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.
The most vital thing about the single origin is its traceability, the fact that you know exactly where your coffee is from and that it’s a definite coffee, not a blend. Usually, of a higher quality, it’s the acknowledgment that the coffee is from a particular farm located in a unique setting, whilst its flavor depicts its origin, possessing characteristics of that specific area where the particular coffee was grown
- Exclusivity-no mass produced
- Direct trade increase coffee quality
- Close: Roaster-farmer communication
A quick coffee history lesson for you: back in the 1960s, coffee consumption began to grow exponentially. For the first time, coffee became widely accessible. This marked The First Wave.
The Second Wave came with an increase in the quality of coffee readily accessible. Big companies – such as Starbucks – started running coffee shops as money-making businesses. Coffee started to turn into a luxury product rather a necessity.
The Third Wave is about giving special focus to specialty coffees and giving importance to their quality, origin, and unique characteristics. They focus on using a scientific approach in farming, roasting, and brewing to bring out the very best in coffee.
The third wave of coffee is a movement to produce high-quality coffee, and deem coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, rather than a commodity.
- Direct Trade
- Brew methods
- Roat Profit ( light, dark, and medium)- affects the final flavor of the coffee
Coffee Crawl Theme: Single Origin and Fat Girls Day Out Select Third Wave Coffee Shops in Metro Manila.
- Address: No. 45 Maalalahanin St. Teachers Village East, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101 Metro Manila, Philippines
- Opens: 8am-11pm
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 socially-conscious-driven establishment. They serve 100% Arabica Coffee Beans, single origin, naturally grown, strictly high grown, hand picked, hand sorted, small batch roasted and directly traded. They do direct relationship with Sagada’s coffee farmers.
Last year, 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.
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. Space feels like I just stepped into 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.
What to Get
SGD Black, Cold Brew with Infused Milk and their Homemade Ice Tea
Read our full feature content: SGD BODEGA: THE STATE OF FILIPINO COFFEE (LOCAL)
Ella & Blackbird: former craft coffee revolution
- Address: 88 Esteban Abada St., Loyola Heights Quezon City
- Mobile: (02) 294-1633
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.
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.
Distressed wood boards, industrial stools, burlap cushions, Edison lights, and hand painted art gives the place an interesting character.
What to Get
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.
Full feature for Ella and the Blackbird HERE.
A third wave coffee shop, AeroPress method and the best flat white coffee we’ve had this year.
What makes Habitual different amongst other Third Wave Specialty Coffee? This shop hand brews their coffee using an AeroPress. The AeroPress, a syringe-like coffee device, which is a common sight in most third wave coffee shops. Making use of a rubber plunger, the method of an AeroPress is comparable to that of a French press, but with a shorter brewing time.
The air pressure brought in by the rubber plunger also affects the flavor extraction, making it more intense and improving the taste. It also lessens the bitter aftertaste in most coffees, making it smoother while retaining its raw essence.
Perfect for good knick-knacks, no traffic Sunday in Makati and it was about time to grab a cup of brew at 4 pm. Industrial and modest fixtures.
What to Get
Vanilla almond cold brew and Flat White
Full feature for Habitual Coffee HERE.
- Address: 36 Polaris corner Durban Streets,
Poblacion, Makati City, PH
Sprouted from Makati’s hidden gem and sexy neighborhood Poblacion or P. Burgos. Traditionally, it was known for years as a red-light district, Poblacion is trading its spunky reputation for seediness and skewing itself to be a place where cool is redefined. Heavily wheeled by white-collar Filipinos and expats, they infiltrate the mushrooming dining and drinking scene. Burgos is humid, has sketchy roads, one to none parking space yet its community kept on growing progressively.
Commune is café and bar in advocacy to drive communication and consumption of only Philippine coffee. They serve Filipino comfort food and light meals.
How they came to be and to what they are now is because of the owner’s passion for opening a café immersing herself in the Philippine coffee industry and has worked closely with the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI). Passionate about collaboration and bringing people together, she organizes activities, meets ups for different interest groups and she saw that space is needed to hose these kinds of gatherings. Thus Commune was created and built.
This café takes pride about locally sourced beans and spotlights its blend of their menu items. Commune vision is to be a champion of Philippine coffee and promote collaboration within and among various communities. After all, the word “commune” means to talk over or discuss. But it may well mean a place where you can have great coffee.
The people, ambiance, and ergonomics for the whole space foster you to be creative and be productive if you need to get some work done. People who go to Commune are those creative minds who need to work on their article piece, digital nomads that could take their work anywhere. It is a community-centered base where you can discuss ideas with your friends or co-workers. But at the same time, it is relaxed, nonconductive and serves as a refuge from the aggressive city and take time and drink their coffee or even a cold beer.
What to Get
We recommend getting the Iced Toddy (18 hour cold brewed) or their cappuccino then partner it with their warm fudge brownie.
Full feature for Commune HERE
BLOCLEAF CAFÉ (Malate)
- Blocleaf Café is at 1850 M. H. Del Pilar St., Malate, Manila.
- It’s open from Sunday to Thursday, from 8 to 9 pm, and from Friday to Saturday, from 8 to 10 pm.
Blocleaf Café Malate rests under Hop Inn Hotel just look for the millennial pink tower across the street, the area appears characterless and at some point, ordinary. It is an unlikely image from what is beyond this street.
However, the appeal of this quaint café lies in the absence of aggressive assertion of signs leading towards ‘hey, look at us! We’re ultra hip and global’ pretentious mimicry of coffee shops abroad.
This neighborhood coffee shop is similar to neighborhood shops you see in Japan. Their concept might be foreign in nature, but their menu is everything Filipino.
Just like what the folks over at Escolta are doing by breathing life yet again to Manila, Blocleaf goes beyond good coffee and design. We’re glad they didn’t settle for a more ‘hip’ city like Fort BGC or Makati. To be honest, these areas are too commercially congested. There is a growing interest by the general nostalgia public to bring back spots like Malate back to life. This coffee shop is a reminder to most of us that there’s so much to explore in Manila.
What to Get
We ordered a cup of hot Americano (120php) and Cafe Mocha (150php). We were pretty satisfied with the depth of flavors and how good the roast was. They source their beans from Kalsada who champions Philippine specialty coffee.
Their top priority is to support Filipino coffee producers and their dedicated efforts to bring quality coffee to market. They serve savory dishes desserts that are intertwined with core Filipino staple ingredients like tuyo (salted dried fish) and longanggisa (Filipino sausage) perfectly accentuates their pasta dishes.
Full feature for BLOCLEAF CAFÉ here.
I think it’s great how Metro Manila is embracing third wave coffee concepts has been overwhelming. Establishments like the above four shops separate the purist coffee enthusiast to those who would consider having a venti Starbucks frappuccino connoisseur. Filipinos are not settling for to-go cups with green or purple straws peeking out. A Strong hint that we are forward thinkers as a consumer and we are thinking about what we consume.
So next time you order a specialty coffee, remember that you’re playing a role in the pursuit of higher-quality products and supporting micro coffee producers.
- All list are researched for, paid for, calibrated against our CX rating, and curated by the content creators. The Fat Girls Day Out team were discreet during their visit.
- Coffee Crawl <Beta> collaboration with The Domestc Diva PH
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