The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

24 September 2013

Around Lipa: Cafe de Lipa

Now this is far more homegrown and speaks volumes of the city's rich coffee heritage. It's refreshing to see there is a brave local businessman who's willing to take the risk and measure up to imported coffee chains now altering Lipa's cityscape. They proudly call themselves a Filipino Coffee Company, and rightfully capitalizes its flagship products on the local favorite, the Baráko.

You'll find it in a free-standing coffee shop right outside Robinson's (ironically behind Starbucks), in SM City, in the Petron Station along Star Tollway, and a pilot branch in Metro Manila; in Market! Market! in Bonifacio Global City.

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.