Coffee is sexy. It’s hot, full-bodied and keeps you up, and the newest coffee player in Manila comes with cute British details: Costa Coffee, the top coffee chain in London.
Costa Coffee, founded by brothers Bruno and Sergio Costa in 1971, has over 3,000 branches in Europe, Asia and Africa. It’s set to open in the Philippines on June 29 at Eastwood City (get a free Frostino Mocha Cream from 2-4 p.m., by ordering it with a British accent).
Inquirer Super was at the recent launch attended by Costa director for Asia Judd Williams and Philippine general manager Corinne Milagan.
If, like us, you need good coffee (or a cold drink, tea, chocolate, cookies!) to turn your day on, we give you eight good reasons to hang out in Costa.
1. The “handmade” coffee. For coffee-lovers, bad coffee is worse than no coffee, and Costa is careful to make you happy. We love the Flat White, a strong coffee with Cortissimo espresso topped with smooth, creamy textured milk. Cortissimo comes from pulling the espresso “short,” Williams explains.
“When you pull espresso, you get three parts: sweetness, body and bitterness. We cut the bitterness short to extract coffee the perfect way,” he says. And we agree. The Flat White is slightly sweet, even without sugar, but full of flavor.
All coffee comes from a single base called Mocha Italia. It is a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans sourced from Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, which is roasted and blended on Old Paradise Street in Lambeth, London.
2. The Frostino, or ice-blended drinks made for Manila. These drinks, which come in Raspberry and White Chocolate Cream, Belgian Chocolate Cream, Caramel Shortbread and Strawberry Pavlova, are available only in the Philippines, where cold drinks are very popular.
3. Desserts! Pair your drink with traditional coffee-house sweets such as Original London Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, Strawberry Shortcake or Chocolate Tiffin. Costa also serves sweets with Pinoy flavor such as the Calamansicle, a local lemon square, Ube Custard Cake and Mango Sago Mousse Cake—made by the chefs of Crowne Plaza and Manila Catering.
4. The flaky, buttery French croissant. The croissant comes from Brigo bakery in France, says Milagan. “These are baked at 70 percent in France, blast-frozen and shipped to the café where they are baked golden.” It is served hot off the oven: soft inside and crisp on the edges, with subtle saltiness in each beautiful buttery bite. Have it plain or pair with more butter or jam. Also available in Chocolate-Hazelnut flavor.
5. Savory café food. Costa serves BBQ Pork Buns, Chorizo and Laguna Cheese Tart, Peppered Beef Steak in Potato Bread, and salads.
6. British details in the food and furniture. Latté art featuring Big Ben, red phone booths and double-decker buses; Union Jack couches and throw pillows; a real red phone booth set up outside—perfect for all your Instagram needs.
7. The chill vibe. The place is well-lit, which makes it a good place for reading and working. The olive and red chairs suggest a relaxing coffee break. The long, hardwood table made of salvaged wood is the central piece on the second floor, which can be a table for meetings, or a space for people who want a coffee-bar feel.
We also noticed the red brick wall on the second floor, which is made of recycled lahar.
8. Good WiFi. Williams knows coffee culture in Manila means hanging out for hours to unwind, meet friends, date or get stuff done. “There’s free WiFi, and we made sure there are enough plugs around.”
Costa Coffee is at Eastwood City, Quezon City, open 7 a.m.-11 p.m.