The café culture, specialty café and organic healthy vegetables were the main topics of interest in a recent event which sought to provide media a peek into the lifestyle and culture of Tagaytay City, that cool, balmy destination just an hour’s drive south of Manila.
The press launch was held at the Avida Showroom in Glorietta 3, Makati City. It was organized by Avida, an Ayala Land company, Ayala Land and West Serin Tagaytay, an upscale condominium project.
Jonathan Choi, president of Magnum Opus coffee shop, said “the ritual of coffee, drinking this with pan de sal, is part of our culture. And now the specialty Italian-style coffee introduced into the market has led to better coffee.”
This, he added, “is free from defects and has provenance, meaning you can trace the origin.”
Local micro-roasting started in the Philippines in 2011, and now there are more than 10 specialty cafés in the country.
“There are methods to achieve precision and consistency and (the personnel) are considered craftsmen and trainers,” Choi noted. “The brewing by hand you can do at home. The evaluation of the coffee takes into account the fragrance, aroma, acidity (not necessarily bad), mouth feel, finish and overall balance.”
Whereupon he unveiled his ritual of coffee brewing, tasting and evaluating, which he called “cupping”—on a counter were coffee beans from Benguet, Guatemala, Brazil and Ethiopia. Guests lined up and smelled the beans, moved to the next cup and, as instructed, moved the spoon over the brewed coffee backward twice, and tasted each brand by slurping.
To a coffee-lover but one not necessarily a gourmet, each brand tasted good and one was hard out to judge which was the best.
Energy and balance
Catherine Brillantes-Turvill, president of Nurture Wellness Village (cathynurture.com.ph) made a pitch for the food in Tagaytay: “There is food for every mood, good for every foodie. Thai, Korean… bulalo, tawilis. And if you eat too much bulalo you can avail yourself of a full-blown detox program.”
She raved about the kale seeds from Atlanta, Georgia, grown in Nurture: “These vegetables are fantastic, perfect for the kids. They love it. You can see the lettuce grow, it’s organic, fresh from Tagaytay. It’s different from the lettuce you see wilting in the supermarkets.”
Brilliantes-Turvill, who is married to a Briton, said “there are different kinds of food, different kinds of activities in Tagaytay.”
For her, this destination “is all about energy, regaining balance, serenity; the environment is therapeutic. It is a great destination for its many moods. It’s also romantic—there have been a lot of marriage proposals there.”
Brillantes-Turvill said she knew of one couple whose marriage was breaking up, but they decided to give it one more try and came to Tagaytay. And the marriage was saved.
There’s something about Tagaytay that creates wholeness,” this wellness specialist concluded.