It's that time of the year again when coffee competition season is just about to go on overdrive. On its fifth installment, we cannot be more proud and excited about what the Philippine Coffee Championships has achieved so far - this year's introduction of the Brewers Cup and the Coffee in Good Spirits, an international judging panel, just to name a few. On an international level, Kevin, Aldrin and Sly have done us all proud. To those who decide to go on this rollercoaster ride of our humble version of the Olympics, we understand how crazy it can be, but there is definitely a driving force within. As a wise Mr. Hoffman once said, we should have another reason apart from winning, so here is how we find meaning in the spirit of competition:
With reference to Parkinson's Law, work expands in the time you give it. As much as we try to prepare months ahead, competition prep is like cramming for the year end high school exam. The long hours in the cafe, cheat sheets, visualization, group learning, trial and error - all these are part and parcel of the learning process. If it weren't for the competition season, some of us would not find ourselves in a university laboratory. For some, we have to think outside the box while keeping our message purposeful and concise. In whatever we learn in this short period, we just hope that it trickles down to our everyday work in the cafe and roastery, because our customers always deserve better.
Sharing The World's Best Coffees
To the best of our ability, we strive to source and roast the best coffees for our customers to enjoy. Once in a while, we come across exceptional lots of coffees and these competitions are a way for us to share the stories behind each coffee. Fortunately, we were able to source two great coffees this year - one from Colombia and the other from Panama, from very passionate and forward thinking producers. Even better, we managed to secure enough of each coffee to let brewers and coffee lovers at home try the coffees. Stay tuned in the next couple of days as we share how you can pre-order these tasty lots of very exclusive coffees.
Finding Joy In The Journey
This year was different from previous ones. Our 4-year old roaster was being mischievous. Kind industry friends Jonathan from E.A.C.H. and Sherman from Crema & Cream Coffee Roasters helped us roast our coffees. We accidentally stopped a Geisha roast 2 seconds into crack and it still blew everyone’s minds on a blind cupping. Routines this year are kept simple and subtle. Ex-members of our team sat in as mock judges. We cupped the most amazing coffees ever. Facebook calls were aplenty. We pushed ourselves harder, but we also laughed it out. We worked as a team, but every individual flourished. We’ll be having sleepovers this week. The journey goes on. These are memories that will live longer than coffees and routines we’ll be sharing this week. Thanks for all who were part of our journey.
Don't get us wrong. Winning is indeed beautiful but it's a great feeling to have 'won' even before we call 'time'.