Sunday, December 1, 2013

Coffee Review: Ristretto Roasters Beaumont Blend

The perks of having a well-traveled and generous (ahem) sister-in-law is being able to sample first-hand most of  her destination foodie finds. On her recent vacation from Portland, Oregon, lucky me was given (among others) a bag of Beaumont Blend from Ristretto Roasters. It's been quite a while since I did a coffee review, so allow me to share this one with you.

photo courtesy of
Beaumont Blend is a special seasonal roast that has full body, low acidity, and tasting notes of Baker's Chocolate, Clove and Dried Cherry. Straightforward and robust, yet surprisingly complex! An ode to Ristretto Roasters' opening its first minuscule roasting facility and cafe in the Beaumont neighborhood at NE 42nd & Fremont, Portland Oregon  in 2005. Since then, it paved the way for the full "flowering" (pun intended) of the roasting scene in the Rose City.

In 2009, Ristretto opened its second branch in North Portland, this time imbibing a sexier-hip appeal, yet still maintaining it's well-known warm and welcoming (not snobbish) ambiance.  The road still looks "rosy" for the them, thereby benefiting its loyal followers!

Best served as straight espresso, or brewed in a French press to unleash its full flavors. Happy sipping!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Far Skyes Way

Husband & Wife tandem keeping it real 
So what exactly is THE FAR SKYES WAY? Since business commenced way back in 1995 we've witnessed how beverage trends arose, evolved and subsided. Disheartening as it may seem, that's how the law of economics work, and businessmen have no choice but to adapt to the changing times to stay afloat. Shape up or be shipped out!

At Far Skyes we keep things uncomplicated, from the way we conduct meetings & presentations, to the way we do day-to-day business. We treat each and every client equally, with utmost importance, sometimes taking them too seriously to a fault.

Our globally sourced products speak for themselves as far as taste, quality, functionality and form are concerned.

Best of all, our beverage training is stripped down to its basic essentials. The signature drinks we concoct are not laced with fancy latte art, sugar-coated with unnecessary add-ons, or prepared with dancing and/or flaring on the side. We simply make Damn Good Drinks, PERIOD!!!

Caffeinated & Creamy drinks done the Far Skyes Way!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Esprecious by Bravilor Bonamat

Proudly manufactured in The Netherlands, Bravilor Bonamat unleashed its ESPRECIOUS espresso machine on Philippine shore, just in time for the annual Asia Food Expo (AFEX).

The ULTIMATE Triple-tag-team:
Fresh Coffee Beans by Boyd's,
Creme/Sweetener by Far Skyes,
Handsome Machine by Bravilor 

Triple-tag-teaming with Robert Francisco of Boyd's,  (Bravilor's exclusive importer/distributor) and Far Skyes Enterprise, Esprecious showcased why it is a comprehensive yet compact machine with a conveniently (read SMART) arranged touch screen.

Installation is a cinch! Simply set/program the desired variety (Cappuccino, Long Black, Latte, Cafe Creme, Cafe Mocha, etc.) and strength, then fill the chambers with the ingredients (coffee beans, sweetener, cocoa powder, frappe base, etc.) based on the menu you created, select your favorite backlight color (FUN!), then watch away with glee as your selected beverage is prepared.

Brewing caffeinated and creamy goodies soon. Watch out for it in your favorite cafe, hotel chain, airport lounge and/or anything and everything coffee.

With Mr. Peter Kaaz, Bravilor's Export Sales Manager,
and Mr. Robert Francisco of Boyd's Coffee
Easy as 1-2-3 don't you agree???!!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chukar - The Cherry Bomb!

All giddy when we received this gift ("PASALUBONG") from a visiting friend from KENT, WA. It's a reacquaintance of sorts after love at first bite more than 2 years ago, when we first feasted our palette on  CHUKAR CHERRIES at Seattle's world-famous Pike Place Market.

Mind you, these are NOT the "over the hill" Valentine's Day staple of syrupy sweet chocolate cherry-filled candies; or worse, raisins covered in compound (read: INFERIOR) chocolate mass produced by your leading candy maker.

Think REAL CHERRIES romantically embraced in anything and everything chocolate with twist and turns beyond one's flavor imagination - Chipotle Cherries, Cabernet Cherries, Pinot Noir Cherries, White Chocolate Raspberry Truffles, the list goes on and on...

A family-owned company founded in 1988 in Yakima Valley of Washington State, Chukar celebrates the natural bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Best of Nature, Best of Chocolate -- Truly THE CHERRY ON TOP!!! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Civet Coffee - Our Take On This Smelly Topic

Civet coffee, aka kopi luwak

I'm often asked what my take is on the whole ALAMID COFFEE hype. To be honest, I HAVEN'T TRIED IT, for a simple reason which I will reveal at the end of this post. Today is the perfect day to discuss this topic, as I sit down on a rainy Monday morning with Philippine Coffee Guru Mr. Robert Francisco to discuss our amalgamated plans for the upcoming Asia Food Expo from September 11-14, as well as other stuff (the weather, married life, parenthood, nanny blues, coffee industry gossip, etc.).  In his award-winning book A COFFEE JOURNAL, Robert devoted a whole chapter regarding this touchy (smelly even) subject.

civet coffee shop
Photo Courtest of CIVET COFFEE SHOP
To those hiding under a rock these past few years, Alamid coffee is the most expensive coffee in the world, derived from the droppings of the wild civet cat.  The process is long, tedious and thorough: The undigested beans from their poop, uhm droppings i mean are picked up from the forest floor, washed, cleaned, peeled off from their parchment, roasted, and ultimately consumed.

To quote Robert verbatim: "Some claim Alamid coffee has a distinct flavor or texture that regular coffee does not have. Well, they can always speak for themselves. I have tried and tasted Alamid coffee and I have to say that for me, it is no big wow."

Furthermore, Robert explains: "The 'exotic' nature of the Alamid coffee creates a demand from the curious, and effectively commands a very high price, causing a chain reaction among farmers, hunters, and pickers, enticing them to be as innovative (greedy) as the can possibly be. Unfortunately, there are those who have perhaps become too innovative in the trade, and the civet cats are the ones already paying for it. Of course, if supply does not meet demand, pretty sure it will be adulterated."

Case closed, thanks but not thanks! Oh, and as a final note, a wise man by the name of Fr. Louis Papilla, S.J. (my high school guidance councilor) taught me well that "A WISE DOG NEVER EATS ITS OWN DUNG!" Taking a cue from this statement, what more if a human being eats the poop of a cat??? Food for thought - pun intended!

A Coffee Journal, the book about anything and everything coffee

Sunday, August 4, 2013

WOFEX 2013

Time certainly flies and we're posting another successful WOFEX Show performance. For the "Nth" time, BOYD'S Coffee and Far Skyes Enterprise combined forces to showcase their signature Caffeinated & Creamy Experience that's never equaled!  Two companies with one common vision simply stated...

This year was made extra "syrupy sweet" with the arrival of Eagle Beverage's (owner of the STASERO brand from Seattle, WA) boss Ms. Aisha Kabani, to lend a hand and reiterate her unconditional support to us. Ten solid years and counting, we're truly filled with gratitude and it makes us prouder to represent your brand!

A significant year for BOYD's Coffee as well, with the owner's firm commitment to continue doing what he does best - Trailblazing! New machines, new concepts, reinvigorated passion for the Coffee Industry!

A bigger and better show next year? MOST DEFINITELY!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Eagle Has Landed!

Two Family-Owned Companies United By A Common Vision
TEN YEARS And Counting!

Welcome to the Philippines Ms. Aisha Kabani, proud owner of EAGLE BEVERAGE, manufacturer of the STASERO brand - from Syrups, to Sauces and More!  Aisha's first week-long visit coincides with the upcoming WOFEX event from July 31 to August 3, 2013, where she will extend her full support to their Philippine partner Far Skyes Enterprise. 

High Five from one Child of Owner
(C.O.O.) to another!

First things first though, as proper GRATITUDE must be extended to those responsible for literally and figuratively stamping STASERO in the Philippine Map:

The perfect way to start your day, nothing beats exchanging
pleasantries over a cup of Boyd's coffee 

SECOND TO NONE: Explaining the meticulous standards of
Boyd's Coffee, making them the undisputed market
leader for over two decades

An early morning courtesy call was made to BOYD'S COFFEE PHILIPPINES President ROBERT FRANCISCO, long time ally of Far Skyes Enterprise, and staunch supporter of the STASERO brand. Once again, "Thank You" Robert for your endless generosity and unconditional friendship through thick and thin!

THE Branch that revolutionized the Milk Tea Frenzy! 

The "Bosses" chat over things beyond business

Last but not the least was a visit to the very first SERENITEA branch in San Juan, where Big Boss JULIET HERRERA treated us to a sumptuous feast of anything and everything that made it a byword in the country's beverage Pop Culture. Growing old together never felt better. Countless appreciation for trusting our humble company and the brands we represent since the beginning!

Here's to more frequent visits in the years to come! Bigger and Better things await...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sophie's Mom - A Happy Place

Photo courtesy of Ms. Jody Liwanag
SOPHIE'S MOM - The charming little bake shop that elicited a gazillion ooohs and aaahs with its award-winning Red Velvet Cupcake opens it's doors on a sunshiny venture today, with the inauguration of a full service Cafe in McKinley Hills, Taguig City.

The bosses at work (and play) in their Happy Place

Expect the usual cozy feel, fortified with the addition of new savory dishes AND  Designer Drinks that would truly be a plus to Sophie's Mom's wonderful reputation!

Sophie's Mom knows best,
signature frappes to die for!

Don't let me spoil the big surprise, drive down and experience the latest toast of the town first-hand. Best wishes Tonette, TJ, Jody and Dicky for giving us a fresh HAPPY PLACE to hang around!

Photo courtesy of Ms. Jody Liwanag

Sophie's Mom - Ground Floor, Tuscany Private Estates
Upper McKinley, McKinley Hills, Taguig City

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Shout-Out

I read something proverbial (Solomonic even) that "when a child is born, a father is born as well." Such is the cycle of life, and one without the other simply cannot be.

Bless me FATHER for I ...

A year short of a decade and I'm still humbled on a daily basis that my psyche is fully charged and I am complete! Today my schedule is packed with celebrations, and  all my  social media accounts are packed with greetings and Father's Day cheers.

Allow me to give a shout out to the MAN I've made proud, who taught me that money and power are not ends in itself.  For teaching me to almost always choose the rainbow over the pot of gold. Best of all for Instilling in us that Family Comes First! Leadership By Example At Its Best. Happy Father's Day Papa!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Modern Dating - HK Style

Thanks to my Graduate School partner-in-crime Patrick Ng Yat Lung, a Hong Kong (HK) native in his late 40's and still an eligible bachelor, for sharing this modern day "HK Dating 101" trivia.

The fun part of traveling is immersing one's self in the host country - discovering about their ways and means, bad words included. Although HK is a place I frequent as far back as I can recall, it's good to discover that there's always something new to learn - particularly in the interesting realm of Dating.

At present, the HK Coffee Culture is gaining popularity among the youth in a rapid manner, to which "coffee" (synonymous to "post or after dinner") has become part of the dating ritual. Case in point that when a couple go out, they culminate the night with a visit to a coffee joint for a caffein fix and/or dessert (ergo the name behind HK's popular chain Honeymoon Dessert). And typical of all forms of culture, some are maintained and some are revised (for the better?!): The (gentle) man still foots the dinner bill, AND the woman pays for the "coffee". But wait, here's where it gets tricky - a disinterested Gal' will make no move whatsoever to pay her due, leaving the guy in a double whammy - No Money No Honey(moon)!

Yup, who would have thought that a post dinner cafe visit is now a strong barometer of a relationship's future, whether there's a spark of hope or otherwise. Happy dating to all my single friends! Cheers Pat!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

HAI Coffee Dripper

Welcome to our growing family *HAI COFFEE DRIPPER*. This cute and clever caffein brewer combines the best features of a drip machine and a French press at a fraction of the price and storage size, making it a must-have in every cafe, household and/or office pantry.

Drip brewing is a time tested extraction method which involves pouring (HOT) water over ground coffee contained in a (PAPER or CLOTH) filter, resulting in a full-bodied drink free of oils and sediments.

Here is a simple step-by-step Drip Brewing procedure recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Happy Brewing!

Step 1: Choose your desired mug/cup. Place Hai Coffee Dripper on top of it. Place paper filter (#2 size) into the dripper.

Step 2: Select your desired ground coffee (freshly ground, DRIP grind is best), 8 grams coffee per 6-ounce cup is the best proportion.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Stone Ang
365 Modern Cafe

Step 3: SLOWLY add the HOT water. Wait 3-4 minutes, stirring once in between the process to ensure a homogeneous mixture.

Step 4: Serve and enjoy!!!

With the surge of Coffee Houses specializing in single origin shots, this is the perfect go-to method that is cost effective, and gives proper justice to the end result. So what are you waiting for?

Drip brewing is best for hot & cold
coffee concoctioins

READY... SET... BREW!!!!