Hide from the world with a good cup of coffee at cozy Narrative Coffee Co.
This Salcedo Village café encourages you to linger.
Narrative Coffee Co.
G/F Alpha Salcedo Condominium, Bautista Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) When it comes to coffee, every cup has a story—at least that’s the idea Narrative Coffee Co. wants to tell its visitors. Narrative Coffee Co. is a chill handcrafted coffee joint in Makati where office-goers and Salcedo Village residents can get their daily dose of caffeine.
With seating only fit for about five people, it’s easy to get claustrophobic in this compact coffee shop that shares its space with co-working hub The Office Project. It looks a bit like a pop-up, but the gold triangular embellishments adorning a matte-black wall adds a stylish accent that gives it just the right touch of personality.
They say good things take time, and we can see why. Narrative is one of the few cafés in Metro Manila that focuses solely on slow-brewed coffee. Each brewing process needs over five minutes to complete, not including the meticulous detail baristas engineer to produce a single cup.
Because of the café's limited space, they couldn’t really place a prodigious espresso machine anywhere, but sometimes, the curse is a blessing. Narrative Coffee Co.’s part-owner David Disuanco shares that his fondness for slow-brewed coffee goes beyond the actual drink itself.
Making brews by hand gives him the chance to interact with the café’s customers. “We want a store where stories can intersect. When you’re at a coffee shop, aside from drinking coffee, you’re there to talk to people,” he says. “It’s the relationship that we’re able to build because of this coffee bar.”
Iced, Ethiopia, Dimtu
Narrative Coffee Co.’s menu is short and straightforward—its first page reads the café’s wide variety of single origin beans that David says are from some of their friends who have traveled abroad. The shop is a multi-roaster, which also means they get their supply from local and international roasting companies.
Contrary to automatic coffee machines, baristas are able to control the taste of the drink through slow-brewing coffee. Grind size and water temperature are only some of the factors to consider if you want to play around with the brew’s flavor. From consistently measuring the beans to timing the water to get that perfect temperature, indeed, slow-brewed coffee is an art in itself.
After brewing, baristas try a sample of the coffee. “As baristas, you need to know that the coffee you’re serving is good,” David adds.
Though they plan to change their bean selection from time to time, included in their current menu are coffees originating from South America—Columbia, La Joyeria (P150/hot, (P160/cold); Africa—Ethiopia, Dimtu and Yirgacheffe, and Rwanda, Rushashi (P180/hot, P190/cold); and the Southwestern Pacific—Papua New Guinea, Morita (P180/hot, P190/cold).
Apart from their slow brews, Narrative Coffee Co. offers loose leaf teas like the Oriental Beauty Oolong (P150/hot, P160/cold) and Columbian Cascara (P170/hot, P180/cold) as well as COO (P160) craft bottled sodas by EDSA BDG that come in three different flavors: Aviation, PCR, or Lychee Grapefruit.
According to David, the coffee shop’s name was inspired by a film about the “crop to cup” process of coffee which was presented through story-telling. Maybe it could also be because of each story that gets told and shared with every cup made at Narrative Coffee Co. Amid the haste and hurry of life, sometimes it’s better to just slow down and enjoy every sip.
Photos by Hans Fausto