MANILA -- Gio Visitacion and Adrian Vocalan are representing the Philippines at the Milan World Coffee Championships to be held on October 23-26.
Visitacion and Vocalan won their respective competitions at 2020 Philippine National Coffee Competition held right before the first lockdown.
The 2020 World Coffee Championships was postponed because of the global COVID crisis. But with the increased vaccinations and safety protocols in place, it’s full steam ahead for this year's competitions.
Competing for the World Brewer’s Cup is DJ-turned-coffee geek Gio Visitaction, head buyer and roaster of The Good Cup Coffee Company from Cebu. Visitacion entered the world of specialty coffee back in 2017 when he took coffee courses from Specialty Coffee Association in Singapore. His role at the Good Cup Coffee Company involves sourcing coffee beans from all over the world and finding the best way to brew them.
To prepare for Milan, Visitacion had the clever idea of simulating the pressure of brewing and presenting his coffee in front of competition judges. He held bespoke numerous Barista Table sessions in Manila and Cebu where he had coffee connoisseurs taste his coffees and have conversations about beans, and brewing.
Adrian Vocalan from The Giving Café has a come a long way from his humble start in the coffee industry to competing for the World Barista Championship in Milan. His coffee journey began with a TESDA barista certificate almost eight years ago. Back then, his passion was more on the artistic side winning the Philippine National Latte Art Championship back in 2017 and has gained quite a following because of his latte art creations on his social media account.
Vocalan has since immersed himself deeper into the coffee industry going as far as visiting coffee farms up in the mountains of Itogon to learn about farming, harvesting, processing, and roasting the beans he will be using for the competition. He is following the path laid down by his coach, Michael Harris Conlin, the first Filipino to reach the round of 16 in the 2019 World Barista Championship and the first to use Filipino coffee beans in competition. Vocalan will be using Benguet Arabica and Rizal Liberica to compete against the best coffee in the world.
For those who want to cheer for the Philippine representatives, the competitions will be streamed here.
Vocalan’s preliminary round performance is scheduled at 4 p.m. on Oct. 23 (Philippine time), while Visitacion’s open service routine will be streamed at 11:50 p.m. on Oct. 25.