Craft Coffee Workshop Serves Seriously Great Coffee
WHEN IN MANILA, people go to coffee shops for all sorts of reasons. To study for an exam. To hang out with friends. To meet a client. To collect enough stickers for the coming year’s planner. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.
When was the last time you went to a coffee shop to enjoy great coffee?
Along Broadway in New Manila lies a quaint two-storey coffee shop that has reached our attention for brewing some of the best coffee in town. It’s sort of a coffee lovers’ secret, really. If you’re not looking for it, you just might miss it. From the outside, the only indication of the shop’s existence is a piece of paper taped on all four corners which reads:
This is Craft Coffee Workshop. If you’re visiting for the first time, you’d find that Craft Coffee does not follow the usual coffee table formula that is, and quite monotonously has been, the mold of coffee shops ever since Starbucks happened. On a full day, you’d be required to start conversations with a “May I?” as you sit yourself in the company of fellow coffee lovers on the long cafeteria tables. During a cozy night, you might prefer to strike a conversation with the barista at the coffee bar while watching your coffee artisanally prepared for you.
The communal long table was used for a very serious game of cards.
The Coffee Bar
Craft Coffee Workshop: Making the Perfect Cup
Sitting ourselves at the coffee bar, our host and Craft Coffee co-owner Raymond So served us several of their espresso-based drinks to start our education on the Bean. Contrary to popular belief, the freshest coffee doesn’t come in pre-roasted bags. At Craft Coffee, three kilos of coffee beans are roasted every week inside the shop to ensure that your coffee is served with all its flavor and aroma still locked in.
If you love espresso, you’d be happy to know that all of Craft Coffee’s espresso-based drinks have double shots of espresso in them. The shop also doesn’t serve sugar with your coffee. According to Raymond, serving sugar is a special special request inside Craft Coffee. So I didn’t dare ask for sugar. Miko our barista first served us a Cafe Latte, the froth patterned exceptionally well – so well I didn’t want to ruin it!
Raymond (L) and Miko (R) working at the espresso machine station.
Double shots of espresso. No sugar. You’ve got to be kidding me! I took a sip, and was surprised by how smooth the latte was. Chocolate-y. Buttery. The tiniest amount of bitterness. Moving down in size from the latte to the cappuccino to the drink called Magic and finally the equally portioned espresso and milk Cortado, the flavor grows bolder and bolder as the coffee’s proportion grows denser. But the coffee was just as good. Bold, not bitter. Superb cups of coffee. No sugar added.
The Magic (L) and the Cortado (R) are two of the strongest espresso-based drinks offered at Craft Coffee Worskshop.