Japan’s UCC Coffee Academy opens in Manila
Exploring the complexities of coffee through a Filipino framework
The UCC Coffee Academy has opened its first education facility outside Japan, which aims to deepen Filipinos’ knowledge of and appreciation for the beverage with premiere coffee guru Robert Francisco as managing director.
Located on the third floor of Uptown Parade beside the Megaworld Showroom in Taguig City, the academy offers specialized training courses for coffee enthusiasts and entrepreneurs wanting to open their own coffee shop business.
“It’s about time we put up a coffee academy in the Philippines. Without education, everybody will have different interpretations of what coffee really is,” says UCC Philippines’ chief executive officer Hubert Young. “We’re not a coffee shop as many people know of us, we’re a total coffee company and we want to send that message to the Philippines [through this coffee academy].”
“Students can expect that the UCC Coffee Academy will reflect the Japanese way of conducting classes,” says Francisco, adding that the classrooms divided into specific areas for distinct purposes are designed to promote an interactive class experience where “students have an exchange of knowledge with instructors and practice with the tools they need to master their craft.”
There are two classrooms: the Espresso Room, which has the espresso and roasting machines among others, and the Cappuccino Room where students will get to use their senses in evaluating coffee.
The first class at the UCC Coffee Academy called Fundamentals of Coffee: From Crop to Cup and scheduled on Nov. 10 is a pre-requisite in most of the courses the academy offers. The rest of November and December calendar will include classes on alternative brewing methods, Nov. 15–16; intermediate barista skills, Nov. 20–22; introduction to cupping, Nov. 24; advanced barista, Dec. 5 – 7; and latte art, Dec. 10.
The UCC Coffee Academy is the newest venture of the UCC Group in the Philippines, the company behind the successful UCC café chain. Young brought the franchise from Japan in 2000. Over the years, Young has developed multiple brands under the UCC brand. Today, there are 40 branches of UCC café in the country. The company is also positioned to further grow its business as it opened for franchising this year. Likewise, UCC in the Philippines has expanded to manufacturing, roasting and exportation of coffee through its partnership with UCC Japan. It has also ventured into coffee machine distribution and service provider through the recent acquisition of Allegro Beverage Corporation in order to cater to the needs of hotels, restaurants and coffee shops.
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