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Coffee And Tea 101: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary

The Coffee Bean & Teal Leaf only selects the top 1% of premium Arabica beans from the world's best growing regions: Latin America, the Pacific, and East Africa. Their coffees are basically classified into three: Light & Subtle, Rich & Smooth, and Dark & Distinctive.


Hanging out in a coffee shop has become part of the lifestyle of many. Truth be told, it has become a habit that is simply too hard to break. There is something about the smell of coffee that calms the mind and puts one in a productive mood. One of the go-to coffee shops in the Philippines is the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or CBTL, which, from the name itself, hints that the brand specializes in both coffee and tea.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's history began in 1963, founded by Herb Hyman, who was once dubbed as "the grandfather of specialty coffee in the US." Its first store opened in Southern California. Come 1996, the brand expanded as it opened its first franchised store in Singapore. In 2003, CBTL opened its first store in the Philippines in Greenbelt 3. Today, the well-loved coffee shop has over 100 branches in the country, and is present in over 30 countries all over the world.


For the production of their teas, CBTL only harvests the top two leaves and a bud from each plant. 


To celebrate the 15th anniversary of CBTL Philippines, the brand launched its "15 Years of You and Me" campaign, centered on sharing the company's heritage story and journey. It's truly a fitting theme as many Filipinos have made memories in this coffee shop throughout the years—be it bonding with family, catching up with friends, collaborating with colleagues, or spending a much-needed alone time.

As part of their anniversary celebration, CBTL has brought back its "Mondays Made Better" promo, where guests can enjoy their favorite drinks or try new ones every Monday for only Php100. The promo started last April 23 and will last until June 30, 2018. 


Auro Chocolate is available at CBTL. It's a brand of fine Filipino chocolate made with sustainably-sourced cocoa beans from Davao farmers. 


Other remarkable years in the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf history include:

1970s: Herb Hyman decided to move their roasting facility to Camarillo and began establishing direct relationships with coffee growers.

1987: Their signature Ice Blended® drink was invented by a barista from their store in Brentwood, Los Angeles.

1997: CBTL debuted their special recipe of Chai Tea Latte, blended by hand using the finest blend of black tea, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and other spices that give the drink an exotic aroma and spicy taste.

1998: David De Candia joined the company, first as a warehous manager then a Tea Master who is responsible for the research, buying, blending, and packaging of tea.  

2005: Their Caring Cup Global Charity Program was established. This is part of their social responsibility, with activities that address a range of issues—from environment to education. As they say, "Where there is a need, we work diligently to respond."

2008: CBTL's first Giving Journal was launched in the Philippines. Giving Journal is their annual themed planner, which one can get by collecting stamps and is for a cause.

2009: CBTL has expanded to the Middle East, Asia, and Texas.

2015: They opened their 1,000th store at 5700 Wilshire, Los Angeles.  


Today, CBTL offers over 22 varieties of coffee and 20 kinds of tea.


How to brew CBTL's coffee:

1. Grind only as much as you need for one cup or one pot of coffee.

2. Choose the correct grind. Each brewing method requires its own grind. Consult the instructions of the coffee maker you plan to use to determine the correct grind. Use care as too fine of grind will cause bitterness and too course of grind will produce weak coffee.

3. Measure ground coffee to taste. Start with two level tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces of cold filtered or bottled water.

4. Use filtered or bottled water for best results. Because coffee is 98% water, impurities in tap water can negatively affect the flavor of the coffee. The ideal water temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 to 204 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Enjoy your coffee within 40 minutes of brewing for the best flavor and taste.



How steep their whole leaf teas:

Begin with fresh bottled or filtered water. Bring water to a boil. Place one teaspoon of tea leaves per 8 0z. cup of water into a teapot or infuser or place one tea bag directly into a 12 to 16 oz. cup. Pour water directly over the tea leaves or tea bag. Over-steeped tea will become bitter. For stronger tea, add more leaves rather than infusing longer than recommended:


Steeping time

Green tea: 3 minutes

Black tea: 5 minutes

Oolong tea: 5 minutes

Herbal and fruit infusion: 7 minutes



Here are more photos from the launch of their "15 Years of You and Me" campaign, where members of the press were treated to coffee and tea cupping activities:




Photographs by Grace Libero-Cruz, with additional photos courtesy of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf