Friday, December 9, 2016

Assessing Specialty: Arabicas & Robustas with Dr. Manuel Diaz

Wazzup Pilipinas!

It is not surprising to see so many coffee shops that have proliferated all over the country. I believe coffee is one of the most powerful force behind many beverage industries today. From the first wave to the current third wave of coffee trends, it is without any doubt that coffee would still remain as a significant part of our industry.

Drinking coffee has evolved from simply having to making it artistically pleasing and now to improve the production process to ensure we get the highest quality. It also means it gets to be a lot more classier and sophisticated, thus it has become an "in" thing to be hanging out at coffee shops sipping one of these pimped up coffees while browsing the Internet with our tablets or smartphones.

Coffee experts eventually emerged to ensure we do get what we desire out of coffee. It is because coffee can have several kinds depending on many factors like where it was grown, how it was processed - handled, extracted, roasted, etc., and of course who finally prepared it for you in a cup, glass, or any type of container that could readily hold the coffee, whether hot or cold.

On the very first day of December of the year 2016, Equilibrium Intertrade Corporation, one of the top leading distributors of high quality coffee, tea, and non-coffee beverages, organized an event called Assessing Specialty: Arabicas & Robustas held at the Benjaro Restaurant of Dusit Thani Hotel. The guest speaker is Dr. Manuel Diaz, a Mexican Social Anthropologist who came all the way from the London School of Economics.

Mr. Diaz imparted to us his knowledge from his over twenty years of experience working in the coffee sector as a researcher, extension worker and consultant in various countries. The whole day event was meant to ground the participants with informative lectures on the varying characteristics of Arabica and Robusta.

It must have been one of the most comprehensive talks I've attended. Though it was a bit of an information overload for me, the few minutes of breaks to do coffee tasting or "cupping"and the fabulous snacks and lunch served by the Benjaro restaurant made it all pleasant and comforting. The free coffee that we gt home with us was a big bonus as we can now brew our own at home and continue the amazing sips of fine quality coffee.

Why settle for the 3-in-1 instant coffee when we can have better brews at reasonable prices. Remember that what we take inside us affects us in so many ways. It is best that we invest on quality drinks that would be more beneficial to our health.

We learned that there are naturals, semi-washed and washed which have very different characteristics. The first one is a lot fruitier in taste and even smell, while the washed are milder and citrus-like. We've also learned that coffee is best at cold environment but it can also grow at dry environments if you know the rock, or boulder method which taught us that there is moisture underneath the rock because of condensation. This is why some vegetation or shrub come out form besides rocks. Just try to look down under a rock and you'll see that there are most of the times living plants or insects surviving from it.

This is something to take note of as we design the next plantation area for our coffee, or any other crop as well.

Planting advise was also given by Mr. Diaz especially emphasizing on pruning. In his roaming around the Philippines, he noticed that there are farms who does not prune. He also recommended the use of terraces just as similarly to how the Banawe Rice Terraces are setup. he also mentioned that some farmers follow the movements of the moon to dictate when is the best time for them to do certain activities in their coffee farms.

We must also remember that coffee purchase decisions are mostly done through the distinction of its aroma, taste and perception. However, 75% of the decision are coming from the aroma factor. Indeed, we do love coffee that smells good.

Equilibrium Intertrade Corporation is partnered with E Blue Holdings and Trading Corporation in bringing the best quality of coffee beans, syrups, and flavors, teas and machineries to make all of these amazing concoctions. You can check out their Facebook page for more information:

It is also of importance that the coffee is readily distributed at our areas. The best coffees are no good if it can't reach its potential customers who are clamoring for excellent coffee choices. Filipinos are actually sophisticated because of a culture that appreciates especially the naturals and fermented food varieties. The rest of our fascination with coffee is because of the fad or status level that we want to attain to project both a positive and affluent lifestyle.

After all, it is in coffee shops, gyms, fitness centers, organic or vegetarian restaurants where the "cool" people hang out.

Please also check out our videos from the event at our YouTube channel at

For more photos, please drop by our Facebook fan page at

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