Pardon the long absence dear readers as I took a much needed R&R, away from this maddening Philippine coffee & tea industry.
So what did I miss? To keep abreast I spent a whole afternoon chatting with close allies from the industry: an active coffee roaster GM, a cafe owner from the south, a milk tea giant, and an equipment supplier. Sorry, no photos since this is a no holds barred chat-fest. Here's our conclusion:
1) Among the BIG roasters, still no once could match the quality, technique/style and work/business ethic of "Retired Coffee Guru" who has long sailed into the sunset, happy with his invigorated psyche! We all envy your current state, and wish we could all jump into the "retired" bandwagon soon.
2) 3rd Wave Coffee is at its peak, despite claims of a decline in the US. Well, we are almost-aways 6 months to a year behind world beverage trends, so it's safe to say that we'll see them (more of them) still for a long period of time.
|"3rd Wave for the 3rd World." Hmmm, nice slogan!|
3) Small-batch/micro roasters pride themselves with Product QUALITY and ACCOUNTABILITY. They do not resort to DOUBLE-STANDARDS by boasting HACCP or ISO accreditation, yet cower into possessing them once a customer complains about quality issues. No wonder micro roasters are able to collectively swing tons of monthly volume away from the Big Guys.
4) Snooty Tea Salons are struggling, but Milk Tea Shops are here to stay. Nope, it's not a fad! Despite a slow-down as far as hype is concerned they have etched themselves in our beverage culture, just like the never ending Air Supply concert in our country.
To cap off our animated discussion, our caffeinated group vowed to meet again before the year ends. As a parting shot, we all agreed: "Money May Be The Desired End, But Passion Is Still The Key To One's Success!"