtsSoc, helped us distribute 100 special packages to the Freshmen. The package contains a sticker, a map, a sampler menu, discount coupons, tickets to a free CD, an actual free CD, and a free mug. I hope they didn't throw the packages away!

* For this endeavor I would like to thank our contacts and sponsors, Gelo of UP Photos for the CDs, Padeys of ComArtsSoc for the network, Ate Grace for the leaflets, Kuya Rodel of Koinonia for the free mug and calling cards, and Neil for the delivery flyers.

* New Services! We're now available for deliveries! But only around the UPLB Campus and Grove area. For a minimum order of Php 250, you can text or call us during these times: 2 to 4 pm and 9 to 11 pm. Remember this number: 0916-POGALFY.

* We also cater to parties, meetings, and other events. Just text or call 0906-4550522.

* The school year holds a lot of promise for us. Although most of the time, it's hard to see the light when it's dark. You just have to keep your eyes peeled and look for it because it's always there. Three years of experience in the coffee business has taught us a lot, the exciting thing here is that it's still very early in the game! God is merciful!

Activity Schedule for June:
June 17 - LB Square Talent Night
June 18 - Sessions XXIII: Powered by Isaw, 8 PM
June 20 - Coffee Cupping Workshop with Pinoy Barista, 10 AM
June 30 - CAS Welcome Freshman Party

* Thanks Switchfoot and Dig Radio for the background music. Photo Credits: Ian Soliven