There I was standing in front of their booth, perusing their goods, and I was offered a cup of awesome. It was love at first sip, that rich coffee flavor still dominant over the sugar and cream that I messed it with. I'm no coffee geek but I believe I know good coffee when I taste one (most of the time at least), and this one was definitely good. This was validated when a friend sampled a cup after I blabbed about how good it was and he basically shared my opinion.
The Brownbag Coffee Solutions booth at Blogapalooza 2013.
Spilling the beans
Brownbag's main man Enrico Curioso, who curiously picked "Chief Caffeine Junkie" as his job title, gave me the lowdown on the company and everything coffee. Let's just say he "spilled the beans on me." Well, they basically have four variants that revolve on only two types of coffee beans: arabica and robusta, labeled, or rather, numbered, according to strength.
v.0 - The decaffeinated option made from 100% arabica beans (Php 360)
v.1 - The mildest caffeinated variant, still 100% arabica but with all of its caffeine content intact (Php 270)
v.2 - The middle child of the bunch, a blend of arabica and robusta, and their best seller, I was told. This was also the one I got to taste at the event (Php 230).
v.3 - The strongest variant, made from 100% pure robusta beans (Php 210).
It is also worth highlighting that Brownbag is as local and as Pinoy as it can get, with all of its beans sourced locally from farmers in Benguet and Davao. Now ain't that great or what? I mean, here is a local business that supports other local businesses. And yes, locally grown coffee can be just as great as those sourced abroad.
And in case you'll go looking for a cafe or something somewhere, Brownbag does not have its own coffee shop or even a physical store. Actually, they cater primarily to other businesses like Cyma, for instance, by taking care of their coffee needs. Apart from the beans, they also supply the machine and other technical know-how. They can even supply your coffee at your office. That explains the "solutions" in Brownbag Coffee Solutions.
Luckily for the rest of us who don't own restaurants, though, they have now branched into retail via a Brownbag online store. They sell both beans and ground coffee in 250-gram foil-laminated paper bags, which retail for anywhere between Php 210 to Php 360, depending on the variant. They make for really good gifts, by the way, especially this Christmas. Apart from individual and duo packs with ribbon and gift tag, they also have items packaged in really cute wooden crates.
"The Christmas Three" features all three caffeinated variants in one box (Php 995).
"The Whole Nine Yards" contains all four variants plus a coffee press (Php 1,995).
So what else are you waiting for? Give something local but that's really awesome a try now! You won't be disappointed.
Official website: www.brownbagcoffeesolutions.com