Friday, December 23, 2011

Sea Salt Caramel Latte ☕

"Salted Caramel" has been gaining rapid populartity in the java maket and beyond... from espresso based drinks it has transcended into the milk tea, confectionary, and ice cream market among many others...

There's no better way to excite one's taste buds than with a little sprinkle of premium sea salt just before sipping something buttery-sweet; where one feels a tingling sensation quite similar to Tinker Bell's magic pixie dust.  The leading coffee shops have launched their respective versions yet they are all sugar and calorie laden, ranging from 60-80 grams of sugar, and 400-700 calories per drink.

Here's a "healthier" version versus the coffee shop standard, not to mention a more cost effective one which could be enjoyed in the comforts of one's humble abode...

To make an 8-ounce drink: Ingredients...

1 tablespoon Far Skyes Vanilla Frappe Powder
2-shots Espresso
15ml Stasero Caramel Syrup
2-ounces (60ml) low fat or skimmed milk (steamed); milk froth set aside
Stasero Caramel Sauce for garnish
Premium Sea Salt


1) Dissolve 1-tablespoon Stasero Vanilla Frappe Powder over 2-shots Espresso

2) Add 15ml Stasero Caramel Syrup

3) Fill mug/cup with 2-ounces steamed milk

4) Cover the top of the mug/cup with milk froth (instead of whipped cream); drizzle Stasero Caramel Sauce; sprinkle a pinch of Premium Sea Salt

Serve and enjoy! Happy holidays!!!! ♥

* as a healthier alternative, whipped cream was omitted, and replaced with milk froth to top the mug/cup
* skim/low-fat milk was used in place of whole milk

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Cheers!

The year of the rabbit  is coming to a close and looking back, it's been a year filled with cascading ups and several downs...

2011 for me will best be remembered as the year that I celebrated my 40th birthday. Where I took time to huddle my inner troops and ponder about what I've accomplished upon reaching "mid-life"; and realizing that what I currently possess is more than enough to make me a contented cow!

2011 also blessed me with several travel sprees, both internationally and locally. First off a big Thank You! to my favorite Mother-In-Law for the US trip in March (San Francisco, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, Dallas, San Francisco) to celebrate her 60th birthday. It was the perfect bonding experience as a family, and it created fond memories that will last more than a lifetime... October also ushered in my (wait for iiittttt...) FIRST Boracay experience - and Shangri-la Resort at that; our gratitude to lady luck since my Wife won it in a raffle (2 nights stay with airfare for 2). The experience is tough to top, so much so that we're scheduled to go back there soon in the coming year!

Business-wise though it's been rough, no thanks to the bad weather and other natural disasters that our country experienced. True to my oath of being the "best supplier" possible, I am one with our clients who got affected one way or another; a special shout-out to those from Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete, and Isabela. The world is small and interconnected, it's difficult not to say "ouch" when they bleed... We lost quite a few as well, either to a pesky competitor (*%$@#%) or simply to the bad economy. Here's hoping for a better year ahead for all our sake... Though I guess there's nowhere else to go but UP as the dawn of each new year brings new hope...

Honorable mention to the following events:

1) My first "Coffee, Tea By ME!!!" Seminar  courtesy of Studio SnR Workshop. It was a fun-filled "hands-on" experience and I'm glad to have hurdled such a task with flying colors. Thank you Sydney Go (Studio SnR's Marketing Director) for believing in our company, our brand and our vision; and Thank You to our Brand Partners/Sponsors - Boyd Coffee, Evergood Marketing, Yummy Magazine and Appetite Magazine! More caffeinated and creamy cheers ahead...

2) Participating in two major trade shows of the Food & Beverage Industry: the Fil-Chi Bakery Show and World's Food Expo (Wofex). To our booth sponsor Robert Francisco (President of Boyd Coffee). Thank you for another year of friendship and trust, best of all for your never ending generosity.

3) The launch of, our very own website. Thank you again Robert Francisco for food- styling our drinks and taking product shots. Special pat-in-the-back to Kelvin Tee for the splendid design and layout...

Good year or bad, there's still a lot to cheer about... What matters is we're still standing on our toes, ready to keep walking in life's long and winding road. Here's wishing everyone a better year ahead... Enter the (Year of The) Dragon!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fair Trade - My Take On It...

Photo Courtesy of Google Photobucket

It's the season to be jolly, carefree and generous... No better time to scour the weekend markets, holiday bazaars, and what have yous.

In one of my shopping sprees last week, I came across a local coffee roaster who claims his coffee is roasted fresh twice-weekly AND they practice FAIR TRADE. This got my noggins abuzz again (my spider senses tingling even) and after immediate consultation with several of my "coffee gods", here' s my two-cents' worth on the whole Fair Trade issue...

In a perfect world, Fair Trade's primary mission is to provide healthier working conditions and greater economic incentive for producers (farmers). The end-goal is to benefit and properly compensate them from their line of work - providing an improved working environment and better equipment in order to obtain vaster-yielding crops. Such is the system practiced by large and reputable companies like Starbucks, Green Mountain, and Nestle.

Locally though, it is difficult (close to impossible even) to judge whether the extra amount of money spent by the consumers acually go to the farmers. Simply said, not because it has a "Fair Trade" label it means your money will reach the supposed beneficiaries. Worse, Fair Trade is a powerful word misused and abuised  as a skillfully orchestrated marketing tactic by the roaster (or traders) in order to charge more, appealing to the buyer's soft spot.

So while we're into the festive mood of making lists and checking twice-even, it's good to be educated whether the coffee beans you are about to purchase are naughty or nice...♪♫♪ 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Boracay In Style

There's no better way to take time-out from a roller coaster business year than to  recharge one's emotionally-weary batteries and unwind in Shangri-La's Boracay Resort and Spa... Call it impeccable timing, as we won it in a raffle (graci Edsa Shangri-La!) 3 months prior (2-nights stay in a deluxe room with daily buffet breakfast AND airfare for 2 via Sea Air)... Oh, did I mention that this is my first time in the island as well??!

The service and amenities we experienced were top-class; As soon as we landed in Caticlan Airport we were efficiently whisked off to Shangri-La's private lounge at the port, where welcome drinks were immediately served.  A few minutes later we rode their plush speedboat which ferried us "in-style" to the resort proper.

Once you enter the lobby, I kid you not when I say that you feel "transported" to a foreign place like the Bahamas or Maldives - Powdery White Sand, lush greeneries, and crystal clear aquamarine sea... So much so that despite the wet-wet weather during our 2-nights stay, we still managed to make the most out of this blow-out treat... There's just tons of things to do in the resort (not to mention the award-winning dining places), water activity or otherwise!

A priceless family bonding experience it was.... The only setback is being able to topple this experience the next time around.

Now back to the daily grind... hopefully with a better outlook and outcome! Holiday Cheers to all!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

8 Years and Counting

It was an impromptu 8th year wedding anniversary celebration for Peaches and I last October 12, 2011, as the date coincided with my Mother-in-law's post 60th birthday dinner party....

And what better way to celebrate these 2 special milestones than to have it at Chef Jessie's (formerly Le Souffle) in Rockwell which is a family favorite dating back as I can recall... Everything fell perfectly into place that evening -- intimate guest list of friends and close relatives in attendance, free-flowing drinks, and a special 5-course sit-down feast, complete with a musical duo serenading us in the background.

What a surprise it was, thanks to Sissy who days before secretly requested Chef Jessie's staff to bake an extra cake for us to partake on...  And Thank You to MIL for willingly sharing her spotlight with us... Super full both in the tummy part and in the emotional gratitude department... ♥

Anniversary lunch date...
A perfect day of laughter and eating (from breakfast to dinner)... synonymous to the number of years of passion and devotion...

Looking forward to more and more in the years to come... I said it 8 years ago and I'll say it again, "CONGRATULATIONS Peaches for making a very, very, very wise decision.... :)"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts sits on 2,300 acres of farm and rustic woodland. It is a small (below 80) community of Trappist Monks who detach themselves from worldly pleasures and instead live a contemplative life of meditation, prayer and work...

Despite not being one's usual travel destination, day visitors like us enjoyed the breathtaking yet serene environment of the Abbey Church and refectory which has maintained its architectural structure and old-charm...

Kiddo posing with his beloved Guamy, my MIL,
who navigated us to this great find

The Abbey is popularly known for its production and marketing of Trappist Preserves, a line of jams and jellies which partially support its operations. The tradition of excellence is maintained by Monks who have devoted their quality-time in standardizing (refining even) production process and techniques, ensuring that every batch gives "holy" justice to its long history of over 50 years and counting...

Items could be purchased in the Abbey Gift Shop which also houses the most number of religious books, artifacts, and other related items I've ever seen in my entire existence!

St. Joseph's Abbey offers multitudes more to the spiritual traveler seeking a serene destination. So lucky to have the rare privilege of being able to drive-by this place during the last leg of our New England road trip! "Abbey-Road" visited...! ✜

167 North Spencer Road, Spencer MA

Monday, October 17, 2011 website

We're proud to announce the launch of our website, Find time to visit this site for the latest recipes and product updates. Best of all, this humble blog ( is linked to it. Happy viewing!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Studio SnR's Coffee, Tea By ME!!! Workshop

Caffeinated and Creamy Passion was the mood that special friday afternoon of September 30, 2011... As envisioned by its organizer STUDIO SnR, the first-ever Coffee, Tea By ME!!! Workshop (led by yours truly) was a smashing hit...

Sydney Go, Marketing Director of Studio SnR welcoming guests...
Yours truly narrating my odyssey in the beverage biz...
participants awaiting instructions for the start of
their hands-on workshop

Small class size (below 20 participants) is always the limit set by STUDIO SnR, as they believe it is perfectly conducive for teaching and learning... And true to its billing as a "HANDS-ON" workshop, all 18 participants (ranging from beginner to moderate to advanced as far as drinks mixology is concerned) were thrilled "toying" with their assigned SAECO Espresso Machine...

the workshop in progress...

mesmerized in-between shots and sips of BOYD COFFEE Premium espressos...
Caffein fueled by Boyd Coffee Midnight Blend...
Thank you Robert Francisco!

and dazzled while exploring the countless possibilites and combinations using Far Skyes Enterprise's Vanilla Frappe Powder, STASERO Flavored Syrups and Sauces!!!

What's your flaovor???

The fun does not end here... The workshop was further escalated when the participants were divided into groups for the "Craft A Java & Smoothie" contest, where the winning drink (1 caffeinated drink and 1 smoothie drink) per group per category received valuable prizes courtesy of Boyd Coffee and Evergood Unlimited Corporation (distributors of Saeco, Cuisinart and Imarflex)... Cool, right?!

Pam & Ben Gregory crafting the winning espresso based drink
the epitome of a hands-on workshop... messy! :)

finished drinks waiting to be judged by the
organizers and major sponsors

In conclusion, Studio SnR's work area became a shared space of fun, laughter, sharing and learning... the true mark of sucess!♥

From L-R: Liz Tan of Evergood Unlimited, Avid Foodies
Marose Rodriguez and Maebelle Batac, and Yours Truly

From L-R: Peaches Go-Tiu and Yours Truly of Far Skyes Enterprise;
Liz Tan of Evergood Unlimited; Sydney Go of Studio SnR,
and Becky Kho Editor-In-Chief of Yummy Magazine

Standing L-R: Franklin Tiu, World-Class Videographer Dom Velasco,
Ben Gregory, and Peaches Go-Tiu
Seated: Liz Tan and Pam Gregory
Standing L-R: Photo Wiz Patrick Martirez, Liz Tan of Evergood,
Franklin & Peaches Tiu of Far Skyes Enterprise,
Seated L-R: Becky Kho of Ymmy Magazine and
Wendy Lei of Animetric's World
Sydney Go with Appetite Magazine's Monique Buensalido
and Migs Borja-Yambao

Watch out for the next run... check out 
Caffeinated and Creamy Cheers to all!!!