Coffee: Everyone’s favorite legal stimulant

WORDSWORTH - Mons Romulo - The Philippine Star
Coffee: Everyoneâs favorite legal stimulant
Coffee: Everyone’s favorite legal stimulant

Who would think that one of the best — if not the best — coffee one could ever have, started in a small town in San Juan, La Union? Founders Lorenzo “ Kiddo” Cosio, together with friends Mia Sebastian and Sly Samonte, who was a pioneer of the “third wave coffee” movement in Manila, opened El Union Coffee in 2013.

“Our friend Mia Sebastian first brought up the idea of a starting a coffee shop, together with our friend Sly Samonte,” shares Kiddo. “August of that year, we had put together some savings and coffee equipment. By October 2013, we had opened the first iteration of El Union in what was once a tiny bigasan the size of a parking space. I was the original barista, and continue to do bar shifts, eight years later.”

Following the birth of their daughter Cadence in 2011, Kiddo and his wife Amy, who are both surfers, decided to permanently move to La Union in 2012. Amy resigned from teaching in UP Diliman, while Kiddo did most of his work online.

They have taken Filipino coffee on tour internationally several times, the most recent being a Philippine Coffee Tour around the United Kingdom a few months before the pandemic. Prior to that, they highlighted Philippine coffee at culinary events like Madrid Fusion, and tourism events like ITB Berlin and World Travel Market London for the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign led by Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat and the Department of Tourism.

But most importantly, 365 days a year, they sell local coffee varieties to a domestic audience via their Surftown cafe and online store.

And what is Kiddo’s favorite coffee? “In terms of overall impact, I love the story and flavor of our northern Filipino coffee varieties that speak of social progress for Filipino farmers.”

Here today, Kiddo shares 10 things we should know about our coffee:


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