If you’re reading this right now you’re probably a coffee-lover like me. It’s one of the first things that I take in the morning to jumpstart my day (and survive the rest of it). I’m also one of those guys you’d often see in a coffee shop, typing the life out of its laptop and taking advantage of the free wifi while sipping on a cuppa joe.
I have to admit though, some coffee shops can be intimidating! Even more with all the complicated add-ons and variations that you can have with your drink. Are you the type who orders a “Venti, Skim, Extra Shot, Extra-Hot, Extra-Whip, Sugar-Free, Caramel Macchiato”? Or are you like me who’s happy with just a “tall café latte”?I don’t know about you but I go to a coffee shop to chill, not engage in a tongue-twister challenge!
Don’t get me wrong though – coffee, just like wine, does have its own intricacies. Preparing coffee is such a delicate art, that even slight changes in temperature may affect the coffee’s flavor. Even the location of where the coffee beans are grown is carefully studied! But then again, this doesn’t mean that you have to be a connoisseur to fully enjoy coffee.
Last week, I attended a cupping session by Nine Cups so I can have a better appreciation of how coffee is prepared. Located along Ortigas Ave., near Greenhills, San Juan, Nine Cups promises to serve no-nonsense coffee of premium quality. From what I learned at our Coffee 101 gathering, I can tell that they really do know their craft!
We started by studying and tasting the different kinds of coffee roasts, which if I’m not mistaken are dependent on which coffee beans you use. Here are the roasts we tried that day:
Tasting Notes: Typically has notes of dried red fruits like raisins and plum, and citric acidity to support the generally rich characteristics of the cup.
Tasting Notes: Dark cacao, nuts, and good acidity.
Philippine Benguet Atok
Tasting Notes: Delicate flavors of cacao chocolate, hints of cracked pepper with mild acidity and sweet finish.
Most of my blogger buddies liked the Brazil Cerrado medium roast. Personally though, I liked the full-bodied roast of the Philippines Benguet Atok. It’s bitter yet has that deep cacao taste that reminds me of dark chocolate (and also a bit of kape barako).
Of course, I didn’t pass the chance to get a taste of Nine Cups’ specialty items from the menu. Since I’ve already been sipping on the black coffee roasts, I decided to go for a milkier option this time, and asked for a hot cup of Flat White (Php 130.00). It was pretty good, with the milk supplementing the stronger espresso flavor. Great with their specialty cookies (which was oh so soft and yummy, btw)!
Aside from the regular hot drinks, Nine Cups also offer iced drinks, crafted beverages, and drinks for choco lovers. The space may not be able to accommodate large meetings yet though, but if you’re looking for a place to pause and take a breather, or even just share a few stories and laughs with friends, Nine Cups would be great place to hangout in.
BTTC Centre, Ortigas Ave, San Juan
Open from 8am – 11pm on Weekdays, and 10-5pm on Saturdays