The new wave of coffee



I do not want to declare the “third wave coffee” trend as the new wave. At least not in the Philippines. Because in many parts of the country we still are drinking coffee cooked in calderos (soup pots) or drinking 3-in-1 coffee. We are far from third wave, or even second.

The new wave should be simply put as “better coffee.” Better than a thick brown acidic liquid, or a diluted light brown “Tsape”(coffee-looking like tea), tea-like drink, coffee should be enjoyable “neat” or black . . . no added sugar or milk. That is how we can drink real good coffee.

Many consumers drink coffee flavored milk or creamer. Many do not know there are artificial coffee flavors that can contribute to aroma, and added coffee taste, even if there was so little coffee to begin with.

I think consumers should get to a point of being able to compare brewed coffee and soluble coffee. Or be able to tell the difference at least. Consumers should taste real coffee. Brewed or espresso, I cannot stop talking about this until every hotel or restaurant serves better coffee.

I was just in Japan for a Study Mission for Agricultural Productivity and Innovation sponsored by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) and we went for 14 farm visits, nine lectures up north in Aomori prefecture,then southeast to Shizuoka and for seven whole days I did not come across a bad cup of coffee.

And that’s counting provincial hotels, 3-star business hotels and 4-star hotels. No cup of bad coffee. I wonder when we will be in such a state.

And so with my colleagues in the Philippine Coffee Board (a non-stock , non-profit organization) we continue to promote the appreciation of good Philippine coffee. We actually just received awards in Thailand’s Roasters Choice awards for our coffees from Mt. Apo. And we got awards just behind coffee export stalwarts like Indonesia. So we have the coffee, we just need to slow down and not rush the harvest nor the processing.

After discovering new areas in Mindanao, we decided to move our Coffee Origins event this year to Davao City. And after realizing that 70 percent of our coffee is produced in Mindanao.

We should get all these farmers and coffee shops together, so we can all drink better coffee. We will continue to help our farmers and processors to get the best from our coffee beans. You wait one whole year for coffee to fruit, then you waste it with the wrong process. What a waste!

So, this is our new wave. Get coffee that is properly harvested, properly processed and finally, properly roasted. And maybe someday we can enjoy “new wave” coffee in all hotels, restaurants, cafes (they should really serve good coffee to begin with) and even bus stops and truck stops.

How can you help? Stop drinking bad coffee. Help us teach the farmers new wave techniques. Help us teach hotels to buy better coffee (believe me, the cost controllers just look at price of coffee per kilo but no one tastes if it’s good) and teach them that sometimes it will be coffee that will bring people back to their hotels.

Let us teach restaurants to serve better coffee. Sometimes we pay so much for a meal and then order bad coffee after. Why should they scrimp on coffee? They should all invest in better equipment and better coffee.

Do you know you can get 100 cups out of a kilo of ground coffee? Even if you pay P800 per kilo, that’s only P8 per cup at cost. And we sell coffee or buy coffee at P50 to P120 a cup. This is a real income earner for hotels and restaurants. Yet , bad coffee prevails.

Do you know we have great Philippine coffee? Take your pick at COFFEE ORIGINS. We will serve FREE samples of coffee at Abreeza Mall October 13-17, 2014. We have Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica (Barako).

Barako is not a term to describe “brewed coffee.” Or Coffee from Batangas. Barako is a variety like Cabernet and Merlot are grape varieties. So, know your coffee varieties so you can get the best value for your buck. More bang for the buck. Let the purveyor or coffee roaster explain the coffee he or she blends for you.

Finally, let us start drinking good and better coffee at home. Buy a simple coffee brewer. Or even a hand drip filter and good coffee beans. Make your own “new wave” coffee. Don’t settle for anything less.

If you want to learn more about coffee, join our Coffee Month activities. Coffee seminars on October 11 at Enderun. Coffee Summit in Davao October 15, 2014.

Visit our Facebook Page: Philippine Coffee Board. Or email us for schedules:

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Chit Juan is a founder and owner of ECHOStore sustainable lifestyle, ECHOmarket sustainable farms and ECHOcafe in Serendra , Podium, Centris QC mall and Davao City. She also is President of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and President of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc., two non-profits close to her heart. She often speaks to corporates, youth and NGOs on social entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and coffee. You can follow her on or find her on facebook:Pacita “Chit” Juan. Email her at


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