Love it or hate it, Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is the go to coffee shop for most people.
They are everywhere. Thye’ve have established themselves in every schools, neighborhoods, malls, etc. and I am tempted to frame Starbucks and other big chain western coffee shops as “the bad guys” but I’ll try not to. The reason why they’re the last resort for my coffee fix is more nuanced than looking past the brand and favoring quality.
Here in Solenad 3, Nuvali, just a few steps away from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, there’s this Filipino owned specialty coffee shop called 18 Days Coffee Roaster. This is where we buy our coffee beans for home brewing and my preferred place when meeting with friends and clients to talk about stuffs over a cup of coffee.
Why I prefer specialty coffee shops
One of the strong reason is they contribute to the unique appeal of the neighborhood they’re serving. Imagine driving far for a change of environment, just to find yourself going to the same shops from where you came from. It’s just the same stuffs in a different location. Who want’s to go outside of their town just to have a coffee at Starbucks?
Another good reason. The owners are more engaged and source their coffee differently. They participate in Direct Trade sourcing. Go to the best farm themselves and offer the best deal directly with coffee farmers (no middleman involved). This means higher income for farmers which gives them more incentive to be a farmer and produce higher quality beans.
Lastly, it creates diversity, more wealth and opportunity for everyone. It just makes me sad when big chain shops choke the small businesses in the neighborhood.
What I like about 18 Days Coffee
There are plenty of cool privately owned coffee shop in the south but what I like about this particular shop is they don’t keep their roasted beans in their shelves for more than 18 Days (hence the name).
The beans are always freshly roasted, if there are left overs beans after 18 days (which is unlikely) they take it off their shelves and replace it with a new one.
I usually buy 500 grams of ground Arabica Atok beans when our home supply runs out. Most of the time, specially if I buy my supply late in the afternoon, the roasted stock in their shelf is shorter than what I order so they roast me a new batch. This means, they don’t over stock and they roast beans on a daily basis. Lucky me I usually get beans that are roasted on the spot.
Our favorite is Arabica Atok beans, it has a not so smoky taste with just the right “caffeine kick”. If we feel like having something extra strong we get the Liberica beans a.k.a. “Kapeng Barako”. Strong enough to make this phrase popular “Pabili ng matapang na kape, yung kaya ako ipaglaban.”
When in Nuvali and I need to do some work related stuffs, I prefer sitting in their alfresco area. I hate closed spaces because it intensifies the noise and chatters. I get peace and quiet in the alfresco area not to mention the fresh air mixed with the aroma coming out of their coffee roaster (the roasting machine is in the alfresco area).
Thriving Migrants in Sta. Rosa, Silang and Nuvali Estates
The owner, Jerry Catabijan, a businessman from Sta. Cruz, Metro Manila, fell in love in our neighborhood in 2012 and decided to migrate and setup this unique coffee shop.
Like Jerry Catabijan and me, plenty of the shop owners and resident’s here in Nuvali and it’s neighboring townships are migrants from Metro Manila. We have found ways to make our life work in here. Small shop owners are thriving along side big chain stores and most importantly, the over all well being of our family is also thriving.
Will I Also Thrive in this Neighborhood?
I will write more to highlight the hidden gems and what our neighborhood has to offer and also share stories about our local residents. Subscribe to our email list to get updates about this community.
If you are checking to see if this is the right place for you and your family, let me know when you’re in Nuvali area and we can talk about it over a cup of freshly roasted coffee.
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