“Seek and ye shall find” is no longer the mantra in the Philippines when it comes to finding a good coffee shop especially in the Makati area. There are more and more sleek independent coffee shops popping up offering the best aromatic coffee blends you can enjoy even on a hot day.
Before we headed back home to Sydney, we had the chance to visit Commune Cafe+Bar located at 36 Polaris Corner Durban Streets Poblacion, Makati. The coffee shop is just a stone’s throw from Makati Avenue and a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of a big city for a couple of hours chillaxing with a cup of coffee or a meal.
Commune Cafe+Bar is the brain child of Rosario Juan, a coffee expert, an avid traveler, entrepreneur and one of the movers and shakers of the social media circuit in the Philippines. This is the second home of Commune Cafe+Bar, it originally started its first trade in the heart of Salcedo Village in Makati’s CBD few years back. We’ve known Ros for many years now, way back when Twitter tweet-ups were the fad and how lucky for us that Ros popped in her shop whilst we were enjoying our coffee.
The shop oozes charm, it was originally a residential building and with careful architectural transformation, this place is now converted into a welcoming space. The shop has high ceilings accented by exposed timbers and aggregate concrete, giving a very smart industrial modern vibe. On the ground floor, you’ll find a big u-shaped counter where all the coffees are prepared, the espresso machine and an array of irresistible cakes and sweets on display for an easy pick me up. It has ample space, an imposing big glass frontage and lots of room whether you are in a group or a solo guest. The black walls serve a double purpose, as divisions and as a bulletin board for all the monthly scheduled activities and specials.
Still on the ground floor, you’ll find a private room suitable for any occasion, with black tones and various pendant lights which set the mood. Maintaining a simple decor, only a small part of the main wall has been heavily decorated with rescued wood carvings, cut in half and placed randomly, it was a bit fun finding the associated piece. This room offers a quiet and multi-purpose space suitable for large group or private functions.
The second floor is an open space with lots of natural light, an eclectic mix of chairs and furnishing with an outdoor area to watch the world go by and enjoy the sights and sounds of this part of town.
We were dying for a good coffee that day, so we ordered the large size – 16oz of Cafe Latte – 138PHP and Americano – 135PHP – both were espresso-based. Commune uses its own blend, a mix of Arabica beans and a bit of Robusta known as ‘Commune Blend’, sourced out from the Arabica growing regions in the Philippines.
The Latte was served at the right temperature, well executed, no trace of bitterness, the milk was creamy but the taste of the espresso was not overpowered, it remained the hero, a good texture combined with technique. The Americano was full of flavour, rich and not too bold, just the right ratio of hot water added to the espresso without disrupting the crema.
To satisfy our tummy for the whole Commune experience, we also tried two dishes from the menu, the classic BLT – 320PHP and Bangus ala Pobre – 210PHP. The toppings of the BLT were generous and this could stand alone as a great meal in itself, with crispy bacon, fresh lettuce and tomato served on top of a slightly grilled and buttery flat brioche. The boneless bangus (milkfish) was crispy with hints of the marinated flavours, and was delectable when dipped into the accompanying vinegar condiment. This dish also came with a fried egg, fresh tomato and bowl of rice.
The menu consists of Coffee, other beverages including beer and wine, light meals such as pasta, salads, pandesals , sweets and a selection of Filipino comfort food.
So next time you’re in Makati (Philippines), check out:
36 Polaris corner Durban Streets Poblacion, Makati City Philippines Landline: +632 275 6324
Exchange rate for converting Australian Dollar to Philippine Peso : 1 AUD = 37.00 PHP