Legaspi Coffee Crawl Series: The crawl that started it all
For our 2nd anniversary we're going on a trip down memory lane, back to our very first coffee crawl. We explored Legaspi Village, Makati in search of coffee shops and the stories that made them.
By Franz Domasian
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What if we open this to the public? Will anyone join?
Those are just two of the many questions Lendl, Iana and I had been throwing around our group chat days before the first coffee crawl series. I’d been doing coffee crawls for a year (mostly around Makati and BGC) when the three of us met and came up with this collaboration. It is mostly fueled by the need to maximize the experience without getting too caffeinated!
So we go back to where it all started – to that one gloomy day in July 2017 which turned out to have sparked a shared passion! We decided to open the coffee crawl to anyone who wants to join. Honestly, I was prepared to be ignored by the online world. But lo and behold an interested coffee junkie just like us!
The four of us – Lendl, Iana, Monica and I – walked the streets of the Legaspi Village area in Makati City to experience coffee in more ways than one. Our exploration led us to the below shops:
Living up to its name, Yardstick is the standard of innovation in the Philippine specialty coffee scene. Over the years, it has positioned itself at the forefront of specialty coffee’s future in the country – from introducing automated brewing techniques to offering coffee capsules.
During our visit, we got to see and understand how a Steampunk works in their open coffee space. It’s like an automated siphon brew which lets you control the temperature, time and volume all configured in a small screen. Like classic art with a twist!
We had Finca Vera Cruz from Colombia. I loved the muscovado finish in that cup!
Yardstick makes a mean flat white too, hugged in quality Acme cups. If you’re feeling adventurous, try their Black Magic – espresso and chocolate – which is a personal favorite!
They also conduct coffee classes which range from home brewing to professional barista certification.
The Curator Coffee & Cocktails
This is the place where I had my first sip of specialty coffee (back when they still have Winds of Winter!). The Curator Coffee & Cocktails used to be a coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar at night tucked inside the Cyrano Wine Shop in the corner of Legaspi and Palanca Streets. They have since grown physically and have taken up that whole corner which means they can now serve coffee until 10PM!
Minimalistically designed with gray walls, high wooden tables and chairs and a corner seat for two, it is the perfect place to unwind with a quality cup of coffee from YKW Roasters.
When we arrived, we were welcomed by Gianne, one of their bubbly baristas. We got to try Dark Matter Theory signature espresso blend as a piccolo latte. We also had their Purple Haze blend via Kalita 102. The burnt sugar aftertaste is a definite treat! Last but definitely not the least, we tasted Shako-What-o, a cold beverage made up of Dark Matter Theory espresso, cold brew and coconut syrup.
The Curator Coffee & Cocktails will always have a special place in my caffeinated heart. It is THE place for the curious mind!
Local Edition Coffee & Tea
Whenever I picture an urban escape, the windy, tree-lined Perea Street in Makati City instantly comes to mind. I love going to a usual busy place on a slow weekend – the juxtaposition of the high-rise buildings and the quietness of the street with barely a few people walking by is calming to me.
You cannot go wrong with Local Edition Coffee & Tea, a creative and cozy place with decent wifi and good coffee! They are 100% local – from the coffee they source in Benguet and Cavite, the food which they get from local markets and producers to the creative space they created for local artists. I love staying here to appreciate the installed art while sipping my flat white with an iced gem cookie on the side.
A community-driven cafe, Local Edition Coffee & Tea also supports #BookProjectManila. Just bring a book or two that you want to share, and feel free to take home an equal number.
Specialty coffee and a streamlined process. A bit polarising, yes? Usually, specialty coffee is prepared in a very manual, personalized process which takes several minutes; a streamlined process has a defined outline of work which makes it more objective and, sometimes, ignores the product’s intricacies and quirks.
Fundamental Coffee existed to marry the two – the artful pursuit of the third wave coffee experience and the efficiency often seen in second wave shops.
The bar went around the back of the main counter. On the right side upon entering, you will see a big menu board very much like the flight status board in airports. On the opposite end, there are high chairs facing the park. At the back of the bar, there are screen-like frames above small wall-installed tables for quick grabbers and lone wolves.
As for coffee, my personal favorite was their single origin coffee from Konga called Subliime – tea-like and a bit spicy!
Fundamental Coffee was a force of its own – breaking new ground on serving straightforward specialty coffee – scaling without sacrificing quality.
G/F Retail 3, Park Terraces Tower 1, Ayala Center, Makati
Fundamental Coffee has permanently closed by the time of this post’s publication.
What sets Hineleban Cafe apart is its drive to preserve our forest (not just coffee farms!). For every bag of beans that you buy, a tree is planted. You can even monitor it! There is a corresponding ID in the bag for the tree that will be planted on your behalf and it can be checked online.
Hineleban Cafe promotes local, honey-processed coffee beans specially sourced from Bukidnon. We tried a few brewing methods during our visit using the same beans. Siphon won it for me! It has a bolder texture with tastes that are as colorful as the conversations we had with the people behind the bar!
With coffee still firing up our veins, we could not ask for a better place to culminate our inaugural coffee crawl.
Treat yourself and the Earth one cup at a time!
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