July 5, 2017

World Barista Champion Hidenori Izaki visits Manila for the Latte Art Throwdown

World Barista Champion 2014 Hidenori Izaki recently visited the Philippines to judge the Latte Art Throwdown held at the Coffee Project in Macapagal Blvd, Pasay City. 

The Latte Art Throwdown Competition gathered baristas from all over the country showed their creativity and passion for coffee. The event was participated by different baristas from different coffee shops all over the country. This includes some baristas from Coffee Project, Starbucks, Figaro, Krispy Kreme, Toby's Estate and from others companies.

Hosted by TV personality and foodie Xandra Rocha,  and the panel of judges includes celebrity former MTV VJ and actress and now a food blogger Donita Rose, Chefs Jackie and Rolando Laudico and Silvester “Sly” Samonte and Hidenori Izaki will choose the winner in the final round. 

The winner for the Latte Art Throwdown is Andy Abergas Luyugoy of Toby's Estate Philippines bring home his very own Espresso machine and bunch of supplies from sponsors.

The Latte Art Throwdown was sponsored by Allegro Beverage, Victoria Arduino espresso machines, Jolly Cow Fresh Milk, Lotus Biscoff, and Coffee Project.

Before the competition started, the first ever Asian to win the premiere global barista competition from 60 countries, Hidenori shared his experiences and his journey how he became a barista! "I kept competing as I am completely obsessed with [barista] competitions and attracted to how beautiful the coffee community is,” he said.

Hidenori founded the ​Samurai Coffee Experience​, a global coffee consulting company where he travels more than 200 days a year all over the world to educate people about coffee, conduct consultancy, professional barista training, coffee roasting and product development. On top of that, he also serves as a technical consultant for an espresso machinery company.

As Hidenori started his coffee journey and honed his skills with Maruyama Coffee, a cafe chain and roasting company known worldwide for buying top auction lots of coffee, especially Cup of Excellence premium varieties. Maruyama is one of the most dominant coffee companies in the world, having won the Japanese Barista Championship for 5 straight years.

Before going into barista competitions, Hidenori had his fair share of ups and downs. He was in and out of school, he also studied in England when he finally realized that he would need a formal education to thrive. During his time abroad, he was able to learn the English language while interacting with people from different backgrounds. All his experiences both in Japan and abroad made him culturally-diverse, strong-willed and a passionate barista with an immeasurable thirst for coffee knowledge.

This made him confident to compete on the center stage of the barista world which requires not only coffee mastery but also great communication and rapport with the judges and the audience. “I was sure that I could communicate with people from different backgrounds and [it] helped me so much to get a more diverse point of view for who I am,” he shared while recounting how and why he decided to join the competition.

After two years of joining the said competition, he won and received the coveted World Barista Champion title in 2014 in Rimini, Italy.

“Hidenori opened the doors for many aspiring Asian baristas who compete in the global competitions. And that includes our very own Silvester Samonte who will compete later this year in Korea,” said Allegro Beverage Corporation president, Leo de Leon. Allegro is the preferred end-to-end coffee solutions provider in restaurants, hotel chains, and third wave coffee shops in the country. It is the exclusive distributor of world class espresso machines like the Victoria Arduino which is used during the World Barista Championships.

 Leo de Leon, Allegro Beverage Corporation president
In partnership with Nuova Simonelli, the leading manufacturer of espresso machines used in the competition, Fly Ace Corporation, the exclusive distributor of Lotus Biscoff biscuits and Jolly Cow Fresh Milk, and Coffee Project, the newest cozy coffee shop chain the country, Allegro put together this event to showcase the barista skills and passion of a true champion, facilitate and exchange of ideas, and educate the public about serving specialty coffee.

After all, de Leon said “Coffee is the nectar of the gods, the life blood of offices and a tonic drink for productivity.”


Allegro Beverage Corporation (ABC) is the country’s leading provider of complete coffee solutions. It is the exclusive distributor of the finest espresso machines, brewers, coffee beans, syrups, sauces and teas from Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United States. Its products cater to hotels, casinos, culinary and educational institutions, restaurants, cafes, and franchise chains. www.allegrobeverage.com


Fly Ace Corporation is one of the leading food and beverage consumer goods companies in the country today. Propelling limitless multiple-category growth by bringing the best of the world closer to Filipino consumers, Fly Ace Corporation’s portfolio of food and beverage products includes house brands and exclusively distributed brands.


The milk loved by the whole family for its deliciously creamy taste, is also a proud supporter of the coffee making industry in the country. JOLLY COW FRESH MILK is the official milk partner of the 2017 Philippine Barista Championships and 2017 Philippine National Latte Art Championship. Jolly Cow actively participates in latte art competitions in third wave coffee shops. Thick, creamy, and comes from the free-ranged “happy cows” of Europe, Jolly Cow Fresh Milk produces milk froth that is silky white and microfoam froth and it gives your coffee natural sweetness so that you can enjoy your coffee even without adding sugar that makes it highly recommended by every professional baristas in the country. Jolly Cow is exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation in the Philippines. Follow Jolly Cow PH on Facebook for more information.


The Lotus Biscoff coffee has been a favorite since 1932 among Europeans as the perfect coffee companion. The brand name itself “Biscoff” represents the marriage of biscuit and coffee. The unique caramelized taste of a Lotus Biscoff is formed during the baking process, resulting to typical aroma components, some of which are similar to the aroma components formed when roasting coffee. What is even more important than simply resembling each other is that together, Lotus Biscoff and coffee are complimentary. A Lotus Biscoff cookie creates an extra flavour experience that is in complete balance with coffee. The magic is that neither product ever tries to dominant the other, and that their individual character is maintained. Lotus Biscoff is exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation in the Philippines. Follow Lotus Biscoff PH Official on Facebook for more information.


Coffee Project aims to provide excellent coffee and gracious service creating memorable experience for people by serving good quality concoctions of espresso based drinks and mouth-watering food, and exceptional interior design. Every coffee outlet of Coffee Project is filled with flowers and greens to create a happy and vibrant mood among costumers. With this extraordinary concept, their valued customers consider Coffee Project as the Most Instagram-worthy coffee shop. To date, Coffee Project already has fourteen branches in Luzon and is planning to further expand to more locations in the coming months.

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