Michelle Gladys Siahingco Sy
Please tell us a little about yourself:
Hi! My name is Michelle and I am a home brewer/coffee enthusiast, and will be representing my country as an Independent Competitor. During the day, I work as a Manager at the Security Bank’s Trust Department, and spend my after work hours pursuing my craft and passion for coffee. I am lucky to have parents who are very supportive of my dreams and ambitions, especially in coffee. Before I would always travel and frequent cafés for good coffee, but now it’s actually coffee that’s bringing me to places like the world stage. We have a very small coffee community in the Philippines and I’m very happy to have shared more than cups of coffee with baristas, roasters, farmers, and café owners in the country. I am very excited to be representing the Philippines in the World Cup Tasters Championship.
How did you get started in coffee?:
I initially started by visiting coffee shops and brewing my own coffee at home. The a-ha moment in specialty coffee for me was when I tasted a White Honey Processed coffee from Panama. It got me curious and thinking; the rest was history.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
National Champion – Philippine Cup Tasters Championship (March 2019)
Champion – 1st Kalsada Coffee Tasters Challenge (May 2017)
What are you excited to do in Berlin?:
I am very excited to meet like-minded individuals in coffee and to enjoy the beautiful sights and history that Berlin has to offer.
What is your favourite coffee to cup?:
My personal preference is for naturally processed coffee because of its sweetness. It is a plus for me to get notes of peaches, blueberries, and floral aromatics in my cup! I’ve recently started exploring alternative processing methods like yeast fermentation and carbonic maceration, and seeing how these affect the cup quality.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
Mountain biking and off-roading, film photography, nature, travel and culture, fountain pens and calligraphy, watch collecting and horology, aesthetics and industrial design, and lastly, vinyl and audio.
Where do you see yourself in five years?:
Being an ambassador for good coffee and elevating coffee standards in the country, helping out in the coffee competitions as a sensory judge, learning how to roast coffee, improving my craft through further education, working locally with farmers in coffee production, and surprising myself with whatever direction coffee will take me towards.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WCTC?:
First and foremost, to God be the glory for making all things possible; my supportive parents – Sy Man Suen and Grace Siahingco; the passionate women of Kalsada Coffee, who first got me into coffee triangulation; The Den Manila, who I consider as my coffee family; the boys at EDSA BDG who were my first teachers in brewing; Emmanuel Garcia, whose coffee science meet ups have taught me so much; Sherman Cheung of Crema and Cream Coffee Roasters, whose dedication in roasting coffee is unending; Richelle Labrusca, whose generosity is unwavering; and my alter ego, Alexander King.