People are coming up with creative ways to make even the most mundane tasks, like making their morning coffee, a little bit more exciting and enjoyable. A perfect cool-down coffee concoction for this summer. Here’s our version of the famous Dalgona Coffee.
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Bricked wall, brass metals, alternative music piped in, Banksy-inspired wall murals, and Edison bulbs. Black Sheep Coffee at the S’ Maison is one badass coffee nook and this place would top our most frequented coffee shop where we seek shelter away from the chaotic outside world.
We stumbled upon this nook randomly on one hot midday afternoon when we are in dire need of some peace and quiet away from the Mall of Asia crowd. Upon entering this establishment the A/C is mighty strong, the Baristas welcomed us warmly, and all its table and chairs are well appointed. Moreover, the notable character of the whole place is on point.
This is coffee counterculture, London-style; a personification of the café’s mantra of “leave the herd behind’—they are the black sheep, after all.
Black Sheep Coffee was started in London back in 2013 by friends who were flatmates and decided to quit their day jobs on the same day. Co-founders Gabriel and Eirik made it their mission to challenge big corporate brands and rid the world of mainstream, average-tasting coffee.
Gabriel and Eirik served coffee from a trestle table and a rented espresso machine in Camden Town and later from a small coffee van on Leather Lane. It took two long years with a series of pop-ups throughout London and a Kickstarter campaign for them to gather enough money to open their first kiosk in Aldgate East. Since then they have refused to raise any money from Private Equity houses, Venture Capital funds, or any other form of institutional backers to preserve the independence of the Black Sheep brand.
We went in for the coffee for the afternoon and then stayed til’ late for the alcohol
What we love about Black Sheep is that they serve their coffee at 67 degrees Celsius, which is the ideal temperature for drinking, and does not burn the milk, which will then affect the flavor of the coffee.
Black Sheep is categorized as a third-wave coffee shop in its very essence, but it appears to present itself as more commercial so that first-timers are not intimidated by which is a pretty good move and that would encourage the Filipino market to embrace specialty coffee shops like Black Sheep.
The popcorn machine that starts operating as the lights, which are timed with the Manila Bay sunset. The lights are dimmed, the neon crimson lights are on, and the ambiance became extra surreal.
The café takes on a different character—the music rocks harder to match the “forgotten” cocktails and craft beer.
They can whip out a pretty decent Negroni as well.
We love coffee and stumbling upon this coffee shop was such a beautiful surprise. It is not hyperbole to say that Black Sheep Coffee is committed to serving great products in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. From free popcorn stand to the concrete, graffiti-decorated walls, this place has got personality and then some.
Our CX Rating
- Black Sheep Coffee is at the ground floor S Maison, Pasay City. Call 251 1285 and 0917 5474337.
- Follow n Instagram and Black Sheep Coffee (Manila) on Facebook.
Update: Would you like to experience this day with us? We’ve recently partnered up with Klook to provide Out of the Box activity tours like this. You may book your own tour here Third Wave Speciality Coffee Shop Crawl with the Fat Girls Day Out
To a crowd of journalists and food enthusiasts, David De Candia, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Senior Director for Tea revealed his latest creation specially crafted exclusively for the Filipinos, Paradise Blend.
A nondescript space at the back of a classic Art Deco building hailing from the Queen- Escolta. The Den is your gracious host inviting you to come ins and enjoy a cup or two of their specialty coffee.
Ella and the Blackbird is the former Craft Coffee Revolution’s (Esteban St. Branch). They just changed the name, but they maintained the same interior and of course quality of coffee is still the same. The only major change has been more savory items on the menu.
From coffee shops sprouting everywhere, distinguishing between quick-handy coffee and the fine brew has become a challenge. Most of us have developed a certain resistance to a high-quality roast, having been accustomed to the crappy ‘designer’ and ‘hand-crafted’ kuno kind that promises to give you a useless paper organizer as long as you get 10-15 stickers from them.
Quick background about Craft Coffee Revolution
These folks started really the ‘coffee revolution’ as early as 2012. When it was impossible to find slow brew or an espresso that could highlight a coffee’s origin notes.
Along Estaban Street in Katipunan Quezon City Ella and the Blackbird still stands. They revamped their signage with a blue neon cursive light slating its new name on the wall.
Distressed wood boards, industrial stools, burlap cushions, Edison lights, and hand painted art gives the place an interesting character.
Their coffee is dark roasted which yielded better flavor and lessens the acidity compound. We recommend trying their cappuccino, its served at just the right temperature is creamy and strong.
Their flat white’s pretty decent as well.
As mentioned earlier they have a full-on affordable menu for all-day breakfast, pasta salads, and crafted burgers. And contrary to the perception that third wave coffee shops are only made for the usual coffee and pastries, the offerings on the menu are quite delectable.
We love coming to this hidden neighborhood nook in Katipunan whenever we’re in the area. The place is welcoming, warm and has this certain distinct character. They have this space that serves an equal purpose. If friends like to gather at their coffee shop they make sure there is enough space for large groups and yet available areas where one can just lounge around make oneself comfortable.
No doubt that this Ella and the Blackbird will always be on our immediate top of mind recommendation to have good solid coffee and where people can stay for hours hanging out quietly on a Sunday afternoon reading a good hardbound book.
Ella and the Blackbird
- Location: 88 Esteban Abada St., Loyola Heights Quezon City
- Mobile: (02) 294-1633
Engage with us; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Coffee Crawl Theme: Single Origin and Fat Girls Day Out Select Third Wave Coffee Shops in Metro Manila.
Teacher’s Village’s Maginhawa Street that has been acting up like sell-out pop singer and continues to just give birth to mass-produce ‘instagramable’ (this has been an established term apparently) restaurants that in turn gives out a mediocre quality of food/taste. I used to love Teacher’s Village. I loved it so much that I live southern part of Metro Manila that it constantly lures me to return at least once or twice a week The Maginhawa food scene used to be decent and does not contempt to over capitalize on its patrons, but for the past 3 years due to the rise of glorified food courts or ‘food parks,’ it became a bland scene. It is slowly losing its identity. I stopped returning. But a few months ago as a good friend told me about this coffee nook hidden from view, SGD Coffee Bodega is one of Manila’s best-kept secrets. It sits quietly along side a residential street in No. 45 Maalalahanin St. The road is narrow and the neighborhood is quiet.
If you are anything like me, who will go above and beyond Manila’s traffic to get a good cup of coffee bundled with a solid ambiance then SGD Coffee Bodega by Coffee Science Center is an interesting find for you.
The best time to be in this place is when there is a light rain late in the afternoon, just before sunset, as the clock ticks into the blue hour. There is no millennial-indie pop or pretentious jazz fusion music, just a well-lit, airy space where you can study or get some work done. The space feels like I just stepped inside a Sagada home or coffee shop. Elements of wood, the course of natural light and the light scent of fresh coffee beans roasting is inviting and gives you immediately a feeling of home.
But see SGD Coffee Bodega more than just a solid ground for a neighborhood coffee hang out place aside from serving coffee they have an advocacy as a social-conscious-driven establishment. They serve 100% Arabica Coffee Beans, single origin, naturally grown, strictly high grown, handpicked, hand sorted, small batch roasted and directly traded. They do direct relationship with Sagada’s coffee farmers.
Recently, they entered and in the AVPA 2017 coffee competition in Paris, France bagging the Médaille Gourmet. The “Bana’s Coffee” from Sagada are quality-focused farmed heirloom coffees that the Coffee Heritage Project helped plant and grow a smallholder lot. The initiative focuses as well on developing environmentally sustainable and not to mention socially responsible methods of coffee farming. Learn more here.
As SGD Coffee and Coffee Science Center’s facility houses, not just the in-house coffee shop, but also in its second floor a Coffee Cupping Lab and its sensory lab. They offer courses:
- Coffee Sensory Master Courses
- Roast Theory Workshop
- Applied Science in Coffee Origins
- Certification Programs
We’re linking the official site for a more comprehensive listing here
But the coffee itself is the star. The smooth, dark coffee that contrasts well with its cup lay on their wooden table. It’s noir complexity, vibrant aroma penetrates deep into my nose. The dark liquid matter that is inside this cup was carefully prepared.
SGD gets its coffee exclusively from a mountaintop region, known as Sagada, that is much colder than the rest of the Philippines. While most coffee plantations grow robusta and liberica or Kapeng Barako that is in the southern part of the Philippines. The unique climate and soil in Sagada allow a special type of arabica to grow in the region. The single origin beans may be described as smooth, very neutral in flavor and hint of sweet oak aroma.
SGD Coffee is the place you go to when someone tells you: “Let’s talk over coffee”, or if you want to go somewhere write or finish up a freelance project. They efficiently used their space with ample outlets for laptops, high ceiling, and wooden fixtures provide a relaxing ambiance. And yes, there aren’t any rowdy customers. Their baristas are very knowledgeable and courteous. You can sense that they are there because they believe in SGD’s cause.
They are unpretentious about their coffee. You won’t see any giant espresso machine with the flashing lights, Pinterest inspired knick-knacks. They are dedicated to the coffee that they are serving, the way it is sourced that connects deeply with the farmers in Sagada.
The basic SGD black will cost you 120php (2USD) it’s priced the same with relatively bigger foreign green coffee chains you see around the country. Personally, I’d rather be spending that good old 12ophp to shop like SGD Bodega. We as consumers play a big role with the uplift of these products. Although the Sagada beans won the Médaille Gourmet Award in Paris we still have a lingering perception that our local beans are still inferior to the top coffee chains you see around. Again, the growth or depletion depends on the consumers.
There are still a lot of work that needs to done and a few more people like those who work and own SGD Bodega to raise awareness and remove the lag that we have as top coffee producers from Southeast Asia compared to the likes of Vietnam and Malaysia. For the interim, be a conscious consumer and support local. One step at a time.
As SGD Coffee and Coffee Science Center raises the quality of Sagada beans and promotes coffee education, this counts for an added chapter in the Philippine coffee story, and most especially their strong vision in supporting locally sourced products, support for local farmers and their families which, hopefully, will spark and ignite more awareness both locally and abroad.
So, yes. I will drive from Alabang to Teacher’s village to have another cup of black coffee.
SGD Coffee Bodega by Coffee Science Center
- Official Facebook Page
- Address: No. 45 Maalalahanin St. Teachers Village East, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101 Metro Manila, Philippines
- Mobile :+63 917 826 9537
- Opens: 8am-11pm
Credits for some of the materials used:
- SGD’s Official Facebook Page for the 2 (two) farm photos
- Julie Ann King/Kaitlyn Cruz/Timmy General for the AVP Link