Sunday, November 06, 2016

Coffee 101 with Robinsons Supermarket and Silca Coffee Roasting Company

One of the misconceptions a lot of coffee lovers have is that one can only get a great cup of coffee from commercial coffee shops. That's not true. In fact, there's now a growing appreciation for home brews and this does not only mean coffee prepared at home but also an increasing love for locally sourced coffee. 

discover a new appreciation for coffee, today!
In support of this movement, Robinsons Supermarket recently partnered with Silca Coffee, a roasting company based in Silang, Cavite and held a coffee appreciation class at Robinsons Supermarket Ermita. There, I learned a lot more about the beverage I have grown very fond of.

some of Silca Coffee's products
Michael Asuncion, the son of Silca Coffee founder Enrile Asuncion, explained to us how much work it entails to process coffee starting from picking beans from the tree until they are dried, milled, sorted, roasted, and brewed until the aromatic beverage ends being served in a cup. 

ripening coffee cherries
Did you know that it takes three to five years before a coffee tree starts bearing fruits? Coffee berries change colors from dark green to yellow as they ripen but you have to wait for six to seven months more before they become deep red "cherries" that are ready for harvesting.

coffee cherries are hand picked one by one
According to Michael, coffee pickers would then manually harvest cherries to fill small bags. Amazingly, an efficient worker can pick up to 80kg of cherries in one day! Next, the coffee cherries are dried for approximately two weeks. In the Philippines, drying coffee under the sun is the most common form of processing.

drying coffee
Once dried, the coffee cherries are ready for milling. This removes the dried pulp and releases the pair of "green beans"within each cherry. Types of these green coffee include: 
  • Arabicas, which are larger and oval in shape. They are smooth and aromatic. Varieties from around the world have different taste profiles.
  • Robusta green beans are smaller and rounded, and have a sharper green color than Arabicas.
  • Excelsa / Liberica have pointed ends and are yellowish in color.

green beans (below) and their roasted versions (top)
from left: Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa / Liberica
When the green beans are released, they are then roasted to unlock the flavor and aroma that coffee lovers enjoy. As the saying "there's no place like home" goes, there are various small appliances / equipment you can use to prepare a good cup of coffee at home that is not as expensive as those bought in fancy coffee shops.

equipment to use for home brewing coffee
We got to try drinking coffee prepared using an electric coffee maker, a French press, and a pour over. It was surprising to note that the same ground coffee beans have various tastes when prepared in different ways! 

it's amazing how many hands are needed 
to get coffee beans from the farm to our cups!
As to more reasons why we should drink coffee, here are some of its health benefits as listed by The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC):
  • People who consume 3-5 cups of coffee a day are 65% less likely to develop dementia
  • Those who drink 6-8 cups daily have a 5-10% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Habitual moderate coffee drinking has been associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease in women

Silca Coffee gift set that contains a French press made of glass and bamboo
and a pack of ground Kick Start Barako Coffee for P1299
No matter how you like your coffee done, I'm sure you'd also agree that a cup of freshly brewed coffee in the morning is a great way to welcome a brand new day! Check out Silca Coffee at Robinsons Supermarket and start enjoying brewed coffee at home!

* Silca Coffee is a family-owned company founded in 1996. Since then, they've been harvesting, roasting, and exporting coffee worldwide.

No comments: