I’ve never had trouble in proving that I loved coffee. I make my drinks using either a Moka pot or an ibrik (since drip coffee is swill), and then I limit my visits to Starbucks because I believe that McDonald’s and Dunkin make better coffee. Hell, even Krispy Kreme makes better coffee.
But Mickey D’s and Dunkin aside, some of the best coffees I’ve had in the Metro are usually of the cappuccino variety, which is an insult to my taste for the vilest, blackest liquid known to grace the lips of man. The thing is that they just taste so good, it’d be a shame to pass them up. I had the pleasure of visiting the vanguard of craft coffee in Manila. The owners were, tongue-in-cheek, droll enough to call their shop Craft.
The thing about Craft Coffee Revolution in New Manila is that their shop smells of sweet coffee thanks to Elizabeth, their roasting machine. Yes, they roast their own beans. Yes, their front door is perennially blocked by sacks of green coffee. I knew I was going to love this place right after I entered the door.
A caveat on this coffee bar: the roast they use for their coffee beans isn’t something that I like. I love Italian roasts better than their pallid City Plus roast, since the taste I look for in my coffee comes from the roast, and not from the actual bean. Don’t know what I’m talking about? See this link for more info on what coffee roast levels are all about.
One of the best things about Craft, though, is that they take so many precautions in making their coffee. I had the pleasure of speaking with the guy who owned (?) their branch in New Manila, and learned that they strictly controlled water temperatures in order to keep the bitter taste of the coffee from blossoming. The same goes for how they handle their cream and milk; the coffee is served at a relatively tepid temperature. They even have a disclaimer on the wall, saying that patrons had to request for piping hot coffee in order to get piping hot coffee. See, the longer the coffee is exposed to a heat source, the more bitter it gets. This is why cold coffee lovers prefer to cold-brew their coffee, since you end up with all the bean’s taste with very little of the bitter undertones.
While I was there, I was able to try their cappuccino, their latte, and their espresso. No, I did not drink it all. I only drank the cappuccino and the espresso. I tasted the latte. They were all exceptionally good, with the exception that I preferred a stronger flavor in my coffee. The latte and cappuccino were almost indistinguishable, except for the creamier flavor of the latter; as you can see in the photo of the latte, their baristas are well-versed in latte art, which adds a lot of value to the drink.
But I completely loved their espresso; strong and thick, the crema did nothing to keep the flavor of the coffee at bay. Their beans were sour-ish but packed with taste (something you’d expect from a medium roast), and didn’t have that characteristic bitter aftertaste you would associate with normal coffee. Some people would say that it was a bit strong, but that’s what espresso is all about. Stop drinking espresso if what you really wanted was a tall iced mocha frapuccino with all the trimmings.
If you’re serious about coffee, give Craft a visit. Not only do they sell good coffee, they sell good beans for a reasonable price, as well. And I think you can buy coffee paraphernalia from them too; I’m on the waiting list for a ten-cup ibrik, last I checked.
Craft Coffee Revolution
66 Broadway Avenue
New Manila, Quezon City
(right beside Big Sky Mind)