21 September 2013
Around Lipa: Coffee Shop Chains in Coffee Country
Nothing is more paradoxical and strangely inorganic than alien coffee chains sprouting around downtown Lipa. In a city whose heritage is strongly identified with coffee farming, trade and export, it is practically sacrilegious to be promoting "Kona" and "Java" blends or beans grown in Guatemala or Bolivia within hearing distance of the cathedral's bells.
Figaro (left) is not that bad; after all, it is a locally-owned chain and kudos to them for giving imported brands a run for its money. But still, it's sad to see that our own local coffee, as it is, is actually far more superior, bean for bean, than most that are popular around the world. Local coffee is just not packaged and marketed creatively, and the industry has absolutely no government support.