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Coffee culture is usually defined as a lifestyle characterized by drinking coffee as a social activity. The formation of culture around drinking coffee in coffee houses dates back to 14th century in Turkey with Kiva Han as the first ever coffee shop. Then it spread all throughout Europe and later to the United States. With the Western colonization of Asia, the Western coffee culture also spread here. Coffee houses in Europe were traditionally artistic and intellectual centers. They became popular meeting places for artists, writers, philosophers, socialites, and businessmen. The London Stock Exchange was born in a coffee house as well as the famous auction houses,

Sotheby and Christie’s. The French Revolution was said to have been fomented in Parisian coffee houses. In Mecca, coffee houses were places for political gatherings and dissent. In the Netherlands, coffee shops do not really sell coffee but cannabis. In the United States, coffee shops were the birthplace of the 1960s youth culture and the Beats. American coffee shops used to be associated with counterculture and they were mostly found near colleges and universities. Until Starbucks came and changed all that by standardizing and mainstreaming the coffee house experience. Now coffee culture, as promoted by Starbucks, is drinking coffee-based blended drinks in a coffee shop having WiFi

access and piped-in music. Today, as Starbucks becomes a global brand, the coffee house culture has become more for show and a status symbol than a social hub where revolutions are hatched. And that is why I think Davaoeños will later tire of Starbucks and will eventually go back to our old local favorites owned and managed by people we know and grew up with. For one, nothing irks Davaoeños more than pretentiousness. It is generally considered an embarrassment in Davao to be perceived as a social climber and to pretend to be something you are not (like, say, pretending to like blended coffee drinks you can hardly pronounce). Two, Davaoeños do

not like anything overpriced even if we can very well afford it. It is ridiculous to pay for imported coffee when we have access to some of the world’s best coffees right here in Mindanao and we can help our local coffee farmers in the process. It’s the principle, not the money. Three, Davaoeños are not easily impressed by packaging and hype. We know what quality is and we are not hung up on labels and brands. Why do you think Davao is always such an “opposition country?” We are critical thinkers who are not easily swayed by propaganda. In fact, we automatically distrust popular opinion, especially those fed and perpetuated by the estab-

lishment and global corporate giants. That is why when the rest of the country is still debating on the reproductive health bill, we already had ours in place since 1997 with the landmark ordinance, the Women Development Code of Davao City. Of course, some of us would still go to Starbucks from time to time to try whatever blended drinks they tell us are hip and cool (I actually like their Mocha Frappuccino, a name which they trademarked, that I know is bad for my health). But when we do, it is not because we actually buy into their corporate press release of “inspiring and nurturing the human spirit one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

Because Davaoeños who actually drink and love coffee do not go to Starbucks for good coffee (they say it is, in fact, really bad) and those who go to coffee shops prefer hanging out in less pretentious and less generic surroundings. We Davaoeños love our uniqueness and independence. We celebrate our independent spirit and we pride ourselves in being different from the rest of the world. Being seen lounging in Starbucks through its glass walls would make us look like an equivalent of a “fashion victim” and we don’t like being victims of anything. So will Davaoeños love Starbucks? Perhaps, love, like our native coffee, is just too strong a word.

5 Things I Learned From Asking Davaoeños espresso shots About Their Favorite Davao Coffee Shop compiled by: Jesse Pizarro Boga

• ORIGINALLY, coffee was eaten. African tribes mixed coffee berries with fat, which formed edible energy balls!


1. Their favorite coffee shop is owned by someone they know or someone they are close to. If they have many friends who own different coffee shops, they make sure they go to all of them on a rotation basis. “We like supporting homegrown businesses and the fact that you know who prepares your food and drink, you feel safe and assured that its prepared with love,” says one respondent who loves Tata Benitos A Whole Latte Love. 2. Most of those who go to coffee shops do not order coffee. They order iced blended drinks and baked goods. Some even go to their favorite coffee shop for the pasta dishes. Says one: “I don’t go to coffee shops for the coffee because I do not know yet if I like coffee or not, I am still deciding. But I have decided that I like Figaro’s tuna pasta.

Another one chimed in: “I am not a coffee drinker but I go to coffee shops and Dax Café is my favorite because of the owner’s signature pasta with fresh tomatoes and cilantro.” 3. They like coffee shops with unique interior designs and homey atmosphere. “We like the interior design of Fagioli in Lanang because they made an effort to use local materials and their restroom is roundshaped, very unusual,” explains one respondent. “I love the Yellow Hauz in V. Mapa Street because it feels like home and I don’t feel like I am inside an aquarium where people outside can stare at me through glass walls,” says another. 4. They want their coffee shops to be down-to-earth and to celebrate the Davaoeño taste and sensibility. “My friends and I just love going to Kasagingan

• The rise of Islam contributed greatly to the popularity of coffee. The religion prohibited drinking alcohol; but coffee was considered an acceptable drink.

because it is so unpretentious and their creative posters make us laugh out loud. And they know that many Davaoeños love saging with kape,” one respondent shares. And another adds: Blugré’s durian coffee has become a Davao icon. Walang ganyan sa States!” 5. They go to coffee shops with their laptops to go on Facebook (or whatever social networking site they are on), not to do serious work. Davao coffee culture is still more about socializing and bonding with family and friends.

Working in coffee shops for most Davaoeños still feel like reading a book during mealtime at the dinner table with your grandparents. Since most of us eat more than drink in coffee shops, working on your laptop while eating seems disrespectful to the food. And food is sacred to Davaoeños. Besides, why waste your coffee break and the free WiFi on workrelated stuff?


• Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth (oil is the first). • The Philippines is a relatively small coffee producer with output less than one percent of global production.

Zabadani Cafe is located in Ponciano Reyes Street (near Tesoro’s Printing Press), this city. Like their Facebook page: Zabadanicafe


Be one of the first to try Zabadani’s newest spiced coffee mixtures: Arabic and Yemeni coffee. Arabic coffee is a premium roast arabica, brewed with a pungent, intense and sweet spice; while Yemeni Coffee consists of 80% Arabica and 20% Robusta brewed with pungent and bitter orange and ginger notes. Just like the Mindanao Times Facebook page and tell us why you love coffee. The winner will be announced next week. MindanaoTimes Congratulations to May Che Capili for winning last weekend’s contest. We loved how she spent her week: to spend some sweet time baby sitting a child for extra bucks. Drop by the editorial office to claim your prize.

Sources: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN Report

• In the years 2010-2011 imports of coffee beans are expected to decline, but will still remain at over half of total supply due to limited domestic production.

By: Jesse Pizarro Boga

Daybreak band, Rhythmic Illusions dance troup brought down the house in Globe’s SUPERPARTY last Saturday at the Matina Gym of the University of Mindanao. TV host Rovic Cuasito also upped the antics with crazy dance moves and games with the crowd. Too bad this writer didn’t get to join the backstage presscon with Vice Ganda. Pfft!

• Coffee is generally considered to be a household staple even among the lower economic classes. • Soluble or instant coffee accounts for about 90 percent of all the coffee consumed in the Philippines. • The booming BPO industry which has long and varied operating hours from the normal Philippine workforce is also expected to contribute to the increase in coffee consumption.

Philippine national hero Jose Rizal will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth tomorrow. Join the celebration and install the psychedelic Google Chrome theme on your browser! It is designed by clothing and lifestyle brand with Team Manila in honor of the national hero. Download it from: teammanilachrome

Get your caffeine fix here BY JESSE PIZARRO BOGA

MORE coffee shops and restaurants continue to appear and open doors in the Abreeza mall this city. This can only mean one thing: there is a massive number of caffeine hungry and dessert loving people in Davao City. Aside from the hip Starbucks, more coffee houses branched out in the mall.

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Pepsi’s new TV ad Sa Akin ang Pinas got us laughing out loud. We love how they hilariously parodized the concept of classic Pinoy action films. The ad is in line with their limited edition Pepsi variation called Pepsi Pinas. The ad follows SP061 Alvarez as he chases Boy Balbon, who appears to be the antagonist. Both cleverly used bitter gourds as guns, and hilariously threw classic Pinoy movie lines (and cliches) at each other. Their TV ad and Facebook pages hints on Pepsi Ayos Pinas’ future projects; visit

• The Philippines is a net coffee importer.

• Coffee is grown in the Bean Belt, the stretch of area in the Equator between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. • The Philippines, which lies in the Bean Belt can grow four varieties of coffee: Arabica, Excelsa, Liberica and Robusta.

Zabadani’s layered coffee has always found a place in our hearts (and stomachs). Aside from the visual pleasure (yes, we enjoy staring at the layers of coffee, milk and chocolate syrup in the glass cup), we enjoy the warmth and comfort the drink brings us. This Islamic restaurant also serves Syrian, Arabian, and Mediterranean fares.

CONTEST: coffee for two

This includes Bos Coffee, which recently opened its 49th branch in Level 2 of Abreeza. The place houses Bo’s Coffee’s signature coffee and non-coffee beverages for those in need of a caffeine fix or warm and homey cups. Cakes and pastries also await everyone’s sweet tooth. Bo’s Coffee also serves pasta, all-day break-

fast fares and their famous Durian Froccino and Freeze. For coffee lovers whose preferences are not limited to warm brews in cups, there is also Chicco di Caffe, Davao’s homegrown coffee shop. Their newly opened branch (6th in Davao and 9th in the entire country), located in the Robinsons Supermarket, houses their range of coffee products and mixtures; and their unique specialty dessert and banner product of the coffee shop: the coffee halo-halo. Chicco’s master barista, Abraham Rojas, who graduated from the American Barista and Coffee School in Portland, Oregon, USA, is the brain behind the revamped Filipino dessert.

Instead of ordinary ice, flakes of iced coffee mixture is used as the base of the halo-halo. The flavors and textures of the toppings seemed new to our taste because of the coffee garnishes: jelly, ice cream, and powder. The result: an interesting contrast of bitter-sweet flavors in our mouth. Blugré Coffee turns 13 this year! To celebrate, Blugré is offering a buy one take one promo today for one of its signature drinks,

the Larcepuccino, an iceblended drink served with coffee, cream or juice. Surprises also await those who order classic favorites like mocha, Oreo, choco loco or cookies and cream drinks. Blugré Coffee was founded in 1998 by husband and wife tandem Gatchi and Larcy Gatchalian. Visit their different branches: Blugré Coffee Landco, Blugré Coffee Matina Town Square and Blugré Coffee SM City Davao.

The Island Garden City of Samal is one of the three places in the world to be included in a climate adaptation program funded by the European Union. The program, entitled “Implementing Climate Adaptation Strategies in the World’s Most Outstanding Natural Places” spans three countries: Colombia, Madagascar, and the Philippines. This project tells us one thing: our region is lucky to have a wealth of natural resources, and we should join hands and be responsible to preserve it from the threats of climate change.

Davao Coffee Culture  

Mindanao Times Lifestyle Team celebrates Davao coffee culture on its June 18, 2011 issue.

Davao Coffee Culture  

Mindanao Times Lifestyle Team celebrates Davao coffee culture on its June 18, 2011 issue.