Not too long ago, people had to flock to hotel lobbies if they wanted a decent cup of coffee. Today, a latte, cortado, or ristretto is rarely more than a ten-minute walk away. Beyond mainstream coffee chains, smaller specialty shops are claiming the cozier corners of their cities, and offering their own take on what proper coffee is.
As baristas labor to slake this popular thirst for caffeine, one shop quietly kicks things up a notch. Coffee Tonya is a Japanese chain of 13 stores built on green coffee roasted fresh to customer preferences. In October 2016, they ventured with Bravo Best Foods to open their first overseas store in Makati’s Poblacion district. Co-located in the Pivo Praha microbrewery, their menu seems purist by Seattle standards but if you know the Japanese, freshness and purity of flavor are what they hold dear.
Through a network of international contacts, they obtain choice beans from Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, and other worthy sources worldwide. This insures that each Coffee Tonya store is stocked with a vast assortment of top grade green coffee for their clientele’s enjoyment. The Makati branch alone has 13 blends and 39 single origin offerings available, a number we’ve yet to see in any other establishment in the city. The list includes many accessible choices, as well as a few that are priced like a decent single malt. Which ones sell best? We’re told their BBC blend, made solely from Philippine beans, moves as briskly as Ethiopian Yirga Cheffe.
“Flavors are vividly present, with nothing hampering the various notes…”
Accompanying this menu is a veritable gearhead’s corner. Drippers, coffee mills, gooseneck kettles, presses, stovetop espresso contraptions, siphons, and cold brew fixtures from popular makers are all capably represented. Anyone wanting to begin brewing at home will find something to turn his crank.