September 21, 2015

Celebrating the art and science of making coffee; Starbucks awards Coffee Ambassador 2015

This year, Starbucks Philippines once again honors its outstanding Coffee Masters through the Coffee Ambassador’s Cup 2015 on September 13 at the Colegio San Agustin Auditorium, Dasmariñas Village, Makati City.

On its 9th year, the competition will now include a latte art and beverage preparation competition, in addition to the previous years’ challenges such as coffee quizzes and tastings. The best coffee master will be honored with the title, Starbucks Coffee Ambassador. With a mix of artistry, knowledge and beverage creation, the competition is now anyone’s game. 

“Since 1999, Starbucks Philippines has been conducting these competitions as a way to recognize our outstanding partners (employees) who show excellent knowledge and passion for coffee. This competition provides a chance for us to nurture and inspire our partners to develop their skills in the coffee industry,” Joel Cruzado, learning and development manager said. 

As a part of the Starbucks Coffee International’s Coffee Master program, this competition aims to highlight partners’ knowledge and love for coffee. It originated when Starbucks Philippines held a friendly competition called Battle of the Beans among its partners in 1999.

As a part of the Starbucks Coffee International’s Coffee Master program, this competition aims to highlight partners’ knowledge and love for coffee.
Eduardo “Jun” Lopez, Chairman of the Board – Rustan Coffee Corporation.

The judges are Laura Elphick, Senior Regional Operations Services Manager of Starbucks China and Asia Pacific; Chris Bates, Regional Director of Operations, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific; Mark Ring, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Starbucks China and Asia Pacific; Noey Lopez, President – Rustan Coffee Corporation and Eduardo “Jun” Lopez, Chairman of the Board – Rustan Coffee Corporation.

A sip of coffee can make or break one’s day. Nowadays, coffee is not only a mere source of our caffeine needs; it is a ritual, an experience most of us yearn for every day. It is a beverage that does not only quench our thirst but also inspires, invigorates and relaxes our mind and body. 

But for coffee to be all those, it must be handcrafted to perfection, a skill that only a few possess and develop. True Global Coffee Masters understand that knowledge and passion can go a long way in making coffee. As they learn more about coffee making, they realize that coffee is sacred, therefore they must do everything to make it perfect. 

Brewing coffee is both an art and science, involving hard work – from growing and buying the highest quality beans to roasting them to the peak of its flavor and finally serving it to the customers in style. Through rigorous trainings, Starbucks Coffee Masters learn to marry the science and art of making different kinds of coffee. 

They undergo intensive trainings to ensure that they serve you a superb cup of expertly roasted and richly brewed coffee every time. Aside from handcrafting each customer’s beverage, Coffee Masters share their coffee knowledge, passion and artistry with picture-worthy latte art. 

“To prepare myself for this competition, I had to do a lot of coffee tastings – tasting black coffees and identifying its flavor profile and basically where it originated – almost every day. I studied anything and everything about coffee. And of course, I had to master the skill of finishing lattes with an art,” said 2013 Starbucks Coffee Ambassador Third Villaflor.

Ranchell ‘Pao’ Legaspi
The 2015 Coffee Ambassador is Ranchell ‘Pao’ Legaspi from the Store at Araneta Center

Her Favorite Coffee: Coffees from Africa
"Ever since I started as a partner I’m in to having my coffee on ice. Iced Espresso to be exact gradually day by day I noticed myself loving coffees from Africa as they usually undergone a lighter roast profile. I like African coffees because I can really taste their flavor more than the roast. They can maintain their vivid characteristics even over ice."

Ana Mendoza
Ana Mendoza  from Store: Powerplant Mall – Level 1 
Favorite Coffee: Guatemala Antigua – "Because I love this coffee’s soft and cocoa spice flavours. Also this coffee was the first one I’ve ever tasted during my orientation in the company. Aside from that I also consider this coffee as my silverlining."

Jeremiah B. Orillosa
Jeremiah B. Orillosa from Store: UP Ayalaland Technohub
Favorite Coffee: Guatemala Casi Cielo.  
"I fell in love with the complexity of the coffee yielding dark chocolate notes interplaying with the sweet, lemony acidity. It’s versatility with food pairing is a wonderful characteristic as well but definitely recommended to pair up with your favourite dessert."

Jason Michael Benedict F. Enriquez

Jason Michael Benedict F. Enriquez from the Store: i2 Point Bldg. - Cebu
Favorite Coffee: Iced Kenya
"We roast our coffees over 400 degrees Fahrenheit, despite that intense roast, the flavors of Kenya dance brightly on my tongue and sparkle when served cold. It is a coffee that shines through fire and ice."

Charllot “Charlie” Buenaflor

Charllot “Charlie” Buenaflor from the Store: Mall of Asia Arena

Favorite Coffee: Starbucks Espresso Roast.
"My favorite Starbucks Coffee will always be Starbucks Espresso Roast. Needless to know that it is the heart and soul of our company and the coffee behind all our coffee masterpieces, every sip of this offering always brings me back to what I love doing the most: building relationships and connections toward our customers in each cup of coffee we make; the cup of combined hard work and dedication of our company, farmers, and coffee masters that take us to faraway places, creating inspired moments in each customers’ day."

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