(STAR) By Fina Evangelista - There’s no doubt about it Filipinos love to drink coffee. This explains why coffee chains, which serve not just ordinary coffee but gourmet espresso coffee, are proliferating in the country. Indeed, coffee making in the Philippines has evolved into a profession and an art.

In a bid to promote the local coffee beans and develop world-class baristas, the Allegro Beverage Corporation, the exclusive Philippine distributor of Expobar Espresso Machine, DaVinci Gourmet Syrups and Sauces, and Danesi Espresso Beans, recently held the 2nd Barista Cup.

Equal, the low-calorie sweetener, supported the event. The brand has been actively taking part in Allegro’s activities in promoting specialty coffee in the Philippines.

The baristas demonstrated their passion for coffee making as each cup they prepared was a work of art!

In the special concoction category, the finalists were asked to prepare three kinds of cold coffee concoctions with a shot of espresso for the panel of judges composed of chefs Heny Sison, Gene Gonzalez, and Jay Gamboa.

“Coffee making becomes an art when the human factor or La Mano (the hand that makes the coffee) comes in. This marks the difference between an ordinary coffee maker and a professional barista,” said chef Gene Gonzales.

Allegro Beverage Corporation president Leo H. de Leon believes that Filipino baristas are world-class.

For more coffee beverage ideas, visit www.clubequal.com.

Espresso Strawberry Cooler

The Grand Barista Cup overall champion Alvin Clapano of Cravings, shares the recipe of his espresso strawberry cooler:

1 shot espresso

soda water

1 oz. evaporated milk


1 oz. DaVinci macadamia nut syrup

whipped cream

1 oz. DaVinci strawberry syrup

Equal low-calorie sweetener

Procedure: Mix the first four ingredients in a glass and fill with ice. Pour in a tall glass and fill up with soda water. Top with whipped cream. Add Equal low-calorie sweetener to desired sweetness.

Banana Oreo Madness

First runner-up from the Visayas region Ronstadt Flores of Bo’s Coffee Club shares his banana Oreo madness:

1 shot of Espresso

DaVinci chocolate sauce

1 slice Cavendish banana

DaVinci banana syrup

2 pcs. Oreo chocolate cookies

DaVinci macadamia nuts syrup

2 small scoops vanilla ice cream

whipped cream and cherry to top

Equal, low-calorie sweetener

Procedure: In a tall glass, put 1/2 slice Cavendish banana, 1 scoop vanilla ice cream, banana syrup, and a drop of Macadamia Nut Syrup. Mix with a bar spoon and add one shot of espresso. Garnish with chocolate syrup and top with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream and cherry.

Optional: Lessen banana syrup and replace with Equal low-calorie sweetener. Add 1/2 slice more banana.

Second runner-up overall and NCR regional winner Crisdel Joy Punzalan of San Francisco Coffee shares her specialty concoction baco- pino.


1 shot espresso

Sweet potato (boiled and mashed)

9 pumps DaVinci butterscotch syrup

Cavendish banana

crushed ice


whipped cream

Equal low-calorie sweetener

Procedure: Mix the first six ingredients in a blender. Pour in a tall glass and top with whipped cream. For a lower-calorie mixture, lessen syrup and add Equal low-calorie sweetener.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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