Life begins after coffee, it’s said. And for some, the day ends with coffee, too.
Like an upheld tradition, coffee has been constant in breakfast tables, mandated in meetings and a staple in most households all across cultures.
In the Philippines, coffee continuously ranks amongst the top 10 fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). All figures point to a fact that we already know, of course: we love our caffeine.
And there are several known health advantages to moderate consumption of coffee besides perking us up in the morning. Studies have shown that it can act as a mild antidepressant, help burn fat faster, workout longer and boost memory.
Suddenly thinking of getting your own hot cup of coffee right now? We know!
So we’re not only giving you more reasons to enjoy your coffee, we’re also giving you more places where you can get it. Maginhawa Street, which has become Quezon City’s hottest food strip, is also home to unique coffee shops where you can get your daily caffeine fix. Check our list out ! (organized in no particular order)
Specialties/Best-sellers: Sagada, Benguet and Kalinga Roast
Address: 67 Maginhawa St., Quezon City
Coffee is always a good idea, so it’s said. And if there’s a better idea, it’s coffee and books together, and that is right here. One of Cool Beans’ owners is from Baguio who grew up waking up to the aroma of brewing Cordilleran coffee in the mornings and decided to share this amazing childhood experience to us city-dwellers. One of the first coffee libraries in Manila, Cool Beans has been a haven for coffee and book lovers for three years now and has been featured in the multi-nominated and awarded romantic comedy English Only, Please.
Entering Cool Beans, you will be greeted with the sight of a wall full of books and a big collection of National Geographic Magazines. With its quiet atmosphere, warm lighting and brown couches, it’s difficult not to give in to the coziness of the café and spend the day reading a novel while sipping on a delightful cup of Sagada, Benguet, or Kalinga coffee.
Their highland specialties can be enjoyed either brewed or blended and hot or cold for as low as P80. You can also indulge yourself in their pastries, paninis and s’mores. If you’re staying longer, they can also serve you pasta and rice meals.
By the way, Cool Beans does not have wifi. So it’s ideal if you want to unplug and just get lost in their coffee and books with the soft acoustic music playing in the background.
Specialties/Best-sellers: Caramel and Tiramisu Frapperture
Address: Unit 204 Dona Zenona Suites, 54 Maginhawa St., Quezon City
Love photography and coffee? You can have the best of both worlds in this café just a few blocks away from Cool Beans. The first photography-themed coffee shop in Manila, Caffera is a cozy gallery of photography items and obviously owned by photographers. On its walls hang camera displays, reels, negatives and exhibit of the photos taken by the owners and the café customers. Even the lighting fixtures make use of DSLR lens!
You’ll love taking photos of your caffeinated concoctions in almost every corner of the café—from the wall displays to camera lens cups. The coffee selections and sizes are a wordplay on photography and Instagram filters such as their bestsellers Mocha Frapperture and ISO Amaro-cano, which are available in pixel and megapixel sizes.
Paninis and pastries are also available to go with your coffee for that IG-worthy photo.
Specialties/Best-sellers: Vanilla Latte, White Mocha Frap and Red Velvet Cake
Address: 106-C Maginhawa St., Quezon City
If you’re looking for a quiet place to work on that article or presentation or review for an exam, this is the best workplace whether you’re with a group or alone. Theo’s is a well-lit space with comfortable tables and chairs for long sitting. What we love most is that red hanging chair by the glass window—perfect spot for those who are in for some long reading (and selfie, of course!). Wifi and outlets are also available for your laptops.
And to provide you with enough caffeine + sweets support system, they have their own selection of hot coffee brews, cold fraps and pastries. Bestsellers include Vanilla Latte, White Mocha Frap and Red Velvet Cake.
4. KKK Coffee
Specialties/Best-sellers: Kapeng Ginto
Address: 154 Maginhawa St., Quezon City
A little further down Maginhawa, you’ll find a modern Pinoy-themed café franchise that goes by the same name as the brave group of Filipinos who fought for the country’s freedom. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, this café gives you the vibes from the symbolic red KKK banner hanging on its wall to its wooden and capiz fixtures.
KKK Coffee is also as revolutionary as the historical organization. The patriot in you will definitely enjoy a homegrown café experience as it brings together local coffee beans, ingredients and recipes. Its bestseller is the Kapeng Ginto, a golden concoction of Barako Coffee and cream that is naturally sweetened with honey and mascuvado sugar. Our favorite, however, is the Ifugao Rice Coffee, which is surprisingly caffeine-free yet still fulfills your coffee craving with its bittersweet taste and burnt rice aroma.
You’ll also love the other brews like the Philippine Civet Coffee, Barako Coffee, Cafe Filipino, Kapeng Labuyo, Kapeng Pandan, Kapeng Salabat and Kapeng Chocnut. These best go with their local versions of pasta and sandwich such as Tuyo Pasta, Aligue Pasta, Adobo Sandwich and Tsokoleyt Keyk.
Heads up, though. This cafe has yet to install its wifi and music, so you’ll find it really quiet, which is good if silence with your coffee is what you crave for.
Specialties/Best-sellers: Butter Beer, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
Address: 164-A Maginhawa St., Quezon City
Inspired by the Harry Potter series, this café attracts not only coffee and book lovers but also Potterheads.
Already from the outside, The Nooks’ ambiance already promises something different, and that’s what you get upon entering. This tiny space magically houses a great collection of HP articles enough to send any fan squealing with delight (and sometimes, envy). Owl designs and figures and Hogsmeade murals on the walls are abound. A Quidditch broom, a replica of the snitch, wands, more owls and even a Gryffindor robe adorn the interiors.
Although the more popular drink here is the Harry Potter-inspired drink Butter Beer, you can still enjoy your coffee with owl latte art in their usual selection of lattes, Americano, mocha, caramel machiato, espresso petronium and cappuccino. The Nook’s food menu also gets good patronage like their pasta, chicken, cheese fries, panini and pastries. These you can enjoy in their owl-designed tables or plop down pillows in their carpeted second floor.
A helpful tip though: visit on weekdays as this place has become one of Maginhawa’s hot spots and tends to be jam packed with half-bloods, pures and muggles alike.
Whether or not you’re a HP fan, The Nook offers you something different where you can make an ordinary day a little special. And if you’re indeed a Potterhead, the place could even be…well, magical.
Specialties/Best-sellers: Speculoos Cookie Butter and Caramel Butterscotch
Address: 189 Maginhawa St., Quezon City
Hearing the name would make you think this is dessert heaven on earth, in Maginhawa to be exact. But checking it out, we found out that aside from pastries and parfaits, The Sweet Spot also offers meals and sandwiches–which are mostly unique and are not available in any other restaurants–and of course, coffee.
Upon entering, the first thing you’ll notice about the place is its industrial-ish high ceiling and gray walls. Combine that with the warm lighting, chalk drawings and bright-colored fixtures, you’ll soon warm up to it and even find it cozy.
If you want to get smitten, try The Sweet Spot’s bestselling desserts and specialty coffee on your first visit. Their lattes and cappuccinos are made from quality beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia and also Benguet. Frap versions and cold drinks are also available as well as smoothies.
Dessert bestsellers include Peanut Butter cake, Orange Rum cake and cheesecakes while original savory dishes such as Porchetta Sandwich, Asahi Fish Kung Pao pasta and Crisped Beef Short Ribs are also crowd favorites.
You can definitely enjoy some me-time at The Sweet Spot at their mezzanine and pore over some of their fiction novels and magazines with a cup of coffee for your company. The place is also great for intimate dates, casual meetings and group study sessions.
Already planning your next caffeine-driven adventure? Head out on to Maginhawa food strip!
Share with us your photos when you visit any of these coffee shops or your own café finds. Just tag @health.begins.with.her.ph on Instagram!