Yardstick has nothing to hide, from the giant window at its entrance to the lack of walls. There was nothing that separates you from your coffee. Ironically, the atmosphere created was quite impersonal at the hours before lunch. The staff was very friendly and accommodating but I believe that this was the place to be alone and do your work. The sharp geometrical design and the wooden furniture were reminiscent of school to me. The amount of space was so large that everyone seems like they were miles away. That wasn’t particularly a bad thing. This place was your peace and quiet for the morning. Luckily, they serve the best ingenious brews to wake you up and get going. Yardstick becomes more casual as the day goes on as more and more people fill the empty space. If you want to get your coffee fix quickly, get there early.
This is one of their signature brews that I can’t stop seeing all over Instagram. It was bitter and cold, just like me but also refreshing and light on the tongue. What I found amazing about this drink is that it has undertones of umami. Did I ever think that that was possible? Hell no. It instantly woke me up but wasn’t a slap to the face like a lot of other brews. I personally believe that it didn’t need milk or sugar but if you want it to be less acidic and creamier then go ahead. The fact that it's in a bottle makes it easier for people to get their caffeine anywhere at anytime.
This is another one of their signatures that one of the staff recommended. At first it didn’t even taste like coffee because I have never had coffee like this. It went down so smoothly it was like liquid comfort. A bit of sugar made it a whole lot better.
The Curator Coffee and Cocktail
The Curator reminded me of a speakeasy. It was hard to find if you didn’t have good eyesight, which I am guilty of, because only a small chalkboard sign will tell you where it is. Prior to the actual restaurant you have to pass through a wine store. Inside, the warm lighting, the rustic and homey furniture, and the small space were so welcoming, especially with the staff. I love the staff. They helped us pick our orders and what food to go along with it, which totally did not disappoint. The Curator was intimate and I loved that. You know how people here in the Philippines always keeps as much distance they can from people they don’t know, whether that be in the food court or church? Not here. Tables were shared with strangers and there was no discomfort about it. It was a great place to relax, do some talking with company, or even indulge in your passions like writing or reading. I love this place so much that I went back with my lolo a few days later. The staff even recognized me and asked for my name. That’s a good thing because I am definitely going back here more often.
The brew of that day was a Panama Ethiopian blend. It was exactly as how the server described it to be, fruity with just a hint of lime. It felt like afternoon tea instead of morning coffee. I usually drink my coffee with milk and sugar, but this was a huge exception. I totally trust their choices in beans and their combinations now.
Eating this was like how you should lose your virginity. Take it slow. Savor every component and appreciate every second that was put into making this. I was on the verge of tears. It wasn’t too oily or greasy at all. There was a mix of textures: creamy from the sauce on top, the soft bite from the cooked apples, and the brittle grains of slightly burnt sugar that coated the soft bread. The hint of fresh mint was delightful as well. And all this for 200 pesos?!
Okay, our basis for ordering this was the name. It sounded cool. One of the staff explained that it was red eye with milk on top. When it arrived to our table, I did not expect it to look that classy. I can just drink the foam and be satisfied. It had the right balance of creaminess and lightness. As for the coffee, if you need help defining what bittersweet is, this is it.
Craft Coffee Revolution
Hidden on Esteban Abada Street, parallel to the chaotic Katipuan Avenue, Craft provides those ailing souls in need of a hideaway. The lighting was dimmed for maximum chillness. The space was furnished for comfort, with a couch on the side But strangely enough the place felt emotional. The silence will make you think about life and stuff. It could also be a perfect place to do that ten page essay you've been putting off for the past week. The ambiance and coffee will definitely get you focused. If you aren’t alone, it’s a place to talk serious shit. On the side there were a bunch of vinyls of all music types up for sale, which you could check out while waiting for your coffee. Just get here early because there are a bunch of other people just like you in need a little peace and quiet.
The best thing that this coffee has achieved was retaining its creaminess after a certain amount of time. I don’t like putting ice in my coffee since it only makes it watery but this one just destroyed that assumption of mine. The coffee wasn’t too strong. The milk balanced it out to give this drink a taste of wholeness.
This was an exceptionally strong brew that you should order when you’re going to pull an all-nighter. It will instantly wake you up from a funk and make you start working. Its flavour had something I would call depth with a hint of fruitiness.
At first we were hesitant at checking this place out because we have never heard anything about it. We entered the establishment and you know what, we made the right decision. Out of all the coffee shops we visited, this place gave off another version of “chill”. The first thing we noticed was how happy and upbeat the playlist was, like the mixes you find on MajesticCasual. It was a small and intimate place. The lighting was bright and inviting, just like the staff. This was the place to catch up with your friends. This was a place to laugh while enjoying A+ coffee. The coffee they recommend did not necessarily hit you like a train for you to be awake. They served comfort coffee. Starbucks who?
This is caramel drink that didn’t burn my throat with sweetness! The froth on top was plainly perfect. I quote from Billie, “A classy and bitchy drink at the same time. The Blair Waldorf of coffee.” I couldn’t agree more. This was the perfect recovery drink from hangovers to broken hearts.
This was the kind of drink you'd get if you're starting out with coffee. It wasn’t too strong but it wasn’t like Starbucks where you can barely taste the coffee in their iced lattes. We would drink this to get us by for the day. It was a refreshing reminder that we can still continue the day without dying.
Seventy pesos sounded like a stretch for a 3x3 inch brownie square, but stay with me here, it was worth every centavo. First of all, they heated it before they served it to us! I am a firm believer in warming up deserts like cookies or cake. If you eat it alone then nakakaumay siya. This brownie was meant to be eaten along coffee, slowly.
Words by Anna Cayco and Photographs by Billie Lorica