Home Brewing Workshop at The Institute for Coffee Excellence | Ohohmaia

Saturday, the day after my last day of work. Usually is the kind of day that you would see in a classic black and white film where everything starts out slow and quiet. Could be because of the pile of stress that I got through the week or perhaps because I haven't drank my morning cup of coffee? Surprisingly, I pictured this one to be a tad different since I got invited to a (coffee) Home Brewing workshop at the Institute for Coffee Excellence, and being a coffee lover myself, I looked forward to new wonders this workshop would unravel.

Before I share with you the details of the workshop, let me give you a bit of a background of the Institute for Coffee Excellence.

The Institute for Coffee Excellence is an educational institution that offers world-class training standards for the specialty coffee industry. Founded by Michael Harris Lim, the 2019 Philippine National Barista Champion, and the first Filipino to make it to the semi-finals of the World Barista Championship in Boston, USA. While sharing his advocacies in the international stage, Harris continues to carry out his life's work of creating a fully-sustainable coffee economy and takes another step by officially opening the Institute for Coffee Excellence.

Since he first ventured in the coffee business in 2001, he has been committed in providing solutions to elevate the quality of local crops and equip the Filipino farmers with tools and knowledge to help them keep up with the evolving industry. But through the competitions, Harris was able to see the industry in the perspective of a barista which made him realize that they also needed training in delivering the best coffee experience. As he stated, “This journey has inspired me to create a space to nurture the baristas and our Filipino coffee farmers.” Thus, he built the Institute for Coffee Excellence to have it thrust work at both ends of the spectrum: for farmers and baristas.

Going back to the workshop, here’s what transpired:

The Basic Manual Coffee Brewing Workshop was facilitated by Sir Argenel “Argie” Vegas. The 2019 Philippine Brewers Cup 3rd Placer, and Henry and Sons’ in-house Barista Trainer.

He showed us eccentric coffee brewing tools and taught us how to use them along with the important factors to take note of, like what type of coffee grounds and filters to be used in each tool, what’s the recommended brewing temperature of the water, how to use brewing scales , and more.

V60 (Pour-Over)

From the Japanese brand “HARIO”, the name “V60” comes from the vector 60. The 60 degree angle cone shape and spiral ribs inside the dripper allows paper filter to create enough space for the air to escape. Giving the coffee a bolder and richer taste.

*Uses medium grind coffee, and is best enjoyed on medium brew.

Chemex (Pour-Over)

Designed by a German Chemist named Peter Schlumbohm, this tool uses a paper filter that is 3 times thicker than other Pour-Overs. This is best used for intense tasting coffees like Barako Coffee as it gives it a better developed and smooth flavor.

*Grind Size: Medium Course


Photo Credits: crateandbarrel.com

Invented by Aerobie President, Alan Adler. Here, coffee is steeped for 10-50 seconds and then forced through a filter by pressing the plunger through the tube.

*Filter: AeroPress paper filter or disc shaped thin metal filters
  Grind Size: Medium-Fine/Fine

Syphon (Vacuum Pot)

Syphon brewing is rather advanced, and takes roughly 12 minutes. It’s a brewing method that’s done mostly by hand, requiring precise temperature, attention and skill.

It has two chambers where the bottom one is filled with water and is heated (by a burner or open flame), then the vapor pressure forces the water to rise into the top chamber where it mixes with coffee grounds. After that, the heat is turned off and the loss of vapor pressure causes the water to drop back into the lower chamber through a filter placed at the bottom of the upper chamber. This drop is caused by gravity and vacuum effect, which is why it is also referred to as Vacuum Pot.

*Grind Size: Medium

Among those coffee brewing tools, I personally liked the V60 because of the richness in taste it gives to your coffee, as well as it’s aesthetically pleasing design.

We also had the chance to try brewing coffee using the V60 by ourselves.

All in all, having a go on making your own coffee using these coffee making tools was what made this workshop a really fun learning experience. It brought me to a whole new dimension of the coffee world apart from the usual routine of just ordering coffee from Caf├ęs. Big thanks to the Institute for Coffee Excellence for having us!

Want to take your brewing experience in a whole new level? Visit them at Sheridan cor Pines St Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City,or their website: coffeeexcellence.org for more details.
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