Patrisha Kaye Peneyra (left photo), 19, began learning the coffee trade during the pandemic, opened a coffee stall with just P2,000, and is now making waves as one of the city's baristas after winning the 1st Subaraw Barista Competition. Right photo shows her receiving her award from the judges and officials of the competition. | Photos from Patrisha Kaye Peneyra

The winner of the 1st Subaraw Barista Competition, which was held at Astoria Palawan on November 9, was a 19-year-old Legal Management student from De La Salle University.

Patrisha Kaye Peneyra, a student and entrepreneur, told Palawan News that she was not expecting to win the competition because she had just arrived for her semester break and was unaware of it beforehand.

“I had very little time to practice. Late na rin ako halos na-inform na mayroong barista competition yung Subaraw Festival (I was informed late that there will be a barista competition at the Subaraw Festival). My preparation is my very knowledge about espresso calibration and coffee beverage making. I practiced only once, using my own machine and our own coffee beans, familiarizing my outline for my barista presentation,” Patricia Kaye said.

Her signature coffee, a 3-4 ounce concoction with a hint of strawberry aromatics and a chocolate-infused espresso shot known as the “cupcake shot,” was inspired simply by making the best of what was available or provided to them in the competition.

Like many millennials today, Patricia Kaye discovered her love of coffee during the pandemic. What was supposed to be a hobby turned into a passion and, eventually, a business venture.

“My goal for serving this signature drink is to highlight the flavor characteristics of provided coffee beans that we used during the competition, which is the notes of milk chocolate and wild berries,” she shared.

“Iniipon ko dati yung mga barya ng parents ko nung lockdown kapag inuutusan nila ako bumili sa tindahan, then yung naiipon ko pinambili ko ng manual brewing tools from Shopee (I purchased manual brewing tools from Shopee using the coins I saved from the money my parents gave me when they sent me to the store to buy something). It all started as a particular hobby of mine, and I became more passionate about the process of brewing coffee itself,” she added.

Patricia Kaye said that even though there are a lot of steps to making and serving different kinds of coffee, she practiced a lot and put in extra time to get into it.

Eventually, her parents encouraged her to put up a small outdoor coffee stall with less than Php2,000 capital. “It all started there. I was able to procure my own coffee machine, and other things needed for the business came out of my income being a barista,” she said.

The young entrepreneur is enthusiastic about pursuing a career as a barista due to her passion for the trade. In addition to helping others through her coffee stand, she finds coffee making to be a vocation.

“I’m very determined in pursuing a career as a professional barista because of my passion and love for the art of brewing coffee. I love the process, not just the coffee itself. And I was also able to give employment to a number of working students supporting their schooling. My goal is to serve as a channel of God’s blessings since all these came from God,” she said.