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Friday, August 06, 2010

What’s In It with Coffee?

Had you visited Manila, and some other cities in the Philippines, you must have noticed a lot of coffee shops located almost everywhere. Among the top ten coffee shops are ~

1.      Starbucks
2.      Gloria Jean’s
3.      Bo’s Coffee
4.      Figaro
5.      Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
6.      Seattle’s Best Coffee
7.      Café de Lipa
8.      UCC Café Plaza
9.      McCafe of McDonalds
Let us stop and talk a while..
10.  Café Capreal 

In Manila, most of these coffee shops are located inside hotels, shopping malls or they have their own rented place like that of Starbucks. Starbucks rank number one. You could easily find one, either close to offices, golf course or any strategic locations frequented by people from all walks of life. To be more attractive to coffee lovers, this coffee shop sells, tumblers, coffee mugs, bags or other items bearing Starbucks name. Although Filipinos love coffee, those who have tight budget may not be interested buying the items. They are quite pricey. Coffee lovers do buy them as keepsake items. One thing I noticed about Starbucks is their accommodating place. You could enjoy your stay in the place as long as you want. In some coffee shops waiters would ask if you have other orders or needed something. As if to say, you need to give way to other customers.

As people used to flock to these coffee shops. The entrepreneurship mind of their marketing staff had conceptualized the idea of selling cakes and pastries to go with coffee. Coffee shops are even popular than ice cream parlors. After all who wants to sweat it out at the gym to ward off excess calories? So what is with coffee that made it so popular? Nothing really, it is the place that is more important. Coffee shops are places you could conveniently stay while waiting for your friends. It is a good place for buying time while waiting for a business partner for an important meeting. Or a place to simply read the morning news paper while enjoying a stick of cigarette all by your self.  


Ryan said...

You are correct, people don't visit coffee shops exclusively for the actual coffee but utilize them for meeting up with friends, place to read or as we do here in Scotland 'to get out of the rain'!!!
Thanks for the coffee JP.

Jean said...

With WiFi being offered at Starbucks, many folks bring their laptops and go online for free while drinking their expensive Java. I think McDonald's is trying to turn into a coffee house. They now have fancy coffees and offer WiFi. Oh well...they are cheaper and you can have a Big Mac to go with your latte.LOL!

Out on the prairie said...

I have heard a slang for coffee as ,"talk soup". It used to be very inexpensive, but has grown with popularity. I have seen a Starbucks in a church.I enjoy going to one of the large book stores and drinking coffee while reading their books, even listening to some music.

Ryan said...

Starbucks in a church!! What's next McDonalds in the Vatican?

Justin said...

This is a very well written post. Unfortunately, I don't like coffee. Haha. I went to Starbucks the other day with my sister, and I tried one of their smoothies (since it was the only thing I would touch), and it wasn't that good. Bleh. But yeah, it's smart for them to offer other things... because otherwise, I'd never go.

Janz said...

On my visit to Manila last year, I went to Trinoma mall. I loved the location of Starbucks up top in an open space. Sad to say, I'm not a coffee drinker. It makes me hyper! LOL

Jolly Princess said...

Hello guys and gals …

Did you know that the first thing I do coming home from work is to look at my blog? With or without coffee … I would like to let you know there is nothing more that makes me happier in the morning but to read your comments. Thank you for the blog visit and your wonderful thoughts. Thank you for making me smile… ♥

Anonymous said...

Salamat po sa inyong comment. Na-flatter naman ako. Actually, I'm taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Filipino. Writing in Filipino is really my talent. I'm a writer in our Tagalog school paper in high school. Thanks for visiting my blog!

untony said...

A few days ago, I was being guided by a local colleague around downtown Buenos aires, Argentina, where I am working temporarily, and was surprised by the many coffee shops we crossed. Two or three on each block!

I asked where was Starbucks, and the answer was, there is no Starbucks in Argentina, and no other of the most known names in coffee around the world. You find "Café Negro" (Black Coffee), "La Habana" (Havanna), "El Mejor Colombiano" (The best from Colombia), and such.

My colleague told me that since many years ago, coffee was gaining approval in the country and being consumed instead of yerba maté another very common Southern beverage which was relegated to use, almost, at home only.

I was not a fan of coffee, and anyone who has been in USA knows why, but when I tasted it here I was converted instantaneously, there are several brands, Brazilian, Colombian, even local and all of them without exception are wonderful, tasty and satisfying.

No wonder all those coffee shops here are always packed with people disregarding the time of the day!

All of them have WiFi, some are big enough to have tables and others only a counter and high stools, or nothing at all, you just stand and enjoy the pleasure of a "cortado" (coffee with a twist of milk), or a "Lágrima" (Eye-tear), just the opposite, milk with a whiff of coffee, or just black coffee.

Never forget pastries, which include "medialunas" (croissants) soaked in a syrup, not maple's, but some local and secret recipe, different in each place that can run down your forearms and drip from your elbows. :)

Just this has made me believe in the Olympic ambrosia!

I know now one thing I would miss when back in the States!

Jolly Princess said...

@ untony- Welcome to the world of coffee lovers. Oh, we have plenty of croissants in the Philippines. I like croissants eaten after few seconds heating in microwave, if not I need to wear a bib. (lol) We also have coffee shops that specialize on Churros con Chocolate. I dunno if Buenos Aires coffee shops have this in their menu. Maybe this is similar to croissant dipped in syrup. Great! I like what you just shared.

WiFi is also one reason why most people stayed at coffee shops, in Manila. However some coffee shops have password. They will give you the password after you ordered. Big shopping malls have WiFi too, but you are required to log on to their Websites. I guess it is for tracking or security purposes. Some who do not have laptop can use their cell phone to surf the net.

untony said...

Oh yes, you're right! Any time I get those "medialunas" I need a scrubs with cap and shoes! Even if it is not good manners after eating them I lick my fingers with delight! :)

Yes! they have churros rellenos de crema pastelera, or Chantilly, or chocolate, or peach jam, or orange marmalade, or if you have anything edible they fill it into churros. I decided to keep them a bit away, too many calories! :)

Oddly enough, WiFi is free in those places, there are some restrictions as the ones you mention in Malls or in official sites as those you can reach on the street, the Municipalidad of Rosario, the second biggest city here has a hotspot in the "peatonal" Córdoba, the main street in town. It is funny to see people with iPods, iPhones, or netbooks walking and surfing!

Jill Wellington said...

I'd like to meet up at the Manila Starbucks and have a cup of coffee with you, Jolly! Starbucks is crazy popular in America, too!

Country Mouse Studio said...

In Canada, it's Tim Hortons for coffee (cheaper than Starbucks) and they have now added an ice cream parlor to many of them. Interestingly they don't have Wifi and don't even have a good place to sit and visit, they do mostly drive through business.
In the mornings, the line ups are so long they can go on for blocks.

Jolly Princess said...

@ Country Mouse Studio – Hello my friend. Appreciate you, sharing with us your coffee experience in Canada.. Please feel free to visit again. ;)

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