I only take a cup of coffee once every few days, but when I do buy a cup of coffee, I need to know that I am getting the good stuff, since a cup of specialty coffee can cost as much as a meal for many people.
Today, I had a meeting in a new specialty coffee place that does not seem to bother to attract customers with its signage. It is located at the ground floor of W City Tower, 7th Avenue, the building that has a series of balconies on its external wall, lined up to form a crescent shape.
With a sign that is so cryptic (they can't even put a "%" sign in the company's url, but have to use this: https://arabica.coffee/), % Arabica must be doing something right, because the cafe had a line at its cashier on a weekday at around 10am.
% Arabica has a very small menu. You will not find cafe mocha on it. Instead, they have Spanish coffee, which has a sweetener addeded to its expresso.
How does its coffee measure up against other specialty coffee shops in BGC?
The contenders are:
- Single Origin at BHS
- Kuppa Coffee at Ecommercenter
- Luna Coffee at BHS and NAC Tower
as well as coffee chains like:
- Toby's Estate (SM Aura, Ecotower, Shangri-La, to name a few branches in the Fort)
- Starbucks' (everywhere)
- UCC (Burgo's Circle, Forbestown Road, Uptown Mall, Venice Grand Canal Mall)
- Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (at least 8 branches in the Fort)
- a few branches in the Fort : Seattle's Best, Figaro Coffee, San Francisco Coffee.
Our % Experience
We bought a cup of their short hot caffe latte (P150). It has a very mellow taste, and no harsh acidity that you will often find in a small specialty coffee brand. We did not ask, but suspect that their beans are not those commonly found in other coffee shops. They display samples of Ethiopian coffee beans in the shop. They have a unique coffee roaster in the store. And the owner of the % Arabica brand claims that he owns a coffee farm in Hawaii, according to the website of % Arabica.
It is therefore fair to say that % Arabica can make a good cup of coffee, and that the experience is very unique and reflects the Japanese heritage of the brand's owner.
Photo above : Coffee art from a cafe in Bonifacio High Street.
Instead of asking you which coffee brand tastes best, which is very subjective, let us test your knowledge of the brands.
Which coffee brand is best associated with each statement below?
1. The only home grown specialty coffee chain that has branches in China.
2. The Philippines was the brand's third market to open outside its home country.
3. It has the smallest espresso coffee menu among the brands that exist in the Fort.
4. It offers Chemex and Hario brewed coffee.
5. It has a hazelnut flavored coffee on its menu.
6. The first coffee shop with a coffee roaster in a store in the Fort.
Answer all these questions correctly, and you win the title of the most knowledgeable coffee drinker in the Fort. You can then tell us which brand serves the best coffee in the Fort in your view.