Imagine yourself sitting by the window, an open book in your hands. The sweet smell of freshly brewed coffee lingers in the air as the barista bustles in and out of the kitchen, and pores over his pour over. It’s almost cinematic, this combination of peace and action. And in the background, music – live, pulsing, and sanguine.


If you’ve ever spent some downtime in a coffee house, you’ll know what this feels like.

If you haven’t, maybe it’s time for you to start.


The coffee music genre has been around for generations, starting in the busy streets of Boston, New York in the 1950s. It was around this time that Italian style coffee houses started becoming popular. With them they brought espresso machines, pastries, and the revival of folk music and musicians. Their slightly edgy atmosphere encouraged plenty friendly conversations among the people, making it a suitable hangout area for friends and most especially aspiring singer-songwriters who wanted to perform their originals to a crowd for a small fee. This form of entertainment became the talk of the town when it started and is still quite the crowd pleaser up to this day.


Cebu has somewhat managed to incorporate this culture into its music scene. Projects like Cuppa Folk and Coffee Music Project being examples of its continuous development.




Cuppa Folk was established in 2015 by 22 Tango Records in an effort to introduce local folk music into Cebu’s musical bloodstream. The first ever show was held at Abaca Baking Company at  Crossroads Mall; back then coffee music was a new concept that people had yet to explore, since local artists mostly played in bars beforehand.


“I remember it to be very unnerving for some of the performers because they would be singing their songs for a sober crowd and the intimate setting made them feel extra vulnerable,” said Manna Alcaraz, PR consultant for 22 Tango Records.”


One of the very first performers of Cuppa Folk was singer songwriter Chai Fonacier, who – given that place did not sell alcohol – brought her own bottle to drink and calm her nerves.


Four years later, more and more people look forward to experiencing local music with their everyday cup of java. Chairs are never empty and venues are never bare. Cuppa Folk reels in a large amount of local music enthusiasts every time it announces an event. The varied musical styles people get to experience in these shows is one key aspect in how it captures followers – it’s not just something to pass the time, it’s an experience in and of itself!


Moreover, music is a great addition to any establishment, not just coffee shops. This is because it not only sets the tone and ambiance of your business, it also influences the mood of your customers and patrons. It makes people happy, makes people sad, and – in favor of restaurants – makes people hungry!


With the continuous growth the local music community is experiencing, more and more demands need to be met. This generation of listeners prefer a more authentic and organic listening experience, opting for quality and connection over what’s mainstream. Hence, establishments that share the same values as they do get more patronage compared to the others that don’t.


So the more you opt to hire people’s favorite local artists to perform, the more likely it is for them to keep coming back and give you their support.


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