June 21, 2015

Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters Experience

The proliferation of hipsters has become a new trend and people are surely embracing this way of life; and then come the third wave coffee shops. You might wonder why I associate hipsters with coffee; it is probably because hipsters are going against the norm and so is this new trend in coffee. Third wave coffee according to Wikipedia.com refers to a current movement to produce high-quality coffee, and consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, rather than a commodity. This involves improvements at all stages of production, from improving coffee plant growing, harvesting, and processing, to stronger relationships between coffee growers, traders, and roasters, to higher quality and fresh roasting, at times called "microroasting" (by analogy with microbrew beer), to skilled brewing.

It aspires to the highest form of culinary appreciation of coffee, so that one may appreciate subtleties of flavor, varietal, and growing region - similar to other complex consumable plant-derived products such as wine, tea and chocolate. Distinctive features of third wave coffee include direct trade coffee, high-quality beans, single-origin coffee (as opposed to blends), lighter roasts, and latte art. It also includes revivals of alternative methods of coffee preparation, such as vacuum coffee and pour-over brewing devices (which Starbucks uses for their Reserve coffee blends).

And of course, Manila, like all other urban cities in the world, would not be left out on this new trend. Third wave coffee shops have been popping around and more and more people are being lured to them likely because they want to try something new besides the commercialized ones that we grew up with. One of them that found its way to the shores of the Philippines is Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters which is founded by a coffee-lover lawyer named Toby Smith in Australia.

c/o tobysestateph.com

My colleagues and I have been planning to visit its flagship store in Salcedo Village in Makati since it’s just a few blocks away from where we work but only got the chance to go last week. Even from outside the place is already very inviting; inside will surely hypnotize you to stay longer than you should with its high-ceiling, industrial design elements, long couches, mix-matched furniture, metal chandeliers and light fixtures and the huge communal table near the bar.

If this place is in New York or California, I am 100% sure that hipsters and wanna-be-hipsters (like myself) would flock this place. It is because it is one of those coffee shops that break the norm both in interior design aesthetics and the coffee that they serve. But the customers at Toby’s Estate to our surprise in Salcedo were a mixture of yuppies and families.

We were greeted by one of the staff with sleekly-styled hair (and yes that hipster-ish hairstyle everybody is sporting nowadays) and ushered us to this corner table beside the wall designed with used pieces of wood beautifully placed together. Aside from the thought of finally tasting their much-talked-about coffee, my eyes were feasting with all that I’m seeing; every part of this coffee shop is Instagram-worthy! Plus points I must say since I am a sucker for places with great ambiance.

We browsed their extensive menu, which included coffee, all-day breakfasts, salads, and sandwiches, pastas, beers, wines and other entries but ended up ordering just coffee. J and I ordered the Iced Mocha; I am not a fan of hot coffee (I know… I know…) and J is just a copy-cat (joke!) while Dr. S asked for the off-the-menu-yet-everybody-knows-about-it Gibraltar coffee.


The Iced Mocha has two shots of Ristretto and uses Ghana chocolate. I love the after taste of Toby’s Estate’s iced mocha. I’ve never tasted any iced mocha like this before; it’s not the typical bittersweet (sometimes too sweet) mocha I’m accustomed to.

The Gibraltar also made from two shots of Ristretto and Holy's milk and foam. It takes its name from the Gibraltar glass being used as the vessel of this gonna-make-you-stay-awake-til-the-next-morning coffee. I took a sip from Dr. S' small cup and unlike her who found it really great, I wasn’t too much sold. I don’t know maybe because I was drinking the Iced Mocha minutes before or I was too biased for my favorite. I should probably try it sometime again to fully enjoy it. I love the multiple heart latte art though.

I got curious of what was inside their display counter while I was taking photos of the coffee bar. I asked what those square thingies that looked like brownies were. The staff told me they are called Bucky from Bucky's -Not a Brownie. Bucky’s according to him is not a brownie. Bucky's at its purest form is an immensely rich dark massive slab of chocolate sprinkled with coarse sea salt crystals on top. 

To put it in simpler form, buckies are a crossover between a flour-less chocolate cake and a fudge brownie. They have an assortment of flavors and combinations that I’ve never heard of (sorry for being ignorant…). Anyway, we found it very hard to cut the Oreo and Cream bucky that I ordered for us. It was tasty and chewy, but I must be honest we didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought we would because of how difficult it was to break it into smaller pieces (pa-sosy problem...)

When it comes to the price, Toby’s Estate being an artisanal coffee shop would be slightly pricier. But it is to be expected, knowing that before you stepped inside their shop their coffees are rather special than the usual. The food entries are priced higher too. Well, this is an upscale coffee shop so that should not come as a surprise at all. Although we didn’t try any, may be next time if we do, I’ll be able to tell if it’s worth the buck.

Will I go back? Hmmm…. I think I would. There are still a lot to try from their menu. I also saw from one IG post of a Toby's Estate's  coffee mixed with a scoop of Carmen’s Best ice cream of which I am VERY VERY curious to get my hands (or lips… or tongue…) on.

Salcedo: V Corporate Center Shop 6, 125 LP Leviste St.
Salcedo Village Makati City
Website: www.tobysestateph.com
Instagram and Twitter: @tobysestateph
Email: info@tobysestateph.com

For more information and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile:
Toby's Estate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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  1. I love coffee when I have menstrual cramps other than that I just drink it because it's tasty ( I like mine sweet!).

    1. I love mine bittersweet! Thanks for the comment love! *kisses

  2. Ganda ng place! I miss coffee shop hopping!


    1. Yes it is and it really adds to the experience and their coffee are good too! :-)

  3. yum what great selections!


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