Is Cooking on Wood Fire Better than Cooking on Gas Stove ?

Is Cooking on Wood Fire Better than Cooking on Gas Stove ? So what are the differences between the two. This question have stayed in my mind since childhood.

My father and mother told me that wood fire cooked pandesal bread is more delicious than today modern pandesal. They always cook rice on a wood fire even if they have a gas stove. In fact, they only provide the gas stove for emergency purposes only, like early morning cooking and during very busy days.

One food businesswoman stated that they only cook on wood fire because Filipino love the smoke flavor imparted by burning wood. The businesswoman statement might be true because the food may absorb smoke, which is the principle in making fish tinapa. The same is true for cooking over a gas stove, lpg tank or the gas stove itself may emit some gas leaks that can be absorb by food.

wood fire cooking

For me, wood fire cooked foods like rice, broiled fish / meat, pandesal and other viand are more delectable. Your taste preference may be different.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Do we Need to Sort Out Coffee Bean Defects ?

The girl in the picture is sorting out the following:

  1. dried coffee cherry
  2. black bean, sour bean
  3. stinker bean
  4. insect- damaged bean
  5. broken bean
  6. floater bean
  7. shells and stick and stones

The job looks not hard but it takes a long time removing those defects. This sorting process is done by placing bunch of beans on table. The sorter starts by looking at it one by one and removing any defects that will be caught by her eyes.

manual coffee sorting

Defects in green coffee could make the beverage taste bitter and disagreeable. In a worse case scenario, defects could render a cup undrinkable.

According to study of Fe N. Dimero, Marvin V. Vicedo, Christina B. Hernan and Jeanette A. Saenz, sorting of coffee beans:

  • Can significantly improve the green bean quality as well as the cup quality of green coffee.
  • Complete removal of all types of defects increased the cup quality of coffee from “good” to “very good.”

For home consumption, sorting may not be done because the end cup quality may still be acceptable. For commercial purposes, sorting is a must because there is a need to improve taste quality. Adequately sorted coffee can compete better commercially.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

What is Kapeng Barako? / Coffee Characteristics

My mother used to boil kapeng barakoo as our daily morning coffee when I was still young ( now, people are indulge in a convenient way of preparing instant cup of coffee).

They are referring kapeng barako as ground coffee and the readily soluble commercial coffee as instant. Most of us have a perception of calling ground roasted coffee as “Kapeng Barako”. Or calling any coffee coming from Cavite and Batangas as “Kapeng Barako”.

Kapeng Barako refers to coffee variety Liberica.  It is different from Excelsa but most the time, they are combined during harvesting and known as kapeng makapal to coffee farmers. It is characterized by its broad three leaves, big beans and a very strong pharmacopical taste.

Due to government and entrepreneur’s  effort, our very own Barako Coffee is gaining a world-wide acceptance.

What is pharmacopical taste ?

I really do not know the meaning of this term “pharmacopical”. I tried spending a couple of hours googling but I failed to found any explanations.

The close match for the word “pharmacopical” are pharmacopoeia, pharmacy and pharmacology. These words are about medicine and the common denominator between coffee and medicine is the bitter taste.

Then, is it right to say that Barako Coffee has a very strong bitter taste ?

freshly brewed coffee and tea maker

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Best Packaging For Ground Coffee / Roasted Beans

Coffee has its optimal flavor 24 hours after roasting. It is also the right time to pack a newly roasted beans because carbon dioxide needs to escape or the package will end up in a bulgy appearance.

For coffee entrepreneur beginners, especially the low budget individuals, you may pack coffee on a low-cost polyethylene bags. However, this approach is suitable only if you have an immediate market. Ordinary polyethylene bags is permeable to oxygen and other gases. Coffee will have relatively short self life due to rancidity and loss of flavors and aromas.

As market grows bigger, a packaging that can provide better air-free environment is needed because the product may take longer time to reach the customers. For this purpose, the packaging that can provide better protection are vacuum type plastic bags, laminated foil pouch and can. Be sure that can lacquer / enamel is suitable for coffee. You may ask tin can manufacturer about this.

There is another kind of packaging that is best suited for coffee. It looks like vacuum type plastic bags, laminated foil pouch and tin can. But it has a different feature, the presence of one-way valve. This allows the carbon dioxide from newly roasted coffee to escape but prevents the entrance of oxygen and other gases. This feature makes the packing of freshly roasted coffee possible.

Roasted coffee has an approximate shelf life of 3 months. This can be longer or shorter depending on the type of packaging material used.

cafe amadeo coffee

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Mold-like White Spots / Coating in Native Chocolate, Fat Blooms

If you are a regular customer of native chocolate, perhaps you have notice a mold-like spots or coating on surface of some chocolate you bought. They are not molds, they are either sugar bloom or fat blooms.  Definitely a fat bloom in pure baking chocolate. The green spots or coating with rancid smell are molds.

Blooms may occur in two ways 1)fat bloom, cocoa butter rises to the surface and turns white as it crystallizes 2) sugar bloom, it is formed by the action of moisture on sugar ingredients.

Chocolate with blooms are perfectly safe for consumption. There are no changes in quality / flavor except for the bad-looking appearance. On the other hand, discard chocolate with real molds ( mostly green in color ) and rancid smell.

cocoa fat bloom


Diving deeper into the world of chocolate, the two terms that I said natural are becoming unacceptable. Yes, they can still be eaten but can never provide the best customer experience.

Cocoa butter plays an important role in flavor.  Chocolate should be refined, homogenized and there should be enough butter to coat all the particles. When it blooms, the homogeneity is disrupted, parts of the particles won’t have enough butter coatings, so the mouthfeel will not be silky smooth.

Same explanation is true for sugar bloom. Re-crystallized sugar on surface feels gritty.

Fat bloom can be prevented by proper tempering and storage. Keeping it beyond its melting point causes bloom. Molding without tempering also causes bloom.

For sugar bloom. Prevention is done by preventing exposure with high humidity environment. Molded chocolate out from chiller may catch a lot of moisture if the room humidity is not maintained to acceptable level.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.