According to the National Coffee Association of the United States, the starting point of coffee could be ferreted out from Ethiopia and then its presence gradually reached the lands of Arabia, Turkey and Europe.

Some stories state that a certain Ethiopian man, by the name of Kaldi, was the first to discover the upshots of coffee when he saw his goats become so vigorous after eating the coffee berries. The news had spread in the local community and in due course had extended across the region and neighboring countries.

The aroma of coffee had stirred cultivation and trade in different parts of the world and coffee had served various purposes over the years. In those days, history tells us that coffee shops used to be regarded as the schools of the wise for it became a venue of intelligent discussions. At that time, the coffee culture seemed to be revolving on intellectual people.

My Tastes for Coffee
My Coffee Collection

Fast forward to several decades, we can see how coffee has become more prevalent in the lives of people across the world.

This trend has spurred on certain lifestyles and cultures. I, for an instance, have always loved coffee ever since I was 9 years old. My grandfather used to be a farmer and when he comes back home at around 4pm, he and my grandmother would drink coffee together at the balcony. Then, they would talk about their crops and farming plans.

As a 9 year-old grandchild, I have learned to love their beautiful rendezvous. For my age at that time, I knew that I was not supposed to drink coffee. It was just for adults. But, somehow, there was that peaceful feeling of listening to conversations of old people that makes you want to sip coffee too! From that moment on, I have never stopped drinking coffee. It has been a part of my life as a student, as a professional, as a friend, as a person. I have carved a coffee culture within me ever since that day I witnessed my grandparent’s culture of enjoying coffee.

Growing up, I enjoyed home coffee. I was already about 17 years old when I got exposed to “outside coffee”. It was Dunkin Donuts Original Coffee! That was my first endeavor of coffee made in a shop.

Looking back at my first coffee experience and comparing it with the fad of coffee at the present time, I must say that a revolution is indeed taking place! My coffee culture back then was laid-back and minimal.

Ground Coffee-Condensed Milk-Ice Cubes
Creative 1 Ca Phe Da

Observe the emerging coffee concoctions that we have in our time now. It’s dynamic and amazing! Several years back, I only had to decide for plain coffee, brewed coffee, cappuccino, and latte. Nowadays, there are just so many to plump for!

  • Coffee Misto, which is crafted by mixing equal parts of brewed coffee or espresso and heated milk. Misto is an Italian word which means mixture. I have not tried this but I’m really curious about it. They offer this drink at Starbucks Coffee.
  • Trung Nguyen, a Vietnamese company, offers a variety of coffee creations,too. Personally, I have given their Creative 1 drink a go when I first visited Vietnam in 2015.

The smell and taste were too strong that I found it a struggle to sleep that night. This blend is apt for those who remain active at night while writing stories or designing logos.

  • Another coffee variant that I chanced upon was Coffee Vienna and I stumbled upon this in a cozy coffee shop in Baguio City, Philippines in 2015. It was too sweet for me but the whipped cream and the caramel syrup were rewarding enough!
So Rich and Sweet!
Cafe Vienna

3. There is also Arequipe (I forgot the complete name because it was written in Colombian Spanish) which Idiscovered one fine day while walking in the Avenue Mall in Kuala Lumpur. This sweet coffee mixture is from Juan Valdez Cafe, a Colombian coffee franchise in Malaysia.

Colombian Coffee Experience
Arequipe Coffee

These are just a few of the concoctions that were not present in my coffee environment during my growing up years. Yes, a revolution indeed is taking place in the coffee flavors. I’m certain that there are quite a number of mixtures across the globe and it is my dream to experience those unique blends out there! In this area, coffee culture is rapidly growing and it seems more and more blends are being invented every year.

Interior DesignsAnother proof that the coffee scene is in a vibrant mode is the interior design. Try to hop from one coffee house to another in just a day and throw yourself into the ambience of the place.

  1. Take a look at this for an example, the De Olde Cottage in Brunei Darussalam. I love the artistry in this coffee shop!
Inspirational Background
Recipe for Love

They have vintage-looking models of clocks, radio, pots & pans, plate numbers! And I couldn’t agree more to this recipe for love! What do you think? 🙂

Look at Lighting!
Look at the Paint!
Look at the plate numbers!
What can you say about the plate numbers?
The Quilt and Pink Stuff
The Quilt
Look at the Radio!
So Vintage!

Based on my observation, almost all coffee shops that I have been to have really invested in their interior design. It has become a competitive advantage for many coffee houses because of the culture of selfies and groupie.

3. Another coffee house design that I like is that of The Gallery Cafe in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Water Upon Entrance
I love the water element here!

I love the water and nature elements in this place because they give a calming effect. Beside this loch are trees and some chairs. You can enjoy the shade of the trees while waiting for your order.

Black and white contrasts
What a color scheme!

This got my attention because I like black sofas,throw pillows and dark brown furniture.

Attractive cakes for the palate
Oh the sweets!
What is it with dark wooden furniture?
Up and beyond the wooden staircase
Those chairs come with character!
These chairs remind me of cowboys and cowgirls!

What’s cool about this place is that they also offer liquor and entertainment. They have a small space for a live music performance. Unfortunately, when I went there it was early in the afternoon and the live band was not yet scheduled to perform at that time.

Good combination in one place!
The Gallery Cafe

4. Another interior design that I got attracted to was that of Cosmo Caffe. It is very much different from the wooden and vintage atmosphere that we usually see in coffee shops. This Cosmo Caffe literally paints the place BLUE and WHITE!

A Japanese kind of feeling!
I felt like I was in Japan, but, no! This was in Vietnam
Time for a cool change!
Blue and white!

the lighting, sofas, chairs and tables!

So cosmic!
Cosmo Caffe
Not your ordinary colors!
Blue and white mix is genius!

It’s sooooo blue and white and I love it! 🙂

There seems to be a battlefield in the coffee industry for unique designs. An exceptional interior spells an exclusive touch to the coffee house, thereby exerting a distinctive coffee culture among its customers.

Amazing ConceptualizationNow, different concepts have grown rapidly in the coffee world and I salute the coffeepreneurs who attempt to conceptualize creative ways to meet the coffee lovers’ dynamic needs.

  1. Take a look at this Under the Tree Book Cafe located in Baguio City, as a product of resourcefulness. Instead of just hanging out in a coffee shop while drinking coffee, you can read the books in this cafe and even play board games with your friends!
Under the Tree Book Cafe is the name!
Me and the Book Cafe
Books for your delight!
What to read? hmmmm….
Beat me!
Let’s play Scrabble!
Simple but cosy coffee order counter!
Choose from the menu!
Scruffy notes!
And yes, those are the notes from university students!

According to my siblings, those who hang out in this place are students who engage in brainstorm meetings, group discussions and last minute reviews for exams! 🙂

This is the coffee culture for university students: scruffy (in a good way)!

2. Another interesting concept is that of Au Lait Cafe in Brunei Darussalam. It is not just a coffee shop, but, it has become a venue for small family and social gatherings. There are small meeting rooms upstairs which you can use for simple celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries. On the ground floor, there is a billiard table which can be used by any customer. There is also a reading area closer to it with a small sofa set and book racks.

Let me pocket the 9-ball!
The billiard table gets your attention!
My target!
It’s always good to hit a target!

It’s splendid how the coffeee culture has been revolutionized by coffee lovers and coffeepreneurs in an impressive way. When I visit coffee shops, most of the time, the feelings that I get are that of positivity, hope, love, and empowerment. It’s really amazing what drinking coffee can do to me, to you, to all of us!

Theses are the things that coffee can do.

  • Marking papers and doing extra administrative work with colleagues…

Marking papers!

  • Discussing marketing strategies with my friends on how to sell my e-book…

  • Recharging one’s energy after a one and a half hour ferry ride travel…

  • Sharing stories about life as an Overseas Foreign Worker…

  • Bonding time with family…

  • Setting new year’s goals with existing and new-found friends…

  • Enjoying my “ME” time…

  • Studying and making assignments…

  • Sharing laughter and empowering one another…

  • and Waiting for your next flight destination…

Coffee in My LifeWith all the changes in the coffee culture around me, I am thankful than ever. Coffee has been an essential part of my life, somewhat my ‘associate’ in everything that I do.

During my part-time work days at Cultural Center of the Philippines and during late night lesson plan preparations for my on-the-job training as a teacher, coffee was ever present. When I worked in the business process outsourcing industry in the Philippines for 3 years, coffee was there to keep me awake, alert and warm. It was not an easy task to work in the graveyard shift, but, because of coffee, my job became less difficult. When I worked in Brunei Darussalam for 7 years, coffee was my constant companion in checking students’ papers, attending meetings, writing press release articles, manning an exhibition booth and releasing stress.

And astounding as it may seem, as I am writing and editing this blog article,I am enjoying a cup of vanilla coffee.

These are my adventures with coffee! This is my coffee culture.

What about you? What’s your coffee culture?

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