It’s a little past 1:00 p.m. and I have already downed two glasses of chocolate martini—a shot of espresso shaken with vodka, Kahlua, chocolate syrup, and ice. It is, I believe, a luxury most journalists cannot afford—drinking alcohol, that is, before the editorial cycle for the day has begun. The alcohol usually comes after the newspaper has been put to bed.
But we were celebrating the Philippine Coffee Month, and that intense espresso shot, I told myself, cancels out whatever trippy effects the vodka and Kahlua may produce.
The chocolate martini is just one of seven coffee-based drinks served at Holiday Inn & Suites Makati. At Oz Bar, other coffee cocktails are Affogato (single shot of espresso shaken with vodka, Kahlua, and creÌ€me de cacao poured over with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream); Bailey’s Affogato (regular affogato spiked with a shot of Bailey’s); and Barako millionaire (a shot of espresso blended with Bacardi, Fundador, and condensed milk).
Citron Cafe, on the other hand, offers a selection of iced coffees: the sweet and minty Mojito Coffee; the Hanoi-inspired Coconut Coffee; and Lemon Coffee, which has a refreshing and summery citrus flavor.
Taking pride in locally-produced coffee, the hotel uses premium Arabica from Sultan Kudarat, a full-bodied, high grown dark roast coffee with a balanced acidity and a fuller body.
“Our guests enjoy the coffee we serve in the hotel and we are proud to say that it is 100 percent Philippine grown. We have always served locally-sourced coffee and will continue to do so as we do believe in the local industry and we want to do our part in the sustainability of local farmer efforts,” said Holiday Inn & Suites Makati hotel manager Andy Belmonte.
And for the whole month of October, coffee will be present not just in the hotel’s drink selection but in the dishes served at Flavors restaurant as well.
Coffee rubs on steak and chicken roasts were used to create a deeper flavor for the roast. The grilled chicken salad and the chili and mango zesty quinoa salad were also given a delicious twist with coffee vinaigrette. Coffee lovers will likewise rejoice in the dessert spread that now includes mocha velvet cake and cappuccino truffle brulée cake.
Holiday Inn & Suites Makati likewise partnered with the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. and the International Women’s Coffee Alliance in mounting the month-long celebration for one of the world’s most popular drinks.
PCBI president Chit Juan, however, underscored how the domestic coffee industry can use a “pick me up” shot itself not just to address supply requirements but to make local beans globally competitive as well.
“We consume about 150,000 metric tons of coffee annually but produce a maximum of about 35,000 metric tons of coffee beans. That means we import the rest,” said Juan, adding that the coffee industry can still expand with government and private sector support.
According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the government’s Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022 will boost domestic production and ensure that the local coffee industry will be at par with top producers such as Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Lopez said with the roadmap, the country is expected to increase coffee production to 214,626 metric tons by 2022.
Now that is something worth a cup of coffee or two.
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