Malaysian brand brews specialty coffee as a necessity rather than luxury | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Malaysian brand brews specialty coffee as a necessity rather than luxury

If the contention is right that people are bound to behave by necessity, then Plato’s famous proverb that says “necessity is the mother of invention” holds true for ZUS Coffee. Although this brand’s inception happened in Malaysia in 2019, the brewing began not in a single specific location but in an innovative app, which was inspired by the founders’ dream to revolutionize specialty coffee—that is not, in any way, bound by price tag nor location—and make it a tech-driven necessity.

And good news for all Pinoy coffee lovers, ZUS Coffee is now percolating in the Philippines!

“ZUS Coffee is a necessity, not a luxury, which is a driving factor for us to tirelessly make specialty coffee accessible from the perspective of price point, taste, and location”, emphasizes Venon Tian, COO of ZUS Coffee. Tian spearheaded the official launch of ZUS Coffee in the country, simultaneous with the opening of its newest branch in SM Makati recently. Joining him for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting were Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Dato’ Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino; ZUS’ Head of Barista Terence Ho; Director of Strategic Investor Janica Lao; and Philippines Country Manager, Correne Chen.

Zus coffee  Zus coffee

Specialty drink for every ZUSsie

While ZUS Coffee appeals to the millennials to the Gen-Zs because of its young, spirited vibe, it is also known for affordable yet quality beverages and snacks for coffee savants they call “ZUSsie”. The menu features options for every palate, from the strong and bold lattes to the refreshing mocktails. Customers can further customize their drinks with a variety of options and flavors, to sweetness levels and toppings, ensuring a personalized coffee experience with every sip.

Zus coffee

First, the bean choice. ZUS offers two kinds: the Lydia, with its fruity and nutty flavors; and the Boss, the smokey and dark chocolate-y blend. Then you choose the flavor. You may opt for ZUS’ signature blends like the Spanish Latte (a full-bodied fusion of classic espresso with a trio of flavorful milks), Velvet Crème Latte (a perfect blend of rich espresso and smooth milk topped with a velvety crème brulee cloud to taste like a delicious dessert), the strong aromatic CEO Latte tailored for the decisive, and the Gula Melaka, a refreshing Malaysian iced latte with a muscovado from Malacca, syrup, and a hint of coconut.

ZUS also boasts of their classic hot brews including Espresso, Americano, Café Mocha. Salted Caramel Latte, Caramel Macchiato, and iced coffee-based drinks like Salted Caramel, Triple Java Jelly, Java Cocoa, Java Chip, and Espresso Crush. After selecting your preferred beans and flavor, you may opt for add-ons such as an extra espresso shot, syrup, drizzle, crème toppings, chocolate chip, coffee jelly, and your choice of milk choice (soy or oat). If you are not into coffee, fret not about ‘FOMO’, as ZUS offers non-coffee choices like Choco Chip, Caramel Cream, Berry Cheesecake, Matcha Latte, Floral Mint, White Peach Oolong, and Rose Tea, to please your palate.

Whiling the time away with your children after a tiring afternoon of shopping? ZUS has kid-friendly items like Babycino, and Berry Lemonade. To pair with the drinks are hot meals, breads, buns, and pastries like the Carbonara, Pepperoni Pizza, Pesto Roll, Blueberry Brioche, among many others, that are available at the stores. In the Philippines, the top sellers are their donuts and the ubiquitous Pinoy Adobo Pan De Sal. Plus, ZUS Coffee fans have even created their own secret menu, shared, and celebrated on platforms like TikTok. Coffee prices range from as low as PHP45/PHP65, or PHP95 while frappes are at PHP145 to PHP160.

Tech-driven and ethically sourced

Coffees can be ordered in-store and just a few taps through ZUS Coffee’s very own app that has a user-friendly interface, and which could be downloaded on your mobile phones via Google Play and for Android and Apple users, respectively.

Zus coffee

“Sometimes it gets very awkward when you’re ordering coffee with your friends, and you can’t decide what to get. With our app, you could customize your coffee from wherever you are, choose your beans, your flavor, add-ons, then click your order, and the app will let you know if it’s ready to be picked up,” explained Tian, who also added that his favorite ZUS drink is the Spanish Latte, and hopes to bring the Adobo Pan De Sal to Malaysia and across other stores.

ZUS coffee’s bright blue and white hip hubs radiate the vibrancy of its young, dynamic owners who, according to Tian, are well-versed with tech start-ups and e-commerce, and whose adventurous, out-of-the-box mindset are not only a crucial part of the brand’s DNA, but also dictates the aggressive and fun-loving way they create flavors and run the business. This is the reason why ZUS Coffee had already the app way before they opened their first store in Malaysia.

Beans (100% Arabica) are ethically sourced from different countries such as Guatemala, Kenya, and Papua New Guinea, depending on the coffee bean season to ensure the best quality. ZUS Coffee is committed to the practice of procuring only Direct Trade Beans. Any form of green bean procurement is done directly with the farmers of the beans, and allows for quality, sustainability, and fairer prices that is then translated to the final cup that the customers pay for. Direct trade helps farmers develop to have a more sustainable future and growth.

ZUS offers only plant-based milk (soy, oat, and almond) that is better for the health of consumers and the environment. To further underscore their sustainability efforts and in keeping with their “Blue is the new Green” practice, ZUS Coffee’s hot or iced cups are made of 100% food ingredients, while their cup sleeves are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified raw materials. What’s more, they only use plant-based, edible, and biodegradable Rice Straws that are 100% turtle-friendly!

The zealous brand that technology built

From the first taps on the app to the opening of its first outlet in Malaysia, ZUS Coffee’s mission was clear: to transform specialty coffee from a luxury to a daily necessity through clean, consistent, and well-handled coffee each time. To date, the brand has served over 39 million cups, a testament not only to its promise but also to the unwavering support of the ZUSsies. Since its inception, the brand has always been synonymous with innovation, accessibility, and community, swiftly expanding to over 400 stores in just five years in Malaysia. It currently boasts of a total of 12 stores in the Philippines but plans of expanding to 150 branches around the country by the end of the year.

“ZUS actually stands for zealous. We’re very passionate and motivated,” Tian beamed. Thus, its rapid expansion in the Philippines should not come as a surprise, including its plan to unveil a Filipino-inspired drink soon. He reiterates that the brand’s growth stems from understanding its customers’ needs and emphasizing that ZUS Coffee’s mission is to blend premium quality, handcrafted specialty coffee that should be accessible, affordable, and a necessity—rather than a luxury—giving all Filipino ZUSsies a unique coffee experience, one sip at a time.



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