Top 10 Best Specialty Coffee Shops in Metro Manila

The Philippine coffee scene has blossomed in recent years, with specialty coffee rapidly gaining popularity. Driven by local coffee roasters and cafés, Metro Manila now boasts an array of spots to get incredible seasonal blends, single origin brews, and latte art.

From cozy neighborhood cafes to expansive third wave coffee houses, the city has many options for enthusiasts to get coffee. Here we’ll cover the 10 best specialty coffee shops in Metro Manila and highlight what makes each one worth visiting. Plus, see how Soo Coffee is bringing focus back to fostering community.

What Makes a Coffee “Specialty Coffee” and Why Are They Making Habitual Coffee Drinkers?

First, what qualifies a coffee as a specialty? These cafes meet certain criteria:

  • Focus on high-quality coffee beans from ethical sources
  • Use specialized brewing techniques like pour-over and cold brew
  • Employ skilled baristas who can explain different coffee terroirs and make latte art
  • Offer a variety of single-origin coffees and seasonal blends
  • Educate customers about coffee origins, processing methods, and flavors

By emphasizing quality sourcing, preparation, and customer experience, specialty cafes stand apart from regular coffee shops. Keep an eye out for these hallmarks when finding the best coffee.

10 Top Specialty Coffee Shops in Metro Manila

Here are 10 destinations to get your exceptional specialty fix in Metro Manila:

1. Soo Coffee – Quezon City

Soo Coffee takes the top spot for its dedication to fostering community and relationships over serving quality specialty coffee and food. Located in Quezon City, Soo Coffee’s Korean-inspired, minimalist space cultivates genuine connections between people while letting the delicious coffee beans shine. From the high-quality gourmet food and specialty coffee to the immersive Korean ambiance inside, the experience you get is truly unique.

Soo Coffee combines its specialty keopi beverages with gourmet K-inspired cuisine to craft harmoniously balanced flavors. Recommended combinations include the Caramel Latte with Kimchi Fried Rice for a delightful sweet and spicy harmony, the Cafe Latte with Serendipity Spaghetti, letting the pasta’s herbs take the spotlight, and the White Chocolate Mocha Bong Blanc with the luscious Nutella Chocolate Croffle for a delectable sweet and creamy blend. Their diverse selection of lattes, mochas, and aromatic joe is meticulously crafted to either enhance or contrast the intricate Korean dishes.

2. Habitual Coffee – Makati

Favored for cold brew, this airy two-story cafe makes a refreshing break. Try their unique Coffee Jelly Soda for a twist. Habitual Coffee celebrates coffee farming traditions while bringing innovation on preparation. Their baristas are enthusiastic about explaining different brew techniques too.

3. Yardstick Coffee – Pasig

Run by two World Brewers Cup champions, Yardstick Coffee packs expertise. Their cafe along Pasig serves espresso drinks, cold brew, pour overs, and more with attention to detail. Try their rotating single origin beans and ask the baristas for brewing tips. Check them out here:

4. The Exchange Alley Coffee House – Makati

Grab a seat in this cozy, industrial-chic cafe to experience their specialty coffee blends and single origins. Their sea salt caramel latte is a signature, but don’t miss their award-winning piccolo latte either. With mod furnishings and natural light, it’s a perfect neighborhood coffee pitstop. Check their website here:

5. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – Multiple Branches

This specialty chain needs little introduction, but their small-batch artisan roasts make it deserving. The sea salt caramel cold brew and dark chocolate mocha are classic choices. With locations across Metro Manila, stop by anytime for a quality cup of joe. Read more of them here:

6. SGD Coffee – Multiple Branches

One of the first specialty coffee brands in the Philippines, SGD Coffee continues to innovate while focusing on Philippine coffee. Beyond standard espresso drinks, they offer siphon coffee, Spanish latte, affogato and more. Their cafes provide a contemporary space to unwind.

7. La Cathedral Café – Intramuros, Manila

Situated right by the historic Manila Cathedral, this cafe lies in an Instagrammable location. The Spanish colonial architecture provides a picturesque setting for savoring their delicious brewed coffee. Their steaming mug of cafea con leche topped with art is a must-order.

8. Fat Seed Café – Makati and BGC

With two locations, Fat Seed Café brings quality beans and a cozy ambiance perfect for chatting or getting work done. They offer coffee flights so you can compare tasting notes across single origins. Their specialty drinks like the Dark Choco Truffle are decadent treats too.

9. Three Squares Café – Multiple Branches

From their flagship location in Makati to new branches across Metro Manila, Three Squares Café consistently impresses with their coffee sourced globally from award-winning farms. Beyond their quality beans, their homey, chic interiors make you want to linger for a while.

10. Blocleaf Café – Makati

Tucked away in Makati, this neighborhood cafe crafts unique coffee creations that will delight your tastebuds. Their signature Cobra Black combines espresso, milk, and green apple syrup for a smooth flavor combo. With artisan desserts and great food too, you’ll love spending time at Blocleaf.

Why Coffee Lovers in the Philippines Are Flocking to Specialty Cafes: Why Not Go to a Regular Coffee House?

What draws enthusiasts to seek out these specialty coffee providers across Metro Manila? 

First, the attention to quality and flavor is unmatched. The nuanced tasting profiles from freshly roasted single origin beans appeal to seasoned coffee lovers. Specialty cafes also give customers control to customize their beverage to their taste.

The growth of specialty also educates consumers about coffee’s origins, ethical sourcing, and labor-intensive process. They gain better understanding of how terroir affects the beans. Supporting these cafes supports farmers too.

Of course, the charming ambiance of these spaces gives people a welcoming place to enjoy their delicious coffee. The passionate staff enhances the coffee experience even more. There’s a growing communal culture around specialty coffee that makes it so popular in the metro.

Why Soo Coffee Focuses on Cultivating Connections

As observed earlier, the Manila specialty coffee scene has witnessed a surge in the number of cafes dedicated to enhancing quality and flavor. However, Charles So of Soo Coffee noticed that many establishments were becoming less personal as they expanded and prioritized efficiency.

At Soo Coffee, Charles aims to revive the essence of nurturing community in the realm of specialty coffee, one cup at a time. Soo Coffee upholds the tradition of coffee as a means to unite people through meaningful conversations and shared moments.

While their cozy shop may serve exceptional single-origin coffee, it’s the care and enthusiasm woven into the experience that truly sets Soo Coffee apart. They aspire to kindle curiosity about coffee while encouraging human connections.

Key Takeaways on Specialty Coffee in Manila

specialty coffee shops in metro manila
  • Specialty coffee has blossomed over recent years through local roasters and cafes.
  • Quality sourcing, brewing techniques and customer service define specialty cafes.
  • Must-visit spots include Soo Coffee, Habitual, Yardstick, The Exchange Alley, and more.
  • Support specialty cafes to enjoy amazing coffee while benefiting coffee farmers.
  • Soo Coffee stands out by emphasizing human connection as part of the specialty coffee culture.

Sample exquisite coffee across Manila while witnessing the growth of specialty coffee firsthand. Visit Soo Coffee for an authentic Korean Specialty Coffee experience that goes beyond coffee.

Soo Coffee is a specialty coffee brand
that brings you artisan coffee anywhere you are.