Friday, July 27, 2012

Cafe Antonio Coffee for Dummies

Many local and imported coffees to choose from!

* It would take some time before we can all fully appreciate and understand the diverse range of coffee flavors the world has to offer. For the average person, coffee is just coffee--a morning beverage that we drown in sugar and creamer to mask the bitter taste of the instant coffee granules that we buy at the supermarket. Then we dunk the pandesal!  It's the most awesome experience, don't deny it! It would take a radical socio-cultural and economic revolution before people would start trading their coffee sachets for a bag of, let's say, a Costa Rica Monte Paso (conflict perspective). 

* But let's get into the "coffee flavors" topic. At our cafe, we offer three espresso and drip houseblends and an ever-changing line-up of specialty coffees from the young and dynamic Luca & Tosh Coffee Lab. 

* When we tell our customers that we offer different kinds of coffee, this is their reaction...

What? Can I just have coffee?
* Here's a quick guide:

Espresso Blends
1) Owltonio Blend - Named after our fluffy snow owl, Owltonio, this became our best-seller at the cafe. It works well with lattes and blended & iced coffees. This is our "mid-range" coffee, not too light and not too strong. It's actually toasty sweet and the aroma is a killer! Thanks to the handful of Excelsa coffee beans thrown into the blend together with the Arabicas and Robustas. Most Filipinos haven't heard of Excelsa, so it's a good experience for them.

2) Sleepy Time Blend - We're selling the 100% Philippine Arabica blend (mixture of Arabicas from Luzon and Mindanao) as a "less-caf" coffee, an alternative to decaf coffee. It's very smooth and clean-tasting and has the comforting garden fragrance of lemongrass. It's a favorite after-dinner coffee. 

3) Hardcore Blend - Having Kapeng Barako is a must! It's safe and familiar to Filipinos. This blend has the caffeinated powers of the Liberica and Robusta. Dark, earthy, and musky, now this is coffee for most of us!

Single Origin Specialty Coffee
1) Washed Ethiopian Sidamo - This is our best-seller for the SOs because it's easy to market. When a customer asks, "what's that?" we just tell them it's coffee that doesn't taste like coffee. Boom. Instant sale. The Ethiopian Sidamo now has a following at the cafe. How does it taste? It tastes like tea and has a floral and fruity aroma. Order an iced version and you have an iced tea-looking iced coffee...

This iced coffee will take your palette to school!

2) Honey-Processed Costa Rica Monte Paso Microlot - We just love saying this coffee's full name. It's like rapping. This is our favorite so far. It's naturally sweet has a good body and just the right amount of acidity that comes in the form of a "snap" rather than a lingering taste. Then it turns brown-sugary sweet when it cools down. 

The Ethiopia and Costa Rica had the highest cupping scores in my sheet when we pitted them against two other specialty coffees. And compared to all the other SOs from Luca & Tosh, these two were standouts. But the Brazil Serra Negra and Rwanda Peaberry are also very good, maybe we will insert them in the lineup when I buy new mason jars. 

It took Owltonio 4 hours to cup the 4 SO coffees

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