Specialty coffee and gourmet dishes at The Coffee Academics Cafe in Makati

During an overcast Saturday morning in Makati’s Central Business District, you would think that the cafes there would be nigh deserted. After all, office workers who rely on their cuppa to energize them for their workday are mostly at home, enjoying the extra time they can spend in bed snoozing.

However, such is not the case at the Coffee Academics Cafe along Carlos Palanca Street. In this cozy yet well-appointed establishment, there is a hustle and bustle of activity: patrons coming in for their takeout orders, some staying to enjoy their coffee and light meal inside as baristas and servers hasten to serve up the drinks and dishes.

The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics

The world standard in coffee

The Coffee Academics Cafe is the first Metro Manila presence of Hong Kong’s favorite coffee hotspot, joining its sister branches in Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai. Known for setting the standards in specialty coffee and for delivering unique coffeehouse experiences to its clientele, TCA is a welcome addition to Makati’s gastronomic scene and prime destination for serious coffee aficionados.

The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics

Specialty Coffee

TCA sources only the top 5% of specialty arabica coffee from sustainable and fair-trade institutions worldwide, with the aim of ensuring the conservation of biodiversity and local livelihoods. Since its founding in 2012, it has garnered awards and recognition from global industry bodies and media outlets for its coffee products and practices.

Its strong grounding in its trade allows it to make delicious coffee creations that wow its customers, such as:

The Coffee Academics
Iced Gulajawa (Php240). Macchiato sweetened with Indonesian palm sugar with a hint of coconut and pandan.
The Coffee Academics
Iced Okinawa (Php220). Iced version of the cappuccino blend with unrefined brown cane sugar from Okinawa, Japan.
The Coffee Academics
Hot Okinawa (Php210). Hot version of the cappuccino blend with unrefined brown cane sugar from Okinawa, Japan.
The Coffee Academics
Hot Agave (Php210). Hot version of the latte sweetened with healthy Mexican agave nectar and sprinkled with black pepper.
The Coffee Academics
Iced Matcha Latte (Php210). 100% pure Uji green tea frothed with your choice of mik.
The Coffee Academics
Sipping Chocolate (Php190). Classic hot chocolate made with homemade chocolate syrup.
The Coffee Academics
Coffee Conette Piccolo(Php240). Single ristretto served with silky textured milk in a handmade cone dipped in dark chocolate.
The Coffee Academics

Specialty gourmet dishes

Your foodie adventure at TCA does not stop with coffee, however. With its unique takes on cafe fare, you can sate your hunger while indulging in your favorite brews.

These include:

Nori Nachos and Hummus (Php350). Homemade nori rice chips served with mixed pea hummus topped with Harissa chili, Lucban Longganisa and Kesong Puti.

The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics

Eggs Royale Bibingka (Php445).Toasted Quezo Bibingka Muffins topped with young pork tocino and poached eggs drizzled with dalandan Hollaindaise.

The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics

Prawn & Aligue Pasta (Php495). Buckwheat pasta on a bed of coconut cream sauce topped with seared prawns and crabfat, garnished with fried basil and nori rice chips.

The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics

KFC 2.0 & Kimchi Fried Rice (Php445). Boneless fried chicken thighs doused in Korean-style garlic soy glaze on a bed of kimchi and spam fried rice topped with furikake flakes with a side of caramelized sweet potato.

The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics

Steak Rice (Php795). Bistro steak and seared mushrooms on a bed of Japanese-style steak rice topped with furikake, Asian chimi and homemade demi glace.

The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics

As you can see, you can definitely do more than just enjoying a cuppa (or two!) at The Coffee Academics Cafe!

You can come in for a leisurely coffee break, a light snack or a filling meal.

Savoring your coffee and food in this relaxing atmosphere is an experience in itself.

The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics

You can also bring your TCA experience to your home, as it retails its signature coffee blends in whole beans, Nespresso-compatible capsules or drip bag sets.

The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics

The Coffee Academics Cafe is located at 109 Don Carlos Palanca Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, open daily from 7am to 12 midnight.

A new branch is set to open soon at Molito Lifestyle Center in Alabang.

Know more about The Coffee Academics through its website, or follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Together with fellow bloggers, I attended a food tasting held at this restaurant. Food items served were not paid for by the attendees.

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Matcha Good Time at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, SM East Ortigas

Matcha seems to be one of the trendy food items these days. A fine green tea powder, it was originally produced and consumed in Japan. A BBC Good Food article even relates that matcha was used by Buddhist monks to help them stay calm and alert during meditation. Its health benefits are well-known too; its bright green color comes from high levels of chlorophyll produced when the tea leaves were initially grown in the shade, a process that also boosts antioxidants.

Today, matcha flavors a lot of trendy foods – from mochi balls to ice cream. To satisfy the matcha cravings of its avid coffee fans, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf recently introduced three new matcha-flavored drinks, two of which I was able to sample together with my daughter, #ExhibitA, during a visit to the nearby CBTL branch in SM East Ortigas. This is thanks to a batch of promo codes I was given to try the drinks out. 🙂

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

Since I want my post-dinner coffee drink hot, I ordered a Matcha Macchiato (price starts at Php155). It is a blend of matcha green tea, steamed milk and espresso that features the richness of the macchiato with the herby taste of the matcha.

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

As #ExhibitA needs her beauty sleep in preparation for her exam the next day, she opted for the decaf among the new match drinks: an Ice Blended Matcha Raspberry (price starts at Php185). In this drink, the sweet fruity taste of raspberry serves as a foil to the earthy taste of the matcha.

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

The drinks were served promptly by the servers and my daughter and I were able to while away the post-dinner hours in peace and quiet in CBTL’s sprawling and well-appointed store.

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

CBTL, SM East Ortigas

I look forward to trying out the third matcha-flavored drink: the Matcha Affogato (price starts at Php185).  It is CBTL’s classic Matcha Green Tea Ice Blended drink combined with cream and a shot of espresso.

This Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branch is located at Ground Floor, Main Atrium, SM City East Ortigas, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Santa Lucia, Pasig City and is open daily from 10am to 10pm. For queries, call +63 2 6356715.

For more details on Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s limited edition matcha line, visit CBTL’s website, Facebook and Instagram pages.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: I was provided promo codes that I can present to CBTL branches so I can sample the featured drinks for free.