Coffee Exploration Together with Mr. Sasa Sestic

Coffee lovers,aficionados, friends and advocates were delighted to met former Olympian, book author, the Coffee Man and 2015 World Barista Champion Mr. Sasa Sestic!

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Mr. Sasa Sestic who originally is from Serbia. now, He lives in Australia

 Coffee Connoisseur

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Mr. Micheal Harris Conlin , Chef JP Anglo, Mr. Sasa Sestic and Grand Hyatt -Manila manager

Mr. Sasa Sestic is “driven” is like describing Mt. Everest as “high.” Sasa (pronounced “Sasha”) has been pursuing the perfect cup of coffee for more than 15 years. He started pushing the envelope on coffee tastes when he became a barista in 2003. His drive took him to study where a region or country yields their best coffee. His passion is insatiable. Not only is he interested in coffee knowledge, but he also intents to teach what he knows, as well as help coffee farmers improve their lives and communities.

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pastries, cookies and coffee

Among the communities that he visited is Honduras, Ethiopia and coffee producing countries.

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Coffee Exploration 

 Coffee Exploration is carefully curated activity hosted by homegrown coffee company Henry and Sons and the luxury hotel Grand Hyatt Manila.

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Cafe Florentine which offers wide array of local pastries and cakes is located at groundlevel of Grand Hyatt – Manila (Bonifacio Global City)

The Coffee Man experience brings to the Philippines Sestic’s amazing journey to becoming a champion barista and the lengths he went to in search of the perfect cup of coffee.

Among the special invited guests included celebrities Mr. Marvin Agustin and Chef JP Anglo.

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Jasper Coffee from Masina Ethiopia

Among his experiments is the post-harvest method called Carbonic Maceration. One of the specialty coffees processed under this method is the Jasper Coffee from the Masina Village in Ethiopia, which is now available at Florentine, Grand Hyatt Manila. More importantly, Sestic also believes in putting the welfare of coffee farmers first while growing sustainable, world-class beans. “Showcasing Sasa’s talent to the Philippines allows our local baristas to draw inspiration from his experience and story.

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Ms. Micheal Harris Conlin

He has infinite knowledge and learning that baristas, farmers, and even us – coffee distributors – can learn from,” says Michael Harris Conlin, President and CEO of Henry and Sons and 2019 Philippine National Barista Champion.

Book Author

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According to Sasa, helping coffee farmers ensures the quality of produce is elevated. Understanding a region’s climate and planting cycle led him to know when a region’s coffee would be best. A book about his journey is a forward intention especially considering that he was halfway into the book when he won the 2015 Barista Championship. The best-selling book “The Coffee Man” narrates his journey to becoming a barista, how he went to the coffee farmers in search of the best coffee beans, and the new methods to bring out the flavors of coffee.

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  The “Coffee Man” has also been created into a movie. It took him 7 attempts before he won the Australian Barista Championship in 2015. That same year, he won the World Barista Championship (WBC) held in Seattle. In the dozen years prior to winning the WBC, his career has expanded from a barista to becoming the head of ONA Coffee Wholesale, and a couple of cafes which include The Cupping Room, ONA Coffee House, and ONA Manuka.

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He has also been helping farmers with Project Origin, an ethical green bean trading company which has so far created long-term mutually rewarding relationships with more than 100 growers in coffee-producing countries. Project Origin has helped pave the way for farmers to earn more and improve their crops, livelihood and their financial status.

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The Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence (FSCE)

  The foundation which Conlin began, aims to help local farmers produce sustainable and world-class coffee for Filipinos to enjoy. In achieving this goal, he helps the farmers by buying their coffee and then giving back proceeds from the sale to train farmers and give them the right tools to become better coffee producers. Besides their efforts to reach out to farmers in Benguet and other coffee-growing areas in the Philippines, the FSCE also wants to hone the skills of current and future baristas. Conlin founded the Institute of Coffee Excellence, right across the popular The Giving Café (TGC) which was opened earlier.

The two-story Institute is a laboratory and creative playground for Conlin and his team. It houses classes for baristas, brokers farmer-trader deals and discussions while finding innovative ways to make Philippine coffee beans more accessible to an international audience. Earlier this year, Henry and Sons brought coffee expert Mokhtar Alkhanshali, and his high-rating coffee from Yemen, Port of Mokha, to the Philippines for a similar event. To know more about Henry and Sons, visit henryandsons.ph.

Filipino and Asian Home Style Dishes at Fely J’s Kitchen in Uptown Mall

 The group were hungry after an event at the Grand Hyatt hotel.  It was past 12:30 pm when we went to the Uptown mall within Bonifacio Global City or simply called (BCG) in Taguig.
Fely J’s Kitchen restaurant

We were craving for something Filipino and home cooked dishes. Fely J’s Kitchen is just located near the escalator of the mall. We decided to eat at the restaurant without thinking of other restaurants within the mall.

Fely J’s Kitchen menu board ( set meals for group )

Some of the bloggers/ vloggers are in such a hurry covering another event that they wanted to eat. Mommy Lariza lost no time in ordering set meals ( Set C) which we saw at the menu board.

Fely J’s Kitchen

Fely J’s Kitchen menu board

Fely J’s Kitchen is dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Felicidad de Jesus-Cruz, mother of LJC Group founder Larry J. Cruz, features Fely J’s treasured recipes. This is the second restaurant which opened within Metro Manila, the first one was in Greenbelt 5, Makati.

interiors

The restaurant had quite a big sitting capacity ( indoor had about 100 ) while outdoor patio area had another ( 50  patio area) with total sitting capacity of about 150 at any given time.

figurines on display

The place had a homey ambiance with several old photographs of old Manila like Binondo church, treasured family photos, books and figurines are found within the restaurant.

Our group only waited for just few minutes, the first to be serve was the ice tea followed by tokwa at baboy ( fried tofu with pork, chop onions, chop banana chilies with soy sauce and vinegar).

tokwa at baboy

Tokwa at Baboy is just like the same as those cooked in other popular Filipino restaurants. They should have added bits of fresh cilantro leaves, Nothing fancy.

seafood kare-kare

crispy pata with fried garlic as toppings , atchara and soy sauce

grilled chicken inasal with soy sauce, calamansi, fresh chilies and radish

pork sinigang

One of the first dishes to be serve is the Crispy pata with atchara and dipping sauce. This is followed with white rice, pancit canton, pork and bangus sinigang, grilled chicken inasal , seafood kare-kare with bagoong and gising gising.

sinigang na bangus

gising gising

I liked all of their dishes particularly the gising-gising which had a balance of spice, sweetness ,nicely chopped kangkong stems and bits of pork meat.  However the coconut milk ( gata ) is a bit watered down for my taste.
turon with langka and ube

We also ordered fried turon with langka and ube for dessert.group photo

40th Anniversary

LJC group  of companies which also included Abe’s Farm in Pampanga, Lorenzo’s Way, Bistro Remedios, Cafe Adriatico, Cafe Havana, and Polka Dot Bakeshop to name a few celebrates their 40th anniversary.

set meal C

The staff were quite attentive, friendly,courteous when some of us, ask them for a quick group shots from our cameras.

I will surely come back to eat their other specialties, One of my friend told me that their temple crab, braised short ribs, lumpiang sariwa, lechon kawali, binagoongang baboy are worth ordering.

Address: 2nd Floor, Uptown Mall, 9th Avenue corner 36th Street, Bonifacio Global City , Taguig City

Contact Details : 802-53-54 / 946-3676 / 0995-6539039

Operational Hours: Everyday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm,  During Friday, Saturday and Sunday-operation can be up to 12:00 midnight

Grand Hyatt’s Coffee Tasting Experience with Henry& Sons and Port of Mokha Launching

Grand HyattBonifacio Global City ( BGC) in partnership with homegrown coffee company’s Henry and Sons owned by the 2019 Philippine National Barista Champion Michael Harris Conlin collaborates with the coffee innovator and advocate Mr. Mokhtar Alkanshali to have the Filipinos taste the high-rating coffee from Yemen, Port of Mokha.

Coffee Exploration

The coffee tasting and launching was dubbed” Coffee Exploration ” was held the 6th floor pavilion area.

Grand Hyatt general manager

Despite the monsoon rains and overcast weather in Metro Manila, It was well-attended by coffee connoisseurs, industry practitioners, bloggers, vloggers and media.

The event started past 9:00 am with a special introduction by Ms. Karmina De Ungria ( director of Marketing Communications) and Grand Hyatt general manager BGC, Taguig City.

Mr. Micheal Harris Conlin

This was followed by a short introduction made by Mr. Micheal Harris Conlin which tells an inspiring story on how he purchased  the book with life story of Mr. Mokhtar Alkanshali. Their year long friendship and sharing of their passion over a cup of coffee.

Mr. Mokhtar Alkanshali

Coffee Tasting Experience

Mr. Mokhtar Alkanshali  shared with the participants a short history of coffee and how it spread from Yemen and Somalia to the rest of the world. He also shared that the country ( Philippines) used to be one of the top 4 coffee producing countries of the world during the 18th and 19th century.

His passion led him to visit his home country Yemen and he went through several coffee producing areas.  Out of the 21 coffee bean samples that he were able to get from Yemen, only 2 or 3 samples were of the highest international quality.

The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

The event highlights about the journey of the man who risked his own life to help improve the lives of the farmers and the quality of coffee in Yemen amidst all the hardships that the country is facing. His story is filled with passion and bravery that the Philippine coffee community can draw inspiration from.

Mr. Mokhtar Alkanshali together with Mr. Raoul de Peralta

Coffee Beans

coffee with cookies

The group were given a first hand experience on how to taste different kinds of grounded coffee from Yemen.

OHE-17– Location : Outer Hyma, Process: Udaini, Altitude : 2,150 to 2,400 MASL, Cupping Notes: Dark Cherry Sweetness, Green Apple Acidity, Medium Body and Acidity.

OHSR 01– Location : Outer Hayma, Process: Natural, Cultivar : Udaini,  Altitude : 2,150 to 2,400 MASL , Cupping Notes: Brown Sugar, Spices, Medium Body and Acidity

OHE-32– Location: Outer Hayma, Process: Natural, Cultivar : Udaini, Altitude : 2,150 to 2,400 MASL, Cupping Notes: Dark Cherry, Cola, Molasses, Medium Body , High Acidity

OHE -25 – Location: Outer Hayma, Process: Natural, Cultivar : Udaini, Altitude : 2,150 to 2,400 MASL, Cupping Notes: Lime , Grapes, Medium Body and Acidity

OHSR -PB -Location : Outer Hayma, Process: Natural, Cultivar : Udaini,Altitude : 2,150 to 2,400 MASL, Cupping Notes: Winey, Toasted Almonds, Cocoa , Hint of Jack fruit, Medium Body and Low Acidity

PM- 11– Location : Hayma Sana ‘A province, Process: Natural, Cultivar : Udaini, Altitude : 2,350 MASL, Cupping Notes: Floral, Apple,Cola, Lime, Low Body, Medium and Acidity

O-HSR-24 -Location: Outer Hayma, Process: Natural, Cultivar: Udaini, Altitude: 2,150 to 2,400 MASL, Cupping Notes: Brown Spice, Nutmeg, Medium to Low Acidity and Medium Body.

Chocolate Mocha Cake

mocha cake

Grand Hyatt pastry chef had their own innovation or version with the combination of chocolate, coffee and their artistic talents in baking.

Florentine

slice of cake together with cup of coffee

Mr. Mokhtar Alkanshali together with Mr. Raoul de Peralta busy pouring coffee

The cake which cost Php 1,500 or Php 200 per slice is also best paired with coffee. One can also purchase Port of Mokha x Itogon coffee bean canister and the national best selling book ( The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers) for Php 8,500 net. at the Florentine area, Grand Hyatt-Manila ( Bonifacio Global City).

Taste of Australian Dishes at Skippy’s Gastropub

Skippy’s Gastropub is not your typical restaurant . This is a favorite hangout place for expats, millennials and those who wanted the latest update on sports. The restaurant sitting capacity is between 50 to 60 person.

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The theme is Australian and its decors are from that country. Some are personal collection of the owner and his grandfather . According to the restaurant managers, They are planning to open new branch within Ortigas or Nuvali area in Laguna province.

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collection of autographs and sports memorabilia

One can also enjoy live performances and band during weekends. and on special occasions.

DSCF7465Seafood appetizer platter – Php 490 baked mussels, fried calamares, fried squid with fries and condiment. Ideal for sharing between 2 to 3 persons.

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Smoked Bourbon Ribs ( Australian smoked ribs for about 3 hours and baked for another 3 hours ) with special barbecue sauce , fries and vegetables . Ideal for sharing between 2 to 3 persons.

Available at 300 grams, 800 grams , 600 grams and 1,400 grams. The meat is tender and marinated well. I think this is the house specialty and one of the best ribs in Metro Manila that we have tasted.

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Chicken Parmigiana (Php 450 ) house made fried chicken with two kinds of cheese , tamoto sauce, fries and vegetables.

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Chicken and Bacon Taco ( Php 200) chicken tight , bacon , garlic dressing and tortilla.

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Seafood Arabiatta (Php 350) baked mussels, squid, prawns, chili flakes with pasta

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Steaks and Fries (Php 680) strips of steaks, blue cheese dressing, Balsamic glaze, summer vegetables and fries.

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Promo: Every Monday to Wednesday from 11:00 am to 2:00 am, one can order minimum 15 pieces fried chicken wings with beer for just Php 10.00 per piece. The chicken is very tasty and very similar in taste and comparable to a well-known restaurant which specializes on buffalo wings or bonchon chicken.

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Skippy’s Gastropub used to be called Skippy’s Bar and Grill. The gastropub is in business for more than 4 years.

For more information about the menus, events :

Websitehttp://www.skippys-bar.com/menu

Ultimate Food Adventure with The Bistro Group

A 2-day ultimate food adventure was organized by the Bistro Group , ZomatoPh had invited selected bloggers and social network writers to a 2 -day of food tasting event at the Uptown Mall , Bonifacio Global City , Greenbelt 2 and 5 within Ayala Center , Makati and SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City .

The event was dubbed as ” Ultimate Food Run ” by local organizers which aims to familiarized local food and lifestyle writers at the appetizers and food being offered by the Bistro group of restaurants.

The 12 Restaurants are the Following :

Moe’s , Buffalo Wild Wings, Watami , Texas , Village Tavern and Italianni’s , Krazy Garlic, Tonkatsu by Chef Terazawa , Fish and Company , Modern Shanghai , Bulgogi Brothers and TGIFriday’s

appetizers at Italianni’s

appetizers from Buffalo Wild Wings

 Moe’s with their special mango salsa or a choice of any of the 4 salsa flavors

Starting August 15 until September 15, 2016 Citibank Credit Card users can avail of 30% off on the appetizers of these restaurant chain in any parts of the country.