It’s easy to fall into the trap of big-cheese players like Starbucks. We don’t blame you—they’re everywhere, accessible, and definitely convenient. But eventually, you’d be looking for something more. If you’ve drunk enough coffee, then your palette should be ready for the third wave—an experience that you can’t achieve in commercial coffee shops. In third-wave cafes, it is more personal, dynamic, and sustainable.
These times are especially challenging for smaller industry players, and they deserve much love now more than ever. The profit you bring into the cafe extends from the people in that store to the local growers the coffee is sourced from.
If you’re ready to up your caffeine game, check out these cafes in Metro Manila that serve the best cups of proudly local coffee!
To coffee lovers, Sagada is not just the name of a destination. It’s a taste—an award-winning one at that. Sagada coffee put the Philippines on the map when it won in an international roasters contest. And you can get a sip of it right in the metro with SGD Coffee. Its original store—which also serves as a roastery and training center—is Bodega in Diliman, with spacious interiors and an al-fresco area. Meanwhile, Kapetolyo in Malate is a chic high-ceilinged glasshouse. Both branches tick all the right boxes for their Insta-worthy charm and, of course, awesome coffee and food.
Location: Bodega: No. 45 Maalalahanin St., Teachers Village East, Diliman, Quezon City / Kapetolyo: Cecilia Muñoz Dr. cor. Antonio Villegas St., Ermita, Manila
Hours: Bodega: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. / Kapetolyo: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Mon, Sat–Sun), 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Tue–Fri)
The Giving Cafe
Another very familiar name in the coffee industry is Henry & Sons, a local roaster and coffee machine supplier. In 2017, the group opened The Giving Cafe not just as a coffee shop but a social enterprise that advocates for coffee farms in Benguet. Depending on the coffee you order, a portion goes to specific charity programs such as Cup to Seed and The Giving Well that provide farmers with livelihood assistance and safe water, respectively. Certainly, you get what you pay for with various flavor profiles to explore and a cozy, homey interior to relax in.
Location: Sheridan St. cor. Pines St., Highway Hills, Mandaluyong
Hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Commune is a cafe with a strong sense of community, enhanced by its dedicated promotion of local coffee with diverse origins. True to its name, the cafe has served as a place to commune—a popular spot for coworking, community events, and coffee talks. You can choose from different single-origin blends and hand-brewing methods for your special pick-me-up. Espresso drinks are made with their signature Commune Blend, which mixes local Arabica and Robusta beans for the ideal kick. You can also take home coffee (beans or ground), a perfect match for your stay-at-home snacks and desserts.
Location: 36 Polaris St., Poblacion, Makati City
Hours: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Mon–Thu), 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. (Fri–Sun)
This well-known neighborhood cafe in Makati has certainly made the appreciation of local artisanal coffee a habit. Habitual Coffee is a partner of Kalsada Coffee, whose roasts are showcased in handcrafted brews made with Aeropress. Currently, Habitual uses sweet and fragrant Sitio Kisbong coffee from Benguet. You can also try Mt. Malepunya (Batangas) and Mt. Kalatungan (Bukidnon) coffees along with Sitio Kisbong in Habitual Coffee’s local experience pack that you can brew at home. Enjoy it with a Filipino favorite like pandesal!
Location: Paseo Heights, Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City / Ayala Vertis North, Quezon City
Hours: Makati: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. / QC: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Little Farmers Coffee Brim
Little Farmers Coffee Brim is a humble coffee kiosk typically found in mall supermarkets and food courts in the metro. Rows of glass containers filled with beans are neatly displayed for easy perusal of the coffees’ various blends and origins. From Benguet, Sagada, and Cordillera to Mt. Apo and Mt. Kanlaon, coffees hail from all over the country. There are also flavored beans such as caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla. A cup costs less than PHP 100 but offers so much delight!
Check the list of locations here.
*Featured image via The Giving Cafe / Little Farmers Coffee / SGD Coffee