Scout Coffee Crawl Series: See where joining a coffee crawl can lead you
The QC Scout Coffee Crawl Series takes on the streets of Tomas Morato and its Scouts for the best coffee on this side of town.
by Audrey C. Alegre
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I love coffee and I love spending time in nice cafes. My coffee experiences are documented in my Instagram account. I was scrolling through Instagram when I chanced upon @CoffeeCrawlerPH’s post about their inaugural coffee crawl in Legaspi Village, Makati City. The crawl was called Coffee Crawl Series and in the caption it said “… let us know if you want to join the next crawl…” And so I did. I direct messaged CoffeeCrawlerPH through Instagram, and my message was specific. It read, “I would be interested to join if ever you do one in Quezon City”.
I’m from the North and I did not want to go all the way to the South just to have coffee with a bunch of strangers. I just wanted to learn more about coffee and to have a better appreciation for it.
As luck would have it, the next crawl was in Quezon City. A few weeks later, I found myself at my first ever group coffee crawl. It was like going on a blind date, on a Saturday morning. I had no idea how CoffeeCrawlerPH looked like. I did not know what the group demographic was going to be like.
Meeting place was at Stockwell Café & Lounge, the first stop of the crawl. As I entered Stockwell, I was greeted by a very warm welcoming smile. The smile belonged to CoffeeCrawlerPH. His name is Franz. I met the other two organizers of the crawl, too. Equally welcoming were Lendl and Iana. There were six other participants. The millennials outnumbered the gen-Xers, but all had a chill and friendly aura. After a short introduction and sharing of each one’s coffee journey, we were all ready to start the coffee-filled day.
Manual Brewing at Stockwell Café & Lounge (Scout Tobias)
Stockwell Café & Lounge is a third-wave café and wine lounge. There we sampled three local beans brewed in different ways – Aeropress for Matutum beans, siphon for Kapatagan beans, and flat bottom for Benguet beans. We were able to watch the barista up close skillfully prepare the coffee for each of the three different brewing methods.
We were only at our first stop and already I learned so much. I learned that there is an appropriate grind size to use for each brewing method and that each brewing method produces different taste profiles. The crawl was looking good.
We also got to try other coffee concoctions like Stockwell Sub-zero which is iced coffee cubes with warm milk served on the side that you pour on the iced coffee cubes. We had Stockwell 50/50 that was decorated with a cute panda stencil art. We were told that both of these unique drinks had a secret ingredient. Whatever it was, it was definitely something that would make you order these drinks again.
We had a delicious lunch at Stockwell before proceeding to the next stop.
Gelato at Afters Espresso & Dessert (Tomas Morato)
Afters Espresso & Dessert was the perfect next stop after a good meal.
We had a taste of three of their gelato flavors. We had Salted Caramel, Chocolate, & Pistachio. The gelatos were so good that I almost forgot that we were there for the coffee. But then again, the gelatos and the coffee did not have to compete for my attention, especially since Afters also has affogato, quality espresso poured over Tahitian ice cream.
Aside from the usual espresso based drinks, they also serve slow brewed single-origin coffee.
After we had our fill of the best gelatos and of premium coffee, we were ready for our next stop.
Cupping at The Brewology Café (Scout Lazcano)
The third and final stop was at The Brewology Café. It was around 5pm already by this time. But we were all still up and about, eager to learn some more & taste more coffee.
Cupping, or “the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee” was our last activity for the day. We cupped 4 single-origin coffees (Ethiopia, Rwanda, Guatemala, Colombia) and one blend (Colombia-Brazil blend), all roasted by Crema & Cream Coffee Roasters.
The Brewology Café gave each one of us a print out of the Coffee Flavor Wheel for us to use as reference as we try to identify the different flavors that we taste as we do our cupping. I thought to myself, what a nice souvenir from my first group coffee crawl.
To cap off the crawl, we had some of the café’s delicious desserts as we chatted about what we discovered about coffee that day.
Since my first coffee crawl with Coffee Crawl Series in 2017, it has led me all the way to Poblacion, to BGC, to Alabang, which are all in the South just to join Coffee Crawl Series. The crawl has led me to meet and to learn about brewing methods, grind size, coffee origins, and much more, from passionate café owners, barista champions, coffee geeks, and industry experts. It has led me to gain a better appreciation of the farm to cup journey. It has led me to advocate Philippine coffee and support Philippine coffee farmers. Best of all, it has led me to find my tribe. A group of fellow coffee enthusiasts whom I can easily relate with.
So how about joining our next coffee crawl? You’ll never know where it could lead you.