Institute for Coffee Excellence: Continuing Legacy for a Beautiful Coffee Future

When I was invited for the launch of The Giving Cafe two years ago, I already saw the passion of businessman Michael Harris Conlin to use the coffee industry as an instrument to improve the lives of the farmers in La Trinidad, Benguet. His platform for Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence (FSCE) breeds fundraising programs to address the specific needs of the farmers and their families. Having learned that, it awakened a social awareness in me that while I am sipping my cup of coffee comfortably and sometimes lavishly, farmers toil hard amid poverty, unfair pricing, and lack of basic needs.

Continuing the advocacy of helping the farmers and boosting coffee in the local economy, Mr. Conlin has a bigger vision. He wanted to further educate our baristas and farmers because he believes that excellence starts with proper training and education.
“The transformation of a community begins with education. In the case of our coffee community, I believe we would have to start by empowering our farmers and baristas with the knowledge, values and passion to work towards a beautiful coffee future”, he shares. Thus, the Institute for Coffee Excellence, an educational institution that offers world-class training standards for the specialty coffee industry, was born. It’s a collaborative space where baristas, entrepreneurs, coffee farmers, and consumers can share knowledge, expertise, and best practices to achieve sustainability in local farming.


The institution envisions itself that through education, it can create a beautiful coffee future where every individual makes a conscious effort towards sustainability and commits to fulfill its roles in the community.

Its primary mission is to empower the members of the coffee community with knowledge, positive values, and passion to work towards a sustainable coffee future through education.


Conveniently located in one of the busy streets in Mandaluyong across Henry and Sons office and The Giving Cafe, the Institute for Coffee Excellence is easily accessible to millenials and office workers. Far from a conventional classroom setting in a typical school, the ambiance closely resembles a cozy coffee shop where you can enjoy a cup of brew, listen to Jazz while reading a good book. Without even learning it is an educational institution, you’d love the laid-back, relaxing vibe that concentrating on work or studies is not a hard thing to do.

The taste for decorative ceiling lights and wooden furniture speaks homage to the Filipino culture — a similarity with The Giving Cafe’s interiors.

Photo from Michael Harris Conlin
Photo from Micheal Harris Conlin
Photo from Micheal Harris Conlin

The institute boasts of high caliber baristas and educators with credible experience in the coffee industry. Supplementary to these are the top grade, state-of-the-art facilities such as roasters and espresso machines which Henry and Sons is also known for.


The Institute for Coffee Excellence had a successful launch to the public last May 3, 2019. The occasion was graced by people from the media, sectors of the government, business partners, baristas and friends from the Benguet farming community. It was also a congratulatory event for Mr. Micheal Harris Conlin, who recently represented the Philippines in the World Barista Championship in Boston. Guests enjoyed a scrumptious buffet of Filipino dishes, a live band, and an open bar overflowing with coffee, highlighting Mr. Conlin’s signature specialty —Itogon Coffee. Here are the snippets of the event:

Micheal Harris Conlin is one of the few who merges entrepreneurship with social initiatives — and he shows us it is not impossible. As long as you have the passion for your craft and the utmost desire to help other people, “coffee excellence” is surely attainable.

Institute for Coffee Excellence
Address: Sheridan corner, Pines, Mandaluyong, 1550 Metro Manila
Phone: 0917 653 9289
Facebook: Institute for Coffee Excellence

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Ohh I was there too! Lucky that I live near this and I am so intrested in joining the classes! I super loved the buffet.too, it was like culinary tour of the Philippines! 🙂


  2. karlaniiinz says:

    Cool! I super love coffee. Nakakaakit yung amoy niya grabe. I wonder kung anong feeling habang nasa loob kayo niyan. Super bango!!! Ugggh coffee 😍👌


  3. KathGraceDM says:

    Coffee school? Wow! This is an interesting institute to get involved to.


  4. blair villanueva says:

    This is a good initiative. And a good start to put our coffee industry in the map. And maybe next time Lonely Planet will include PH to their coffee destination list.


  5. Wendyflor says:

    this is interesting! husband and I have to check this out when we go home. this is important to us and I hope their classes will complement our plans.


  6. jayresa03 says:

    Every coffee lover dream is to taste good coffee. But I would love to learn more on how to make different variations of coffee here.


  7. Christian Foremost says:

    I visited the Giving Cafe once. It was more of a restaurant than a coffee shop for me. But there was a photography workshop happening that really intrigued me. Overall great place and it was nice learning it’s rich history. Gipibg to come back soon!


  8. This is great news for coffee lovers! Although I don’t drink coffee, I admire the process of making the coffee. I hope they open more branches in different parts of the Philippines.


  9. Mikhaela Javier says:

    I love coffee! My boyfriend would usually ask me to go out to have a good cup of coffee. Recently, he wants to open his own coffee shop and I think training here would be a good help


  10. May De Jesus-Palacpac says:

    Oh wow, a school that teaches about coffee excellence and sustainability. That IS passion. I would’ve loved to attend that had my coffee shop dream came into fruition. Unfortunately, hindi natuloy because my brother left the building we were supposed to put it up at.


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