|My resting "I need a cup of coffee!" face.|
What does a coffee cup carry nowadays?
We all know the usual things like caffeine, sugar, cream, but whenever you drink a cup do you even ask where it came from? What beans they used? Or who planted it? Most often than not, we don't and a few days ago I got to see a thriving business that's been doing this for a combined 50 years. We were not there to boast about their achievements, but to spread the word that this business has been helping farmers in little ways that they can. It's why they put up an establishment called The Giving Cafe.
This coffee shop was conceptualized by Henry & Sons, a coffee solutions company. They've been supplying the country's best coffee shops with world class premium luxury coffee (via Conlins Coffee) and coffee equipment that has its origins in Malaysia (via RICMAS Philippines). The company imports and processes coffee beans from over 20 countries (like Ethiopoa, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Kenya, Indonesia, Vietnam among others) and even provide training, support to coffee shops and companies in the Philippines. They also supply customized blends for their clientele and has been able to do so as a business. They felt they had to give back to an industry that has been so good to them all these years.
Under the Henry & Sons Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence, they want to put the Philippines back in the world map as legitimate source and stalwart of sustainable coffee farming. It is a tall order, but the vision is to start things and keep the ball rolling. This is a great example of social enterprise and the proceeds of operating The Giving Cafe will go to the projects they have lined up for the Filipino coffee farmers from Benguet. Soon, they will have projects in coffee producing farms and provinces but they decided to start where the majority of their beans are grown (Cordillera Range).
I've known how much care they put in on producing Robusta, Excelsa and Premium Arabica beans in this region and it has gotten attention around the world already. These beans are hand picked, all drawn from plantations in the northern part of the Philippines, dried for a few days, processed and roasted in their plants to get the best the country could offer. The Giving Cafe sells off food items, coffee products and other items that has its proceeds go to these causes.
I'd like to actually compare this to a palette called shabby chic but they do have elements that are very eclectic, a hodge podge of different items from the owner's travels and books that they've managed to read through the years. The place is apt for around 20 - 30 people, more if you include the outdoor seating which sits across their RICMAS plant (See the light across the window?) where you can park since they own both places. The coffee shop is located at the corner of Pines and Sheridan streets. It's a couple of minutes away from EDSA and is accessible from that route. Here's the map!
Now as I mentioned earlier, they're all experts in the coffee business and that includes roasting. I was almost dumbfounded because when I asked what beans they used they answered back with the connotative answer like they've used them all. They import some of them, and most are sourced locally so if you see their blends, it makes our beans at par with the rest of the world. Maybe even better. They let us experience first hand at how to be a barista, well not so much but the thought of making a coffee cup with latte art was just so hard to pass.
|This is their work, so perfect the heart no? It looked so easy when they were making it. Did I ace it? Well that's another story LOL.|
|This is one of their best sellers. and this chicken is pretty tasty.|
|They showed me how to make the latte art which were comprised of two shots of espresso and a whole lot of milk and froth. You have to move your wrist or else your latte art would look like fluff LOL!|
|They have guides you can follow, but really, it was hard!|
|They also had samples of the coffee beans we used and you can smell the samples when it's grounded. I wanted to stay here but I remembered I have to make that latte thing haha!|
|Now this is my first attempt, ever, in my entire life. Although they said it was good for a first timer like me, I still think it looks like a heart with tons of fat strands haha.|
One of the main projects of under the foundation who also handles The Giving Cafe is the selling of BLOOM COFFEE. Now you can see they have different designs on them which also connotes different blends. It also signifies the different causes that they help. From the scholarships they give out to the kids of coffee farmers, to the free coffee seedlings they give to farmers, to high tech water producing machines they donate to farmer organizations (one of which they just gave to Benguet farmers recently), the proceeds from these coffee beans would go those causes.
My family owns a small parcel of land in Tagaytay that is used for coffee plants but is already old to produce really good beans; I kinda understand you need to replenish them every couple of years; so I understand how these things sort of in more ways than one had been able to help local farmers in their goal to be as competitive as they can be in the market. To see them achieve this soon is what would make Henry & Sons happy, hopefully your support to this social enterprise would be the start. If you're around the area and looking for a place to hang out and read, The Giving Cafe would be the perfect place for that. Buy a can or more of the coffee while you're at it.
I've never seen a man so enthusiastic about their CSR projects. Michael Harris Conlin the President and CEO of Henry & Sons Manufacturing & Trading Company Inc. says "I hope we would be able to help more farmers and inspire them to become better producers so we could get Philippine coffee back into the international market by next year. The Giving Coffee is already serving a lot of special things. This, hopefully, would be something we would be more proud of until the next decade."
Thank you so much to Henry & Sons and The Giving Cafe for having us in their event. I'd be really happy to get a cup or two of your brew when I'm in the area and perhaps take some of it to my relatives in EU who digs these stuff the most. You're genuinely helping an industry that is connected to your business and aside from that, you're caring for their families which I am so impressed with. Congratulations, I hope this goes a long way!