This pastel minimalist coffee shop in Parañaque wants you to slow down
INQUIRER.net BrandRoom / 01:47 PM September 28, 2022
Dahan Specialty Coffee is a third wave cafe that just opened its doors in mid-June. Its interiors are minimalist, yet modern and chic. Colours are calming to the eyes, and the entire cafe is extremely well-lit, but somehow manages to exude a calm, laid back vibe. Instagram is abuzz with stories of the cafe’s delicious espresso-based blends and third wave coffee offerings, as well as a curated collection of pastries, such as hojicha puffs and burnt basque cheesecakes from Sadie’s and brownies from Buckys.
The cafe’s name is inspired from the Filipino word “dahan-dahan”, which means slowly, carefully, or to take things easily.
The concept originated from the calm weekend escapes of Sarah Tolentino David during the pandemic. “I previously worked in ecommerce and had a brief stint in fintech, and everything was extremely fast-paced. I wanted to take a break from everything”, says Sarah. According to her, weekends were more calm. There was no rush to accomplish too many tasks. “On weekends, I always had enough time to drive to a decent coffee shop, in a calm neighbourhood to enjoy a cup of coffee”. The weekends gave her the opportunity to reflect, to unwind, and to just experience everything slowly.
At the start of 2022, she took the opportunity to pursue starting a cafe; she also left her corporate job to do Dahan Specialty Coffee full-time. She reached out to multiple roasters and eventually decided to work with champion barista, and former owner of Need Coffee, Daniel Roque, to consult for her new venture.
Capturing the Essence of Dahan through Branding
Sarah wanted a different design perspective so she reached out to Knu Kim and Paco Fernandez of Re-union Collective, based in Madrid, Spain, to develop and visualise the branding for Dahan Specialty Coffee.
“Knu conducted numerous workshops and brand sessions for us. In one session, he showed me multiple illustrations of different building architectural styles and asked which one best represented Dahan Specialty Coffee. I had to explain my answer, and I dug deep to articulate my thoughts. That session helped me actualise what elements best visualise and represent Dahan”.
Knu and Paco (who both worked at Fjord) became inspired by circles, because it represented a bird’s eye view of a cup of coffee, but also signified community, and how friends can gather at Dahan as a meeting point. The colours they chose represented calmness and serenity.
Baristas at Dahan are a mix of both new and experienced in the (coffee) field. They are mostly female who are led by Dahan’s Head Barista, Misha Salud. Customers know that these people are knowledgeable and passionate about coffee and are friendly too. You may ask them more about the shop’s specialties and they’ll be happy to share with you their recommendations or personal favourites. It’s a safe space for beginners and connoisseurs in coffee alike but also for non-coffee drinkers.
Calm. Classically New. Coffee.
Dahan Specialty Coffee’s menu revolves around classics and contemporary espresso-based drinks (hence, classically new). The drinks are created through a La Marzocco Linea Classic, supplied by Yardstick. You can also enjoy pour overs at Dahan. Chat with the baristas as they make a cup in front of you from Dahan’s slow bar which features a curated selection of single origin beans from local and foreign roasters.
Coffee shops nowadays offer cocktails after dark but Dahan brings a new experience with natural wines being part of the menu. Natural wines are quite popular in Europe especially in Spain as it’s easy to drink, unassuming and fun to appreciate. There’s a generous selection of options to choose from that ranges from fruity and floral to volcanic. The best part is, drinking natural wines doesn’t give you a hangover which is perfect for those who need a drink but still need to work or run errands the next day.
Dahan Specialty Coffee is located at President’s Grove, President’s Avenue, Parañaque City. Opening hours are from 8am to 8pm, Tuesdays to Thursdays and 8am to 9pm, Fridays to Sundays. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook, or find them on Google Maps.