Surface energy quantifies the disruption of chemical bonds that occurs when a surface is created. It is the interaction between the forces of cohesion and the forces of adhesion which determines whether or not wetting, i.e. the spreading of a liquid over a surface occurs.
If complete wetting does not occur, then a bead of liquid will form with a contact angle which is a function of the surface energies of the system. If the surface is hydrophobic then the contact angle of a drop of water will be larger. If the surface is hydrophilic then the contact angle will be smaller.