5 Coffee Spots to Love in the City

Coffee houses in the metro are a dime a dozen. With every other café
claiming to make the best cup of joe, it takes much more than a
decent espresso to truly stand out. We’ve shortlisted some brewers
who are serious about giving us a caffeine fix worth raving about, and
much more.

1. Craft Coffee Revolution

Business hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Branches: Three branches in Quezon City and two branches in
Mandaluyong City
Craft Coffee Revolution is a serene spot among some of the more crowded
cafés in Katipunan. (Writer's photo)

The birth of what was once just a hole-in-the-wall coffee bar at the
corner of E. Rodriguez Ave. and Broadway could be one of the most
exciting things that’s happened for urban coffee lovers in a while. At a
time when big chains serve up overpriced blended coffee drinks to
perpetually disappointed customers, Craft Coffee Revolution enters the
scene to bring the art back to coffee making. Here, you can chat with
baristas who’ve painstakingly earned their titles as they showcase the
characteristics of the most aromatic beans roasted to perfection.

Don’t be intimidated by the snobbery that comes with having several
brewing options such as AeroPress or Chemex. You’ll be happy to know
there’s not much needed to enjoy any hot or cold beverage item on
their menu. You won’t even need to add sugar because of the natural
sweetness and balanced flavor inherent to their in-house roasted
beans. Expect to shell out PhP100 to PhP180 for a single cup.

2. Café Pronto at Marco Polo

Business hours: Monday to Sunday, 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Café Pronto in Ortigas is a great place to start or end your long day at
work. (Writer's photo)

Those who’ve previously been to Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas would
have already followed that unmistakable waft of a rich, steaming
Americano to their lobby café, Café Pronto. Armed with all the makings
of a proper coffee house, this well-designed establishment offers a
great selection of brews along with delicious pastries and gourmet
sandwiches. What’s more, the classy ambiance and speedy Wi-Fi could
easily make this joint one of the best places to while away an
afternoon.

Read: Top 10 Best Modern Filipino Restaurants in the Philippines 2016

3. Apartment 1B

Business hours: Monday to Sunday, 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Branches: One Rockwell, East Tower, Makati City; One Lafayette
Square, Makati City; The Henry Hotel Manila, Pasay City
Apartment 1B serves Vittoria, Australia’s biggest selling ground coffee in this
cozy space. (Image: Apartment 1B FB Page)

While foodies certainly patronize Apartment 1B for their consistently
delicious comfort food, the cozy resto attracts their own share of
coffee connoisseurs for their frothy cappuccinos. The place serves
Italian-style Vittoria Coffee from Australia, an espresso blend that uses
100% Arabica beans sourced from the finest growing regions from
South America. The coffee is said to be so good, it even became the
first brand ever that Hollywood Icon Al Pacino agreed to endorse.

Expect to see that covetable “crema,” the golden layer that settles on
top of your espresso when the coffee is made just right, by their
incredibly welcoming, efficient and well-trained staff. Enjoy it with
their White Toblerone Cheesecake or their Salted Caramel Chocolate
Torte for a decadent dessert duet.

4. Duck & Buvette
Business hours: Monday to Friday, 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Saturday to
Sunday, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

D&B offers signature pastry items, such as custard-filled canelés for guests
to enjoy with their coffee. (Image: Tales from the Heart)

While on the subject of good coffee, it would be unavoidable to
mention the specialty coffee Intelligentsia. First brought to Manila by
French artisanal café Duck & Buvette, Intelligentsia is considered to
be one of the proponents of what is known as the Third Wave Coffee
Movement, along with other international bigwigs. This movement
seeks to elevate coffee to higher standards and bring reverence to its
origins and method of production.

Clearly serious about their coffee, D&B proudly displays their bean bar
at the front of their centrally located space in Shangri-La Mall. The El
Diablo, a signature dark roast, is a must-try for self-proclaimed
caffeine nerds. Cup prices are a little on the higher side but it
promises not to disappoint.

5. Toby’s Estate
Business hours: Varies per branch. Visit their website for info on
operating hours.
Branches: Three in Makati, two in Taguig, one in Pasig, San Juan, and
Mandaluyong

The newest branch of Toby’s Estate is now open at The Viridian in
Greenhills. (Image: Toby's Estate FB Page)
The eponymous brainchild of expert roaster Toby Smith cannot be
dropped out of any top coffee list, be it in Manila or in Sydney,
Australia. This trendy café is known for giving its loyal customers the
complete experience, from its cool atmosphere, friendly and well-
spoken baristas to a substantial menu. Their coffee, especially the
mocha, is the main drawcard but their Dutch egg skillet, Bucky’s
brownies and calamansi (calamondin) pie will certainly keep you
coming back.

Toby’s Estate is a favorite among breakfast goers and after-dinner
dates. Even the sustainability-conscious customer will be delighted to
know that part of the PhP100 to PhP160 they spend for their caffeine
fix goes to growers from developing countries who mutually benefit
from the partnership.

Of course, this list of café haunts is far from exhaustive. But it’s good
to know that the booming coffee culture in Manila is giving coffee
lovers a lot to smile about. So whether it’s a double-espresso-shot kind
of morning or a caramel macchiato type of night, you can swing by one
of these reliable bean hubs for that much needed pick-me-up.

Photos are from the official websites and Facebook pages of featured
establishments, except otherwise indicated.