Barista Michael Harris Conlin to represent PH in World Barista Championship 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Brewmance is in our air, and we have coffee connoisseur and local beans advocate Michael Harris Conlin to thank for.
Conlin, the president and CEO of coffee shop Henry & Sons in Mandaluyong, was just recently awarded the National Barista Champion title of 2019, where he bested other aspiring baristas in 3 courses: espresso, milk, and signature.
With this win, he is now the country's official representative for this year's World Barista Championship, which started on Friday, April 12, in Boston, Masachussetts.
This will be the first time our local beans – specifically from Itogon, Benguet – will be joining the prestigious competition, with Conlin determined not to let its international debut go to waste.
Conlin's 15 years in the local coffee scene has seen his advocacy for a sustainable coffee industry in the Philippines grow. Aside from managing his coffee businesses, which also includes The Giving Cafe, he devotes his efforts in caring for the welfare of coffee communities in the Benguet area, having just donated a moisture meter to an Itogon co-op for better production.
He has also put up a Philippine Center for Coffee Excellence – a collaborative space where roasters, growers, baristas, coffee shop entrepreneurs, and consumers can come together to share coffee knowledge and ideas.
The three words, Kape, Kabuhayan, Kinabukasan, are both the values behind his work and together is also the name of the non-profit organization he put up to support local coffee growers and their sustainability. He sells specific brews that each represent a cause that your purchase will directly benefit from, such as clean water, health missions, and scholarships.
"The goal here is to make Filipinos become champions for Filipino coffee, to advocate sustainability for local farming communities, and to begin a synergistic relationship between roasters and farmers so that cup quality can increase via shared best practices and knowledge," Conlin said.
"I also want to nurture a barista culture that is fully understanding of the farming industry so they can mindfully serve consumers. It has been my vision to create and strengthen a sustainable coffee culture for both consumers and producers so that future generations can celebrate our local coffee as it returns to the international stage," he added. – Rappler.com
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