The Cravings Group gathers chocolate and coffee enthusiasts for a special event
When two of the world’s most favorite beans – cacao and coffee – combine together in a celebration of tastes, the flavorful possibilities are endless!  Filipinos are definitely discovering these two wonderful ingredients in a new light through a memorable food event dubbed ‘Crave the Bean’, which also coincides with the 27th anniversary of Cravings, one of the country’s most favorite family restaurants.
Coffee Sampling
The ‘Crave the Bean’ was made more special when Alyssa ‘Lyss’ McDonald-Bartl of BLYSS Chocolate and Phillip Di Bella of Di Bella Coffee flew all the way from Australia to grace the event with their presence, sharing their insights and good experiences with their visit in the Philippines. Lyss is the brains behind BLYSS Chocolate, a company that sells single-origin cacao beans that are prized by the world’s top chocolatiers, while Di Bella is one of Australia’s top premium coffee brands, which is exclusively distributed and sold in the Philippines through The Cravings Group’s various restaurants. 

Chocolate Queen Lyss Bartl during her talk
Chocolate Queen Lyss Bartl during her talk
Australia's Coffee King - Phillip Di Bella
Australia’s Coffee King – Phillip Di Bella
Shangri-La EDSA Mall’s East Wing Atrium transformed into a showcase of chocolate and coffee extravaganza as guests and audiences were treated to unlimited lattes and cappuccinos provided by Di Bella Coffee and its related brand, Where’s Marcel?, at the brew bar manned by Di Bella’s baristas who also came from Australia. 
 Crave the Bean participating brands
Wicked, The Cravings Group desserts specialty restaurant, prepared a desserts station with boundless servings of baked goodies like cookies, S’mores (cited as one of the top desserts in the country), choco bars and even novelty flavors like wasabi truffles and chili chocolate, which captivated the palates of gourmands who were there in the event.  Epicurious also sold locally produced products and exclusive imported merchandise on the side.
Wicked booth
Various local and artisan chocolatiers and single-origin bean retailers like Magdalena’s, Theo & Philo, Cocoa Monster, and Malagos also gave chocolate samplings.  Exciting activities such as coffee stroke portraits, coffee art, latte art, and barista cupping sessions were also conducted and participated in by the audience. Coffee Specialist Moshe Tawil also gave a talk on bean sourcing while Lyss discussed Philippine cacao and how it can become one of the country’s main agricultural commodities, with the help of the government and the local cacao farmers. 

Malagos chocolate booth
Malagos chocolate booth
Marinela G. Trinidad, The Cravings Group CEO, was delighted with the reception of the ‘Crave the Bean’ event.  “The crowd that gathered here is a clear indication of the growing interest for single-origin cacao or chocolate and coffee beans,” she said. “Cravings has always championed the cause for responsible farming and sustainable agriculture. The presence of people like Lyss and Philip is proof that they see the potential not only of Filipino consumers of cacao and coffee, but also the producers and farmers.  With Crave the Bean, the future for Philippine cacao and coffee is bright and hopeful.”
Assorted sweets at the event 
As Cravings moves forward with its 27 years as a respected and admired Filipino restaurant brand, expect more delicious things to come soon as it gears up for more exciting concepts to fulfill the cravings of chocolate and coffee enthusiasts all over the country.