From the dramas shown in major television networks and K-pop groups dominating the hit charts to the surge of Korean restaurants, KTVs, and even bingsu places all over the country, there’s no denying that Koreans have a huge influence in the today’s popular culture.
What’s often overlooked though is the Korean influence on the Philippines’ thriving cafe culture.
Gone are the days that Filipinos only go to international coffee chains. Third wave coffee shops or those shops that put premium on the experience and the meticulous coffee making process are slowly penetrating the coffee scene in the metro. While this is a worldwide trend, Korean influence on cafes here in the Philippines can be seen in design elements, themes, and even in the process of making coffee.
If you’re interested to put up a cafe and learn more about brewing coffee but at the same time, want to stand out from the many Western-influenced coffee places, you have to check out multi-awarded barista Soo Hee Jang’s Cooko Culinary and Barista Academy.
Soo established Cooko in 2016 after studying culinary in Korea and joining international barista championships. Cooko, a creative abbreviation for “Cook Ako”, is known for its world-class facilities and curriculum made in collaboration with popular Korean institutions. Accredited by TESDA and Korean Cooks Federation, it offers barista and baking short courses that will equip you with the knowledge needed for employment and even for venturing into the cafe business.
Cooko Culinary and Barista Academy is designed the way leading schools in Korea are designed, complete with topnotch equipment, ingredients, and teaching materials. Photo shows: (Clockwise from top left): Blue Wonder Cafe, Baking room, Roasting Lab and barista lab.
With a curriculum that blends both the best practices of Korean and Philippine coffee culture, Cooko sees to it that its students both know the fundamentals and the latest trends in the industry. The courses are taught by highly-trained professionals with local and international culinary and barista experience.
“I can bring the techniques, know-how, and upgraded knowledge from abroad – Korea, Japan, and Italy – to the Philippines to upgrade their skills,” said Soo.
Soo also shared that she wants to train her employees and students for them to be able to join international barista competitions. Soo herself has bagged multiple medals from barista competitions here and abroad. Moreover, living in the Philippines for 15 years now had her reflect on how she can contribute to the society. For her, proper education can alleviate people from poverty so she wanted to share her knowledge with Filipinos through Cooko.
“A lot of students actually came here to open up their business. Our students have put up cafes in Metro Manila, Palawan, Samar, Boracay, and Batangas. After they graduate, I still keep on communicating with them, and they sometimes visit our shop to talk. So far I think, it’s only been less than 2 years, a lot of people are already knowing their potential,” shared Soo.
Aside from the all-in-one business package course perfect for entrepreneurs, Cooko also offers various courses for enthusiasts, students, and home bakers. These courses include Barista 101, Professional Barista 102, Latte Art, Fundamentals of breads and pastry, cake & dessert, home baking, and Pinoy breads.
In addition to these, Cooko also boasts of affiliations with international establishments and institutions like the Department of Culinary Arts of Kyonggi University, Department of Culinary Arts of Won Kwang Health Science University, Korean Cooks Federation, and Cafe Infra, the leading Coffee Academy in Korea.
For more information about Cooko Culinary and Barista Academy, its programs and how it lives up to its slogan, “Cook it with Care”, check out its profile at Edukasyon.ph!