W e discover a new way to enjoy a cup of coffee.
This humble specialty coffee shop made its way into the saturated commercial coffee shop industry in the Philippines.
Himawari Specialty Coffee
Himawari is truly a secret spot. This is along Tagaytay-Sta. Rosa Road but I think you’ll have to Waze it if you plan to visit since it’s not easily seen.
Himawari means Sunflower in the Japanese language. The Japanese owner, Mr. Yutaka Shinozaki explained that sunflower is a positive flower and he wants people to feel positivity when they visit Himawari. This is the first of its kind. The only Japanese-inspired coffee shop in Cavite that specialty coffee.
Mr. Yutaka Shinozaki is a master coffee bean roaster and has earned his SCA Diploma from Specialty Coffee Association’s Coffee Skills Program (formerly known as Coffee Diploma System). His great passion for Coffee made him pursue his booming specialty coffee shop in Silang, Cavite.
Himawari is just a small coffee shop. It’s not crowded and you can drink your coffee in peace. They only have a long table and four high chairs on the side. It’s like a bar set up type where the barista and the customer can interact. You can watch them making your own coffee.
What is a Coffee Bean?
Coffee beans are the seed of the coffee plant. Coffee trees produce cherries that have a seed inside. A coffee bean is the seed of a fruit, just as the pit of a peach is. Like other fruits, coffee cherries are affected by many factors such as the area where they grow, the particularities of the land, the amount of water they receive while growing or the moment at which they are picked, among others. What makes these seeds special is that, when they are processed, roasted, and brewed they offer the drink we know as coffee.
Varieties of Coffee Plants
There are two principal varieties of coffee plants cultivated for this purpose: Arabica and Robusta. Specialty coffee focuses on the Arabica variety because it is more aromatic and richer to the palate. We could say that the best coffee beans are the ones that have better maintained the unique qualities of their variety from cultivation to your cup. The best way to do this is to keep them whole until brewing.
Now, what is a Specialty Coffee?
The origin’s factors that determine a specialty coffee. There are many factors that coffee farmers must take into account to achieve a specialty coffee, from the variety of the plant or the type of terrain to the climate or altitude.
From picking up the fruits only when they are ripe, the fermentation and drying process to the roasting and brewing, each of these steps must be carried out carefully to extract the maximum potential from each coffee bean.
All those complexes in the processes that may alter the qualities of the coffee must seek to improve the coffee and not worsen it, or, at least, to maintain its quality. And all of these affect the final flavor of the coffee.
Himawari sells specialty coffee from different parts of the world. This includes Yirgacheffe from Ethiopia, Mandheling from Indonesia, Fazenda from Brazil, El Jagar from Costa Rica. They also have beans from Mt. Apo in Mindanao, Philippines.
We tried two (2) of five special coffee beans they sell in Himawari, Fazenda, and Yirgacheffe. Mr. Shinozaki taught us the difference and the edge of each specialty coffee.
How it is better than our usual commercialized iced coffee, or even our daily brewed coffee. Specialty coffee doesn’t have bitter tastes. Commercially used beans usually have a bitter taste. Because it was roasted intentionally roasted until its dark and burnt hence the taste of bitterness.
We used to consume coffee with a lot of sugar and creamer hence the demand for instant coffee. According to Mr. Yutaka, a specialty coffee does not need sugar nor creamer. So, we tried Yirgacheffe and Fazenda both without sugar and creamer. Surprisingly, We loved both of them! It has this citrusy and nuttiness taste.
Mr. Yutaka shared and showed us how he prepares his beans. With full enthusiasm, he demonstrates how he dedicates his time just by roasting the coffee beans. He carefully takes down notes of the temperature every couple of minutes.
After the beans are “slightly” roasted, coffee bean grinding follows and places them in a dripping tool. Seeing and smelling how everything was prepared makes our coffee experience unique and it really tastes better. An experience you can never get from those famous commercial coffee shops.
For as low as 350 pesos, you can have a special coffee tasting session with Mr. Yutaka. He will teach you the basics of coffee making from roasting to coffee dripping and how is it better than our usual instant coffee or even our daily brewed coffee.
This also includes a cup of specialty coffee and your choice of pastry. You can have Chocolate, Vanilla, and Macha for the eclairs and we just love all of them! Its filling has the right taste of sweetness. Coffee is indeed best paired with bread or something sweet!
Coffee Bean Subscription (First of its own in the South!)
Price: P1,000 per 100g
Himawari offers a coffee bean subscription of your chosen coffee beans. You can leave the beans in the coffee shop and just go back whenever you want to have your coffee serve until you consumed all the coffee beans you purchased.
How to get there?
It is located at CVI Building, Barangay Puting Kahoy, Tagaytay-Sta. Rosa Road, Silang, Cavite. It’s located bedside Minerva Tires.
From Tagaytay City via Jeepney
Make your way to Tagaytay Market and ride a jeepney bound to Balibago, Santa Rosa. Get off when you see the Minerva Tires.