When In Manila and on the hunt for the best cup of coffee, you can find it in the heart of BGC at Kuppa Roastery & Café. This institute for the perfect cup of coffee got its start in Bacolod, and with its growing popularity, opened a branch at Bonifacio Global City. Partnering with an old friend and talented chef, Kuppa is also starting to be popular for the food it serves, as well as it’s quality coffee. Not a coffee drinker? No worries, they have loose leaf teas, too!
I made my way to Kuppa one sunny Saturday to sample their new entrées. What was supposed to be a simple food tasting turned out to be a long intimate affair, filled with meaningful conversation, good food, and excellent coffees and teas – which personally, is what gatherings like these are supposed to be.
Before sitting down to the meal, we were treated to a roasting demo by the Roastmeister himself, Kerwin Lo. Kerwin studied roasting in the U.S., and goes back every now and then for conferences on the art of the roast. All of Kuppa’s coffees are artisan roasts – meaning they are all roasted manually, relying on all five senses to tell when the coffee beans have been roasted just right, using the Ferrari of roasters – a Probat.
We then headed upstairs to the Cupping Room, which is great for big families or business meetings, comfortably sitting 12 – 15 people. The long table was made from the remnants of the old building where the original Kuppa now stands in Bacolod.
Sitting down we started with their sandwiches.
We sampled the Pumpkin & Prosciutto – a medley of sweet pumpkin and salty prosciutto with pesto in Ciabatta bread, and Ham & Jam – smoked ham with brie and a dollop of raspberry jam that just hit the spot.
Insalata Kuppa was a refreshing salad, perfect for summer – an organic salad made of greens, arugula, blue cheese, grapes, walnuts, and reduced balsamic vinegar.
You cannot go wrong with the classics! Pizza Margherita is pretty simple, made of Mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, but was simply delicious because of Kuppa’s use of quality ingredients – like Italian flour – and classic techniques, like stretching the dough out by hand, which gives the pizza a nice chewy base and crust.
Pizza Cristina was a hands down favorite at the table. Kuppa’s signature pizza, it is made of Mozzarella, bleu cheese, gorgonzola, and figs. A wonderful medley of sweet, sour, savory and tart all in one pizza! I swear, I can finish one whole pizza by myself!
We were given two versions of the Frutti Di Mare Pasta – once with olive oil, and another with a cream base. I liked the cream base version a bit more while the Schmuze Operator preferred the olive oil. It also comes with a tomato base.
The Salmon with Cream Sauce was excellent, just slightly underdone so the flavor of the salmon comes out – pan-seared salmon fillet with spinach in a creamy sauce made out of a reduction of the salmon head and bones. Classical cooking with Chef Rommel Hinlo, the classical cook, is… err, classically delicious!
Kuppa’s Salpicao can make for great tapas or a great meal all on it’s own. Beef tenderloin with mushrooms sauteed in extra virgin olive oil and garlic, I just love how the beef was done medium rare, still pinkish on the inside, tender, with lots of the garlicky flavor.
Their Crispy Pata is your traditional fall-off-the-bone crispy pata served with three kinds of sauces – the traditional toyo and sili, a homemade liver sauce, and apple chutney. I liked mixing the apple chutney with a teensy bit of liver sauce.
Karen Lo-Tsai, part-owner and coffee connoisseur, is the only certified Q grader in the Philippines, which loosely translates to a coffee expert – a sommelier in the coffee industry. She had to take over 22 exams in Taiwan to get certified, being able to tell what country each roast came from, and how long ago it was roasted. Now that’s amazing!
The pièce de résistance had to be the Lamb Caldereta, Kuppa’s take on the classical Spanish caldereta with a Pinoy twist. I can’t even begin to describe this. You just have to go over there for yourself and try it.
We were all stuffed and ready to pop from the feast we had just eaten, but Karen wasn’t done with us yet. We had a tea tasting to cleanse the palate, trying three types of tea: Gyokuro, Jasmine Dragon Pearl, and Casablanca Mint.
After a bit of a break and stories of blogger adventures, were treated to a coffee tasting and pairing next – pairing certain types of coffee with different kinds of dessert, and appreciating how each coffee brew complemented the flavors of each dessert.
The local Hineleban Brewed Coffee from Bukidnon was paired with an Apple Tart. The notes of the Hineleban has a fruity taste, which complements the tartness of the apples perfectly.
An Ethiopian Yergacheffe brew was paired with Matt’s Chocolate Cake. The strong, aromatic coffee was perfect with the sweet chocolate-y cake. With the quality of the brew, it is recommended to pair it sans the sugar, as the sweetness from the cake would bring out the sweetness to the coffee.
Their Ben’s Cappuccino may be small compared to your usual cappuccino, but it packs quite a punch, with the light Strawberry Kiss lending it’s sweetness.
When In Manila, or even Bacolod for that matter, don’t forget to drop by Kuppa for your coffee fix.
Kuppa Roastery & Cafe
31st St. corner 4th Ave.,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Open Daily: 7am – 11pm
Kuppa Roastery & Café: Serving the Best Coffee at Bonifacio Global City