Attention, QC folks: There’s an awesome café you’re not paying attention to.
When in Manila and you find yourself by the Banawe/Quezon Avenue area, drive by D. Tuazon Street and you’ll find a gem of a café conveniently located at the corner of Dapitan Street, made conspicuous by a sign with a Greek-inspired font. There’s immediately a warm, cozy vibe you get upon entering, and the open bar reveals the baristas’ playground — either they’re doing a pour over of newly shipped single origin beans, pulling an espresso shot for their creamy cappuccino, or roasting local Mt. Apo beans.
Caerus Coffee does away with the snobby, pretentious ambiance some third-wave coffee shops have, and instead welcome you with open arms, whether you know how you want your latté done or not. They’ve got a wide space for a second floor with an abundance of charging outlets (which makes the crowd of medical students seen at night understandable), and a spacious smoking area.
Aside from a homey vibe, they’ve got a great playlist humming from their speakers, conducive for great conversation and productivity. The staff are helpful, friendly and passionate — they will gamely explain to you the tasting notes of each bean to help you decide on the perfect cup. When you catch Carl, the owner, behind the bar, don’t hesitate to say hello — he likes treating customers as friends.
4. Really fast Wi-Fi
After asking for the Wi-Fi password, I was surprised to see three networks named Caerus — meaning they’ve got three wi-fi networks at the café! It’s no wonder that even when the place tends to fill up at night, there aren’t any problems connecting to the internet, a huge plus for students and freelancers!
At Caerus, they’ve got an extensive selection of desserts and pastries to choose from. I recommend the Mud Pie and Kiwi Strawberry Cake. Try their orange cookies as well — the chewy pastry is bursting with flavour.
2. Great food that is worth the price
I dropped by Caerus on an empty stomach, and I’m glad I did! Caerus serves sandwiches, pasta, pizza, and meals (with bread or rice), all offered in hefty servings and are fairly priced. We ordered their meals, which come with two eggs and your choice of rice or bread. We tried their Hungarian Sausage with bread, while the Beef Tapa, an apparent customer favourite, was paired with garlic rice. The hungarian sausage was thick and well-spiced, while the beef tapa was tender, savoury and saucy with just a slight hint of sweetness. Ask for the spicy version for a bit of a kick, if you don’t mind heating things up. The tapa’s flavour was harmonious with the buttery-garlicky rice.
Pair their pastries with one of their teas: not only are they loose-leaf, but some of them are steeped with real flowers as well! I recommend the Rose Tea and Crysanthemum tea. They have Camomile as well, ideal for those who need a break from stress.
Caerus is a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe, an international organisation of coffee shops that carry specialty coffee. Specialty coffee is a step up from regular coffee, defined as coffee cultivated and roasted under the highest standards. They carry coffee from various regions from around the world, each with their own distinct flavor and notes. Conga and Ethiopia, for example, have brighter, fruitier tastes like apricots, while Sumatra beans can taste earthy and more mellow. Colombia and Mt. Apo on the other hand, can have chocolatey notes! The folks at Caerus are always ready to help you choose the perfect cup, and they even have occasional cupping sessions, where guests can taste different kinds of coffee for free.
If you have friends in the area who haven’t told you about Caerus Coffee yet, it’s a secret they’re keeping well — and now you know why.
Open daily 8AM – 11PM
87B D. Tuazon, Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City, Metro Manila